BUNDESLIGA, Round 24: Another Bayern laugher, Bremen breaks out

OK, it’s a bit laughable now, the way Bayern München is just waltzing along. It looks like the opponents are actually playing their “B” squads from the 3.Liga/Regionalliga instead. The latest victim was Wolfsburg, although the score is somewhat misleading. For about 60 minutes the VWs were pretty equal, but then Bayern coach Pep Guardiola realized the current lineup wasn’t working right. So he dumped Shaqiri and Kroos and brought on Mandzukic and Thiago, and the VW collapse was almost immediate. They couldn’t adjust and were ripped to shreds in about 15 minutes. So Bayern continues on their record pace – it’s hard to see anybody beating them. For Wolfsburg, it’s a wasted match, as despite the strong effort for an hour, they probably just have sent in their Regionalliga squad.

Dortmund has strengthened their hold on runner-up with a labored win at Freiburg. The Neons were generally dominate, but they had to work to get the points.

Leverkusen continues to dick around, although at least they didn’t lose. At Hannover the Aspirins hardly looked inspired, but neither were their hosts.

Schalke looks to have recovered from their embarassing previous week. The Blues ripped apart Hoffenheim, and Klaas Huntelaar could even miss a penalty and not worry about it.

Augsburg continues on their path to glory. The Fuggers largely out-toughed Gladbach, by their usual pressing and physical running. The Gladbachers basically ran out of gas and get stuck with a deserved loss.

Mainz and Hertha battled to a hard fought draw that keeps both in the Euro hunt.

The Thomas Schneider era is over in Stuttgart, as he was finally fired when VfB failed to win against tail-end Braunschweig. The hottest rumour is that Huub Stevens is going to take over. Stuttgart looked reasonable at times, but Braunschweig found ways to get them out of shape. Although this match was a sellout, apparently a lot of the tickets were last-minute freebies, because there can’t be too many folks willing to shell out hard-earned euros to watch VfB flop around aimlessly.

HSV continues to struggle, this time against fellow worried club Frankfurt. The Hamburgers made no head way and were osing, although they eventually squared the match. This was one they really needed, since Stuttgart stubbed their toe.

Bremen was a big winner, as they got critical points at Nürnberg. Der Club looked disorganized, perhaps their mini-revival is over. It’s been a bad year for Werder, but this win gives them a nice cushion over the relegation zone, and they can probably now start thinking about rebuilding without that cloud hanging over their head.

Total attendance 391,385 (avg 43,487), sellouts in Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Freiburg

FC Schalke 04	      -   1899 Hoffenheim	4:0 (2:0)   60,604

                     1:0  Huntelaar (6., Matip)
                     2:0  Huntelaar (28., Draxler)
                     3:0  Obasi (55., K.-P. Boateng)
                     4:0  Huntelaar (79., Draxler)
 
Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   FC Augsburg	        1:2 (1:1)   49,622

                     1:0  Raffael (5., Nordtveit)
                     1:1  Halil Altintop (35., Hahn)
                     1:2  To. Werner (81., Hahn)

VfB Stuttgart	      -   Eintr. Braunschweig	2:2 (2:1)   59,000 *

                     0:1  Hochscheidt (24., Bellarabi)
                     1:1  Maxim (30., Harnik)
                     2:1  Harnik (35., Maxim)
                     2:2  Bicakcic (82., Kumbela)

Hannover 96	      -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	1:1 (1:1)   46,600

                     0:1  Castro (28.)
                     1:1  Rudnevs (33., Andreasen)

VfL Wolfsburg	      -   Bayern München	1:6 (1:1)   30,000 *

                     1:0  Naldo (17., de Bruyne)
                     1:1  Shaqiri (26., J. Boateng)
                     1:2  T. Müller (63., Thiago)
                     1:3  Mandzukic (66., Rafinha)
                     1:4  Ribery (71., Robben)
                     1:5  T. Müller (78., Robben)
                     1:6  Mandzukic (80., T. Müller)

Hamburger SV	      -   Eintracht Frankfurt	1:1 (0:1)   51,191

                     0:1  Madlung (29., Meier)
                     1:1  Calhanoglu (72., penalty, Zoua)

1. FC Nürnberg	      -   Werder Bremen	        0:2 (0:1)   40,608

                     0:1  di Santo (39., Hunt)
                     0:2  Bargfrede (68.)
 
