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Bundesliga Thread
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Author:  ManMoreFyahYoo [ Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Bundesliga Thread

Needed a thread no doubt :p

Bayern thrash Greuther Furth
August 25, 2012

Bayern Munich made a perfect start to the Bundesliga season with a convincing 3-0 win at local rivals and top-flight newcomers Greuther Furth.

Thomas Muller celebrates opening the scoring

Thomas Muller put the Bavarians in front just before half-time, with Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben - via a deflection - on target in the second half for Jupp Heynckes' men.

Furth rarely threatened Manuel Neuer's goal as they were given the toughest of introductions to life among Germany's elite.

Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to defeat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 on their return to the top flight.

Stefan Kiessling gave Leverkusen the lead after half an hour but Frankfurt were unfortunate not to find an equaliser before the break.

Stefan Aigner levelled in the 57th minute before Martin Lanig headed in a winner in the 82nd minute giving Armin Veh's side a winning start to life back in the top flight after one season in the second tier.

Juan Arango's set-pieces held the key as Borussia Monchengladbach opened their Bundesliga campaign with a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim.

Venezuela midfielder Arango delivered the free-kick from which Mike Hanke headed the first-half opener and then curled in the winner direct from another with 11 minutes remaining.

Roberto Firmino had equalised in between times but Hoffenheim were otherwise unable to find a way past home keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Hanno Balitsch scored the only goal as Nurnberg secured their first win over Hamburg in 20 years.

Balitsch netted the game's only goal in the 68th minute, lashing home from close range after Per Nilsson's header had hit the bar.

Two goals from Dani Schahin guided Fortuna Dusseldorf to a 2-0 victory over Augsburg as they made a successful return to the Bundesliga after a 15-year absence.

The striker struck after 69 minutes with a long-range shot before sealing victory ten minutes later when he converted from close range.

Mainz fought back from a goal down to start their season with a 1-1 draw at Freiburg.

Max Kruse gave the home side the lead after 49 minutes but the visitors were able to equalise from the spot through Andreas Ivanschitz in the 65th minute.

In the final game of the day, Bas Dost scored a last-gasp goal on his Wolfsburg debut as Felix Magath's side secured a 1-0 victory at Stuttgart, who missed a penalty.

Vedad Ibisevic spurned the chance to put Stuttgart in front in the 87th minute when his spot-kick was saved by Diego Benaglio, and less than three minutes later, Dost clinched victory for the Wolves, who managed only three wins on their travels all last season.

Author:  Serbinator [ Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund showcased their latest training machine – “the Footbonaut” – on Wednesday in Germany.

The Footbonaut is a ball feeding machine erected on a 14m square grid with 64 targets for players to aim at.

Watch the machine in action below.

That looks awesome, I'd love to give it a try.

Author:  JSP [ Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Congratulations to Bayern Munich on winning the league

I believe they've set a new record for earliest title win

They have been a cut above this season absolute domination

Author:  ManMoreFyahYoo [ Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

:yawn: - let's have some competition next year ok fellers! :nono:

Author:  JSP [ Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Maybe Shinji leaving Dortmund hurt them more than people initially thought it would.

That Bayern squad is something else though ridiculous depth and quality in all positions.

Author:  pakrooney [ Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Tbh they are fecking good team an with dortmund involve in CL they never had any competition.Bayern are only club on par with barca madrid.

Author:  Serbinator [ Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Being widely reported Bayern have met Goetze's release clause of 34mil Euros tonight. They have a hell of a team already...

Author:  The James [ Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Good maybe they'll leave Bale alone now

Author:  JSP [ Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Apparently they tried to get Gotze last season as well but he said no and signed a new deal at Dortmund.

It's the standard Bayern transfer model you strengthen your squad while weakening your rivals and if these rumours are true then maybe they've cooled their interest in Lewendowski. Utd used to do it as well cherry pick the best players from other teams but City have blown us out of that market they tend to hoover up the internal talent now.

Would be a shame if that Dortmund side was broken up as they're fantastic to watch.

Bayern could be setting the bar very high for Pep imagine being the guy who has to replace a treble winning manager

Author:  JSP [ Thu May 02, 2013 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

There is undoubtedly lots English football can learn from Germany.

In a week when two German sides were emphatically confirmed as this season's Champions League finalists, it's hard to argue anything else.

But while the tight financial controls, cheaper ticket prices and greater fan involvement show the Premier League and the FA that there is another way to run the national game, it would be wrong to think of Germany as some kind of fussball utopia.

