I did not cost the Wolves the title this weekend. I didn’t! Sure, this was the weekend that I finally bought my first German car. When I say German, I don’t mean that it has a German name, I mean it has to be made in Germany. If I wanted a car made in Mexico, I would buy a Pontiac and wonder why it keeps breaking down and they are now out of business. I wanted mine from the country of origin. But here in the states, that requires buying high-end: Audi, Porsche, most Mercedes and BMW’s and the most expensive of the VW line. Having ridden in a pretty sad little car for a number of years (my AC/heat switch was a vice-grip), I decided enough was enough and bought myself a Passat Komfort: built in Wolfsburg.
So having finally gotten a car of desire (it’s not the Audi R8), I feel that my purchase on the same weekend that Felix Magath’s side slipped up 2-0 against lowly Cottbus is too coincidental to ignore. But rather than incur the wrath of the Wolves faithful (and the thanks from VW employees is this economy), I have decided to make my case as to why it wasn’t my fault that Wolfsburg lost.
- Grafite and Dzeko just had one of those days. It happens to any striker that they are going to have a day when they can’t hit a stationary luxury sedan from a meter away. This was just one of those days.
- But when they or any midfielder did get a shot on target, Gerhard Tremmel was there to save Cottbus’ neck. Seven outstanding saves from the keeper, most of them coming during the hectic 10 minute period after the break, when Wolfsburg made their big push to take command of the match, were as important to the outcome as either goal.
- My new car could have done a better job of marking in the box than Barzagli and Simunek, who decided that Rangelov’s inability to stay on-side meant he wasn’t necessary to mark. And my Passat could have done so with Tiptronic transmission.
- Mariusz Kukielka’s return to the Cottbus lineup gave Energie a physical presence. He dogged both Misomivic and Grafite the entire game and helped neutralize two of the reasons that Wolves are a goal machine this season. And his 1.8 liter turbo engine never stopped running the entire game.
- Bojan Prašnikar’s tactics took the attack to the flanks and he was able to negate Josue’s influence over the game. And the number of long chances from the flank by Skela could have won the game at a much earlier point. This tactic was so instrumental that Magath changed his formation at half to neutralize the wing play of Cottbus.
- While Helmut Fleischer is one of the most experienced refs in the business, he did allow Cottbus to engage in way too much simulation. Had he put a stop to it by brandishing a yellow, the flow of the game would have suited Wolfsburg much better. I don’t begrudge Cottbus their cheeky play, as their entire operating budged costs about as much as Barzagli and Zaccardo, and they are fighting for their survival; however, had Dr. Fleischer taken this out of the game, then my car might not have to worry about being a hex.
- History is history. No team has ever won more than 10 on the trot in the Bundesliga. This is about the same time as last season that Cottbus pulled off their miracle against top side Bayern last year. And let’s be fair, other than this run Wolves have not been a prolific road side this campaign. With 3 of the last 5 at the VW, they are still in the driver’s seat. Much like me:)