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Bundesliga Winter Break Review: VfL Bochum

VfL BochumVfL Bochum
Rank: 17th
Preseason Prediction: 17th
What was I thinking? In the final 2007-08 standings I had grouped Bochum among a few sides that I referred to as being consistently adequate, hovering just above relegation. I was prepared to keep them there, too, except for the signings over the summer of Hashemian and Freier, who had had their best years with Bochum, left, and haven’t been the same since smacked of desperation. It was purely a gut feeling to subsequently move them down. Frankly, the signing of Klimowicz over the winter only reinforced this feeling. Bochum’s a classic yo-yo club and they’re on their way down.

Season High: September, although November could be considered a moral victory of sorts (at least for a team fighting relegation). September saw Bochum notch their only win of the season against fellow relegation strugglers Arminia Bielefeld. They were, in fact, one valiant comeback short of an unbeaten September (their fight against Leverkusen prematurely ended by a red for Antar Yahia in the 84th minute).

Season Low
: The 4-0 drubbing at Frankfurt on December 6th is the obvious choice. Coming off the heels of a 5-0 demolition to Bremen, Frankfurt looked to be the ideal opponent for Bochum to steal 3 points from. Instead an early dismissal of GK Dani Fernandes opened the floodgates with Nikos Liberopoulos‘ brace leading the way. Another defeat followed to Cologne, keeping alive the sour taste of defeat as the team went on winter break.

Why Bochum Might Not Be Relegated: For a team battling relegation Bochum are surprisingly tough. Only in the aforementioned loss to Frankfurt did they go down by more than 2 goals. 5 of their 8 losses were by a single goal. They drew a further 8 games. Simply put, Bochum is an unlucky team. Then again, I tend to think we make our own luck. Predatory finishing would make a world of difference for a squad that’s managed to fight blow for blow with most every other club, but seems unable to land that knockout blow.

Why Bochum Will Get Relegated: Bochum is on pace to match some of Tasmania 1900 Berlin‘s records and since a team with that name hasn’t been around for several decades you know these won’t be good. Although Tasmania set the all-time benchmark for German footballing futility (their presence in the top flight a matter of politics not prowess in the first place) Bochum are on pace to match at least a few of their accomplishments. Most realistically these would be matching Tasmania for fewest wins in a season (2) and joining them as the only Bundesliga sides without an away win. In case you’re wondering why I mentioned all this, Tasmania 1900 Berlin was relegated.

After the jump, stats and more stats.
Attendance – 221,040
Goals – 19
Shots – 233
Shots on Goal – 85
Fouls – 368
Corners – 113
Offsides – 44
Yellows – 45

Attendance – 24,560
Goals – 1.18
Shots – 13.71
Shots on Goal – 5
Fouls – 21.65
Corners – 6.65
Offsides – 2.59
Yellows – 2.65

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  1. diana

    January 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I also find it peculiar as well on the case of the now-former Bochum captain.

    At least the news about Schalke's Peter Lövenkrands having his contract terminated by the club today makes more sense about the consequences of a player being sent to train with the reserves. Lövenkrands was among the three Schalke players who were sent to train with the reserves since a few days ago or something given Andreas Mueller explained that they only want players who are committed to play for the club. I know he used to talk in the past of wanting to rejoin his former club Rangers. Hmm…

  2. Mark

    January 7, 2009 at 9:09 am

    That seems to be the new trend in forcing players out the door.

    I do find it a bit odd that out of all the teams it was Leverkusen that picked him up. He's not the young gun type they've been focused on acquiring and playing. Do you really want a Bochum cast-off at this point, captain or not?

  3. diana

    January 7, 2009 at 6:30 am

    The captain has left the club. Thomas Zdebel has joined Bayer Leverkusen. But in regards to how long at Leverkusen, I get conflicting reports.

    Anyhow, this really comes out of the blue for me. I know he has been banished to the reserves like last week with Bochum not giving any reasons for the decision.

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