Tag Archives: Bayer Leverkusen

German Bundesliga Podcast: Matchday 22 + UCL Preview

Talking Fussball Podcast

Talking Fussball Podcast

Talking Fussball: The Bundesliga show returns as the ‘Awesome Foursome’ are reunited to record Germany’s premier football podcast! Pod host James Thorogood is joined on the mics by Jon, Bernie (and bronzed) Alex in the comfort of Handcock’s hollow.

Did Hamburger SV have a ‘Slomkaover’ that saw off Borussia Dortmund? Were 1. FC Nürnberg were involved in the game of the season against Eintracht Braunschweig? How pivotal will Leverkusen and Schalke’s dropped points prove in the race for European qualification? What’s going on with FC Augsburg and will FC Bayern München’s Philipp Lahm ever be a right-back again?!

We also talk mid-table results, relegation scraps and just how fantastic the Bundesliga really is!

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The winners and losers this season

kloppdiego34So 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.

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Directionless directors: a chronic Bundesliga problem

collagebl26vorstaendeIt’s been a dramatic few days, and as I write, a whole locker-room full of coaches is facing the sack, jockeying to try and find other teams or biting their nails about their first ever trip to the dole office. In fact, the kind of frenetic behind-the-scenes wrangling that’s been going on in the last couple of weeks is something of a novelty for most Bundesliga fans: Van Gaal, Magath, Veh, Skibbe, Littbarski, Dutt, Tuchel, Heynckes – 8 out of the 18 club trainers in Germany’s top football league are making more headlines than the teams they coach.

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Betting’s easy – with hindsight!

There are some games in the Bundesliga that seem to follow all my predictions to the letter. These are the games with nothing unexpected, no surprise goals – and there were enough of them on the 16th match day this season to make me wish I’d gone to the betting shop beforehand!

tippensoeinfachFor a start, the table toppers at Borussia Dortmund won 2:0 against Werder Bremen: no surprises there, then. Then Leverkusen won 4:2 against HSV, a team currently in serious crisis. Meanwhile, last year’s champions Bayern München held the upper hand against St. Pauli, newly promoted up from the second league this year. Oh really? If Germany’s record holders in terms of Bundesliga wins can’t beat newcomers to league, then I’m a monkey’s uncle.

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The way through a minefield

Last week must have been difficult for all of you Bundesliga junkies: the season had just got going, and suddenly there was a pause for international games; and they weren’t even high-adrenaline games, either. We were forced into watching teams like Denmark, Belgium and Azerbaijan. That’s all over now, though: play started again on the weekend – and if you’re anything like me, you couldn’t wait!

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Watch out! Musical chairs and surprise wins! 2nd match day

20264968creditCome on, quick! Now’s the time to get rid of players you don’t need and then go and get some new ones! Why? Because after the qualifying games for the Champions League and the European Cup, it’s clear that all the German teams involved have made it into the group phase of the continental competitions. There’s new money available, the first games are out of the way and decisions about location have been made: so now it’s a game of musical chairs, with Bremen hoping Silvestre will set down on their seat, Hannover wanting to tempt Hajnal from Dortmund, Wolfsburg grabbing Diego and Demichelis looking to sit down anywhere except at Munich – he doesn’t get along well with the trainer. Really, any team with ambitions to take the Champions’ League should be looking to sign him: after all, ex-Bayern defenders are as close as you can get to guaranteed title success (see Lucio at Inter Milan last season).

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“Apart from that, great!” The first match day

Have you ever had that kind of passive-agressive criticism packaged as praise? You know, kind of like: “So, what did you think of my game, coach?” “Well, all the goals we conceded are your fault: but apart from that, you were great!”

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This kind of praising criticism is exactly the right tone for the first day of play in this new Bundesliga season. There were a lot of people looking forward to it: players, coaches, fans, all of them raring to go. Well, everywhere except at Schalke, where they were all at each other’s throats before the first whistle had been blown.

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