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Posts Tagged ‘Tranquillo Barnetta’

Barack Obama 44th President

I know the image above has nothing to do with football but this is my blog and I will celebrate if I want to. Oh wait, it does after all since President-elect Obama is a Hammers fan.

Bayer04 TV has put up an interview with Tranquillo Barnetta. Alas, my German-fu is not strong enough to enable me to fully understand the clip. The latest entry (dated 5th Nov) in Bayer’s section in the official Bundesliga site also has a short write up about the Werkself’s good run in the past few games and a mention of the upcoming away game to Karlsruher SC. In contrast, KSC has not had a fun time of it lately. This game has meaning for Bruno Labbadia as he ended his career with KSC.

This next bit of information comes under trivia more than anything else but the team will also now travel in comfort as they have a new bus. With spiffy equipment and snacks, insofar as I can decipher from the article at the Bild website. Unfortunately, we’re all stuck with these kind of frivolous updates from the Bild until my German improves. Which is not anytime soon.

I’ll end today’s entry with a mention of a past player, Andrei Voronin, who left for the allegedly greener pastures of Anfield (insert dramatic cough here), only to find that the pitch wasn’t so green and was offloaded moved back to Hertha Berlin on loan. The plot thickens however as it now seems that the grass in Liverpool is looking good again and he wants a move back.

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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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Bayer plays Wolfsburg tomorrow. Statistically, Wolfsburg is a good team to play as the results traditionally favour Bayer. However Wolfsburg are on a good run themselves, with a sound 3 – 0 win over Mönchengladbach last Tuesday and they’ll want to keep it up. The boss meanwhile, thinks the Wolves will make life difficult for the Werkself and is not quite sure of who to place on the left side of midfield as Pirmin Schwegler has deputised ably for Tranquillo Barnetta the last few matches.

I’m not going to make any predictions  because I’ve not managed to watch a Wolfsburg game yet this season. Obviously, I’m plumping for a win as it is a home game but two of our losses this season have been at the BayArena so the team needs to be wary. One factor definitely in Bayer’s advantage is the fact that Wolfsburg have been poor travellers thus far this season. Bayer has now gone 14 games without a draw (the longest run of any team in the Bundesliga thus far) and the last draw we had was indeed against Wolfsburg when they squandered a 2-0 nil to draw 2-2 at the BayArena in the 07/08 season.

In other news, Karim Haggui will be out after the weekend for an unspecified period when he undergoes operations on both groins. As stated in the report, he declined to undergo treatment earlier so as to help the team during this busy week. That’s greatly appreciated indeed. All the best for the operation and get better soon, Karim.

To end things for the day, here’s a picture slideshow of Patrick Helmes from the official Bundesliga site. It’s been quiet lately, can’t you tell?

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