Transfer window closes with…

Borussia Dortmund sent Mohamed Zidan back to Mainz for 400,000 euros. Zidan wasn’t playing at all, so why not? The Neons also told Damien Le Tallec to piss off to Nantes, no cost.

Bayer Leverkusen got themselves a big fish, Croatian right-back Verdan Corluka (25) from Tottenham. Spurs paid almost 14 million euros for him back in 2009. The Aspirins get him on a 6 month loan.

As expected, VfB Stuttgart dumped Russian forward Pavel Pogrebnyak, but only got 500,000 euros from Fulham. Considering that Stuttgart had paid almost 10 times that much, a surprisingly good piece of business for the English side: even if PP continues to suck, Fulham was able to dump forward Bobby Zamora, so now they have a striker that can miss sitters at a more reasonable cost…

Werder Bremen signed Austrian midfielder Zlatko Juzunovic for 800,000 from Austria Wien. Not sure how this makes Werder any better. Maybe they were just nostalgic for Bruno Pezzey…

It was pretty clear that Felix Magath would have to dump some players. Wolfsburg paid some 30 million during winter, and the squad was so big that Magath would have to take off his shoes and socks (and maybe pants) and then stand in front of a mirror just to count his players. So striker Srjdan Lakic was loaned to Hoffenheim for nada, Korean midifielder Ja-Cheol Koo was loaned to Augsburg for 125,000 and defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos was banished to Sunderland for the rest of the season. BTW, Augsburg semi-legend Michael Thurk finally found a club, 3.Liga 1.FC Heidenheim picking him up on a free. With Augsburg sucking, it’s not impossible that the clubs could meet in the 2.Liga next season, that would be funny…


Last minute moves coming in…

1. FC Köln has made a move to cover their offensive weakness with Lukas Podolski going down for approx. 4 weeks. The Rhein club has acquired VfL Bochum’s North Korean striker Chong Tese (27). He’s been a very effective forward at times for Bochum, so it will be interesting to see how he does in the Bundesliga. Apparently he only cost 400,000, which seems quite a bargain. Maybe folks feel he’s a bit of a nutcase, because even though he’s born in Japan, he *chooses* to play for North Korea…

Ambitious Red-Bull financed club Rasen- und Ballsport Leipzig, currently leading the 4th division Regionalliga Nord, has come up with somewhat of a coup. The Leipzigers have signed Austrian international Roman Wallner (29), who played in the Bundesliga with Hannover about 7 years ago. He’s scored around 100 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga in about 300 matches, and has been capped 29 times for Austria. That RB can afford to sign an international shows how much money they have at their disposal. Ultimately, Red Bull expects to see Leipzig in the Bundesliga, so expect more money spent a la Hoffenheim in the upcoming seasons.

Transfer window wrapping up

Only two more days in the the winter transfer window, and things are wrapping up. Since Felix Magath’s spending spree at Wolfsburg appears to be over (almost 30 million euros), things quieted down, but there were a couple of big moves. SC Freiburg decided they needed some cash for the 2.Liga, so they sold striker Papiss Demba Cissé to Newcastle United for 12 million euros. Cissé is with the Senegal squad in the African Nations Cup, so perhaps SCF figured they wouldn’t be able to use him anyway. (If so, the joke is on Freiburg, as Senegal stunningly crashed out after losing their first two matches). Anyway, Freiburg now has to figure out how they can score, as Cissé has been their one man wrecking crew for the past couple of years. But it’s a good bit of business, since he was going to leave anyway, and they’ll need the cash.

Another big move saw VfB Stuttgart acquire striker Vedad Ibisevic from Hoffenheim for 5.5 million euros. This was speculated in that Stuttgart has felt that Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak sucked, and they needed someone aside from Martin Harnik to score. (Cacau is currently constipated in front of goal). Ibisevic was of course a scoring sensation in Hoffenheim’s Bundesliga start in 2008. He had something like 18 goals in his first 17 matches and the Hoppers were setting the league on fire. Then he was injured in a meaningless friendly, and has never fully recovered. Since then, Hoffenheim has been largely selling a lot of the talent that Dietmar Hopp’s millions bought.

