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The Sync: Mainz 1-0 Schalke


Mainz assured us of a lower division team in the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal. This evening they they upset Schalke 04 at home in front of a sold out Bruchweg. Most of the game had been a domination of possession by Schalke leading to no end product, followed by occasional counters by Mainz leading to no end product.

It was a rather dull affair, which wasn’t fair to the boisterous fans of either club whom brought the sense of Carnival, which Mainz is known for, to the game. But two stoic defensive performances were overshadowed by a late goal by Aristde Bance as he caught Bordon and Rafinha flatfooted on a freekick by Florian Heller to slot a set piece home for the only goal of the match.

The southwestern club is through to the semifinals of the DFB Pokal for the first time in their history, having been quarter finalists on four occasions. The magic of the cup is alive in the Rheinland tonight.

5 Random Things You Didn’t Know About Mainz-Schalke

  1. Schalke are beginning to resemble Chelsea in too many ways. They dress in blue and have ties to Russian oil. They play soulless, mind-numbing football. They are both managed by overrated Dutch trainers. They have a sense of entitlement, which has them better at histrionics than football. They will gang up on a referee over the most meaningless of calls. They lack any concept of sportsmanship. And they have a bunch of overpaid prima donnas.
  2. It feels like Bordon has returned too soon. He looks visibly fragile, which is not how I can ever remember Bordon looking. In addition, Krstajic was forced to mark Atistide Bance, much like he had to do with the lone striker against Frankfurt. When they face a 4-4-2, Bordon’s early return could truly be exposed. Not that his effort isn’t commendable
  3. Bordon was marking Bance on the goal. Bance had been a non-factor most of the match. It seemed to show how few options Jorn Andersen has up top when he stuck with the eventual hero for so long. He did little as a target man, and Mainz looked better on the deck, but he provided little in the box when they did so. However Bance timed a run off a deep freekick and was left alone to slot home the only goal late in the game. So whether lack of options or tactical persistence, Andersen was rewarded with his faith in Bance.
  4. If Mainz manage to secure promotion, we can look forward to seeing a very compact organized side that will hit on the counter. They should be able to compete at the top level because of their strong defense (and this is considering that their center-halves were rested); however, there would be a worry that their double six partnership of Karhan and Pekovic are both on the wrong side of 30. However we were denied a chance to see Roman Neustädter tonight, who is a critical midfielder to the Zweite side. I was very impressed with two of their young defenders: Tim Hoogland and Niko Bungert.
  5. Kevin Kuranyi is done at Schalke. He’s not the same player he once was. Whether it’s Rutten’s tactics or his own attitude, it’s time for him to start anew elsewhere. He was absent today until he was subbed at half. But all is not not lost, he’s a very talented player, and a change may be all that is needed.
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  1. Double Pivot

    March 4, 2009 at 6:44 am

    I’m St. Pauli and they are vicious animals towards us.

  2. Muh

    March 4, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Thanks for the ongoing reassurance of comments being recognized, Mr. Double Pivot. I totally agree that patience with a coach is a virtue but as stated above at the current Schalke it just seems like the wrong thing.
    I have been working on a lot of pieces concerning “Soft Power” lately so forgive me if I say, Schalkes biggest loss right now is just that. They went from a team generally seen rather positive to a site that too many ppl just like to see loose and allthough thats an unmeasurable figure and might not be influencing their standing directly at all in the long run this might cost them the most.

    Regarding Hansa u really got me all curious, on the how and why and everything regarding the hate. The only thing coming close to hatred towards them I ever came across, was an old woman in Rostock saying that she would never go outside when Hansa was playing St. Pauli at home. So apart from you having some serious concern for St.Pauli I couldn’t guess in why you deteste them. Please enlighten me…

  3. Double Pivot

    March 4, 2009 at 1:13 am

    All great points Muh, as usual. I agree that Mueller/Rutten have gone about things wrong and while I find patience with coaches a virtue, I don’t have the same feeling about GM’s. But in the case of Rutten, I’ll make an exception as this team was built for him and it’s still a joke. I am in a unique position, where I don’t hate any club in Germany outside of Hansa, so I am disappointed to see things go so pear shaped in Gelsenkirchen.

  4. Muh

    March 3, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    If there has ever been a manager that should have been fired for buying the wrong players it’s Mueller of Schalke, if there has ever been a coach that should be fired for not improving the play of the team he has been given at all and not going anywhere near any expectation put at the team it’s Rutten of Schalke. Maybe just wrong place, wrong time, wrong whatever…
    There are prbl other reasons too and other parties to blame as well but that’s what I think.

    Bring in the Maik Bueskens/Youri Mulder combo they had in place before and hope that they can finish the season on some kind of “back to Schalke roots fighting spirit everything is lost anyways” run and then make a BIG cut in the summer break.

    Maybe Kuranyi should consider leaving BL for some time. Disqualifying himself from the national team has closed a lot of doors for him domestically and Schalke seems just one step away from going down in flames alltogether.

    Btw it would seem that BL clubs and environment in general have learned quite a bit of crisis handling over the years. The sorts of performances Schalke, Werder, Bayern or Hanover and Gladbach been putting on for parts of this season would have resulted in coaches and managers fired by the dozen, major scandals and complete chaos only a few years ago. And even notorious Divas as Cologne or Frankfurt seem to be much more stabelized than before.

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