During my recent trip to Dortmund for the BBC News Editors film, there were plenty of people keen to point out that the Bundesliga is not without its problems. It's a view well expressed in an article by Uli Hesse in the Guardian on Thursday.

The biggest concern is crowd trouble. While recent events at Wembley and on the streets of Newcastle were a reminder that the scourge of hooliganism hasn't gone away in the UK, Germany has been wrestling with this in a much more serious way.

A number of teams have been punished for failing to control their fans and last October police arrested 180 people following violent clashes between Dortmund and Schalke supporters at the Ruhr derby.

A recent government report in Germany concluded that hooliganism had reached a 12-year high. In an effort to address the problem the 36 professional clubs voted for new measures in December to increase security in and around grounds.

But fans are opposed to anything that might impact on the unique atmosphere of matches and finding a compromise has been difficult. What makes the German football experience so special is also the thing that threatens it most.

Then there is the question of German football's highly regarded financial controls. Debt is banned and the 50%-plus-one rule is supposed to prevent any one group or investor from controlling Bundesliga clubs.

This is welcomed by most fans in England but there is a loophole. Both Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen are controlled by one investor (in Bayer's case the pharmaceutical giant of the same name and in Wolfsburg's Volkswagen) because their involvement goes back more than 20 years.

A third club Hannover 96 will soon join them, as their big backer Martin Kind is about to qualify under the 20-year rule, where a backer can buy the majority of shares they have been supporting a club for more than 20 years. Kind has been pushing to scrap 50%-plus-one but so far the vast majority of clubs are opposed to changing it.

Outside of the Bundesliga, the case of RB Leipzig, bought by the energy drink manufacturer Red Bull three years ago as part of a long-term plan to bring top-flight football to the East German city, suggests the financial pressure to bow to the market will only grow as the years go by.

Borussia Dortmund players and fans celebrate
One of the reasons such owners want to invest more and have a bigger say in their teams is because the Bundesliga is still beset with the financial inequalities which are inherent in the Premier League.

As Hesse pointed out today Bayern Munich's FC Hollywood status can still attract the best players because they can afford much bigger salaries.

Hence Mario Gotze's £31m move to Bayern from their fellow Champions League finalists Dortmund in the summer. In fact the Bundesliga ranks its teams in three groupings determined by financial muscle.

As for the Bundesliga's dominance in Europe this season, there are clearly those in Germany who fear it will not last, that it will be in Hesse's words a "Momentaufnahme". That may turn out to be the case at club level - English football's superiority turned out to be temporary after all - but the upward trajectory of the Germany national team suggests it's less of a worry internationally.

All of this is not to say we shouldn't celebrate what Bayern and Dortmund have achieved and look for lessons for the English game. It's just that it would be wrong to think our old rivals are getting everything right.

Author:  Serbinator [ Fri May 03, 2013 9:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

European dominance has always gone in cycles, England dominated the 80's, the Italians were big in the 90's, English sides again in the mid 00's, then Spain and now it seems to be turning towards Germany.

Author:  JSP [ Fri May 03, 2013 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

It's hard to say if Germany are in for a period of dominance or are we just going to be dealing with a very strong Bayern side who will be changing their manager in the summer which may effect them.

Dortmund look like they'll be carved up by the teams with financial muscle from the title side we've already taken Kagawa, Bayern have Gotze and likely to take Lewendowski and it wont be long before someone comes in for Hummells as well.

Bayern have been building this side for a few years now and it's just hitting it's peak so they could be the benchmark for the next 2 or 3 seasons that said back in 2008 Utd looked pretty unstoppable but we lost key players to long term injury and never really reached that level again.

Author:  JSP [ Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

Raphael Honingstein's end of season awards/review

There were 13,039,267 people in the stands, 898 balls in the nets, 306 matches. But only one team.

Let's not pretend: the 50th Bundesliga season was a symphony in mono, a seven-inch single, a triumphal procession, a game of solitaire, a lonely red-and-white planet, an easy case for the Bundeskartellamt (Germany's competition regulator). Uli Hoeness's old dream of the competition needing binoculars to see Bayern Munich came true this campaign, as Jupp Heynckes's team powered away to win the league in April and finish with a barely credible 25-point gap ahead of Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern, blessed with a superb squad, an unusually strong team ethic and perfect coaching from Heynckes, experienced a rapturous season that culminated in an historic treble. On the way, more records were destroyed than at Comiskey Park's 1979 Disco Demolition Night, until the extra-ordinary looked almost mundane and the disproportionateness of it became unnerving. Borussia Dortmund's coach Jürgen Klopp wasn't the only one who feared for "Scottish conditions" in the German top flight, such was the Bavarians' dominance.

