National squad: another crap performance

The DFB squad basically sucked again, beating a crap Israel 2-0.

Germany dominated from start to finish, but wasted several chances to ring up some goals. For the most part they attacked, but in general were to static and seemingly unmotivated. Coach Joachim Löw had most of his starters available, only Schweinsteiger was out with injury.

Wasting chances, it wasn’t until close to halftime that Germany took the lead. The crowd was getting somewhat impatient, and whistling was beginning to make appearances. The second half was more of the same, although perhaps Israel went forward a bit more forcefully. Andreas Schürrle got some recognition for his nice goal. Overall, if Germany had taken this match more to heart, they should have won about 6-0.

The Israelis were pretty inept and harmless in attack, so the chaotic defense against Switzerland wasn’t tested (even with regulars like captain Philipp Lahm and Holger Badstuber back in the lineup, it’s not clear if the defense would have been solid against threats.) Löw plays favorites (or is very loyal), so he prefers Per Mertesacker in the middle over Matts Hummels. Mertesacker is somewhat shaky these days. His lack of pace certainly has burned him in the EPL, but of course the German style is not to run around aimlessly like a chicken with it’s head cut off, so perhaps that’s not a problem. He does fit more in Löw’s preferred style of the central defenders getting the ball quickly to the midfielders (and why not? Germany’s midfield is pretty darn good). Hummel’s has more playmaking skills, but that’s not what is going to asked of him. The other area is the flank opposite Lahm. The captain can play either side, but nobody has stepped up to match him.

The attack seems to waste a lot of opportunities, but once again, given that this was a friendly, you can’t read too much in it.

Germany opens up their Euro2012 group stage next Saturday (9th) against Portugal, which should be a severe test.

Germany - Israel 2:0 (1:0)

Attendance: 43,241 (Red-Bull Arena, Leipzig)

1:0  Gomez (40., T. Müller)
2:0  Schürrle (82., Özil)


Neuer -
Boateng, Mertesacker, Badstuber, Lahm     -
Khedira, Kroos    -
T. Müller, Özil, Podolski    -

67. Schürrle for Podolski
67. Klose for Gomez
83. Reus for T. Müller
86. M. Götze for Kroos
88. L. Bender for Khedira

Trainer: Löw


Harosh -
Shpungin, Tibi, Ben Haim, Gershon -
Natcho, Yadin    -
Benayoun, Zahavi, Melikson    -

46. Refaelov for Melikson
46. Vermouth for Benayoun
46. Damari for Shechter
67. Sahar for Zahavi
73. Biton for Natcho
86. Tzedek for Yadin

Trainer: Gutman

Deutschland bitch-slapped by…die Schweiz!

Germany’s national team put on a disgraceful performance and lost 3-5 against Switzerland, the first defeat against the sneaky bankers and cuckoo clock-makers in 56 years! Even more, it replicates the result of Germany’s very first international (against Switzerland) in 1908, 856 matches ago. Of course, it was a friendly, and no Bayern players were used (e.g. Neuer, Badstuber, Boateng, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Müller or Gomez), but to get bitch-slapped by the Eidgenossen certainly will have Joachim Löw concerned.

Germany started out controlling things, but were without many ideas, and looked slow and disorganized in defense. The Swiss on the other hand were quick on the counter-attack, and had a good idea of what they wanted to do: get off shots against Gladbach GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was making his national squad debut. Ironically, it was a Bundesliga combo, Leverkusen’s Eren Derdiyok and Tranquillo Barnetta that combined as a wrecking crew. Derdiyok nailed a hat-trick, and Barnetta provided the assists on all three. (The Aspirins must be shaking their heads, as Derdiyok has signed on with Hoffenheim, and Barnetta had already been shown the door.) The Swiss were running wild, and with some luck could have been up 4-0 after 30 minutes. As it was, Löw got his team motivated and attacking, and Hummels managed to cut the lead just before half.

In the 2nd period, the Bundestrainer was forced to rest Özil and Khedira, who had just ended the long Spanish season. Although Germany pressed in attack, they continued to leak goals at the back, and thus suffer a historic loss.

It’s hard to read too much into this, as Germany is known to lay eggs during friendlies. The absence of all the Bayern players certainly weaken the squad, and Löw was certainly improvising. But losing is one thing, giving up 5 goals to the Swiss is another. The DFB squad has another test match against Israel on Thursday, and then it’s off to Euro-2012 and hopefully better results.

