So there you go: the last match day of the 2010-2011 season has been played, and the 18 Bundesliga teams is divided into two camps – the winners and the losers. Nevertheless, deciding which teams belong to which category is a matter of personal interpretation – and here’s mine.
For my money, the biggest disappointment is Eintracht Frankfurt. You name it, they’ve done it wrong, and so they deserve what is looking likely to be the fourth relegation in club history. I mean, just look at them: the worst second leg to a season ever and a disastrous attempt at something approaching football against Cologne this weekend – which, needless to say, ended with them losing 0:2.
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.
The 29th match day of this Bundesliga season was a day of big-name duels. There was Frankfurt-Bremen, Stuttgart-Kaiserslautern and Mönchengladbach-Cologne, all of which were fights between relegation candidates – the latter, of course, was also something of a local Rhineland derby.
There was the Bavarian derby duel, too, with Munich up against Nuremberg. Attention was focussed pretty much exclusively on Bayern’s president Uli Hoeneß, though, who had had a real go at the club’s own fans last week after they gave him some flak for wanting to save TSV 1860, the other Munich club.
This week, our Bundesliga blogger Stefan decided to follow HSV, the team he supports, to their away game in Cologne. Watch this video of the tenth match day this season to get an idea of what the atmosphere is like in German football stadia – and to find out whether Stefan gets to celebrate a victory with the other HSV supporters.
If you want to see the goals in the Köln-HSV match, click here:
What did we all learn from yesterday’s 9th Bundesliga match-day? That Berti Vogts has a much underestimated understanding of national football. That’s right, Berti Vogts – or, as many of you might be thinking, “Berti who?”
Hans-Hubert Vogts, Berti for short, was the German national coach from 1990 to 1998, and is currently training the team of a lesser known footballing nation – Azerbaijan. This move to Central Asia followed an unhappy year at Leverkusen in the 2000-2001 season, but is by no means in keeping with his track record.
This was a match day to remember. A weekend that produced more memorable moments than a trip to a Kodak factory. Spectacular goals, a couple of surprise results, a last-minute penalty miss, a last-minute winner and a new league leader made for compelling viewing.
Yet no matter how many good matches there were, the stand-out moment of the weekend was produced by 1 FC Köln. The team from the carnival capital traveled to Munich, a place they had not won at in over a decade. The bookmaker’s odds hovered close to 10/1. Christoph Daum had never even won there as a coach. It seemed like a foregone conclusion.