SC Freiburg	      -   Borussia Dortmund	0:1 (0:0)   24,000 *

                     0:1  Kehl (58., Großkreutz)
 
1. FSV Mainz 05	      -   Hertha BSC	        1:1 (0:0)   29,760

                     0:1  Ramos (51., Skjelbred)
                     1:1  Choupo-Moting (65., penalty, Park)



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	24   22  2  0 	  72:11  +61 	  68 
 2  Borussia Dortmund	  	24   15  3  6 	  55:27  +28 	  48 
 3  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	24   14  2  8 	  40:27  +13 	  44
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	24   13  5  6 	  46:35  +11 	  44
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	  	24   12  3  9 	  41:38  +3 	  39 
 6  FC Augsburg	  	        24   11  5  8 	  37:34  +3 	  38
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	24   11  5  8 	  33:36  -3 	  38 
 8  Bor. Mönchengladbach	24   10  6  8 	  41:31  +10 	  36 
 9  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	24   10  6  8 	  35:28  +7 	  36 
10  1899 Hoffenheim	  	24    7  8  9 	  52:52   0 	  29 
11  Werder Bremen	  	24    7  7  10 	  28:46  -18 	  28 
12  Hannover 96	  	        24    7  5  12 	  31:43  -12 	  26 
13  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	24    6  8  10 	  27:40  -13 	  26 
14  1. FC Nürnberg	  	24    4 11  9 	  27:42  -15 	  23 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	24    5  5  14 	  38:51  -13 	  20
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	24    5  5  14 	  39:53  -14 	  20
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SC Freiburg	  	        24    4  7  13 	  22:45  -23 	  19 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	24    4  5  15 	  19:44  -25 	  17

1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

BUNDESLIGA, Round 23: Schalke gets owned

It’s been pretty brutal for Schalke. They got embarrassed at home midweek by Real Madrid 1-6, and in their next matchup against a real power they got owned by Bayern. In both they were hopelessly outclassed (although Huntelaar’s volley strike against Madrid was pretty neat.) It just shows that the gap between class and ho-hum is pretty big. The match itself was pretty similar to the Real fiasco, as Schalke’s defense was hopelessly out-of-synch, and Bayern ran through them without effort. Bayern now has a ridiculous 20 point lead.

Augsburg fell behind Hannover, but launched an all out assault against the 96ers after the restart. The Fuggers got the equalizer and bombarded Hannover’s goal, and the 96ers were definitely sucking wind trying to keep up. However GK Ron-Robert Zieler was superb and held the draw. Augsburg still has a chance for a Euro spot, and their best season ever continues. They probably should have won this, but just ran into a goalkeeper in superb form.

A rare occurence in Braunschweig: both GKs made own goals and hat was that. Neither Eintracht nor visiting Gladbach could be too happy with the result, but frankly neither deserved to win. Gladbach is dicking around aimlessly, after looking so promising at the end of 2013. Braunschweig missed a chance to sneak back into the relegation battle.

Hertha and Freiburg battled to a drab draw. Each side had some play, SCF in the 1st half, Berlin got stronger as the match wore on. But neither team really deserved much and thats what they eventually ended up with. Freiburg should be happy with a point, all things considered. They at least pull equal on points with HSV and Stuttgart, and not too far back in goal difference.

