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Posts Tagged ‘René Adler’

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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bruno-labbadia-contrruction

[ credit: Bild.de ]

Apropos of nothing, I am very tickled at the fact that this blog apparently appears in searches for “unfamous sports games”. How fitting is that? That is Bayer’s lot in life in the English-speaking football world after all. Nothing screams un-hip and unfashionable like a club with ties to a pharma company. But at least the football the Werkself is playing is sexy. And yes, I chose that picture for this entry as I find Big Bruno’s (Bild’s moniker for our boss) 70’s-inspired look very amusing. Did he sing YMCA after that photoshoot? Inquiring minds wants to know.

Meanwhile, Joachim Löw has selected Adler, Rolfes and Helmes for the upcoming friendly against England at the Berlin Olympiastadion. The Bundestrainer called for only four strikers, so Stefan Kießling misses out on that expected fifth spot, which is a pity. The door opened for him after Kevin Kuranyi’s infamous strop, but it looks like he’ll just have to work harder at it.

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There’s a short, short article at the Guardian about how the Werkself have quietly snuck into contention for the Bundesliga (can I say the word?!) title. Urgh. Title. I hate that word. I will refrain from further quoting Shakespeare out of context but it goes without saying that no sane Bayer fan will openly mention the T-word, not after the 2001/2002 Treble of Horror season. Bayer remains the only football club in recent history to have blown their chances at the domestic league title, domestic cup and the Champions’ League. When you take into account how Germany came in second during World Cup 2002, you will understand why Bernd Schneider now abhors the number two. I’m certainly pleased with the way the season has unfolded thus far for the Werkself but really, all it takes is a bad run and we’ll be looking at the opposite end of the table. So I’m sure fellow fans will understand why I’m keeping a tight lid on my optimism.

Another thing to fear is the January transfer window. Already rumours (and nothing more substantial) have begun to circulate regarding Renato Augusto and Inter Milan, with the Brazilian midfield magician apparently due to depart the BayArena in just a few months. I’m not too fussed about it at this stage – there’s nothing to substantiate those rumours as yet and he’s just arrived at Leverkusen – but it brings up the perennial problem of Bayer always loses its best players to other, better-paying clubs.

The Werkself might have an exciting young team at the moment but it’ll be of naught if they leave. But financial stability is a reality fans cannot run away from and Bayer no longer receives substantial funding from its parent company. It goes without saying that selling players is a way of balancing the books, especially when the club has to fund the BayArena expansion, amongst other things.

Let’s turn our attention away to happier things. Bayer faces Karlsruher SC away on Saturday. Needless to say, the Werkself is the favoured team here, with us flying high on the back of four wins and Karlsruher having lost their last five league matches.

To cap things off for the night, Adler has been chosen as part of the Team of the Month for October 2008 by the European Sports Magazine. Well done.

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[ credit: RP ONLINE ]

Bayer officials met with the powers that be of Fortuna Düsseldorf today to discuss the details of the temporary groundshare that will begin in 2009 whilst the installation of the new roof at the BayArena is ongoing. The full report from the website is here but to summarise, Bayer will introduce the “Fortuna Euro” scheme, where one Euro will be contributed to Fortuna for each home ticket sold, inclusive of season tickets. The funds will be directed towards Fortuna’s youth development and if targets are met, the final amount might reach six figures.

The club will also invest in an advertising campaign to inform the citizens of Düsseldorf about Bayer’s impending arrival. I must say I am rather amused by the sight of Rolfes getting a solo spot in the “Sechs & the City” poster. The first match to be played in the LTU-Arena will be the DFB-Pokal Round of Sixteen match against Energie Cottbus on 28 January 2009 and the first Bundesliga match will be against VfB Stuttgart a week later.

Moving on to other news, Adler has been nominated for the North-Rhine Westphalia Sports Personality 2008, under the “Newcomer” category. And in a surprising turn of events, or perhaps the team did listen to my suggestion and dressed in drag after all, Bayer has now managed to garner two paragraphs in the weekly Honigstein column, all of it flattering, especially of Rolfes and Bruno Labbadia. Granted, the original subject was about how Werder might not be so mediocre after all but we’ll take what we can and run with it.

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[ credit for picture goes to Promikatur, more caricatures of footballers here.]

I thought I’d open the blog with a picture of our missing maestro, due back in November. Or thereabouts, if his rehab works out but I’m not banking on it just yet. Plus, it’s the Rhine derby this weekend, with Bayer facing (insert pejorative of choice) 1. FC Köln.

The statistics favour Bayer, with 1. FC Köln last winning the derby 11 years ago. Bayer have won six out of the last seven games against Köln (the other ended in a draw). Other amusing trivia include Bruno Labbadia (yes, the boss himself) having been sent off in both games against Köln in his last season as a professional player with Karlsruhe SC. More juicy details available at the weekly pre-match review at the offical website. Seeing how Bayer has managed to lose two games at home thus far, and with a defence as porous as a sieve, I’ll take anything other than a loss. Obviously.

In other news, a report on Germany’s win over Russia in the World Cup Qualifier in the recent international break by the ever-reliable and entertaining Raphael Honigstein. Unremarkable in and of itself, but that match also marked the international debut for Bayer’s very own René Adler as the German #1. Alas for Herr Adler, that event became a non-event in the wake of Podolski’s tragicomedy and Kuranyi’s snit fit and as such, he warranted not even a sentence in said report. I swear there’s a jinx on Bayer as anytime the club (or its players) do anything worth mentioning, some other player or team will outscore and out-drama us. Such is Bayer’s lot in life.

While we’re still on the subject of Adler, the official Bundesliga site has two nice write-ups on him, to be found in the Bayer section. I found the latter one discussing his formative years spent in Rüdiger Vollborn’s household especially interesting.

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