Last year's champions, by contrast, didn't have the depth and concentration levels to compete domestically, though they came close to winning the biggest prize of all in the Champions League final at Wembley. "Ninety-nine per cent is not enough, we need 100%," Klopp said after a 3-3 draw with Wolfsburg, a result characteristic of their season.

The Black and Yellows were also unsettled by Mario Götze's unscheduled defection to Bayern and Robert Lewandowski agitating for a move. On the whole, however, it was a successful season – the Champions League millions will help them cement their place as the Bundesliga's second-biggest club.

Third place was as good as a title for Bayer Leverkusen, too. Despite being led by the borderline dysfunctional coaching team of Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia, the Werkself were one of the few top teams aside from Bayern who managed to play to their potential in 2012-13.

Schalke got rid of their "manager of the century" Huub Stevens halfway through the season, teetered on the brink of collapse, then pulled themselves together just in time to squeeze into fourth.

SC Freiburg (5th) and Eintracht Frankfurt (6th) were the feelgood stories of the year for those of a non-Bavarian disposition. Coached by the Dr Emmet Brown lookalike Christian Streich, Freiburg proved that smart ideas and hard work can still outsmart bigger and lazier rivals. But theirs was a fairytale with a sad ending: most of the heroes were gobbled up by other predators and a big, bad Wolf(sburg, in the case of Daniel Caligiuri, who is off to the Volkswagen team).

Armin Veh's Eintracht also had an excellent season back in the top-flight and notched up the best result for a newly promoted team since Kaiserslautern won the league in 1998. Their attacking midfielder Alexander Meier, in particular, played like a man possessed.

Below the elegantly soaring Eagles, however, the league resembled a swamp, populated by small fry and big fish who had lost their way. The quality was so poor in mid-table that the monstrosity that was Hamburg – put together with a real connoisseurs' touch by their sporting director Frank Arnesen – could not even bungle into the Europa League. The Danish mastermind of HSV's recruitment policy bit the bullet, as did Wolfsburg's shopaholic Felix Magath and the Werder icon Thomas Schaaf, whose 14-year smileless reign came to an end. The former German-FA-sporting director Robin Dutt will take over next year.

Down at the bottom, things were very messy. Augsburg were the only club to keep their cool. Their manager Markus Weinzierl was left to carry on after going into the winter-break with only nine points; he kept them up. Also still with us next season but only just: TSG Hoffenheim, the billionaire-supported poster boys for the Bundesliga's traditional way of doing things.

They first fired Markus Babbel, and then his successor Marco Kurz and the sporting director Andreas Müller. Coach No3, Markus Gisdol, saved them in the relegation play-off against Kaiserslautern, after Dortmund had somehow managed to lose 2-1 at home to 1899 in the last game of the season. Fortuna Düsseldorf started strongly, then thought they had done enough already and ended up going down.

Their fellow newcomers Greuther Fürth, in their first-ever season in the top flight, could not win a single game at home. They replaced Mike Büskens with Frank Kramer, who had briefly sat on the Hoffenheim bench as well this season, to no avail. Not even their most famous supporter, Henry Kissinger, could wield enough influence to keep them up. The Bilderberg group's powers must be vastly overstated. Or perhaps that's what they would like you think.

Team of the season
Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm, Dante, Mats Hummels, David Alaba; Ilkay Gündogan, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Kevin De Bruyne, Franck Ribéry; Robert Lewandowski, Stefan Kiessling

(Second XI: René Adler; Daniel Carvajal, Matthias Ginter, Philipp Wollscheid, Atsuto Uchida; Javi Martínez; André Schürrle, Thomas Müller, Arjen Robben; Marco Reus, Mario Mandzukic)

Best player
3 Stefan Kiessling
The Bundesliga's top scorer (25 in 34 matches) made the most of Leverkusen's clever counter-attacking tactics. But Joachim Löw does not like his style. How many times will he score before missing out on the 2014 World Cup next season?

2 Robert Lewandowski
All of Dortmund's best performances came in the Champions League but the Polish striker was on song domestically, too. He scored 24 goals and established himself as one of Europe's most complete centre forwards.