The 100th Nordderby between Bremen and HSV was a fierce relegation battle. Bremen took an early lead and were generally the better side. HSV had some sustained pressure in the early 2nd half, but eventually it petered out and Werder was back in control. HSV Mirko Slomka might have outsmarted himself as he left captain Rafael van der Vaart on the becnh in the 1st half, when HSV was totally outplayed. The Dutchman came in after the re-start, when Hamburg out together their best period. But it came to nothing and Werder eventually took contol and gets the critical points.

Leverkusen continues to suck and ruin what could have been a good season. The Aspirins didn’t know what they were doing against Mainz, who just seemed more clever and patient. Mainz is a team that most overlook, but they’re quietly holding down a Euro spot. Leverkusen is a mess right now, but of course they could easily regain form, and in any case it would be a major surprise if they don’t qualify for the Champions League.

Dortmund moved back into 2nd with a thumping win over Nürnberg. FCN showed little of their recent spark, and the Neons dominated the 1st half, wasting several chances. However it didn’t really matter, as the 2nd half continued the trend, except this time BVB did score a few. Der Club hardly mounted counterattacks, so they could actually thank their hosts for not running up the score.

Hoffenheim pulled out all the stops as they overran Wolfsburg, who could have leaped over Schalke with a win. Instead the VWs had no answer to the Hoppers attack, and went down in flames. Hoffenheim has now tied Dortmund for the 2nd best Bundesliga attack, and this team of nobodies plays some pretty exciting football when they are on. Wolfsburg will need to regroup after getting plastered like this, which was hardly expected, as they had been playing quite well.

The fierce relegation battle has “traditionals” struggling for air, and Frankfurt hosted Stuttgart in a critical battle. It wasn’t pretty – both teams are struggling way from their talent levels – but it was exciting. Stuttgart had the lead in the back and forth, but the final 10 minutes raised the level a notch. First VfB missed a chance to win the game” Maxim missed an open net from 1 meter! Then Eintracht struck to equalize and Alex Meier hit the winner in the last minute. a huge win for Frankfurt, giving them some breathing space. Meanwhile things couldn’t be hotter in Stuttgart, as they are ahead of Hamburg by a measly single goal.

Total attendance was 376,398 (avg 41,822) sellouts in Dortmund, Bremen, Braunschweig and München

 	
Hertha BSC	        -   SC Freiburg	        0:0 (0:0)   37,920

Borussia Dortmund	-   1. FC Nürnberg	3:0 (0:0)   80,645 *

                       1:0  Hummels (51., Lewandowski)
                       2:0  Lewandowski (64., H. Mkhitaryan)
                       3:0  H. Mkhitaryan (83., Hofmann)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen     -   1. FSV Mainz 05	0:1 (0:1)   25,503

                       0:1  Choupo-Moting (37., Bell)


Werder Bremen	        -   Hamburger SV	1:0 (1:0)   42,100 *

                       1:0  Junuzovic (19., Hunt)

FC Augsburg	        -   Hannover 96	        1:1 (0:1)   28,311

                       0:1  M. Diouf (21., Schmiedebach)
                       1:1  Klavan (55., To. Werner)

Eintracht Braunschweig  -   Bor. M'gladbach	1:1 (0:1)   23,200 *

                       0:1  Davari (25., own goal, Raffael)
                       1:1  ter Stegen (52., own goal)

Bayern München	        -   FC Schalke 04	5:1 (4:0)   71,000 *

                       1:0  Alaba (3., direct freekick)
                       2:0  Robben (15., Mandzukic)
                       3:0  Mandzukic (24., Alaba)
                       4:0  Robben (28., Rafinha)
                       4:1  Rafinha (64., own goal, Farfan)
                       5:1  Robben (77., penalty, Mandzukic)

