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Bundesliga Saturday Roundup: Wolfsburg, Stuttgart Remain Pointless

McClaren? McRubbish!

Saturday’s Bundesliga matches provided the drama and unpredictability we all like to see. Two of the bigger results of the weekend saw McClaren’s Wolfsburg side and Gross’s Stuttgart side losing yet again to remain pointless at the bottom of the table. Certainly not the kind of start either coach would have been hoping for!

For our first Saturday match, it was Borussia Dortmund versus a Wolfsburg side who will have been desperate for their first points of the season. For Jurgen Klopp and Dortmund, though, it was seen as another opportunity to grab three points and please the home crowd. Unfortunately for McClaren, who has assembled a new-look Wolfsburg side since taking charge of the club in the summer, Die Wolfe were unable to spring any surprises. A rocket from influential midfielder Nuri Sahin put Dortmund ahead, and then a great finish from Shinji Kagawa sealed the victory for the hosts. Wolfsburg are in definite need of some inspiration, but nothing seems to be going their way.

Next up on Saturday was Gladbach taking on Frankfurt at Borussia-Park. Gladbach started the season strongly and impressed immensely during their 3-6 away win against Leverkusen a fortnight ago. Unfortunately, they could not reproduce that magic in front of their own fans against a very determined Frankfurt side. The flop of the match has to be Logan Bailly, who looked really out of sorts between the sticks for Gladbach.

He deflected a shot into the path of a Frankfurt striker for Benjamin Kohler to hit the opener; he came for a ball and missed it only for Theofanis Gekas to tuck it into an empty net, and he was lobbed by Patrick Ochs for Frankfurt’s third. Frankfurt netted a fourth through Gekas just past the hour mark, and that was most definitely curtains for Gladbach.

Hamburg hosted Nurnberg on Saturday with the hopes of snatching what should have been a routine victory for the Rothosen. The opening goal came through Joris Mathijsen following a corner kick just after the hour mark, but a late penalty by Javier Pinola meant two points dropped by the hosts. Despite dominating the match, Hamburg showed little bite in front of goal and were promptly punished for their lack of creativity.

Ballack Could Be Set For Another Spell On The Sidelines.

An in-form Hannover side hosted Bayer Leverkusen in one of the matches of the weekend. While Leverkusen have a formidable squad on paper, Hannover’s form and their home advantage meant that the visitors would definitely be in for a tough game of football. And they were! Hannover found themselves 2-0 to the good after strikes from Didier Konan – who absolutely roasted  Sami Hyypia for pace to net the opener – and Mohammed Abdellaoue, who found the net from after a corner kick. But, unfortunately for the hosts, Eren Derdiyok and Patrick Helmes made sure Leverkusen would not walk away from the match empty-handed. Michael Ballack was replaced on the half hour mark by Lars Bender after taking a knock; not at all what the veteran midfielder would have been hoping for after just returning from a long-term injury.

Relegation fighters Freiburg hosted a really out of sorts Stuttgart side who are in the same boat as other struggling big boys Wolfsburg and Schalke; desperate for their first points of the season. Unfortunately for Stuttgart, Freiburg showed wonderful spirit to dispatch their big-time Bundesliga visitors. Stuttgart took the lead after a towering header from Pavel Pogrebnyak, but Freiburg showed great spirit to come from behind and snatch all three points. A wicked cross into the area allowed striker Demba Cisse poke the ball into the back of the net, and then a wonderful strike from Julian Schuster from outside the box put the hosts ahead. Impressive by Freiburg, but it really just demonstrates how poor Stuttgart have been lately.

In what should have been the match of the weekend, league champions Bayern Munich hosted Werder Bremen. Unfortunately, the match ended 0-0 when it really promised so much more. Despite the scoreline, both sides had plenty of chances to win the match. Bayern dominated possession but were carved open on a number of occasions and could have paid for their lack of defensive strength. Bremen had two of the easiest chances of the game through Sebastian Prodl and Marko Arnautovic, but were very unlucky not to find the back of the net, mostly thanks to Hans-Jorg Butt and the woodwork. Bayern pushed forward looking for the win and left themselves vulnerable in defense, but were thwarted by a resilient Bremen back-line.

Tomorrow’s matches will pit Mainz against Kaiserslautern, and FC Koln versus St. Pauli.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Diriye

    September 15, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Wolfsburg management may have unsettled the team. Their fallout with Bosnians may have trickling down. You had Dzeko being kept against his will. Then you had Missimovic demanding transfer as result. Then you had the Brazilian striker being desrespected by the new coach. Now you have Hoeneß saying he’s got few nervous players. It could have been too much.

    The same may be true with Schalke after Felix Magath tried to take over the club. lol

  2. Diriye

    September 15, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Dieter Hoeneß kindly describes what is going on with Wolfsburg:

    “The plan was to keep playing the same way. But after going a goal down the players lost their nerve completely and gave up trying to play football. We were too hectic and we had no plan any more. We were unable to get back into the game at all. Almost every player was operating well below capacity from that moment on. The kind of mistakes were being made that I just don’t associate with certain players.”

    “One or two individuals seem to be having a few problems keeping their nerves under control at the moment. It’s partly a question of self-confidence. Obviously the burden of expectations plays a role as well, and the current situation is not making it any easier. The pressure increases with every defeat. But we’ll work our way through this bit by bit and as a collective”

    What is up with Bundesliga managers these days?

    Last week it was Rummenigge whining about Euro qualifications and how his players are getting tired, the week before it was Nerliger’s unfortunate statement, now Hoeneß is throwing his players under the bus. Bundesliga may be getting the overdue attention it deserves, but its managers are imploding like Howard Dean in primmaries. loooool

    Time for change?

    I think it is time for Bundesliga managers to keep up with the rest of the league. Talented young player and the savvy modern the coaches deserve modern managers.

  3. David

    September 13, 2010 at 3:07 am

    I worry for ol’ McClaren. I have to get most of my footy news from the UK press & won’t they love it if McClaren fails. Plus the Bundesliga needs as many teams as possible competing for, uh, 2nd place, so I can continue to ridicule the lopsided La Liga (despite Hercules’ incredible upset Saturday) & the over-priced & boring Premier League.

    Disappointed to see HSV not hold their lead. They had their chances & they have to take them. At least they have a motived RVN, with van Marwijk talking him up for Euro 2012. HSV gotta get as many points as possible before their yearly late-season collapse.

    Off topic — Juventus’ 3-3 with Sampdoria was a pleasure to watch, & emphasizes how well Bremen did to get past Samp.

  4. allieeeya

    September 11, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    I enjoyed the Bremen-Bayern match, despite the misleading score-line. Bremen’s defence was (suprisingly) good, better than expected.
    Butt and Wiese had a good game, pulling off some good saves.

    I’m glad Frankfurt pulled off a win, they really wanted and needed it.

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