Author Archives: Johannes

About Johannes

Johannes is one of the editors of ".de - Magazin Deutschland".

Tradition is all very well and good, but…

After having recently spent most a blog post cracking jokes at the (considerable) expense of vulgar nouveau riche football clubs, I thought I should even things out a bit by admitting something: tradition, as nice as it is to have, is no better at buying success than good, hard cash. A team that has been demonstrating this over and over again in the last couple of weeks is the Hamburger Sportverein, or HSV. This Hamburg team, with their long and great history, lost by a very poor 0:3 to VfB Stuttgart on the weekend; the week before, they only just limped to a disappointing 0:0 draw against Hannover Sportverein 1896, despite the fact that they were playing at home and that Hannover are supposed to be the smaller and less important HSV from the North German plain.

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The Bundesliga is like a box of chocolates…

gomezriberyProfessional footballers have a lot in common with children – well, at least the FC Bayern boys do in any case. On the one hand, they’re unpredictable, moody, and have real difficulty concentrating on one thing for 90 minutes, as shown by their poor 1:1 performance against a much weaker Nuremberg side last week. Then again, just like children, they can be fresh, creative and full of innocent pleasure, which is what the Bayern team was like yesterday as they stormed to a 5:1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

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It’s a young man’s game; both in Dortmund, and in goal

232993902creditRight, let’s get this out of the way straight away: my team, Eintracht Frankfurt, lost this weekend, going down 0:2 to VfB Stuttgart. It was their fourth defeat at home in a row and has helped them to an astonishing new record in terms of losing: it’s the seventh game they’ve played without scoring a goal! And as if this weren’t shameful enough, they were up against a Stuttgart team which spent 75 minutes of the game one man down after their captain, Matthieu Delpierre, got a red card for smacking Frankfurt defender Maik Franz. Eintracht put in 30 shots during the game; Theofanis Gekas, top goal scorer of the first half of the season, hit the inside of the post in the 56th minute, and apart from that, Stuttgart’s 22-year-old goalie Sven Ulreich did a tremendous job. Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia had put him on the bench last week against Benfica Lissabon, but after the 34-year-old Marc Ziegler injured himself, Ulreich was suddenly flavour of the month again. Frankfurt, too, had a replacement goalie due to injury, but the 22-year-old Ralf Fährmann standing in for Nikolov made a bit of a hash out of the two shots which sent Stuttgart ahead.

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Relegation, or: a nice way to pass the time

littbarski_paI like Pierre Littbarski. First he was one of the country’s most elegant dribblers in midfield, contributing decisively to the World Cup success of 1990. Then he was a coach, with a distinct lack of vanity and an ability to stay focussed and unemotional. This weekend, however, I did find myself wondering about our “Litti”, who has taken over from the luckless Steve McClaren as coach at Wolfsburg. I mean, I know the guy is pretty relaxed, and I know he’s spent the last seven years playing and coaching in Japan, known as it is for its attachment to Buddhist Zen philosophy, but calling your new job “a nice little hobby” in front of television cameras is not really on – especially when your entire team has spent much of this season playing as if their Bundesliga exploits were, for them too, little more than a nice way to pass the time of day, not their primary means of putting food on the table. In fact, they’ve played so poorly that only their goal difference is saving them from the relegation spot; nevertheless, they still lost 1:2 to SC Freiburg this weekend.

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