1899 Hoffenheim	        -   VfL Wolfsburg	6:2 (4:1)   24,519

                       1:0  Roberto Firmino (4., Modeste)
                       1:1  Dost (15., Perisic)
                       2:1  Süle (37., Salihovic)
                       3:1  Modeste (39., Rudy)
                       4:1  Modeste (43., Rudy)
                       4:2  Perisic (76., de Bruyne)
                       5:2  Salihovic (82., penalty, Volland)
                       6:2  Schipplock (86., Salihovic)

Eintracht Frankfurt     -   VfB Stuttgart	2:1 (0:1)   43,200
	
                       0:1  Harnik (31., Maxim)
                       1:1  Rosenthal (80., Russ)
                       2:1  Meier (89., Flum)



 1  Bayern München (M, P)	23   21  2  0 	  66:10  +56 	  65 
 2  Borussia Dortmund	  	23   14  3  6 	  54:27  +27 	  45 
 3  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	23   14  1  8 	  39:26  +13 	  43
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	23   12  5  6 	  42:35  +7 	  41
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	  	23   12  3  8 	  40:32  +8 	  39 
 6  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	23   11  4  8 	  32:35  -3 	  37
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Bor. Mönchengladbach	23   10  6  7 	  40:29  +11 	  36 
 8  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	23   10  5  8 	  34:27  +7 	  35 
 9  FC Augsburg	  	        23   10  5  8 	  35:33  +2 	  35 
10  1899 Hoffenheim	  	23    7  8  8 	  54:48  +4 	  29 
11  Hannover 96	  	        23    7  4  12 	  30:42  -12 	  25 
12  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	23    6  7  10 	  26:39  -13 	  25 
13  Werder Bremen	  	23    6  7  10 	  26:46  -20 	  25 
14  1. FC Nürnberg	  	23    4  11  8 	  27:40  -13 	  23 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	23    5  4  14 	  36:49  -13 	  19
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	23    5  4  14 	  38:52  -14 	  19
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SC Freiburg	  	        23    4  7  12 	  22:44  -22 	  19 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	23    4  4  15 	  17:42  -25 	  16


1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

2.Liga, Round 23: FCK, KSC stumble

Somebody better start giving Paderborn respect, as the Westfalen are now knocking at the Bundesliga door. SCP was impressive in wasting Bochum, despite falling behind they really didn’t get bothered. A couple of “direct path” goals by Albanian international Alban Meha (one directly from a corner kick!) put the home side on the way to victory.

Ex-Fortuna coach Nobert Meier returned with his new club Bielefeld, but although Arminia played a decent first half, they were overpowered by host Düsseldorf.

Kaiserslautern is a a major crisis, as they suffered a disastrous loss at tail-end Cottbus. Energie’s Sven Michel had a long blast to open up the match, and a battling Cottbus side made it stand up. FCK couldn’t figure out how to get back, and have really slipped in the promotion battle. They’re not far behind on points, but they’ll have a lot of bodies to climb over to get to where they want to be. Perhaps they’ve got distracted by their great Cup run.

Saturday matches had Sandhausen dominating against 1860 (how embarassing is that, Lions?). However despite controlling the match, SVS is pretty crap when in front of goal, and the 1860 GK, veteran Gabor Kiraly, was pretty sharp.

Leaders Köln had their hands full at Aue, as Erzgebirge went all out to get critical relegation points. However Köln showed some mettle, as they came roaring back in an end spurt to claim a point. Aue looks to have fought their way to safety.

Greuther Fürth stunk against FSV Frankfurt and was lucky to get a win. The hosts struggled to corral their relegation threatened guests, and even found themselves trailing at half. They did manage to get back in and win it at the end, but they hardly deserved it. Nevertheless, critical points for Greuther Fürth in the promotion race.

Karlsruhe was stunned in Aalen, having their 12 game undefeated streak stopped. The KSC fans were beginning to dream of a return to the Bundesliga before getting slapped in the face. Aalen needed a result in the relegation battle, and never let the visitors get their game going.

