Hertha BSC Berlin – 1.FC Köln 2:1
1899 Hoffenheim – Arminia Bielefeld 3:0
Bayer Leverkusen – Bayern München 0:2
Borussia Mönchengladbach – Energie Cottbus 1:3
Werder Bremen – Eintracht Frankfurt 5:0
Hannover 96 – Karlsruher SC 3:2
Borussia Dortmund – VfL Wolfsburg 0:0
VfL Bochum – Hamburger SV 1:1
VfB Stuttgart – Schalke 04 2:0
I have to apologize for not writing anything about the Bundesliga lately, but I have been busy with my new job, so there wasn’t any time to comment on what was happening in German football. Although there was a lot going on with the conflict between Germany’s national coach Joachim Löw and his established players team captain Michael Ballack and Thorsten Frings. Things seem to have calmed down a little bit lately, so I won’t go back to that topic right now. There is a far bigger story in the country right now and that’s Hoffenheim’s success.
The whole of Germany’s football community is rubbing their eyes because of what is happening in the little town which earned promotion last season and is now getting a first taste of Germany’s highest class. There is no other team right now who play a better football than they do. Period. Their attack with Vedad Ibisevic, who is leading the league in goals scored, Demba Ba and Chinedu Obasi is thrilling and fun to watch. And they scare defenders to death. Everybody predicted the team would do good in the Bundesliga, but no one would have expected to lead the league after 15 games. And they totally deserve to be there. Even when top players are injured their young players don’t waver and show spirit. this earned two of them a cap in the national team, Marvin Compper and Andreas Beck. Next week will see them face off with powerhouse Bayern München and that will decide if they are really here to stay or not. And chances are they might as well shoot Bayern out of their own stadium.
Bayern meanwhile seem to be back on track after struggling heavily at the beginning of the season. Jürgen Klinsmann’s ideas seem to work now and the team is rolling along as they always did. This week they held the young upstarts from Leverkusen in check who were looking good over the past few weeks. Back to their old and feared efficiency the rhineland team had their chances but were outclassed by an experienced Bayern team who are back to their old self. The big talk though, just as it was last week, was all about Frank Ribéry’s new pink shoes. Oh, c’mon, who cares about stuff like that. Yes, maybe it’s a great marketing scoop by his sponsor, but it’s nothing the media should hop onto so willingly. There was an interesting posting on allesaussersport.de (German) mentioning that almost none of the German blogosphere hopped onto the bandwagon and completely ignored the topic.
The bigger attention was directed towards a law suit between the president of the German A DFB, Theo Zwanziger, and a German sports journalist, Jens Weinreich, who mostly writes about sports and politics. Weinreich accused Zwanziger to be a demagogue in a comment on another blog which led to the DFB filing a law suit against him because of defamation. The suit was turned down by the court, but the blogosphere was buzzing. The topics ranged from how to define a demagogue to the interesting connection between The Zwanziger family and 1899 Hoffenheim (Zwanziger’s son works for the club). This connection gets interesting because of the so called “Lex Hopp”. Hopp, the man behind Hoffenheim, has been a target of insults ever since the season started. What started out as the usual chants and phrases soon turned out to be a nuisance to the man himself and his friends at the DFB. Now one can argue that it doesn’t need insults to the opposing club’s president to cheer on your own team, but the DFB reacted swiftly threatening everyone with a ban from stadiums. And that’s a joke. So, well, the whole story between Weinreich and the DFB hasn’t come to an end yet, but it is shedding a strange light on the world’s biggest national sporting association.
Over the course of last week German teams suffered defeats in European competition and clubs like Schalke, Stuttgart and Hamburg, who at the beginning of the season looked like they should be able to compete for another year in international cup comptitions, completely fell apart. This week’s performance wasn’t promosing either, but Stuttgart seem to have regained a little selfconfidence when they changed the coach. Former national team player Markus Babbel is now standing at the sidelines.
Meanwhile, down the slopes in the regions of amateur football, Fortuna Cologne won against 2nd place Westfalia Herne, one of the big names of old times before the invention of the Bundesliga. In an intense and classy game they outscored their opponents and sent their fans into jubilation. After the game there were a few scuffles between the police and Herne supporters, which spoiled the really nice afternnon a little buit, but all in all this really sent me off with a smile to work my night shift.