Switzerland   - Germany    5:3 (2:1)

Attendance: 27,381 (St. Jakob-Park, Bern)

1:0  Derdiyok (21., Barnetta)
2:0  Derdiyok (23., Barnetta)
2:1  Hummels (45., Özil)
3:1  Derdiyok (50., Barnetta)
3:2  Schürrle (64.)
4:2  Lichtsteiner (67., Inler)
4:3  Reus (72., Draxler)
5:3  Mehmedi (76., Ziegler)

Benaglio - 
Lichtsteiner, von Bergen, Senderos, Ziegler - 
Mehmedi, Fernandes, Inler, Barnetta    - 
G. Xhaka    - 

78. Stocker for Barnetta
90. Wiss for G. Xhaka
90. + 2 Djourou for Fernandes

Trainer: Hitzfeld

ter Stegen - 
Höwedes, Mertesacker, Hummels, Schmelzer - 
Khedira    - 
M. Götze    - 
Schürrle, Özil, Podolski    - 

46. Reus for Özil
46. Gündogan for Khedira
62. Draxler for Podolski
78. S. Bender for Höwedes
78. Cacau for Klose
78. L. Bender for M. Götze


Bundesliga: Hertha appeal rejected

Fortuna Düsseldorf is still on course for Bundesliga promotion. Today, the DFB’s “federal court” rejected Hertha’s appeal for a replay, based on the crowd pitch invasion from the 2nd leg playoffs in Düsseldorf. There still is one more appeal that Hertha can file, and the Berlin board hasn’t yet decided if they will attempt that. Considering that they refuse to accept that they are crap and deserve to be relegated, one would expect an appeal to get filed. No matter the outcome, Hertha’s actions will leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.

While Fortuna obviously deserves some kind of punishment, since ultimately they are responsible for the behavior of their fans, letting Hertha off the hook from relegation seems a bit extreme. Not to mention the fact that Hertha’s own fans are hardly angels.


Regionalliga West

Dortmund II gets promoted in the 4th division West, having battled Lotte and Gladbach II the whole campaign. Most of the other clubs fell off the pace early and basically had a whole season worth of “garbage time”, since nobody is getting relegated this year. Of course this is the league of the legendary Wuppertaler SV, who unfortunately sucked right out of the gate. Towards the end, WSV at least showed some signs of life, and forward Christian Knappmann topped all German 4 divisions with 30 goals. Next season, the West clubs will form a traditional Nordrhein-Westfalen based league, and the Südwest clubs will move to a seperate division. This promises to be fairly attractive for the fans.

 1  Borussia Dortmund II        36    24    5 	 7     84:39  +45    77
 2  Sportfreunde Lotte	  	36    22   10 	 4     64:31  +33    76 
 3  Borussia M'gladbach II	36    21    6 	 9     67:45  +22    69 
 4  Eintracht Trier	  	36    19    7 	10     57:34  +23    64 
 5  Wuppertaler SV Bor.	  	36    16    9 	11     68:49  +19    57 
 6  1. FC Köln II	  	36    15   11 	10     59:48  +11    56 
 7  Fortuna Köln (N)	  	36    15    8 	13     54:56  -2     53 
 8  Rot-Weiss Essen (N)	  	36    15    7 	14     52:57  -5     52 
 9  1. FC Kaiserslautern II	36    13   12 	11     56:55  +1     51 
10  SC Verl      	  	36    13    7 	16     39:48  -9     46 
11  FC Schalke 04 II	  	36    13    6 	17     55:63  -8     45 
12  1. FSV Mainz 05 II	  	36    12    7 	17     49:47  +2     43 
13  SV Elversberg	  	36    11    9 	16     39:60  -21    42 
14  VfL Bochum II	  	36    11    8 	17     42:64  -22    41 
15  SC Wiedenbrück 2000	  	36    10   10 	16     44:52  -8     40 
16  SC Idar-Oberstein (N)	36    10    9 	17     38:62  -24    39 
17  TuS Koblenz (A)	  	36     6   13 	17     32:51  -19    31 
18  Bayer Leverkusen II	  	36     7   10 	19     34:57  -23    31 
19  Fortuna Düsseldorf II	36     5   14 	17     39:54  -15    29

