1. Hertha Berlin (2-1 home win against Bayern)
Just think how good this team could be with half their starters back. Actually it probably wouldn’t be much better as those injuries haven’t been significant to their back line, and that is where the strength of the Old Lady lies. I will say, that after giving Raffael a hard time last week, he was very good this week. I’m glad he’s reading the site.
2. TSG Hoffenheim (1-4 loss at home to Bayer)
Isn’t it fun to write them off? However the last time they got stuffed by Bayer, they went on to dominate the league for 3 months. If they forgo Sanogo for Wellington, this team can still win the league.
3. Hamburg SV (won 2-0 at home against Bielefeld; 0-3 road win against Nijmegen)
I was happy to see Gravgaard come back after such an auspicious debut. I saw a lot of crappier performances by players during Jol’s tenure at Spurs and he never called them out. It was out of character, what he did last week. But it may well have been the affable gaffer showing evolution in his man management and that might be the what brings glory back to the second biggest club in Hamburg.
4. Bayern Munich (2-1 road loss to HBS)
Munich’s goal showed tenacity against the stubborn Drobny, but Frank Ribery’s reaction to the eventual goal by Klose said it all. And there I mentioned them without using the dreaded “crisis” word. D’oh!
5. Bayer Leverkusen (1-4 road win against Hoffenheim)
Maybe they should have moved to Rhein-Neckar rather than the LDU temporarily, as Labbida’s Lads (that’s trademarked!) were Barcelona mesmerizing at Hoffenheim’s new home. Dusseldorf hasn’t been as accommodating. They should call it Dusseldon’t (that’s trademarked too!)
6. VfL Wolfsburg (0-2 road win in Frankfurt, 2-0 loss to PSG)
Their first road victory in the Bundesliga this season was followed by a pathetic performance in the Parc de Princes. They should call the Wolves UEFA Cup tie with PSG the pre-fab darby, as Wolfsburg was a pre-fab industrial town created to house VW workers and PSG is just a pre-fab club with no history.
7. VfB Stuttgart (3-3 road draw with 96, 2-1 loss at Zenit)
It’s hard to say whether this was a good week or a bad week. On one hand they threw away two points by allowing a 2-0 lead slip at AWD Arena and they face an aggregate deficit against the holders in the UEFA Cup. On the other hand, they managed a point late against Hannover and they got a precious road goal is abhorring conditions against the holders. I’ll let Diana decide.
8. Borussia Dortmund (drew 1-1 at home with Cottbus)
It is my opinion that Young-Pyo Lee’s red card was bred from his frustration that he is the only former Tottenham player who was not bought back by the North Londoners.
9. Schalke 04 (2-1 loss at Bochum)
You know why Rutten is on the hot seat? He tried to turn everybody on his team into a defensive mid. Yet the only two DM’s he actually had in Ernst and Kobiashvilli, one he sent packing and the other he subsequently turned into a left-back. If he were a mechanic, he would fill your engine with anit-freeze for shits and giggles.
10. Werder Bremen (1-1 home draws with Gladbach and Milan)
Two poor results again this week. A road goal for the Italian giants seems to indicate that Werder will limp out of Europe once again, and the draw with Gladbach makes it likely that the chance of a revival are remote. However, the silver lining is that they dominated both of these games and took 77 shots in the two matches. If Schaaf can only sort his limp forward issue, this season isn’t lost quite yet.
11. FC Cologne (scoreless draw at home with Karlsruhe)
Their poor start to the second half of the season could get worse when they pay a visit to Podoslki’s Siberia. A result in that game would be nice, but they really need to start winning again at RheinEnergie.
12. Hannover 96 (3-3 home draw with Stuttgart)
Is it me or was that Jan Rosenthal’s best game since he seemed like the new kid on the block, two seasons ago?
14. Eintracht Frankfurt (lost 0-2 at home to Wolfsburg)
Sure, Leonard Kweike should have kept his hands closer on that free kick – TECHNICALLY. But he’s was looking away and protecting his kibble’s and bit’s when Wolfgang Stark decided to drag Frankfurt back into the relegation battle.
15. Arminia Bielefeld (0-2 road loss to HSV)
It just isn’t your day when the only guy that has scored for you all season misses a penalty. But Wichniarek shouldn’t sweat the road loss to one of the top six. It’s results against the bottom teams that are going to matter.
14. VfL Bochum (2-1 home victory over Schalke)
Six points so far in the second half is more than half the points the scored in the whole of the first. Is this just a blip or is adding a target man (Klimowitz) into the mix enough to change thier fortunes?
15. Energie Cottbus (drew 1-1 at BVB)
Nice job Atan. Not only did you score a crucial goal, but when fouling Sebastian Kehl recklessly in the box, you had the common decency to keep your hands off his shorts. We salute you!
17. Karlsruhe (scoreless road draw with Cologne)
Note to the Hoffe, do not let your best player go this summer. It seems that one player can make a huge difference. At least they have provided us Dino Drpic, who is more entertaining than a team that once was.
18. Borussia Monchengladbach (1-1 draw in Bremen)
While the talk was about Michael Bradley’s cross-Atlantic hat-trick; the real story was Logan Bailly. The ex-Genk man is already the best buy of January in the Budesliga and if he keeps up his pace of saves, the old power may well escape relegation. And returning, for a moment to Bradley, if the NYT had taken time to notice Bremen’s 35 shots, they would know that the kid had a bad game.
Your Bundesliga XI