Here’s this week’s Bundesliga XI. It is packed with Bayer 04, Hoffenheim and Werder players. It does include a special shoutout to the man who ended Energie’s goal drought, an under appreciated defender from Arminia and a goalkeeper who lost.
1. Schalke 04
Now 10 of their last 13 have been scored by defenders. This time it was Patrick Ochs. Unfortunately for the lad, he plays for Eintracht.
2. TSG Hoffenheim
I guess you can hassle the Hoff. First it was Gladbach and now Dortmund fans. BVB was forced to apologize for protests that threatened violence to Dietmar Hopp. It’s no wonder the clubs voted against scrapping the 50+1 rule a fortnight ago.
I find it rather infuriating that fans are getting their knickers into a bind over a club’s patron. It’s within the rules of the game, and is no different that Bayer 04 or Wolfsburg. I think the issue is that Hoffenheim are building their club properly from the ground up. They aren’t just buying expensive talent, but good young talent as they establish their infrastructure, ground and academy. This worries the supporters of clubs who know their clubs are not making the same investments in these critical areas.
3. VfB Stuttgart
Thoroughly dominated their fierce rivals to go third in the league. Mario Gomez has rebounded well from a poor Euro campaign.
4. Hamburg SV
If you keep leaking early goals, its bound to catch up with you. While they pressured Wolfsburg relentlessly in the second half, the goals needed for another comeback were just not there. But as always, at least Martin Jol provides entertaining football.
Chairman Bernd Hoffmann presented a budget that puts the Dinosaurs third to Bayern and Schalke in revenue. He is also seeking to connect with three local investor/patrons to create a new club fund to help buy stars in the future. It has been dubbed “kick ³”, and could be a new innovation in the Bundesliga. Dortmund fans now have two to kill.
5. Bayer Leverkusen
Anyone still taking bets that Bruno Labbadia will be the first trainer fired this season? Bayer are playing a fantastic brand of football and keeping pace with the leaders. Their dismantling of Hannover was a complete team effort from Augusto to Helmes to Henrique.
6. VfL Wolfsburg
A thirty minute barrage against Hamburg sees Magath’s side creep up the standings and remain one of the few unbeaten sides this campaign.
In another piece of good news for the club, they had absolutely no players in Bild’s list of worst haircuts from the 80’s and 90’s.
7. Werder Bremen
The good news: they own Bayern in Munich and they are through in the cup. The bad news: Hoffenheim and Inter are next.
8. Bayern Munich
The good news: Ribery is back! The bad news: he will be deployed as a wing-back!
9. Hertha Berlin
Having had success in Serbia with Gojko Kacar, who is putting in goals along with sweeping up in front of the back four, apparently Hertha are headed back for Partizan’s wunderkid Zoran Tosic.
10. Borussia Dortmund
Valencia’s Timo Hildebrand has been linked with a move to BVB after being frozen out of the Valencia squad by new coach Unai Emery. I have never been convinced by Weidenfeller and view this as a great move by Klopp, but an even better move by Timo, who should have a role in the national team.
11. VfL Bochum
They are going to regret dropping five points against fellow travelers KSC and Cottbus so far this season. Their next seven games include matches with Bayer 04, Bayern, Stuttgart, TSG, Dortmund and Werder. A home tie against Gladbach may be their only chance at full points over that period. Expect them to drop faster than the Dow.
12. Arminia Bielefeld
I thought Artur Wichniarek’s clinching goal this weekend against Koln was candidate for goal of the season. He had a beautiful touch on the long delivery that took the ball away from the charging Mondragon. He then cut right to pick up the ball left by Breko and Matrip who were rushing back to cover the net and chipped the two players. Had he directly shot on goal, one of them would have stopped it. It was fantastic.
13. FC Köln
Things are not good for the Billy Goats. Daum can’t settle on a midfield and thus it has been poor all season. Wome is a complete and utter liability. They were hammered by Arminia and Mainz within 5 days. And now comes rumors that they are trying to get trouble maker Albert Streit back from Schalke.
14. Hannover 96
On the plus side, the flu eventually runs its course. But the Reds need their current pandemic to end sooner rather than later as it has effected at least seven squad members.
I thought they could cope without Eggimann. They can’t. Funny thing is that he looks absolutely pants for Hannover. But so does Stefano Celozzi.
16. Borussia Monchengladbach
The win against Werder is looking like an aberration. Inconsistency from players such as Marin and Alberman and even the tactics of Jus Luhukay, who can’t figure out if he wants to play a 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or 4-3-3, are the main cause. On the plus side, Jus has ended his feud with defender Steve Gohouri over injury treatment.
17. Eintracht Frankfurt
After another loss left, which left them in the relegation zone, was followed by an exit from the Cup at the hands of Hansa Rostock, rumors were spreading that there were crisis talks between Bruchhagen and Funkel. This is not good news for Eagles supporters as the last time they fired a trainer mid-season, they were relegated.
18. Energie Cottbus
They got their first goal and first point of the new campaign. Their midweek cup win was a gluttony of goals for Energie as they put three past Gladbach. We won’t mention that they were all from the spot.