1 Franck Ribéry
Ten goals and 15 assists but above all an uncompromising winner's attitude and impressive defensive workrate. The 30-year-old Frenchman epitomised Bayern's consistency and hunger this season.

Best buy
Dante. The Brazilian came to Munich for €4.7m (£4m) from Gladbach. Rarely has a centre-back been more influential. The 29-year-old brought a calm elegance to Bayern's back-line, allowed them to press higher and kept everyone happy in the dressing room with his positive attitude.

Goal of the season
6 Juan Arango v Frankfurt (unbelievable)

5Vieirinha v Freiburg (boom)

4Ivica Olic v Freiburg (skill and style)

3 Mame Diouf v Schalke (Bicycle-kick from outside the box? Why not?)

2 Marco Reus v Gladbach (superb technique)

1 Thomas Müller v Hamburg (the sheer cheek of it)

Game of the season
Dortmund's 3-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen was an advert for the league. The battle of the Bender twins (Lars v Sven) truly had everything: missed penalties, converted penalties, a spirited fightback and a masterclass from Robert Lewandowski.

Best quote
3 "You can't turn a sausage stand into a mega disco in three days" (Norbert Meier pleads for patience)

2 "Up front, it was bananas, and at the back, it was bananas" (Nils Petersen sums up Werder's troubles at both ends)

1 "Of course we adjust to the opponent. But we didn't put on any spacesuits and didn't train in the nude either" (Norbert Meier ahead of a game against Bayern)

Nayim-from-the-halfway-line award
Juan Arango.

Mark Hughes Cup for best self-promotion
Tim Wiese. The former Werder keeper was forever linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer but then ended up at Hoffenheim, where a succession of managers preferred him sitting in the stands.

The shortest performance award, sponsored by Missy Elliott
Simon Rolfes. The Leverkusen midfielder was dismissed after coming on as sub for a mere 75 seconds against Düsseldorf.

Monty Python's Black Knight trophy for most optimistic assessment of battle-readiness
"Only Bayern and Dortmund are better, squad-wise," Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel at the beginning of the season.

Best double-entendre
Bild's headline "Van der Vaart: ein Dreier fehlt ihn zum absoluten Glück" (three points are missing for total happiness) ostensibly referred to Rafael van der Vaart's wish for a win against Mainz 05 but came in the context of revelations that he had transferred from his wife Sylvie to Sabia Boulahrouz, the ex-wife of a former team-mate Khalid Boulahrouz. "Dreier" can also be translated as "threesome".

Freddy Shepherd PR gong
Martin Kind. "Some of our fans are not Bundesliga or Europa League class," said the 68-year-old Hannover president, "they are arseholes."

Bayern's 18 conceded goals explained
"It's hard to concentrate when you're 8-0 up" – Bastian Schweinsteiger

Best put-down
Jürgen Klopp wasn't amused when an unknown reporter asked him to reply to his question "without clichés".

"I see you for the first time, and you tell me what to say. Thanks, respect," Klopp shot back, "What's your genre, animal documentaries?"

Sir David Attenborough statuette for interesting wildlife observations
Thorsten Fink. "The final match day always comes up with its own stories. All of a sudden, frogs jump and finks fly," the HSV coach explained.

Duke of Edinburgh medal for political incorrectness
Jürgen Klopp. After adopting some of Dortmund's pressing game, Bayern should be known as FC Beijing, felt the Borussia coach: "They do it like the Chinese, they look at what others are doing and then they copy it."

Incongruent accusation of the year
Chelsea's on-loan striker Kevin De Bruyne complained about Germans being "stiff", about a "lack of warmth" at Werder and about the manager Thomas Schaaf not talking to him after the 3-1 defeat at Augsburg. The most shocking, unsettling accusation from him was not even picked up by the German wires, however.

"The training is almost completely tactical," he said, adding that he preferred to run around instinctively. Tactical training? Under Schaaf? Maybe those German lessons that the 21-year-old so casually dismissed – "I don't like it" – might not have been a bad idea. Perhaps then he might have understood what was going on.

Sweetest moment
"Don't look at me so stupidly," David Alaba playfully admonished Franck Ribéry in a post-match interview, before slapping the Frenchman gently in the face.

Best excuse
"When we get going, things get tough for any opposition. Unfortunately, we rarely get going," said Jürgen Klopp.

