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Archive for the ‘Bundesliga’ Category

I’m sorry I’ve been away but this is the height of the school season. First off, did everybody have a good Thanksgiving weekend last week? To summarise, the Werkself did not but I guess it’s just as well that they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving anyway.

Bayer finally got back to winning ways this week in the second Rhine derby of the season for the team when they beat Borussia Mönchengladbach comfortably 3-1.  That win brings Bayer back up to third place. In other good news, Bayern beat Hoffenheim, and thus the top two teams are tied in points and the Werkself is now three points behind them. Which is not an insurmountable gap. The Werkself will close the year with a home game against Energie Cottbus.

In other news, the club had an official meeting with the fans earlier in November. It’s all in the report but in summary, the fans met with the some of the club bigwigs who updated them on the status of the club and their future plans.  There was a meet-the-first team session and Bruno Labbadia entertained some questions.

The most pressing matter after the last game will of course, be the move to the LTU-Arena. More on that later. The next few games have been scheduled as below:

18. Spieltag:31 Jan 2009 – Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen

19. Spieltag: 6 Jan 2009 – Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs VfB Stuttgart

20. Spieltag: 1899 Hoffenheim vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Let’s hope the Werkself won’t suffer from homesickness.

And lastly, Happy Eid Mubarak to those who celebrate it!

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GERMANY SOCCER BUNDESLIGA

[ credit: Reuters Pictures ]

… There is some serious voodoo going on in Bielefeld. And I mean the serious, hardcore kind. There has to be. Bayer went down 2 – 1 to die Blauen in yesterday’s match, thereby extending the hold Arminia Bielefeld has over the Werkself. I couldn’t find a working stream, so I was left making incoherent noises of despair and horror as I followed the live-ticker. To add insult to injury, Sascha Dum was red-carded towards the end of the match. Bayer has dropped back to second place, threee points behind Hoffenheim and level on points with Bayern Munich but ahead on goal difference. This is significant as the Bavarian Empire comes to the BayArena next week and they’re certainly on a roll.

But I’ll worry about that later. The lack of significant news for the senior team now permits me to look at the other teams in Bayer. There are seven Bayer youth players involved at the national level, ranging from U16 – U19.

U-19 Nationalmannschaft: Nils Texeira (Captain, defence), Richard Sukuta-Pasu (forward)

U-17 Nationalmannschaft: Gerrit Nauber (defence), Niko Opper (midfield)

U-16 Nationalmannschaft: Andre Mandt (midfield), Luca Dürholtz (midfield), Nick Bresevac (forward)

Nice numbers to look at but the ultimate measure of success is if they can make it to the first team of course.

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So. The last international of the year went well for Helmes, not well at all for Adler, ok for Rolfes (he did get the full 90 minutes) and poorly for Germany as a whole. That also means that Helmes managed to keep his promise to score a goal as a tribute to his dead dog. I got that particular gem from the Bild, where else? I missed the match, but managed to catch highlights of Adler’s mistake (ouch). Let’s hope he won’t repeat that kind of blunder against Arminia Bielefeld tomorrow.

Bielefeld are in the exact opposite situation as Leverkusen at the moment, with the second-from-bottom-dwellers looking for better results. Which on paper is a tough job, seeing that the Werkself are the curent table-toppers – nodnod, winkwink – but closer examination shows that die Blauen might not need to worry too much. A dark force surrounds the SchücoArena, preventing penetration and accuracy by the Bayer strikeforce and the Werkself hence has yet to collect three points from five visits to Bielefeld.

2007/2008: Arminia Bielefeld 1 – 0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

2006/2007: Arminia Bielefeld  0 – 0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

2005/2006: Arminia Bielefeld 1 – 0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

2004/2005: Arminia Bielefeld 1 – 0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

2003/2004: Arminia Bielefeld was in the 2. Bundesliga

2002/2003: Arminia Bielefeld 2 – 2 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

That’s an impressive record and the Werkself would do well to be wary. In other trivia, Bruno Labbadia played for Bielefeld from 1998 – 2001 and was even the 1. Bundesliga’s top scorer with 28 goals for the 1998/1999 season. I’d rather prefer our strikers doing the scoring tomorrow, thank you very much.

With regards to team selection, Gonzalo Castro is out due to suspension and it looks like Hans Sarpei will finally make his 2008/2009 debut tomorrow. Karim Haggui is still unfit for action after his operation. Stefan Reinartz, the Germany U-19 defender was also under consideration but will at most make the bench. Oh dear, that picture of Reinartz on the official website looks like something out of a bad porno movie.

