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Tuesday’s Champions League Review: Bundesliga Sides Toppled

Frings Makes A Mess Of Things Against Twente.

I was looking for Schalke and Werder Bremen to rebound from their disappointing weekend performances and take their European counterparts to the woodshed for an old-fashioned beatdown. What actually happened though, was nowhere near as entertaining and not at all as positive.

Werder Bremen 0 – 2 Twente Enschede

A very even game turned unexpectedly sour after Torsten Frings’ outburst earned him a straight red-card with just 15 minutes left to play. Twente capitalized on the German veteran’s uncharacteristic stupidity, and made it all look easy again ten men. Nacer Chadli and Luuk de Jong were the scorers on the night for the Dutch side, who have now leapfrogged Bremen in the group table and have virtually knocked them out of European competition for the season. Another poor performance, and another disappointing defeat. And at home, no less. I think Thomas Schaaf will be given to the end of the season, unless things really go pear-shaped. He’s been a great servant to the club, but it does look like change is needed.

Hapoel Tel-Aviv 0 – 0 Schalke 04

It’s a long way to travel and it’s a hot atmosphere, but excuses won’t cut it here for Schalke. Felix Magath brought in proven forwards in the summer, and they’ve failed to make the desired impact so far. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Raul promised much on paper, but they’ve been largely disappointing. It could be a lack of service from the midfield, or it could be a lack of motivation on the part of the management, but whatever it is, it isn’t good. Huntelaar has at least got himself amongst the goals, but he’s far from his best all season. Schalke look likely to go out of the competition after this result, because they’ve now go to travel to Benfica and host Lyon. Failing to get results in those two matches, or even one of those matches depending on how Benfica and Lyon do against Hapoel, could mean an early exit from Europe for Felix Magath. Rooted to the bottom of the table in the Bundesliga, and fading out of the Champions League – all by Christmas. Who saw it coming?

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. David H

    November 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, the financial fair play rules will help Bundesliga teams compete better in Europe. So many of the big teams are over-reliant on TV money, and pay a huge percentage of that to wages. To come down to the break-even point, they’re going to have to cut players & cut wages, which I hope means fairer distribution of the best players. Or at least I can dream that will happen.

    And anyway, just about any football supporter would rather his/her team win their domestic league than the Champions League. A healthy & competitive Bundesliga is far more important to most supporters than how Bundesliga teams do in Europe. 34 league games v. 10+ in Europe?

    I just find the oligarchy of UEFA distasteful, and thank god for the Bundesliga, the one league that does most things right. If that means only the occasional success in Europe, so what? Highest attendances in Europe seems to indicate that a lot of Germans agree.

    • Dylan Thomas

      November 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm

      I totally agree that the fair play rules will boost Bundesliga success in Europe. I even made the point that they could dominate Europe. I’ll find that article for you, although I’m sure you read it when it came out! Ah, the loyalty of Bundesligatalk readers!

      But yeah, even in England they prefer the Premier League over the Champions League. It’s local fans that’ll taunt you every week, not European ones!

  2. Diriye

    November 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    disappointing. this just crushes all the buzz and hype about bundesliga coming up as a top league in europe, comparable to serie a, bla bla etc.

    Not necessarily, Bundesliga is far better than Serie A as domestic competition. In Europe it is a case of investing right peices to be competitive. That is where Bundesliga teams come short, with exception of Munich. The mentality of Bundesliga teams in cashing out their great players should stop too.

    Schalke has good chance of winning either of the remaining two games. But they will be knocked out in the second round for sure.

  3. allieeya

    November 3, 2010 at 11:27 am

    disappointing. this just crushes all the buzz and hype about bundesliga coming up as a top league in europe, comparable to serie a, bla bla etc.

    i honestly don’t know what’s wrong with schalke eh. it clearly shows that raul and huntelaar can shine but with the massive help of good service from the midfield which schalke lacks. Jurado is quite inconsistent i think

    • Will G

      November 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      Note: with Spain’s loss of their 19 points from that 06-07 season, as long as the Bundesliga picks up 12+ points ( which is likely) the Bundesliga could very will leap up into 2nd overall after *this year* already. Italy and Spain left behind in the coefficient race. Check the Bert Kassie site for the math. Crazy but true.

      http://www.xs4all.nl/~kassiesa/bert/uefa/data/method4/crank2012.html

      Good comments by other readers here. Thanks.

  4. David H

    November 3, 2010 at 2:52 am

    Wasn’t Frings sent off for a last man foul? Hard to see for sure on the feed I was watching, but that seemed to be the case. They just fell apart after that. Almost shocking to see. Twente aren’t bad but jeezus, Bremen, get your shit together.

    Didn’t expect much from Schalke. Small squad, too tired, typical German team in the CL. At least Bremen usually entertain (not today, obviously.) Schalke continue to just be dire, only last season they were successfully dire.

    • Dylan Thomas

      November 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      I was probably watching the same feed as you, because I couldn’t fully tell either. ESPN have it reported as a Frings outburst that earned him the red card, so that’s how I’ve called it!

  5. Will G

    November 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Indeed. Who saw this coming? Schalke could not get a win down there? The team is *that* unmotivated or out-of-form they can’t beat Tel Aviv? Huntelaar et al seriously thought they were vying for the title this year and would go deep in the EL. And they can’t beat a team in game that matters roughly on par with a lower 2nd ord 3rd divsion Bundelsliga team. DH, still a fan of Frings? 😉 Not necessarily focussing on today, but there are days when Frings look like glorious old international pro, other when I wonder if he’s the worst man on the pitch. One wonders which of these two games was the worse “loss”?

    Interesting call on Thomas Schaaf.

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