Top Goal scorers
                                                  Games   Goals
 1  Knappmann, Christian  Wuppertaler SV 	    36 	  30 
 2  Boyd, Terrence 	  Borussia Dortmund II	    32 	  20 
 3  Wooten, Andrew 	  1. FC Kaiserslautern II   24 	  20 
 4  Mainka, Robert 	  SC Wiedenbrück 2000	    34 	  16 
 5  Pagano, Silvio 	  Fortuna Köln	            33 	  16 
 6  Fischer, Marcus 	  Sportfreunde Lotte	    16 	  14 
 7  Vrancic, Mario 	  Borussia Dortmund II	    32 	  14 
 8  Durm, Eric 	          1. FSV Mainz 05 II	    32 	  13 
 9  Krasniqi, Abedin 	  SV Elversberg	            36 	  13 
10  Kulabas, Ahmet 	  Eintracht Trier	    35 	  13

Regionalliga Nord

The 4th division North went down to the wire, but in the end ex-GDR club Halle prevailed over Cup wonder Holstein Kiel and carpetbaggers Red-Bull Leipzig. RBL was the favorite and pace-setter early on, and although they remained in contention till the end, it’s nice to see the money club was unable to buy the promotion they clearly expected. A worthy promotion for HFC. Not too many surprises, except perhaps for the utterly horrible performance by former GDR great 1.FC Magdeburg, ending dead last. Of course, with league reorg, there is no relegation this year, as long as next year’s league has no more than 22 clubs. With the eastern clubs leaving, next year will be a more traditional Niedersachsen/Hamburg/Bremen/Schleswig Holstein league.

 1  Hallescher FC	  	34    23    8 	 3    53:15  +38    77
 2  Holstein Kiel	  	34    24    3 	 7    73:31  +42    75
 3  RasenBallsport Leipzig	34    22    7 	 5    71:30  +41    73
 4  VfL Wolfsburg II	  	34    14    9 	11    52:41  +11    51
 5  TSV Havelse	  	        34    14    9 	11    54:46  +8     51
 6  Hannover 96 II	  	34    14    8 	12    47:48  -1     50
 7  Berliner AK 07 (N)	  	34    14    5 	15    48:47  +1     47
 8  Hamburger SV II	  	34    13    6 	15    56:47  +9     45
 9  ZFC Meuselwitz	  	34    12    9 	13    41:52  -11    45
10  VFC Plauen	  	        34    10   13 	11    46:50  -4     43
11  VfB Lübeck	  	        34    10    8 	16    41:47  -6     38
12  SV Meppen (N)	  	34    10    8 	16    38:56  -18    38
13  SV Wilhelmshaven	  	34    12    7 	15    57:64  -7     37 *
14  Hertha BSC II	  	34    10    7 	17    38:58  -20    37
15  Energie Cottbus II	  	34     9    9 	16    39:65  -26    36
16  Germania Halberstadt (N)	34     8   10 	16    45:53  -8     34
17  FC St. Pauli II (N)	  	34     8    8 	18    43:72  -29    32
18  1. FC Magdeburg	  	34     5   14 	15    23:43  -20    29

* - Wilhelmshaven was deducted 6 points for financial shenanigans

Top Goal scorers:
                                              Games    Goals
 1  Frahn, Daniel 	RB Leipzig	        34 	26
 2  Sembolo, Francky 	SV Wilhelmshaven	27 	18
 3  Fomitschow, Andre 	VfL Wolfsburg II	31 	17
 4  Lindner, Jaroslaw 	Holstein Kiel     	33 	17
 5  Beck, Christian 	Germania Halberstadt	34 	15
 6  Heider, Marc 	Holstein Kiel	        29 	15
 7  Fuchs, Lars 	Hannover 96 II	        29 	14
 8  Hebler, Andy 	Energie Cottbus II	33 	14
 9  Kadah, Deniz 	VfB Lübeck	        23 	14
10  Kutschke, Stefan 	RBLeipzig	        28 	13

WSV blog: Dortmund II promoted

WSV was unable to knockoff Dortmund’s B squad, who thereby win the Regionalliga West/Südwest a point ahead of Sportfreunde Lotte. This crowns a fine season for the Neon-B, whose coach is David Wagner, who’s main claim to fame is a couple of matches for the US National team.