Trapattoni rant of the season
"As a Bundesliga manager, you have to ask yourself, do I take this hard, difficult path or do I say 'kiss my ass?'" the VfB Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia wondered. "We are not the rubbish bins for everyone else, we are not idiots. It can't go on like that."

Fürth's troubles explained
"I wanted Eto'o but the president must have heard Edu," said Mike Büskens.

Random act of unkindness
Felix 'Saddam' Magath had his squad running through the Wolfsburg woods. When they finished, they found that most of their water bottles had been emptied on purpose by the coach. Magath tried to justify this exercise in sadism as an "educational measure" afterwards – "I wanted them to learn to share resources as a team," he claimed – but the episode was symptomatic of a course that saw seen him veer dangerously close to a caricature of himself. He was soon out in the woods by himself.

Least fair apportioning of blame
"Everyone has failed here, including the bus driver," said a mightily angry Horst Heldt after Schalke's 2-2 draw at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Said bus driver, the splendidly named Lars Laser, had not done anything wrong, however.

Self-awareness Trophy
"It's not a good face, it's a difficult face. If one must apologise for their face, I'll do it" – Jürgen Klopp explains he didn't insult the fourth official verbally but might have offended his aesthetic sensibilities by coming too close.

Best nipple-gate
Szabolcs Huszti scored a sensational winner last-minute winner against Werder Bremen, jumped over the advertising board, mounted a fence and took off his shirt in jubilation while the crowd went wild. When the Hannover midfielder returned to the pitch, Deniz Aytekin showed him one yellow card for the fence-climbing and another one for exposing his breasts. Huszti was sent packing, before Ayetkin blew the final whistle.

And finally …
Franz Josef Wagner knows the score. "A snowflake is like a baby's fart," wrote Bild's reliably bonkers chief columnist.

Author:  Spawny [ Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13


Some of those quotes are brilliant.

Author:  JSP [ Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga 2012/13

German Super Cup

Dortmund 4-2 Bayern Munich

Author:  ManMoreFyahYoo [ Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga Thread

I would give someone else's left leg (probably Anderson's) if we could sign Ilkay Gundogan :drool:

Author:  Nee-mania Vidic [ Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  United Linked To.........

Bastian Schweinsteiger has been voted the German football writers' player of the year for 2013, beating Bayern Munich team-mates Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller into second and third place respectively.

The Germany international took 92 votes in a poll conducted by Kicker magazine among 527 sports reporters.

Ribery received 87 votes and Muller took 85 while former Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes was the overwhelming winner of the best coach award with 383 votes, ahead of Freiburg's Christian Streich with 77.

"This title is also for the team," said Schweinsteiger, who was somewhat taken aback by winning.

"It surprises me a bit because there were times when a lot of critical things were reported about me."

The 28-year-old will receive his award prior to Bayern's opening Bundesliga game of the season against Borussia Monchengladbach on August 9.

Only Stefan Kiessling was able to break into a top 10 otherwise dominated by players from last season's Champions League finalists Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, who also met in the German Supercup last night.

Speaking of his award, Heynckes, who led Bayern to an historic treble before stepping aside, said: "This rounds all of this fairytale off. Many dreams became reality."

Author:  JSP [ Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga Thread

Your post was moved because it has nothing to do with Man Utd and our transfer targets :wink:

Author:  JSP [ Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga Thread

"Hey! Hey! Hey!" (as BZ put it) – Hertha BSC are back in the top flight. And so are the gloomy headlines. "Danger is lurking, the team's sense of reality could suffer a vestibular disorder," wrote Die Welt. The club's "well-known fundamental problem" had returned, attested Süddeutsche Zeitung. Berliner Kurier even feared that the newly promoted team might have swallowed "a drop of poison" on the first day of the season. If not quite deadly, the experience was so unnerving that their Dutch manager, Jos Luhukay, spent the night after the victory tossing and turning in bed, waking up at 5am. "I didn't sleep well at all," revealed the 50-year-old.

It was nothing new, of course. Hertha supporters are used to emotional turmoil and a fair amount of capital punishment after two relegations and two promotions since the 2009-10 season. Still, the exact nature of the weekend's worry was a huge surprise, as well as its accompanying numbers. In front of an ecstatic 54-000 crowd, Hertha beat Eintracht Frankfurt – last season's sixth-placed team – 6-1 to become the first league leader of 2013-14. "It's a wonderful day for [the city of] Berlin, a dream start for us and a fantastic atmosphere – that's living football," cheered Luhukay. It was the first time that Hertha had won their opening game as returnees to the league, the biggest win for any newly promoted team on match day one and the biggest opening-weekend win in any Bundesliga season since 1974.