Not much other news. Hannover acquired Senegal striker  Mame Biram Diouf (24) from Manchester United for 1.8 million. (Man U paid some 4.5 million from Norwegian side Molde in 2009.  He essentially never played, clearly indicating how EPL clubs over pay…).

Bremen allowed defender Andreas Wolf to piss off to French Ligue 2 side Monaco for 1.5 million. Since Werder doesn’t play defense anyway, they might as well cash in. They replaced him with a couple of nobodies.


Bundesliga: leaders march

No big surprises as the top 3 all had wins, generally quite solid and routine.

Round 19:

Hannover 96	   -  	1. FC Nürnberg	       1:0 (1:0)   35,400  (Abdellaoue)
Werder Bremen	   -  	Bayer Leverkusen       1:1 (1:0)   40,060  (Pizarro - Reinartz)
Hertha BSC	   -  	Hamburger SV	       1:2 (0:2)   49,168  (Lassogga - Jansen, Petric)
FC Augsburg	   -  	1. FC Kaiserslautern   2:2 (1:1)   30,028  (de Jong, Hain - Dick 2)
Borussia Dortmund  -  	1899 Hoffenheim	       3:1 (2:0)   80,500  (Kagawa 2, Grosskreutz - Johnson)
Bayern München	   -  	VfL Wolfsburg	       2:0 (0:0)   69,000  (Gomez, Robben)
1. FC Köln	   -  	FC Schalke 04	       1:4 (1:0)   50,000  (Podolski - Marica 2, Huntelaar, Höger)
1. FSV Mainz 05	   -  	SC Freiburg	       3:1 (3:0)   30,938  (Choupo-Moting 2, Polanski - Krmas)
VfB Stuttgart	   -  	Borussia M'gladbach    0:3 (0:1)   57,000  (Hanke, Reus, Camargo) 

 1 Bayern München         19   13   1   5 	  46:13  +33 	  40
 2 Borussia Dortmund (M)  19   12   4   3 	  43:14  +29 	  40
 3 FC Schalke 04 (P)      19   13   1   5 	  45:24  +21 	  40
 4 Borussia M'gladbach    19   12   3   4 	  31:12  +19 	  39
 5 Werder Bremen          19    9   4   6 	  31:32  -1 	  31
 6 Bayer Leverkusen       19    8   6   5 	  26:25  +1 	  30
 7 Hannover 96            19    6   9   4 	  21:24  -3 	  27
 8 1899 Hoffenheim        19    6   5   8 	  20:22  -2 	  23
 9 VfL Wolfsburg          19    7   2   10 	  24:36  -12 	  23
10 VfB Stuttgart          19    6   4    9 	  24:26  -2 	  22
11 Hamburger SV           19    5   7    7 	  24:33  -9 	  22
12 1. FC Nürnberg         19    6   3   10 	  19:29  -10 	  21
13 1. FC Köln             19    6   3   10 	  28:40  -12 	  21
14 1. FSV Mainz 05	  19    5   6    8 	  27:33  -6 	  21
15 Hertha BSC Berlin (N)  19    4   8    7 	  25:30  -5 	  20
16 1. FC Kaiserslautern   19    3   9    7 	  15:23  -8 	  18
17 FC Augsburg (N)        19    3   7    9 	  17:31  -14 	  16
18 SC Freiburg            19    4   4   11 	  23:42  -19 	  16

Hannover opened the round in the Friday night match, and had a hard time cracking the Nürnberg nut. The hosts dominated the first half, and got a deserved early lead through their Norwegian forward Mohamed Abdellaoue. However in the 2nd half, the 96ers were pushed back into defense as Nürnberg began to press hard to salvage a point. In the end, FCN wasn’t blessed with luck, and Hannover keeps the points.

Leaders Bayern München had a tough fight on their hands with Felix Magath’s rebuilt Wolfsburg squad. Bayern generally controlled the match, but they created little against Wolfsburg’s solid defense. Mario Gomez, playing his 200th Bundesliga match, wasted a huge chance early in the match, but then got his 17th strike after an hour, The VWs then got more aggressive, but were unable to breakthrough. Arjen Robben then wrapped things up with a goal in injury time.

