Connect with us

Bayer Leverkusen

die Tabelle lügt nicht: Week 5 (Now w/ the Bundesliga XI)

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.

15. Karlsruhe
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.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
110+ channels, live & on-demand
  • Price: $59.95/mo. for Plus Package
  • Includes FOX, FS1, ESPN, TUDN & more



  1. Jan

    September 28, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I disagree. I wouldn't say that the sporting director (or director of football or technical director …) + coach combo is any better or worse than the English style manager. Some Premier League fans who look at the role of some directors of football in the EPL recently might get a wrong idea. I mean whether it's the manager who makes poor decisions when it comes to selling or buying players or a director of football doesn't really matter. Especially when the club owners put a limit on the transfer budget or even request the manager to sell players to balance the books.

    Because normally a good sporting director isn't simply buying and selling players independently from the coach. The two are cooperating and a coach in Germany can have a similarly strong impact on a good signing policy (e.g. Favre at Hertha) as a talented sporting director like Beiersdorfer at Hamburg. And both also rely on their scouting network etc. on top of that anyway. Felix Magath could have made the exact same signings at Wolfsburg if they had installed a sporting director. In fact Magath is keen to install one in the future so he can focus more on his responsibilities as a coach. One advantage of a good sporting director is, that the coach gets additional options (players the sporting director kept an eye on etc) and opinions. When the coach and sporting director don't get along with each other then that's a different story of course.

  2. Zatz

    September 27, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Blast it was, let's hope for more to come from both teams. Interesting to see though that Hoffenheim actually gave it away after regaining the momentum. Mertesacker got booked in the 69th so there was enough time and Schaaf had already taken out 2 of his 3 offense.
    Rangnick critized his goal keeper after last game, wonder what he will say now. Oezcan assisted in 2 Werder goals which was exactly the difference between the two teams.
    I remember last season Magath also sacked his then goal keeper (Simon Jentzsch? I think, no time to check right now) which basically kick started Wolfsburgs run into UEFA cup.

    Gladbach has Koeln, Bochum and KSC in the next weeks. I think Luhukuay will get at least this much time. After those games we will know more on where they are. However biggest problem is not that they lost yesterday but how they lost.

    I can also see Ziege give it a go as well as some others elsewhere. Daum is effectively already doing it I would say. Which in my opinion points out that it very much depends on the characteristics of the manager and also of the club in question not so much which system is the better.
    Also read your interview with Honigstein, very interesting, as well as lots of other writing. Thanks alot 🙂

    Would like to write some more on this but have to run for now…

  3. DoublePivot

    September 27, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    I am hoping to get a torrent of the Werder game as it wasn't shown here in the states. But it looks like anyone there had a blast 🙂

    I do hope that Gladbach just allow Luhukay time. I think he's a good coach, but the step up can take time. They showed class against Werder and I think they can do so again. Firing him now is asinine.

    However, I asked the question to Honigstein about English management systems like Magath. He thought it more likely that continental systems would crop up in England. But I think the English system of a Manager is a better system. Yes, it can be harsh if the manager is fired, but when its right it always leads to great things. The English were a force in Europe from late 60s to early 80s because of Billy Nick, Shankley, Paisley, Busby and Clough. They are doing it again under Wenger, Sir Alex and Benitez. It would be interesting to see more “buck stops here” type managers in my opinion. I think Magath is going to pave the way, and I think a guy who spent time in England, like Ziege, could well give it a go.

    Thanks for the comments Zatz

  4. Zatz

    September 27, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Wuhu and yet another game for the hall of fame. 5:4 after 4:1 and 4:4 with red card for Mertesacker.
    Overheard today that Ziege himself might take over in Gladbach as Luhukay is no 1 candidate for being sacked now…
    Wonder wether he will give up his current position then or move towards Magath style one man show.

  5. Zatz

    September 26, 2008 at 6:49 am

    I think Frankfurt will be closer to relegation zone most of the season then they would like to. They have done some solid and healthy growth over the last seasons but then so have a lot of other teams. Even doing everything right might not be enough to stay in the midfield. I would put them in a category with Hanover although the later seems to be some steps ahead despite recent results.

    Compared to last season they actually lost quite some ground despite own improvements to teams as Dortmund, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Hertha I would think, which will also reflect in their rank end of season.

  6. diana

    September 26, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Now you reminded me of Wellington, DP. I don't seem to hear much from him after his arrivial. But speaking of Hoffenheim's chances in the league, from the start, I had always wanted them to still remain in the league at the end of the season. As long as they don't caught themselves in a relegation battle…

    What a difference a season can make. Frankfurt are now in the relegation zone. Or but then again, they are one game short.

  7. DoublePivot

    September 25, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    The thing that makes me think that the Hoff can actually compete for a place in Europe (and that would be UEFA) is that they are a fantastically gifted counter-attacking side built on the Arsenal mould (and I grant this with trepidation as a card-carrying Spurs supporter). But they have a system and the players to play within it that makes them candidates to surprise us all. Remember Demba Ba and Iva are playing so well that we haven't really seen Wellington.

  8. DoublePivot

    September 25, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I remember reading that Bruno had high odds to go first. Not sure where. Don't have a source. Probably made it up:) But it makes sense as he had little experience and was taking over a team, whose best player (THE WORLD'S BEST PLAYER) was upset about Skibbe's exit. Lots of investment. I think the bookies were rightfully skeptical. However, everytime I watch, I'm glad he worked out. This current team is great for the league.

  9. Luke

    September 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I looked back at the standings at this point last season, and they read as follows:
    1) Bayern
    2) Bielefeld
    3) Frankfurt

    I guess this not very analytical look on things helps me justify my very strong cynicism about Hoffenheim's strength. Ok, no one's really believing they're going to the Champions League, but I felt, and still do, that they finish no higher than 10th. But I did believe they'd survive.

    A further buoy for Bayern fans to hold that Week 5 table last year, Bremen was..drumroll please…13th. With a goal difference of -5. They made up the entire point difference, if not the goal difference in the following 12 matches.

  10. diana

    September 25, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Bild's list of worst haircuts from the 80s and 90s still get me laughing whenever I read it. Reuters Soccer Blog has another photo of when Thomas Doll was signed to Hamburg –

    Totally agreeing what you said about Hoffenheim (the second paragraph, that is). They work from the ground up. Those abuses aimed at Dietmar Hopp…sheesh. I can never understand.

    'Anyone still taking bets that Bruno Labbadia will be the first trainer fired this season?'
    Never crossed my mind that he will be the first to go. I don't know why.

    And speaking of Timo, I remembered there were rumours going around he was linked to Hoffenheim on deadline day. The move didn't happened.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Bayer Leverkusen

Translate »