The Stretch Run
The Bundesliga Season 2008/09, a few words come to mind: Exciting, Dramatic and Close. The first half had newly promoted Hoffenheim getting a fast start and ultimately claiming the Herbstmeister Title. Now we have a team at the top that has never been there this late in the season: Hertha BSC.
Hertha is far from a safe bet as between them and the 7th Place team VfB Stuttgart there is a grand total of seven Points difference. The other teams in the pack Hamburger SV, Hoffenheim, FC Bayern München, VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen also still have a good shot at becoming Deutscher Meister.
Since it appears that everyone can beat anyone at any given time, the leaders Hertha have amassed just 43 Points. The last time the leading team had less points was in the 2000/01 Season when FC Bayern had 42 Points. The 3 Point Rule was instituted into the Bundesliga with the 1995/96 Season and the difference between the top 7 teams after 22 Match days has never been closer than now. The previous low was 8 Points which happened twice, 2004/05 between Bayern and Hertha and 2000/01 between Bayern and SC Freiburg.
Under the old 2 Point rule one of the closest races after 22 games was the 1993/94 Season, when the surprising Leader MSV Duisburg had a two point lead on 7th Place Werder Bremen. The “Zebras” would have had 37 Points under the 3 Point rule. The previous 22 match days have given us five different teams at the top: Hertha BSC, HSV, Hoffenheim, Leverkusen and even FC Schalke 04 (more on them in a minute). Hoffenheim held the lead longest with 11 Match days. So where is Bayern you ask? The Rekordmeister has not led the Bundesliga at any time so far this season and with a 4 point deficit on Hertha the earliest they could take the lead would be after Match Day 24. The last time that Bayern did not have the lead at least once by Match Day 22 was during the 2003/04 Season when Werder Bremen was crowned as Champions.
So all of the Contenders can hope to be at the top at the final whistle…
Schalke 04 cancels scheduled Fan Party.
It was a great idea and 9000 Tickets had already been sold, but the Schalker Fan Club Verband (SFCV) after talking it over with FC Schalke 04 front office, has decided to cancel the planned 30 Year Anniversary party scheduled for the 4th of April. “We would have loved to have a party with the Fans and the Team” said SFCV Chairman Rolf Rojek. “But in the last few days many of the Fans have cancelled their reservations and also asked us if this is an appropriate time to have a party. The frustrations of a disappointing season, that everyone from Fans to Team to Management did not see coming, is really hitting home” according to Rojek. “None of us is in the mood to celebrate which is bitter and sad, but it is the reality of the situation. After talking it over with the Club we decided to cancel the festivities for now.” All those that purchased tickets to the event will receive a full refund.
Schalke had high hopes for the season but is currently sitting in 8th Place and 5 points out of 5th Place (UEFA Cup spot) and the team has also crashed out of all other competitions as well, the latest setback being the defeat to Mainz this week in the DFB Pokal.