Dortmund had little trouble with Hoffenheim. The Neons dominated from start to finish, and Shinji Kagawa was the hero this time with a double. Dortmund started out with a furious attack, but Hoffenheim veteran GK Tom Starke was superb, and prevented an early Hopper collapse. Ironically, that was initiated by a slight Starke gaff: his outlet pass was stolen by Kehl, whose quick pass was taken by Kagawa who dribbled right around the sleeping Hopp defense and slotted home. Throughout the match Dortmund attacked and usually it was Starke coming to the defense, when the Neons were up 3-0, Hoffenheim finally woke up and threw caution to the wind. They got a consolation goal and created some decent chances of their own, but let’s face it, they were never in the match.
Schalke was ruthless in bitch-slapping their hosts Köln. Actually, Köln started quite brightly. After only 3 minutes, Uchida had clear Novakovic’s header off the line, and a minute later the Schalke defense was somewhat lackadasical in closing down on Lukas Podolski, so the German international hammered in a perfect shot. His 15th, the local demi-god is still keeping Köln alive. (And with only a couple of days till winterbreak, and no rumours, it’s likely he will finish out the season on the Rhein…) In any case, Schalke was unorganized and struggling, and Köln was controlling the match. However, rather than press their advantage, the hosts were content to wait for a counter, and gradually Schalke began to get back into the match. At half, Schalke coach Huub Stevens made adjustments, bringing on playmaker Jurado and pushing Marica to the front. The Blues were quickly rewarded with an equalizer. This woke Köln up, and both sides had chances – but the difference was that Schalke was ruthless in execution, and ended up running away with the match. Romanian striker Ciprian Marica was the hero, with two goals. He’s been only a part-timer, so he definitely took his chance to make an impression. Köln maybe can complain they were beaten too heavily, but a loss is a loss…

Hamburg showed a complete new attitude from the side that got massacred last week at home against Dortmund. HSV travelled to Berlin and quickly asserted control, and basically had the match in hand by half. Hertha did make a strong comeback effort in the 2nd period, but by and large HSV fully deserve the 3 points.

Augsburg and Kaiserslautern met in a huge relegation battle, and I think this shows that Augsburg is going down. The hosts needed this match, and went in front early. But overall, despite a great fighting spirit, they wasted their scoring opportunities. FCK was much more focused, and despite being outplayed, a double by Florian Dick had the Pfalzers looking sweet. Augsburg did have a bit of drama, as Stephan Hain came on for Sascha Mölders after 65 minutes. Hain had been on the field only 20 seconds when he knocked in the equalizer. Lots of effort, but Augsburg has to split the points, so advantage to ‘Lautern.

Bremen and Leverkusen are two potentially top sides that probably have to be written off. Bremen has shown some very strong performances, but then they go out and get their ass kicked, usually by rival top clubs. So obviously that’s not working too well. Leverkusen is basically putting themselves and everybody else to sleep, with quite a few lackadasical efforts. So when the two meet, I guess a draw was in order. The match itself was pretty entertaining, and overall Werder had the edge. However Bayer did enough to deserve a point, so no one should complain.

On the Sunday matches, M’gladbach had a serious encounter in Stuttgart. VfB has basically had it’s way with Gladbach: of the last 27 matches, MG has managed to only win once, back in 2005! So despite the difference in form this year, this was expected to be a difficult match. The first half was even, but Gladbach took the lead on a Tom Hanke header. Stuttgart pressed throughout the match, but they looked somewhat clumsy and forced. Gladbach on the other hand always looked dangerous in counterattack, and they would push forward in numbers. After around 65 minutes, a a nice combo got Patrick Hermann open at the top of the box, and he unleased a wicked blast that Stuttgart’s GK Ullreich parried with a superb reaction. But it was an indication that Borussia was going to take this match, as Stuttgart could muster up nothing similar. With about 10 minutes to go, Hermann sent a nice through pass to Marco Reus, and the Borussia star raced pass his defenders and calmly slotted home for the decider. Icing on the cake was a nice Reus-Hermann-de Carmargo combo ending in a tap-in a minute later. Huge win for Borussia, Stuttgart needs a swift kick in the ass to get back to form.