Ingolstadt missed a golden opportunity against Dresden. The Schanzer got off to a dream start, but then largely dicked around.
This allowed Dynamo back into the game, and they equalized. FCI was incapable of restarting their engine, and the visitors at least wanted to secure a point.

The Monday night clash between St.Pauli and Union turned out to be quite the match. The Paulistas had lost their last three against Union at home, and even failed to score. But in front of a sold-out crowd the “Kiez-kicker” raised their game when they needed and knocked off the Berliners. After Union started well, St.Pauli began to assert control, but were unable to break through. After the restart, the guests once again were dominate, and they managed to take the lead. Pauli struck back quickly, and then the two sides neutralized each other in midfield, until both opened up for a last gasp assault. It looked like Union would win, but they wasted very good chances. Instead the Hamburgers took their shot, and get the huge win. They’ve now vaulted into 4th place, leading the pack of chasing clubs.

Total attendance 129,165 (avg 14,352), sellout in Hamburg

	
Fortuna Düsseldorf    -   Arminia Bielefeld	2:0 (1:0)   33,478

                     1:0  Benschop (41., Hoffer)
                     2:0  Hoffer (74., Benschop)

Energie Cottbus	      -   1. FC Kaiserslautern	1:0 (1:0)    8,522

                     1:0  Michel (3., Bittroff)

SC Paderborn 07	      -   VfL Bochum	        4:1 (0:1)   12,135

                     0:1  Latza (40.)
                     1:1  Meha (48., direct freekick)
                     2:1  Meha (69., direct corner)
                     3:1  Vrancic (71., Kachunga)
                     4:1  Saglik (80., penalty, Wemmer)

SV Sandhausen	      -   1860 München	        0:0 (0:0)    5,030

Erzgebirge Aue	      -   1. FC Köln	        2:2 (1:0)   13,050

                     1:0  Sylvestr (13., Kocer)
                     2:0  Löning (69., penalty, Sylvestr)
                     2:1  D. Halfar (83., Finne)
                     2:2  D. Halfar (89.)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth  -   FSV Frankfurt	        3:2 (1:2)   10,055

                     1:0  Gießelmann (10., direct freekick)
                     1:1  Epstein (35., penalty, Kapllani)
                     1:2  Kapllani (44., Leckie)
                     2:2  Fürstner (73., penalty, B. Röcker)
                     3:2  Mavraj (87., Stieber)

VfR Aalen	      -   Karlsruher SC	        1:0 (0:0)    8,729

                     1:0  B. Hübner (51., Lechleiter)

FC Ingolstadt 04      -   Dynamo Dresden	1:1 (1:1)    8,533

                     1:0  Caiuby (1., Morales)
                     1:1  Koch (43., Ouali)

Monday:
FC St. Pauli	      -   1. FC Union Berlin	2:1 (0:0)   29,633 *

                     0:1  Terodde (58., Kreilach)
                     1:1  Schachten (61., Halstenberg)
                     2:1  Bartels (88., Halstenberg)

 1  1. FC Köln	  	        23   12  8  3 	  36:14 	22 	  	44 
 2  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (A)	23   12  4  7 	  41:28  +13 	  40
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SC Paderborn 07	  	23   11  6  6 	  43:35  +8 	  39
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  FC St. Pauli	  	23   11  5  7 	  32:28  +4 	  38 
 5  Karlsruher SC (N)	  	23    9  9  5 	  30:21  +9 	  36 
 6  1. FC Union Berlin	  	23   10  6  7 	  35:29  +6 	  36 
 7  1. FC Kaiserslautern	23   10  4  9 	  35:25  +10 	  34 
 8  VfR Aalen	  	        23    8  7  8 	  25:26  -1 	  31 
 9  SV Sandhausen	  	23    8  7  8 	  19:20  -1 	  31 
10  1860 München	  	23    8  7  8 	  21:26  -5 	  31 
11  Fortuna Düsseldorf (A)	23    8  7  8 	  25:31  -6 	  31 
12  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	23    8  5  10 	  24:28  -4 	  29 
13  Erzgebirge Aue	  	23    8  5  10 	  29:36  -7 	  29 
14  FSV Frankfurt	  	23    7  6  10 	  34:37  -3 	  27 
15  VfL Bochum	  	        23    7  6  10 	  21:26  -5 	  27
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Dynamo Dresden	  	23    4  11  8 	  24:35  -11 	  23
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Arminia Bielefeld (N)	23    6  4  13 	  29:46  -17 	  22 
18  Energie Cottbus	  	23    4  5  14 	  26:38  -12 	  17

