Winterbreak tests

All German clubs are in their winter preparation, which for the most part means that they’re in training camps in 4 places. (I actually had the complete list of all Bundesliga squads, but I misplaced it, sorry.) For the most part, the main locations are Turkey, southern Spain, southern Portugal and more recently, Qatar or Emirates. All Bundesliga and 2.Liga clubs take a trip, but in lower divisions, it really depends. Sometimes the smaller clubs just stick around and train indoors.

In general the teams just run a regular training camp, with a lot of friendlies all over the place against various clubs. The results usually get reported in the press, but with little fanfare, unless it’s something extraordinary. The biggest news so far was the crisis for Schalke, as they where bitch-slapped 0-5 by Bayern M√ľnchen. Since this was a totally disgraceful result, it was played up as causing an immediate crisis for Jens Keller, the interim boss of the Blues. As far as I can tell, Bayern seems to be rolling along, beating the crap out of most clubs they’ve faced in “test matches.”

Obviously, clubs are experimenting and testing youngsters, so they don’t have their strongest lineups all the time. But they are tests, and often give a decent indication of the form of the club. One result that caught my eye was that overgrown village club VfR Aalen defeated Turkey’s top club Galatasary 1-0 in a match over on the Turkish coast. I imagine the Turks weren’t taking it too seriously, but it would be hilarious if Wesley Sneijder saw this result and decided not to sign with them. Perhaps he would be better off at some more powerful club, like Energie Cottbus.

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