- Arminia Bielefeld – Karlsruher SC 1:2
- Bayern München – VfL Bochum 3:3
- VfB Stuttgart – Werder Bremen 4:1
- Borussia Mönchengladbach – 1.FC Köln 1:2
- Bayer Leverkusen – Hertha BSC Berlin 0:1
- 1899 Hoffenheim – Eintracht Frankfurt 2:1
- Schalke 04 – VfL Wolfsburg 2:2
- Borussia Dortmund – Hannover 96 1:1
- Energie Cottbus – Hamburger SV 1:2
There is a pattern in the German media which always appaears when a team loses two consecutive games. Then everybody starts talking about a crisis. For a club, there are some ways to overcome a crisis a.k.a to get rid off the unsophisticated media coverage. The easiest one is to start winning games. One might be enough. Depending on the standings if the club is in relegation troubles moving one up into safe territories might silence the pack. Upstairs a win which moves you back into international spots could be enough. But winning is easier said than done. So another way is to put the blame on someone. In short, you need to find a scapegoat. This could be a player (goalkeepers are favourable targets for this strategy as they never look good when the team concedes to many goals) but it might as well be the coach and there we are at´the point which most of the clubs in a crisis reach sooner or later.
This weekend Mönchengladbach coach Jos Luhukay was the first victim. A 1-2 defeat against Rhineland rivals 1.FC Köln was enough to suspend him from coaching the team. Borussia‘s performance was horrible since the beginning of the season and their only win came against Bremen on a day on which the team played really well. But they weren’t able to get back to that level since then.
A different sort of crisis is what is happening in Bavaria right now. When the FC Bayern München is hit by a streak of winless games this becomes a matter of national attention and the higher-ups of the club will do everything possible to deny that there is anything at all. This year everything is focusing on coach Jürgen Klinsmann and his “project” with which he wants to completely reform the traditional German powerhouse to lead them to international titles once again. But up until now things don’t seem to work. Two consecutive losses against Bremen (at home 2-5) and Hannover (away 0-1) were followed by a last minute meltdown against mediocre VfL Bochum who scored twice in the closing minutes at the Allianz Arena. The team wasn’t able to bring a two goal advantage home and this all added to the critisism Klinsmann is recieving for the way he coaches his team. The biggest issue is the captain’s role. Klinsmann appointed Marc van Bommel before the season only to bench him after he was sent off with a yellow-red card against Dortmund. Since then there has been a lot of talk about the missing hierarchy in the team. Another problem is the successor to German goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn. A young fellow named Michael Rensing who, if you believe in the words of Bayern manager Ulli Hoeness, will become the next national team goalkeeper. That being said he looks more like a complete failure than a promising goalkeeping talent. Although you have to admit that his defense is completely helpless at the moment his mistakes cost Bayern quite a few points over the past few games. There are a lot of things Klinsmann needs to correct to save Bayern’s season as soon a possible. On the other hand this crisis only adds to the excitement of this year’s Bundesliga season.
And that’s something which gets overlooked way too much at the moment as the media pack chase every single word which is uttered around Bayern München at the moment. This league is fun! It’s big fun! The games are highly entertaining and the football which is being played is extremely offensive and attractive most of the time. What’s most striking is the rise of Hoffenheim who ended up leading the table after Saturday’s games. It’s no secret that most of Germany’s ultra fans detest the way the club is run with all the money being pushed into it by club owner Dietmar Hopp. The way they voiced their opinions was hotly debated over the past few weeks and it led to a complaint by Hopp and the club with the German FA (DFB). Still Hoffenheim sometimes behaves like a spoiled child itself when they refuse to work with the “Tagesspiegel” (German) from Berlin only because that newspaper published a rather critical article on the situation, questioning the involvement of DFB president Theo Zwanziger, whose son is working for 1899 Hoffenheim.
Elsewhere Stuttgart is getting back on track with the help from their youth department. During their 4-1 win at home against Werder Bremen Christian Träsch scored a spectacular goal with his first shot on goal in a Bundesliga match. Leverkusen wasn’t able to score one of their numerous chances against Hertha and lost, Dortmund and Schalke both drew on Sunday and this only emphasizes that in this league in this season every team can beat every other team. I mean, just look at the table and a promotion club like 1.FC Köln is ranking before Bayern München. It’s a very balanced season and that’s what really makes it fun to follow. Only Hamburg seems to spoil the fun a little bit with their last minute win against Cottbus.
Moving down Fortuna Köln finally looked convincing in their 3-1 win over SV Schermbeck on Friday. Although the struggled a bit in the first half, they took apart the Schermbeck defense in the last 20 minutes and outplayed their opponents. This leaves me a bit more optimistic going into next weekend’s cup tie against SC West Cologne.