Posts Tagged ‘Simon Rolfes’

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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[ 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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[ 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: Reuters Pictures ]

The yo-yo situation between Bayer and Hoffenheim continues, with Bayer again moving to top spot temporarily (again) after their win over Wolfsburg. Barnetta (57′) marked a successful return to the team with a goal and Keißling (65′) added icing to the cake just a few minutes later.

Overall, Bayer played better, with greater possession, attacking intent and more shots on goal. They also spent large segments of the game camped out in the Wolfsburg half of the pitch, underlying their superiority. The first half was frustrating as Kadlec, Keißling, Helmes and Rolfes all testing Benaglio at various points but none managed to get their names on the scoresheet. The latter three had especially good chances but a last-ditch goal line clearance by Benaglio ensured that neither Keißling nor Helmes converted their chances and Rolfes wasted another gilt-edged opportunity later.

Bayer’s patience paid off when Barnetta scored on his return, his happiness evident as he raced across the pitch to celebrate with one of the substitutes (I couldn’t catch the face due to the poor stream (it’s either Haggui or Schwegler) and Keißling made up for his earlier miss when he scored soon after. The team took the foot off the pedal after that, with Wolfsburg creeping into the game somewhat but it still was not good enough and the Werkself can now enjoy the weekend after a frenetic seven days.

You can read a more comprehensive report from ESPN Soccernet and Goal.com has some comments from the boss and Felix Magath.  This victory also means that Bruno Labbadia has overcome teams managed by former Bundesliga-winning managers – Armin Veh (Stuttgart 2006/2007), Felix Magath (Bayern Munich 2004/2005, 2005/2006). Cristoph Daum (Stuttgart, 1991/1992) and Thomas Schaaf (Werder Bremen 2003/2004). Not bad at all. But he needs to do it again in the second half of the season.

This is unrelated to the match but if you check the official website under “Termine”, the section is now updated with matches from the Frauenschaft, Bayer II and youth teams. If I recall correctly, it used to contain match dates only for the first team, so this is definitely a step in the right direction to acknowledging the efforts of the other teams in the football club.

In other news, Rafael Honigstein writes about how mediocrity beckons for Werder Bremen. Excellent piece as usual, but as I mentioned elsewhere, I’m still waiting for the day he feels Bayer warrants a write-up. Maybe the team needs to dress in drag and do the hula. It is Halloween after all.

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