Mainz had a huge win in their relegation battle with Freiburg. In reality, it wasn’t much of a contest, as Tom Tuchel’s squad had this once signed, sealed and delivered by half-time. FSV came out aggressive and fast, Freiburg was sloppy. So the result was a quick 3-0 lead and Mainz simply coasted the 2nd half. Freiburg got a late consolation goal, but it looks pretty clear that without Papiss Cisse up front, the Freiburgers look doomed. They can’t score and their defense is crap.

3.Liga restart

The 3.Liga started up after the winterbreak

Round 23:

Preußen Münster	    -  	Carl Zeiss Jena	     (canceled)
Jahn Regensburg	    -  	VfL Osnabrück	     (canceled)
Rot-Weiß Erfurt	    -  	VfB Stuttgart II     3:1 (2:0)     3,977
Wacker Burghausen   -  	Werder Bremen II     3:1 (0:1)     2,200
1. FC Saarbrücken   -  	SV Babelsberg 03     2:2 (1:2)     4,719
1. FC Heidenheim    -  	Rot-Weiß Oberhausen  1:0 (0:0)     6,300
Kickers Offenbach   -  	Chemnitzer FC	     0:1 (0:1)     6,470
SV Sandhausen	    -  	SpVgg Unterhaching   3:1 (1:0)     1,800
Arminia Bielefeld   -  	SV Darmstadt 98	     3:2 (1:0)     8,168
SV Wehen Wiesbaden  -  	VfR Aalen	     1:3 (1:1)     2,449

 1  SV Sandhausen           22   11  7  4   32:23 +9    40
 2  Jahn Regensburg         21   10  8  3   36:19 +17   38
 3  VfR Aalen               22   10  7  5   28:21 +7    37
 4  Wacker Burghausen       23    8 11  4   36:29 +7    35
 5  1. FC Saarbrücken       23    8 10  5   40:30 +10   34
 6  1. FC Heidenheim        23    9  7  7   26:24 +2    34
 7  Rot-Weiß Erfurt         23    8  9  6   28:24 +4    33
 8  Kickers Offenbach       22    9  5  8   27:24 +3    32
 9  Chemnitzer FC (N)       23    9  5  9   26:28 -2    32
10  VfB Stuttgart II        22    7  9  6   26:29 -3    30
11  VfL Osnabrück (A)       21    6 11  4   22:17 +5    29
12  SV Babelsberg 03        23    7  8  8   33:34 -1    29
13  Arminia Bielefeld (A)   23    7  8  8   31:35 -4    29
14  SpVgg Unterhaching      22    8  4 10   37:33 +4    28
15  Preußen Münster (N)     22    6 10  6   23:26 -3    28
16  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)     23    7  6 10   31:33 -2    27
17  SV Wehen Wiesbaden      22    6  8  8   25:28 -3    26
18  Rot-Weiß Oberhausen (A) 23    4  8 11   20:30 -10   20
19  Carl Zeiss Jena         22    4  6 12   24:43 -19   18
20  Werder Bremen II        23    3  7 13   12:43 -21   16

The southern clubs continue to dominate (the thought of any one of these runts making getting promoted must be giving 2.Liga treasurers sleepless nights), and Sandhausen, an overgrown village team south of Heidelberg is setting the pace. SVS picked up a win against unpredictable Unterhaching. Other teams getting key points to keep pace were Heidenheim, who struggled before getting a late goal to dispose a collapsiing Oberhausen, and Aalen, who came up with a solid win away to Wehen, who have been very disappointing this season. Bielefeld picked up an important win as their recovery seems to be continuing. After a disastrous start, Arminia looks pretty secure with 9 points above relegation. It wasn’t easy however. Darmstadt pressed hard early, and Bielefeld’s 19 year old GK Stephan Ortega made multiple superb saves. However, Darmstadt’s defense was chaotic as well, and It looked to be a routine walk-in-the-park, as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead after an hour. But Darmstadt came roaring back and Bielefeld was about ready to collapse. With two minutes left, GK Ortega stopped a penalty kick to save the win, but the defense couldn’t clear and eventually the Lilies scored again. The last few minutes had Bielefeld running around like chickens with their heads cut off, but they managed to survive.

