Author Archives: Mark

About Mark

Mark is Young Germany's editor. From a young age Mark lived a semi-nomadic life that has taken him around the world. His suitcase is in Frankfurt now and he is happily discovering the country he was born in.As an avid consumer of news he is interested in technology issues, especially the internet and the changing media landscape. To get away from it all he regularly logs off and goes cycling.

Van Gaal stumbles but celebrates

Birthday-boy Arjen Robben netted the decisive goal in this weekend’s top Bundesliga match between Bremen and Bayern Munich. The free-kick, taken from some 20 meters on the far right of the penalty box was whipped in – passing friend and foe in the box – and dipped in time to stroke the underside of the bar and land in the top corner.

picture alliance / Sven Simon

picture alliance / Sven Simon

The Bayern winger threw his hands up in celebration and sprinted to the dug-out where Bayern coach Louis van Gaal was involuntarily lying on his back after loosing his footing in celebration. A pile-up ensued and van Gaal was left sucking an injured finger. Not that he minded – Bayern dominated the game, created chances at will and played some mouth-wateringly good football.

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Phantom goal & championship prediction

The Bundesliga awakened from its winter slumber. Well, at least the players did. The referee of the Zweite Bundesliga match (Germany’s second highest league) between Duisburg and FSV Frankfurt obviously still had sleep in his eyes when he awarded a goal that was none. And I really mean none. Though the outcome of the match was not affected this was probably one of the worst phantom goals ever awarded in German football..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca3FwM3DuBc

Business as usual as the Bavarian machine ground out an uncontested 2-0 home victory against injury-ridden Hoffenheim. Arjen Robben was in fine fettle running knots into the legs of the Hoffenheim defense. The result could have been a lot higher if it weren’t for Mario Gomez. The Bayern striker had chance after chance served to him on a golden platter but failed to convert. A performance that was reminiscent of his appearances at the last European Championships.

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Tops and flops of the Bundesliga

The Bundesliga goes into hibernation as the winter break is upon us. Time to take a look back at the first half of the season.

Bayer Leverkusen have won the Pyrrhic “Herbstmeister” (Autumn Champions) -title. Vizekusen, as the club is derogatorily referred to (akin to Michael Ballack’s record of coming second best), will hope that they can replicate their form of the first part of the season in the new year. There are good reasons to believe that they can: a coach that has instilled real belief in the team and returning players from injury (Renato Augusto, Simon Rolfes, Patrick Helmes) will further boost the quality of the squad.

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A comedy of errors

Attempts have been made to make football calculable: Opta index; chalkboards with crosses and lines more abstract than a Kandinsky painting; video analyses; and training sessions dedicated to the correct movement with and without the ball. Little is left to chance, yet notwithstanding there are moments of pure individual genius that defy systems and tactics. Logic goes out the window and football returns to what it is – a game whose outcome is unpredictable.

Specators of this weekend’s Gladbach vs Hannover fixture were treated to a game that provided just such moments. But it wasn’t pure genius that made this an occasion to remember – it was the blunders – howlers of the most cringe-worthy kind – that defined this game. Eight goals in total. Three own goals. A fourth goal that is at least half an own goal.

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Bye-Bye Babbel

“I have never experienced something like what happened on Saturday in my whole career. Four weeks after the Robert Enke tragedy shows that the fans and the football scene have not learnt a thing. The events on Saturday tell me that it’s all hypocrisy.”

These are the parting words of Markus Babbel – trainer of VFB Stuttgart – as he was shown the door on Sunday afternoon. His side had been held to a 1-1 draw against Bochum on Saturday. Following the game some 3000 ‘fans’ attempted to storm the club’s premises and were only prevented from doing so by the police.

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Kiessling hat-trick puts Leverkusen on top

„The best thing the trainer can do is to substitute all eleven players” said Stuttgart manager Horst Heldt. But it wasn’t a post-match rant, it was an interview held at half-time. 45 minutes against Leverkusen were enough to have Heldt fuming over a 2-0 deficit in the BayArena. The second half, replete with another two goals from Leverkusen, did little to improve his mood.

Meanwhile the Leverkusen faithful celebrated the victory and man of the match Stefan Kiessling. Kiessling underscored his ambitions to be nominated for the World Cup next summer with three confidently taken goals, including one converted penalty. He is the Bundesliga’s most prolific scorer at present with 12 goals to his name. The 4-0 final score was finalised by a goal from forward Eren Derdiyok.

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Rollercoaster match: Schalke vs Hamburg

Two nil up at half-time – Hamburg were cruising. Playing away to Schalke, the team from northern Germany looked confident with goals coming from a well-worked first goal finished off by forward Marcus Berg and the second from a dipping free-kick from German international Piotr Trochowski.

Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer fished the ball out of the net only for the referee to blow the half-time whistle, leaving the 61,000 sell-out crowd to ponder a likely thrashing over beers and bratwurst.

A thrashing it wasn’t. Schalke staged a comeback and set themselves up to win the match. The first goal came from a cross from the right of the box with forward Kevin Kuranyi beating his marker to head the ball into the goal off the inside of the post.

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