Edit: I have quickly taken a look at the updated profiles and pictures. I am speechless, horrified and amused all at once.

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SOCCER-GERMANY/

[ credit: Reuters Pictures ]

Bummer. I was away in DC doing the geeky thing and marathoning the Smithsonian Museums so I could not watch the match. And I came home late from school and missed the repeat so you’re left with me doing the boring thing and linking to match reports about the Werkself’s 2 – 1 victory over the Royal Blues. It sounded like a great match for all intents and purposes – first half goals by Kießling and Helmes, a sending off for Castro, a late goal by Kevin Kuranyi and a disallowed one by Gerald Asamoah. Helmes now also holds a club record of sorts – he’s the only Bayer striker to have struck the net 10 times by this stage of the season since the beginning of the Bundesliga. And oh, the Werkself are still at the top of the table for now. Booyah.

However, Mark from BundesligaTalk has linked to Auswärtssieg! (away win), a Schalke 04 blog which has great pictures of the Bayer – Schalke game. I am jealous, yes I am.

I don’t follow the Swiss Super League at all but if rumours are to be believed, Eren Derdiyok, a striker  from FC Basel is poised to move to Bayer in January. Or maybe not, since Napoli are apparently eager to get ahold of him too. Which is all well and good if it’s true as I think it’s not wrong to say Bayer has a good record at sniffing out talented youngsters (who inevitably move off to richer pastures later) but can we please look at some defenders too? Half the backline aren’t ours and I rather pity Adler, he must feel like he’s running a one-man defensive show at times.

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Happy birthday Schnix!

FBL-EURO2008-AUT-GER-FRIENDLY-SCHNEIDER

[ credit: Reuters Pictures ]

Today is 17th November and it is Schneider’s birthday. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag! The midfield maestro  deserves a post all on his own for this. Work hard on your rehab Schneider, we’re looking forward to seeing you back. Don’t worry, the boss will find a way to squeeze you into the team somehow. Aherm.

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Nothing to see here

I’ll start with the bad news. Pirmin Schwegler has again torn his interior cruciate ligament. He’ll be out for at least six weeks and will therefore miss his chance to make his senior international debut. Ouch. Get better soon, Schwegler.

Then comes the boring. Bayern’s new #1, Michael Rensing states the obvious and says that his club will soon regain the top spot. Yawn. Tell us something we don’t know will you, Rensing? Mind you, I’m quite confident this Bayer team will make a good fight of it, better than they have in recent years.

Lastly, the Werkself’s next match is against Schalke 04, another club that can be relied on to choke at any sniff of title aspirations. Heh. At least we have company.

You know it’s a slow news period when even the Bild doesn’t have anything trashy for me to poke fun at.

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SOCCER-GERMANY/

[ credit: Reuters Pictures ]

Last weekend was torrid for me football-wise. I left the house with a good feeling about the Bayer-KSC match at half-time (there was no stream, so I followed the match on live-ticker), fully expecting a good result. After all, we were 3-1 up at halftime. Nothing could go wrong, right, right?

But this is Bayer and it seems that the young Werkself has yet to master the dark arts of closing shop and parking the bus in front of goal. Because KSC fought their way back into the game and Bayer left Karslruhe with only one point. Needless to say, Tante Völler had a lot to say about Bayer throwing away the lead. I can’t comment further but I can see why the sporting director’s in a snit fit. I know I was when I got back home and saw that result.

Having said all that, another truism of life in general is that if you’re not doing well, pray everybody else screws up too and Hoffenheim most kindly obliged by losing away to Hertha Berlin. Therefore, the Werkself are currently topping the table on goal difference. It’s way too soon to cheer yet as that Evil Bavarian Empire [TM] has recovered their form (or more like, Franck Ribery is playing and playing well again) and are now only one point away. With Bayern on the rise, the Werkself cannot afford to slip up if they want to remain in contention for at least a European spot. I stress, European spot, not the T-word.

In other news, apparently Theofanis Gekas is unhappy with his sub appearances and now wants away from the BayArena come January. No worries though, as the club has set their eyes on yet another Brazilian (Adeilson). Cue the “Is he any good in Football Manager?” jokes.

This is slightly old news but Herr Pirmin Schwegler has followed in Tranquillo Barnetta’s footsteps and received his call-up to the senior Swiss squad for a friendly against Finland. It remains to be seen if he’ll actually play but he’s definitely garnering the right kind of attention and that first senior cap cannot be far away.  All the best, Schwegler.

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