It was a very entertaining match, with both sides going for the win. Dortmund was more fortunate, and jumped out a bit faster. WSV looked beaten but charged back into the match. Things looked ready to fall apart when Robert Flessers got his ass tossed for insulting the referee after Dortmund’s 4th goal. But Christian Knappmann nailed his 30th goal of the season (which is tops in all four levels) and WSV had chances to tie until the end. (A tie would have sent Lotte into the 3.Liga). All-in-all, a decent performance against a motivated opponent, but overall it’s been a crap season, despite the good run in the final third.

In player news, Danny Cornelius of VfB Lübeck has signed a contract with WSV for next season. Cornelius had previously played for coach Hans-Günter Bruns, and is considered one of the fastest players in the Regionalliga.

Wuppertaler SV 	 - 	Borussia Dortmund II	 3:5 (1:3)

Attendance: 7,048 in Stadion Am Zoo

0:1 Vrancic (8.)
0:2 Boyd (16.) 
1:2 Flottmann (34.) 	 
1:3 J. Hofmann (40.)
2:3 Quotschalla (46.) 	 
2:4 J. Hofmann (56.) 
3:4 Knappmann (59., penalty) 	  
3:5 Vrancic (90. + 2) 

Klafflsberger - 
El Hammouchi, Flottmann, Schlieter, Herzenbruch    - 
Fleßers, Moosmayer - 
Landers, Zieba    - 
Knappmann, Quotschalla       

van den Bergh (63., Herzenbruch)	
Baltes (75., Landers)
B. Abelski (77., Quotschalla)

Trainer: Bruns

Focher    - 
Fring, Terzic, Paurevic, M. Halstenberg - 
Benatelli, Bakalorz    - 
Baykan, Vrancic, J. Hofmann  - 

Ducksch (59., Boyd)
Treude (70., J. Hofmann)
Soltanpour (82., Baykan)

Trainer: Wagner

Bundesliga promotion: Not final yet

The promotion of Fortuna Düsseldorf to the Bundesliga has not been officially ratified. Hertha BSC has appealed to the DFB on the basis of the chaotic last minutes in overtime, when Fortuna fans stormed the field, thinking the game was over. That wanker Michael Preetz, the GM of Hertha, wants the game replayed. Apparently “Hertha players feared for their lives.” Well, Preetz certainly deserves some fear, since his incompetant management has certainly helped get Hertha to their chaotic state. In addition, the referee has announced he was attacked by various Berlin players and is threatening to sue. The DFB has apparently confirmed that they will punish the players. (Likely punishment is forcing them to extend their contracts another year with Hertha).

The DFB will issue a final ruling on Monday.

What a mess. Just another reason why the playoff is stupid and Hertha should have been relegated as the 3rd worst team.

Champions League: Bayern chokes!

Bayern München	 - 	FC Chelsea      1:1 (0:0)    3-4 on penalties

                1:0  T. Müller (83., Kroos)
                1:1  Drogba (88., Mata)

Bayern: (Lahm, Gomez, Neuer, Olic - x, Scweinsteiger x)
Chelsea: (Mata - x, Luiz, Lampard, Cole, Drogba)

Attendance: 62,500

Bayern München choked and lost on penalties in a hard fought Champions League final. The “home” side dominated the match and created many chances, but a spirited Chelsea defense stood firm. In the end, Bayern deserved to lose. If you make too many wanker moves and blow your chances, don’t be crying when the other team wins.

Bayern did dominate the match, and Chelsea was pushed back defending for their life. But the German side never seemed to get off their shot without getting it blocked. Still, with increasing pressure, it seemed only a matter of time until Bayern would get the goal. Chelsea had few breakout counterattacks, but the Bayern defense was pretty solid and stopped those threats without Manuel Neuer having much to do. Finally, in the 83rd minute, off a high cross from Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller headed down and the ball bounced over Petr Cech into the goal. However at this moment of potential victory, Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes laid the seed for defeat. He pulled Müller for another defender Daniel Van Buyten to try and kill off the game. Bayern, which had been dominating, lost their flow. Chelsea got their first corner of the game, and Drogba powered home a header for the equalizer. Hey Heynckes, how’s that extra defender working out for ya?