So why the talk of problems, danger and poison? Neither the manager nor the players seemed in any real danger of getting carried away, after all. "It's a nice thing for the fans," shrugged the captain, Fabian Lustenberger, when asked about Hertha's top spot. "If we get stuffed 6-0 next week nobody will care any more." Some of the papers' concerns against an overreaction to the Frankfurt goal-feast were probably an overreaction themselves. But Hertha being Hertha, based in a city that has "a taste for megalomania" – as the former manager, Markus Babbel, put it – the general concern is quite understandable. BZ, for example, couldn't stop at hailing Hertha's performance as "a hurricane", they had to go the extra mile, too far: "6-1! Hertha can do [it like] Bayern, too," screamed Sunday's front page.

That remains to be seen. What they can certainly do is play a bit. All the pre-season talk had focused on Luhukay's perceived need to curb the side's attacking instincts. But rather than changing his tactical outlook, the manager has changed his personnel. Lustenberger, the inspiration behind a dozen blond curly wigs in the stands, has moved into the holding position from centre-back. In front of him, the new signings Alexander Baumjohann and the outstanding Japanese international Hajime Hosogai (bought from Leverkusen) pulled the strings masterfully.

In addition, the young US international John Anthony Brooks, – who scored the second – was composed at the back, Änis Ben-Hatira and Sami Allagui – who scored the third and fourth goals – were quick and incisive on the wings and the Colombian striker Adrián Ramos, – who scored the first and fifth – was clinical in front of goal. The game was already won when Luhukay brought on the attacking midfielder Ronny for a perfect end to the day. The attacking midfielder scored the game's last goal and was able to feel like an important part of the team again. In pre-season, Luhukay had openly criticised the 27-year-old's fitness problems; last season's key player had come back from his summer holidays with enough kilos for two Ronnies. "I'm not able to put him in the starting lineup," the Venlo-born coach said. Hertha will need him to get into better shape very quickly.

Sleep might have eluded Luhukay after the final whistle but he is not a man who will start dreaming after this fairytale start. "When you hit the woodwork three times and score six, you got most things right, but not everything," he said. "Those who know me know that I won't be jumping on a table after a win." And the "champagne atmosphere" – as the Kurier called it – that engulfed the Olympiastadion on Saturday will probably intoxicate the city's media and public much more than the team itself. "Two years ago we had 20 points at the winter break, and we still went down," warned Lustenberger. "We know where we've come from. We will continue to work hard, the manager will make sure of that."

At the same time, positive momentum can play a very important role, especially in a league that looks every bit as unpredictable behind the big beasts of Bayern (3-1 win over Gladbach) and Dortmund (4-0 at Augsburg) as last season. Frankfurt, for example, know everything about the power of a good start and good vibes.

On Saturday, however, nothing went right for Armin Veh's team, the stats aside. The visitors came out on top in all categories – apart from goalscoring. The 52-year-old generously blamed himself for the defeat, and pointed to his formation change at half time. At 2-1 down – the veteran Alex Meier had halved the deficit with a penalty – Veh switched from 4-4-2 to last season's 4-2-3-1. It made things worse.

"I shouldn't have done that, it wasn't good, it didn't work out at all," he admitted. Next week, there's a chance for redemption when Pep Guardiola's new, altogether more vulnerable Bayern are coming to town. "Easy," joked Veh. Another defeat will tempt Frankfurt's papers to ship in some of the concerned Hertha headlines from this weekend, but without the "getting carried away" bits.

Four-fifths of this league seems so bereft of any natural order that last year's surprise package could well be this season's low-fliers. The notoriously dispassionate executive chairman Heribert Bruchhagen will certainly need no encouragement to raise a warning finger or two about local hopes being too high this season. If "Berlin could become the new Frankfurt," as Süddeutsche wrote, the opposite is true as well. Expectations and reality have not always seen eye to eye at the Commerzbank-Arena, either.