1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga

3.Liga, Round 27: Promotion races over?

The promotion battle now favors the leaders substantially. Rostock lost, and Osnabrück and Wehen dropped points, so a gap has opened to the leaders that will be hard to make up. They would have to start tumbling first, and they haven’t given much indication of that.

Heidenheim showed why they deserve top billing, as they visited a revived Stuttgarter Kickers. The hosts had been total crap, but have mounted a strong push since the winterbreak. And they were all over the leaders, and looked to break the 15 game unbeaten streak as they were up 3-0 in the 2nd half. But Heidenheim decided to show who was boss and came roaring back to tie. I think that pretty much showed the league that they can do whatever they want. However, a decent result for Kickers, although they are obvisouly disappointed they didn’t get the upset.

Leipzig dominated Elversberg, but didn’t seem too interested in doing anything but winning, which they did. This gives the RasenBulls a solid 5 point edge in the automatic promotion race. Things remain hot for Elversberg, but they probably weren’t expecting anything against the RedBallsportler.

Darmstadt dominated against Dortmund B and won easily. The 98ers are hoping for the Rasenballsportler to slip up, but can seriously think about a promotion chance regardless. Domink Stroh-Engel notched another two goals to bring his Germany leading total to 21. (1-2-3 ligas at least)

Rostock laid an egg in a eastern derby against Chemnitz. They really needed this to stay in touch at the top, so basically it looks over. On the other hand, CFC desperately needed a result in their relegation, so the win is a huge success. They probably deserved it as well, taking full advantage of Hansa’s dicking around aimlessly and grabbing the match when they had a chance.

A hard fought Westfalen derby in Münster, with both sides desperately wanting full points. It took them a while to get going, but after equalizing Osnabrück was clearly the stronger side and pressed hard for the win. But now they’re 7 points behind Darmstadt, which is going to be hard to make up.

Halle downed Unterhaching to keep the Bavarians looking nervously over their shoulder. HFC has steared to calm waters and have nothing to worry about.

Saarbrücken may have decided on a last gasp drive to avoid relegation, and came up with a deserved win in a hard fought match against Regensburg. This at least lifts them off the bottom.

Total attendance 87,122 (avg 8,712)

Rot Weiß Erfurt	     -   Holstein Kiel	       0:0 (0:0)    5,552
Hallescher FC	     -   SpVgg Unterhaching    4:2 (1:0)    6,909
Preußen Münster	     -   VfL Osnabrück	       1:1 (1:0)   14,228
Wacker Burghausen    -   VfB Stuttgart II      2:2 (0:2)    1,870
MSV Duisburg	     -   SV Wehen Wiesbaden    0:0 (0:0)   10,352
SV Darmstadt 98	     -   Borussia Dortmund II  3:0 (2:0)    7,100
Hansa Rostock	     -   Chemnitzer FC	       1:2 (1:1)   12,000
1. FC Saarbrücken    -   Jahn Regensburg       3:2 (1:1)    4,273
Stuttgarter Kickers  -   1. FC Heidenheim      3:3 (1:0)    6,360 