Schalke, Dortmund pull even

The Bundesliga starts up after the winterbreak:

Round 18:

M'gladbach - Bayern       3:1 (2:0)   54,057   (Reus, Hermann 2 - Schweinsteiger)
Freiburg   - Augsburg     1:0 (0:0)   19,600   (Ginter)
Hoffenheim - Hannover     0:0 (0:0)   24,600
Schalke    - Stuttgart    3:1 (1:0)   61,673   (Matip, Papadopoulos, Draxler - Okazaki)
Wolfsburg  - Köln         1:0 (0:0)   27,057   (Polter)
Nürnberg   - Hertha BSC   2:0 (1:0)   40,000   (Esswein, Maroh)
K'lautern  - Bremen       0:0 (0:0)   40,381
Hamburg    - Dortmund     1:5 (0:2)   57,000   (Guerrero - Grosskreutz, Lewandowski 2, "Kuba" 2)
Leverkusen - Mainz        3:2 (2:0)   24,365   (Pospech, Friedrich, Bender - Polanski, Caligiuri)

 1  Bayern München  	        18   12  1   5 	  44:13 +31 	  37
 2  Borussia Dortmund (M)	18   11  4   3 	  40:13 +27 	  37 
 3  FC Schalke 04 (P)		18   12  1   5 	  41:23 +18 	  37
 4  Borussia M'gladbach		18   11  3   4 	  28:12 +16 	  36
 5  Werder Bremen		18    9  3   6 	  30:31 -1 	  30
 6  Bayer Leverkusen		18    8  5   5 	  25:24 +1 	  29
 7  Hannover 96			18    5  9   4 	  20:24 -4 	  24
 8  1899 Hoffenheim		18    6  5   7 	  19:19 0 	  23
 9  VfL Wolfsburg		18    7  2   9 	  24:34 -10 	  23
10  VfB Stuttgart		18    6  4   8 	  24:23 +1 	  22
11  1. FC Köln			18    6  3   9 	  27:36 -9 	  21
12  1. FC Nürnberg		18    6  3   9 	  19:28 -9 	  21
13  Hertha BSC (N)		18    4  8   6 	  24:28 -4 	  20
14  Hamburger SV		18    4  7   7 	  22:32 -10 	  19
15  1. FSV Mainz 05		18    4  6   8 	  24:32 -8 	  18
16  1. FC Kaiserslautern	18    3  8   7 	  13:21 -8 	  17
17  SC Freiburg		        18    4  4   10   22:39 -17 	  16
18  FC Augsburg (N)		18    3  6   9 	  15:29 -14 	  15

As previously reported, Bayern was stunned in Gladbach in the opener. Great win for Gladbach, and Bayern will have to take notice that they’re in a dogfight.

Schalke completely dominated, and their relatively easy win over harmless VfB Stuttgart enables them to pull even with Bayern München at the top. There was a negative there however, as ace defender Benedikt Höwedes carted off to the hospital after a collision with his colleague Marco Hoeger. The result? A broken cheekbone and operation scheduled for Monday. The Blues could have scored quite a few more, and were unlucky that Huntelaar had a goal called back for a non-existant offside. Stuttgart looked pretty crap, and their only chances were well saved by Schalke’s young GK Unnerstall.

Dortmund also took advantage by stomping all over HSV in a packed Volksparkstadion in Hamburg. The Neons were faster, harder and resolute in slapping their hosts all over the field. Key were the two Polish players, Robert Lewandowski and Jakob Blaszczykowski (“Kuba”), each with two goals and an assist. This was certainly a shock for HSV, who have been in a mini-revival under Torsten Fink.

