1. Hamburg SV
HSV have just opened up a cemetary next to the Nordbank Arena. With Martin Jol leading the way, Hamburg top the table for the first time in nine years. Meanwhile, the big man’s old club are in last place in the EPL. Supporters of Tottenham Hotspur are putting in inquiries to a plot for their beloved Director of Football, so he knows his place: beneath Martin Jol.
2. Bayern Munich
After two draws, they have beat up on weak opponents to crawl near the top. There are worrying sings at Bayern though, because Lucio has forgot his position and may well become a problem for Klinsman’s team, who can’t afford to have their most experienced defender leaving their young keeper exposed.
3. Schalke 04
Yes he allowed three goals, but stand-in Ralf Fahrmann made a solid debut. He was not at fault for any of the goals, and made a brave save that preserved the points. Some good news, after their collapse against BVB, is that Orlando Engelaar played in their midweek victory over Nicosia.
4. Borussia Dortmund
I have stated that Klopp needs an upgrade over Kringe on the left wing; however, he was the perfect player to have in this tense derby. He was a tenacious hard-man down the left flank against Rafinha and dished out some bruising tackles.
Jan Simak was a handy signing for Armin Veh. He had excellent movement and was a tireless worker in the impotent display by the heavily injured Swabians. He and Lehmann were the only positives.
6. TSG Hoffenheim
They thoroughly deserved a win against Stuttgart. Who would have thought that a point would be a disappointing result for die Hoffe against the recent champions? Their midfield was able to dominate although they were effectively outnumbered by two due to Veh’s odd lineup. Sejad Salihovi? found acres of space in a congested midfield.
7. Bayer Leverkusen
I have to question the decision to adjust to Freidrich’s dismissal by replace Djakpa with Kladec. Why a defender for a defender, when you have a lead? Replacing Keissling or Helmes with Kladec would have made much more sense as it wouldn’t have ruined the midfield shape as either forward can play alone. Labbadia’s choice effectively took Augusto, who dominated the first half hour, out of the game and gave midfield dominance to Hamburg.
They break a five year drought in the capital and are close to matching their longest streak without a defeat. Yet, you get the feeling that they are doing it with smoke and mirrors. The defense is much shakier than last year, which is a worry considering who they signed in the summer.
9. Werder Bremen
was the game changer for Werder as he replaced Frank Baumann in the 63rd and three goals followed. Will he be a supersub or can he be that dynamic for 90 minutes? A lackluster showing against Famagusta points to the former.
10. Hertha BSC
On Saturday, Lucian Favre had designated Cicero to be the penalty taker. This had to do with the fact that Marko Pantelic had missed his last three penalties. When a penalty was awarded in the first half, Pantelic demanded the ball and subsequently missed number four and probably cost The Old Lady the game. The biggest question I have is what was their captian Freidrich doing during the argument over the ball?
Bochum won their first game at home since last March. This is a positive step forward for Marcel Koller’s men if they hope to avoid relegation.
12. Hannover 96
Jan Schlaudraff had been Hannover’s best performer this season, but hadn’t been able to score yet. He scored a brace in the Reds romp over Gladbach as retribution against the team that once sold him to Aachen.
13. FC Köln
Playing Kick and Rush football against one of Europe’s elites is usually a recipe for disaster. Novakovic was left stranded and Petit was absent from the game as the Billygoats had only 43% possession.
The good news is that they didn’t lose their third straight.
15. Borussia Mönchengladbach
The only referee to have a worse weekend than Lutz at the Reiver-Derby was Markus Schmidt, who gave away two awful penalties against Gladback this past week. Unfortunately, the penalties were the least of the Foals problems as their midfield was overrun, especially on the right.
16. Eintracht Frankfurt
Only Eintracht could be involved in a controversy involving Madonna that didn’t involve sex.
17. Arminia Bielefeld
They are off to their worst start in 24 years and have now made it 400 days without a road victory.
18. Energie Cottbus
Bojan Prasnikar has taken his team to train at a local brothel. You know the rest.