In overtime, Bayern again had the edge, although no longer quite as dominate. Then Frank Ribery dribbled into the box, and Drogba clipped his heel. Penalty! Of course that wanker Arjen Robben popped up to take it, and Cech made the save! (Robben overall sucked, dribbling around and then blasting souvenirs into the crowd most of the game). To make matters worse, Ribery had apparently twisted his ankle, so now he was off. In his place came Ivica Olic. Bayern was still the aggressor, and created a couple of huge chances, the best when Olic looked to shoot but crossed, and Gomez missed the ball and empty net.

Then on penalties, Bayern again had the advantage. Neuer stopped Chelsea’s first kick. But later Olic, who gave a nice good-bye present to the fans on his way to Wolfsburg, missed his, and Schweinsteiger put his shot off the post. Bayern loses!!

Unbelievable. I wanted Bayern to win since they represent the Bundesliga and (hehehe), although as a non-Bayern fan there is a certain je ne sais quoi satisfaction when they fail. (Of course getting owned by Dortmund this season makes it less satisfying.)

But fair is fair. Chelski deserved to win not because they were better, but because Bayern blew it.

Bundesliga playoffs: Fortuna prevails!

Fortuna Düsseldorf has gained promotion to the Bundesliga after the 2-2 draw with Hertha BSC. In that sense justive prevails, as Hertha should have been automatically relegated. Fortuna had won the 1st match in Berlin 2-1, so was favored in the rematch at home. And things started out with a bang as Max Beister rocketed a shot into the corner from distance, giving Fortuna the lead. To Hertha’s credit, they didn’t fold, and fought their way back into the match. Anis Ben-Hatira has been their workhorse recently, and he scored again off a nice header. From then on, Hertha looked the better team, having more of the possesion. Fortuna’s attacks were limited to rare forays, although they did create a couple of huge chances, when Beister broke through and hammered a shot that brought out a great save, but the trailing Düsseldorfer made like a wanker and not only missed the open net, but fell on his ass as well. Hertha created some good chances of their own, a nice turn around shot from Ronny brought a brilliant parry from Ratajczak.

The second half clearly seemed to go Fortuna’s way. For one thing, Ben-hatira made another dick move and got his ass rightfully tossed. So Hertha was down to 10 men, and was soon losing after Jovanovic scored. To Hertha’s credit, they didn’t give up and tried valiently to press. Despite having a man advantage, Fortuna stupidly decided to defend and were duly punished near the end when Raffael scored. This led to anxious moments, as there was to be at 7 minutes of extra-time tacked on due to interruptions from firebombs being thrown from the crowd. In fact, in extra time, Fortuna fans stormed the field to celebrate. Evidently they interpreted a whistle from the ref as the end, but it was only a foul. This led to a 20 minute delay until order was restored and the match finished out. Overall, Düsseldorf deserves promotion, but they certainly made things more difficult than needed. Hertha and Köln get to continue their argument over who is the worst managed club in Germany down in the 2.Liga…

Fortuna Düsseldorf     -     Hertha BSC Berlin    2:2 (1:1)    51,000

                      1:0  Beister (1., Ilsö)
                      1:1  Ben-Hatira (22., Ronny)
                      2:1  Jovanovic (59., Bröker)
                      2:2  Raffael (85., Ramos)

2.Liga playoffs: Jahn prevails!

In a somewhat upset, Jahn Regensburg advances into the 2.Liga as they held favored Karlsruher SC 2-2. Since the first leg in Regensburg ended 1-1, Jahn advances on the away goal rule. This is a bitter pill for KSC and their fans, who packed the Wildparkstadion in anticipation of a win and another season in the 2.Liga. Instead, they swallow the bitter pill of a 3.Liga future.
For Jahn Regensburg, this is a fortunate turn of events. They struggled to get that 3rd place finish in the 2.Liga, and were clear underdogs against the better known Karlsruhe side. But it is as things should be, as KSC should have been relegated anyway, if you believe that the playoffs are rewarding teams that have sucked all year long with another chance.

Karlsruher SC	 - 	Jahn Regensburg	 	2:2 (1:1)    29,699

                0:1  Hein (28.)
                1:1  Lavric (32., Iashvili)
                2:1  Charalambous (56., Staffeldt)
                2:2  Laurito (66., Alibaz)