Freiburg got a huge win in their attempt to climb back from the dead. But it wasn’t easy. Despite controlling most of the game, SCF had nothing to show. With about two minutes left, Matthias Ginter, just promoted from the youth team and making his debut, headed home the winner. Augsburg didn’t show much except for a compact defense.

Leverkusen was cruising along easy against Mainz, who basically were taking a nap in the first half. The Aspirins figured to have it all wrapped up, but the visitors came storming out of the blocks to tie early in the second. Bender pulled Leverkusen’s eggs out of the fire, but Mainz will be kicking themselves to let a point slip away. A good fightback wasted.

Felix Magath spent almost 30 million euros on revamping his team, and it certainly didn’t like he got much in return. However, the VWs did manage to win late, although none of Magath’s expensive signings did the trick. Instead, it’s really just par for the course, since Magath hasn’t lost against Köln in some 14 straight matchess. Novakovic had a good chance to give the visitors the lead, but he blew it. Köln’s biggest victory was probably that Lukas Podolski hasn’t left in the transfer window yet.

Bremen and Kaiserslautern had a relatively exciting match, despite no goals. FCK continues to wonder where their scoring is going to come from, and they’d better figure it out if they want to stay up.

Hoffenheim and Hannover also had no goals, but this was more of a snoozer.

Finally, Nürnberg got an important win in their relegation battle with Hertha. The match was hard fought, but with little technical skill displayed on either side. Overall, probably a deserved win for der Club, in their 1,000th Bundesliga match. Berlin has some work to do, after firing their coach in winter and installing Michael Skibbe, who has been mediocre just about everywhere.

Bundesliga restart: Bayern slapped!

The Bundesliga restarted after the Winterbreak on Friday night with a stunner. Borussia M’gladbach upended the leaders Bayern München 3-1. The Gladbachers thus accomplished a rare feat, a double over Bayern.

Despite a great performance by Gladbach, the deciding moment in front of a sold out Borussia-Park (55,000) happened after only 10 minutes. And it was a howler. Bayern’s GK Manuel Neuer is a world class keeper, but he’s also a bit of a prima-donna dumbass. I noticed that when he was at Schalke, brilliant reflexes and positioning, but every now and then something stupid because he thinks he’s more clever than anybody else. And like Roger Milla giving Rene Higuita his due in the World Cup, it was Gladbach’s star Marco Reus who supplied Neuer’s comeuppance. Basically, Holger Badstuber sent over an easy back pass to Neuer, and the whole stadium expected Neuer to boom it down field. Instead he out clevered himself, kicked the ball straight to Reus, who quickly shot into the open net from 32 meters…

Bayern reacted with fierce attacks, but Gladbach held tight. Then another rising star, Patrick Hermann, notched a couple of goals after sleek passes from Mike Hanke and Reus. Bayern got a consolation goal from the returned Bastian Schweinsteiger, but it was way too late. Certainly this has to be a shock for coach Jupp Heynckes, as Bayern had a good winter break training, with only nutcase Breno having any problems. (He was banned from training since burning down his house, then he went out and got tatoos despite express orders from his doctor.) Bayern did miss Frank Rbery on card suspension, but they would have still expected to win this match.

So only one game played on restart, and the Bundesliga is on fire already. Bayern will remain in 1st on goal difference, but both Schalke and Dortmund could catch them on points with victories: Schalke will be favored at home to Stuttgart, but Dortmund has a tough challenge against a somewhat revived HSV in Hamburg.

Gladbach is only a point behind Bayern, and this performance could spill over to another excellent run in the 2nd half. I’d been expecting them to start falling off, but they’ve held on beyond all expectations. Despite Marco Reus signing with Dortmund in the summer, he had a superb performance, and fans have to be thrilled with the play of Patrick Hermann, touted by some as Reus’ heir-apparent.


