1. FC Köln is all a-flitter (or maybe I should say “a-twitter”) over the weekend events. Of course, the Lukas Podolski saga weighs heavily on the fans and club. The fact of the matter is that Podolski is ambitious, and having failed at Bayern, wants to try and move to a bigger club again. The hottest rumour is that he’s going to EPL side Arsenal. (Although he won’t win any silverware there either, hehehe). No one can accuse him of not giving all for Köln, as he’s almost single-handedly kept them up so far. However, getting red carded in the critical win over Hertha led to further crisis in the club. Then suddenly, Volker Finke has been forced out as “Director of Sport”. Finke is a legend in German football, having steered SC Freiburg’s rise from obscurity into the Bundesliga over a 16 year reign in the Breisgau. (A German coaching record) For some reason he was forced out in SCF (perhaps they expected Freiburg to win the Champions League) and he tried his hand in Turkey, but only lasted one season. He returned to Germany to 1. FC Köln in a management position in 2010, but as of Sunday, he’s gone…differences of opinion with the board. He’s also rumoured to have feuded with coach Stale Solbakken, but I’m not sure over what..
Claudio Pizarro is in hot water again. The ref may have missed it, but cameras caught him slapping 96er Austrian defender Emanuel Pogatetz in the face. Claudio says he just wanted Pogatetz hand out of the way, and he apologized. However, he will probably get punished by the DFB court, as he’s a repeat offender, having been caught ellbowing Holger Badstuber 3 years ago in a similar situation. In more positive news, Werder Bremen indicated it’s “up to Claudio” whether there is a contract extension. GM Klaus Allofs would like to bind the 33 year old Peruvian till 2014, but would also give him a 1 year deal if preferred. Pizarro is not only the all-time leading foreigner, but is the top rated striker in the Bundesliga this season. He says he’ll decide by the end of the month…
Timo Konietzka has died at age 73. He’s most famous for scoring the first every Bundesliga goal in 1963 (1st minute of match for Dortmund against Werder). He played some 100 Bundesliga matches for Borussia Dortmund and 1860 through 1967, scoring 72 times. He was also capped by Germany 9 times, with 3 goals. He then wandered off to Switzerland, playing for FC Winterthur before retiring in 1971. He then was a successful coach in Switzerland, his best times with FC Zürich, winning 3 straight titles and making the semis of the European Cup. He also bounced around with a few teams in Germany. After retirement from soccer, he owned and operated an inn off Lake Luzern.
Konietzka had cancer, and the rumour is that he committed assisted-suicide, which is legal in Switzerland.
Huntelaar continues his fine season for Schalke, and Gomez gets busy against Hopelessheim. Pizarro also had a good outing…
Gms Goals Assists TOTAL 1 Huntelaar, Klaas Jan (Schalke) 23 19 9 28 2 Gomez, Mario (Bayern) 24 21 3 24 3 Pizarro, Claudio (Bremen) 22 16 8 24 4 Lewandowski, Robert (Dortmund) 25 16 8 24 5 Ribery, Franck (Bayern) 24 11 13 24 6 Harnik, Martin (Stuttgart) 25 14 7 21 7 Podolski, Lukas (Köln) 21 16 5 21 8 Reus, Marco (M'gladbach) 23 13 7 20 9 Kagawa, Shinji (Dortmund) 22 8 8 16 10 Raul (Schalke) 24 11 5 16