Talking Points
• Revelations about three West Germany players from the 1966 team testing positive for a banned substance – broken by Der Spiegel in October 2011 – have reignited the debate about doping in the Bundesliga. On Saturday, Franz Beckenbauer admitted receiving "vitamin injections" as a player but distanced himself from a 1977 article in Der Stern, in which he had claimed that the lines between medical preparation and doping were blurred in German football. "I said that?" Beckenbauer wondered in Aktuelle Sportstudio, "maybe I have a doppelganger." Beckenbauer went on to say that he was never forced to take any unknown medication by a coach or manager but then contradicted himself: "I'm not a doctor, I have no idea. What is doping?" Rudi Völler also pleaded ignorance. "In the teams that I played for, these things didn't exist," said the former West Germany striker, who also played for Bernard Tapie's Olympique Marseille in the early 90s.

• "What was the Russian (Azeri) linesman on in 1966?" is perhaps the more pertinent question. Goalline technology – or the lack thereof in the Bundesliga was at the forefront of the debate again after Hoffenheim's Kevin Volland saw his perfectly good goal against Nürnberg not given. Call it: kein Vorsprung durch Technik. "It hurts me to see this," said TSG coach Markus Gisdol, "it would simply be fair (if we had electronic help)". Neither Volland nor the manager wanted to blame the referee Thorsten Kinhöfer or his assistant for the mistake. And in any case, Hoffenheim were the architects of their own downfall, having led 2-0 before Nürnberg rallied to snatch a point.

• Over in Munich, Bayern started with a 3-1 over Borussia Mönchengladbach. Trouble with the ultras made the atmosphere flat but the match was eventful enough. Two handballs by Alvaro Dominguez gave the home side two penalties within a minute or so – Thomas Müller had his attempt saved, David Alaba scored to win all three points for the home side. Before that, Arjen Robben and Mario Mandzukic had put Bayern two up within 16 minutes but a Dante own goal before half-time soon exposed the basic weakness in the current set-up. With Bastian Schweinsteiger holding the fort on his own, the back-four have very little protection and are forced into risky one-v-ones. "If we don't win these challenges, it's oh, oh, oh," said Dante. "We needed this win to have some quiet in the future," said Pep Guardiola, who seems to have picked up on some of the misgivings about his tactics.

• Almost as surprising as Hertha's demolition of Frankfurt was Hamburg's resistance at Schalke. Thorsten Fink's ramshackle outfit were 1-0 down within two minutes but fought back to gain a point with a draw. At the end of this "football festival with a spectacle of mistakes", Schalke could be thankful for the point; substitute Adam Szalai scored the equaliser to make it 3-3 after Rene Adler had spilled the ball.

• Borussia Dortmund kept their pre-season momentum with an emphatic win at Augsburg. New striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the star of the show with a hat-trick but BVB insider Freddie Röckenhaus concentrated on the Robert Lewandowski situation in his report for Süddeutsche. Apparently the club will voluntarily up his puny wages of €1.5m by another couple of million to keep him motivated for the rest of the season. Maybe an apology can be coaxed out of Luis Suárez in a similar manner?

Results: Bayern 3-1 Gladbach, Augsburg 0-4 Dortmund, Hannover 2-0 Wolfsburg, Braunschweig 0-1 Bremen, Hertha 6-1 Frankfurt, Leverkusen 3-1 Freiburg, Hoffenheim 2-2 Nürnberg, Mainz 3-2 Stuttgart, Schalke 3-3 Hamburg.

Author:  JSP [ Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bundesliga Thread

Wolfsburg have signed Brazilian Luiz Gustavo from German treble winners Bayern Munich on a five-year deal.

Gustavo, 26, who joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2011, was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, but has opted to remain in the Bundesliga.

The midfielder, who scored six goals in 64 games for Bayern, could make his debut at home to Schalke on Saturday.

"The 26-year-old has signed a deal to 2018 and will be officially presented later today," Bayern said.

The Bavarian side won the Bundesliga title, Champions League and German Cup last season but Gustavo was not guaranteed regular first team action under new coach Pep Guardiola, which could have threatened his national team spot ahead of the 2014 World Cup in his home country.

Former Barcelona boss Guardiola has signed Thiago Alcantara from his old club and Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund, leaving Gustavo down the pecking order.

He said earlier this week: "I have a contract until 2015 so there is no reason to despair, but I want to move to a club where I can play."

Wolfsburg have spent much of the last few seasons in the lower half of the table after winning the 2009 Bundesliga title, and lost their season opener to Hanover 96 last week.

Good signing by Wolfsburg he could have done a great job for quite a few prem sides but you can understand why moving countries might not be the best move for him this summer with a home world cup to look forward to.

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