Talking points: Euro semi-flop?

OK, I suppose the reality is that the glass is really “half-full”, but I was somewhat disappoined with the results from the Champions League. At least from what was my expectations after the first leg.

On the positive, Borussia Dortmund lived up to billing, as they ripped Shakhtar Donetzk to shreds 3-0. The only thing left for the Neons is a good run in Europe, and they at least seem to be taking that seriously. In the Bundesliga, they are likely to grab 2nd, which is a decent result except that Bayern has run away with it.

Schalke was somewhat neutral. On the one hand, the Blues were reeling with horrible league form and looked a sinking ship. But they seemed to have recovered somewhat, and their away leg to Galatasaray was a solid performance. And it raised expectations that they would get the job done. Things started out well too, as they took the lead. Now you have to give credit to the Turkish side, they came into the return and played strong as well. After falling behind, Schalke had to desperately try and win, as the tie would no longer be enough. They basically just ran out of gas. Somewhat of a disappointment, since this matchup was for the taking.

Now to Bayern. Everybody knew that this was “over”, as their 3-1 away lead was likely insurmountable. So perhaps you’d expect them to take it likely, but like most fans, I wanted to see them rip Arsenal. Instead they played listless and deservedly lost, and all it could have taken was another Neuer-ism, and they’d end up with complete egg on their faces. Kudos to the Arse, but Bayern didn’t even bother phoning this one in. What’s worse, at times they reverted to their crap ways of the past, especially Robben, out of control, running all over into holes and ruining chances. Yeah, they advance, but hardly with any style. They could have made a statement with a crushing win. They made a statement alright, but it seems more like “we’ll coast along when we have a lead”. Which seems to have gotten them in trouble on a couple of occasions…

So what do you think?

9 thoughts on “Talking points: Euro semi-flop?

  1. I think Schalke was already going in with half a tank after the Revierderby with Dortmund. Not having Huntelaar was also not helpful, but they tried hard. At least they got a double on Dortmund this year. And it was nice to see a live crowd in Veltins, rather than the zombies of late.

    Apparently Arsenal didn’t get the word they were supposed to lose did they? I think this result will be good for Bayern, they can’t coast along like they have been. And, when are they going to get rid of Robben? Too selfish to enjoy watching.

    • You’re probably right, this could serve as a wakeup for Bayern that they can’t just phone it in. And I agree about Robben, he’s way past his “sell” date and just seems to have a negative influence on the team.

  2. Personally I thought Neuer should have been carded after he jumped on the ball after the second Arsenal goal. Call it time wasting, call it unsportsmanlike, whatever you want, but crap like that only reinforces my hate for Bayern. And yes, I’m aware that every team does this, but I for one, am sick of it. It would have been nice to see such blatant disrespect punished.

  3. From a German football point of view I want to see every team succeed, so a little disappointed that Schalke didn’t make it through. A lapse by Bayern at this stage. So what, the next real challenge getting past the likes of Barcelona, Dortmund, Madrid and Juve.

    Overnight Stuttgart dropped out of the Europa League in style (3-1 loss). So the worrying trend for me is what the second tier clubs aren’t doing. We had four clubs make it past the group phase and all have since dropped out.

    The ranking gap between EPL and Bundesliga is quite small and with the English clubs no longer in the CL there’s an opportunity to bridge that gap. But that needs to be supported by the second tier clubs in the EL where there are still English clubs playing.

    For the Bundesliga to become the strongest league it needs a better distribution of club results, not always relying on Bayern to carry the other clubs.

    Having said that, I can’t wait for the day that Darmstady play Wuppertal in the CL final in Koblenz. :-)

    • Yes, overall the Bundesliga hasn’t delivered in Euro competition in recent years, unless you count Bayern. Dortmund at least has been respectable, but other teams need to step up and get some results.

      Wuppertal and Darmstadt in the CL? Hehehe. Unfortunately, it is more likely that the DFB will reorganize the lower leagues again and they’ll be combined in the OberundUnterliga West

  4. It has been a dissapointing European week, from what I’ve heard Schalke didn’t really turn up in the first half, and despite Gala’s goalkeeper (who I think is really crap) doing his best to help us through, we couldn’t quite do it.

    As for Bayern, their tactics seemed to be ‘get the ball to the edge of the box, pass to Kroos and hope he can score!’ I’d have thought they would have shown more after the early goal from Arsenal (my English club) but they were poor, and in my view were helped by a poor ref (The Neuer diving on the ball incident, Robben going to ground too easy and a Van Buyten dive directly in front of the ref and Cardozla was booked!). The like of Barca and Real will be looking at theat game and will not be worried about Bayern at all. Of the pair, the other clubs will want to avoid Dortmund!

    As for the Europa League, after all 4 clubs made it out of the group stage, they need to get further, at least two clubs needed to have got past this last round instead of them all falling.

    As long as the Bundesliga remains in the top 3 of the coefficents however, then I’m happy. If England has another bad season in the Champions League they could fall the third, and the gap with Itlay in 4th is actually quite big. What the Bundesliga needs is 2-3 teams that consistently play in the Champions League (I’d say that would be Bayern and Dortmund, with Schalke or perhaps Leverkusen as the third) therefore advancing quite far each year, with another group of clubs that also play consistantly in the Champions/Europa League. It would make the Bundesliga a little more boring, but would maintain their top 3 position.

    On another note, if this UEFA fianancial fair play thing really does work, then the german clubs should be at an advantage when compaired to the likes of Chelsea, Man City, PSG and these new found rich Russian clubs.

  5. It might be still early to target the English Premier League. A wide margin from Italian Serie A should still be priority.

    In Europa League, 96 and Loserkusen are the real culprits.

    For Champions League, German teams could have done really worse; Wolfsburg in 2010, Stuttgart in 2008! Dortmund and Bayern have both done well enough. Schalke were pathetic against Galatasaray.

  6. Well, at least the Quarterfinal draw seems reasonable. Bayern will face Juventus and Dortmund takes on Malaga. Neither insurmountable…

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