Felix Magath needs for you to purchase a VW…

VfL Wolfsburg continues to spend! I guess VW is going to have to sell some additional Jettas to fund Felix Magath spending spree. The latest capture is Swiss international defender Ricardo Rodriguez (19), coming over from FC Zurich for 7.5 million euros. Whether this is the end is unclear. Rumours are flying around that Czech midfielder Vaclav Pilar (Viktoria Pilsen) is also being looked at by the Wolfs…

VfB Stuttgart will be parting ways with Russian forward Pavel Pogrebnyak. His contract runs out in the summer, and both sides have agreed it will not be renewed. In fact, the Russian can leave on a free now if he can find a taker. Pogrebnyak has shown flashes of brilliance, but has never been able to hold down a starting role. He’s scored about 15 times in about 67 appearances, but mostly as a sub. Stuttgart paid some 4.8 million to sign him from Zenit St.Petersburg, so they haven’t really gotten their money’s worth. My guess he probably leaves the Bundesliga, too bad, because he has some talent. One possibility as a replacement is Wolfsburg’s Srdjan Lakic, who has basically been in Felix Magath’s doghouse (not a good place to be). Lakic had a good run with Kaiserslautern, but the move to Kraft-durch-Freude-Stadt was not good for his career.

Pay attention to your youth squad….

More insight on the Marco Reus transfer. The rising midfielder will move to Dortmund from Gladbach in the summer for 17 million euros. He should fit right in with coach Jürgen Klopp’s young team, and possibly develop into Germany’s next midfield superstar. And it’s a nice pile of cash for Gladbach, basically a selling team. But the interesting thing that is getting a rise out of some Dortmunders is that the price…is about 17 million too much – they could have had him for free. The reason is that Reus was in the Borussia Dortmund U17 squad that played in the German U17 championship about 5 years ago. However, management wasn’t too keen on him as a prospect, so they told him to piss off to Rot-Weiss Ahlen. From there, Reus went on to M’gladbach, and by 2009 was making a name for himself. Of course, Dortmund has churned out a number of great young players, but I guess this was one that got away.

In transfer news, veteran DM Hanno Balitsch (31) is leaving Bayer Leverkusen on a free for 1.FC Nürnberg. He’s been in poor form, but perhaps can help out with Nürnberg’s crap midfield. Eintracht Frankfurt has apparently agreed to let Greek forward Theofanis Gekas (31) leave for Turkish side Samsunspor. Gekas has had a long Bundesliga career, but was never really able to follow up a stellar season he had with Bochum in 2007, when he notched 20 goals. He’s valued around 2 million euros, but I’m guessing that Frankfurt gets zip…

In DFB news, the federation has fined MSV Duisburg, Fortuna Düsseldorf und Union Berlin around 10,000 euros each for fan behaviour, mostly tossing firebombs and rockets onto the field.

Jermaine Jones gets his thuggish desserts

The DFB handed down Schalke DM Jermaine Jones an 8 week suspension, enraging his club. Jones was red-carded for trying to intentionally kick Gladbach’s Marco Reus. Schalke says that they took the verdict with “gritted teeth” and complained about the severity. However, they decided not to appeal. The whole incident just goes to show that Jones’ thug act is getting tired. The US international is actually quite talented, but he seems to have anger management issues and often prefers dirty fouls to skilled play. That’s too bad, because he could be a real top DM. So perhaps it’s good that the DFB is throwing the book at him. Maybe that will set him straight, but it is a tough one for Schalke.

In transfer news, VfL Wolfsburg continues. Felix Magath has promised big changes for the crap VWs, and if nothing else, he is making changes. Danish Thomas Kahlenberg wasn’t producing, so he’s been shipped off to French side Evian. In further acquisitions, the VWs plunked down 1.5 million for forward Ibrahim Sissoko (24) from Portuguese side Academica Coimbra. Also acquired for 2.5 million was Brazilian defender Felipe Lopes (20) from Nacional Funchal.

1.FC Nürnberg has obtained US international Omar Gonzalez (23) from MLS champions Los Angeles Galaxy on loan. Borussia M’Gladbach acquired Finnish international MF Alexander Ring (20) from HJK Helsinki on loan. Included is an buy option, which would probably be around 600,000 euros.