Sunday:	
RB Leipzig	     -   SV Elversberg         2:0 (1:0)   18,478    



 1  1. FC Heidenheim	  	27   18  7   2 	  48:18  +30 	  61 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	27   16  4   7 	  42:26  +16 	  52
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98	  	27   13  8   6 	  44:23  +21 	  47
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  VfL Osnabrück	  	27   11  7   9 	  37:29  +8 	  40 
 5  Hansa Rostock	  	27   11  7   9 	  34:38  -4 	  40 
 6  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	27   10  9   8 	  30:32  -2 	  39 
 7  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	27   10  7  10 	  35:33  +2 	  37 
 8  MSV Duisburg (A)	  	27    9  10  8 	  33:33   0 	  37 
 9  Hallescher FC	  	27   11  4  12 	  33:35  -2 	  37 
10  Rot Weiß Erfurt	  	27   10  6  11 	  37:31  +6 	  36 
11  Jahn Regensburg (A)	  	27    9  8  10 	  39:38  +1 	  35 
12  VfB Stuttgart II	  	27    9  7  11 	  35:36  -1 	  34 
13  Borussia Dortmund II	27   10  4  13 	  36:42  -6 	  34 
14  Preußen Münster	  	27    7  12  8 	  37:37   0 	  33 
15  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	27    8  8  11 	  36:48  -12 	  32 
16  SV Elversberg (N)	  	27    9  5  13 	  25:37  -12 	  32 
17  Chemnitzer FC	  	27    7  10 10 	  27:37  -10 	  31
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Holstein Kiel (N)	  	27    6  11 10 	  27:27   0 	  29 
19  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	27    6  7  14 	  31:47  -16 	  25 
20  Wacker Burghausen	  	27    6  7  14 	  28:47  -19 	  25


A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

Euro flops

Well, the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 (“Achtelfinale”) is in, and the Bundesliga has got soem egg on their faces.

On the plus side, defending champion Bayern München looked reasonably good as they brushed aside Arsenal in London 2-0. Pretty much means they are going to advance.

Borussia Dortmund was solid for the first half, a bit sloppy in the second. But they too are fine with an easy 4-2 win at Zenit St.Petersburg. Obviously this was the easiest paring, but BVB got the job done and are likely to advance.

Now to the bad news.

Of course, Bayer Leverkusen went down sang -und klanglos 0-4 at home to Paris St.Germain. Pretty disgraceful, but we’re used to the Aspirins sucking in Europe, at least recently.

Then of course yesterday Schalke absolutely got crapped on and beaten up at home by Real Madrid 1-6. We’re used to Luserkusen acting like a limp noodle, but this one takes the cake. All players and management should be whipped for this. Now obviously Real is a better team, but this much better?

The first thought that comes to mind is that the Bundesliga isn’t nearly as strong top-bottom as we’d like to believe, a fact that has been pointed out by various readers. That was my first reaction too, but upon reflection I think it just shows the problem with all the Euro leagues. Each one really has only a couple of top teams, and the rest are largely ho-hum. PSG is clearly the class of France, as Barcelona and Real are in Spain. And with the exception of perhaps the EPL, the gaps between the top and the next is *real* big. So Schalke shows up and gets annihilated by Real. Maybe it’s not such a surprise after all, and you can’t draw much of a conclusion about league strength.

What would be interesting is that instead of worthless international friendlies, perhaps once in a while there could be a “league vs league” match, where all 18 of league play a match against the other 18. 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 ….18 vs 18. That would settle it all about who’s stronger. Plus it would be a hell lot more interesting than the worthless Euroliga, that nobody cares about. Look at the matches below and say it wouldn’t be more interesting:

     BUNDESLIGA      vs      EPL       or      La Liga

 1  Bayern München          Chelsea           Real Madrid
 2  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	    Arsenal           Barcelona
 3  Borussia Dortmund	    Man City          Atl. madrid
 4  FC Schalke 04	    Liverpool         Bilbao
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	    Tottenham         Villareal
 6  Bor. Mönchengladbach    Man United        Real Sociedad
 7  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)   Everton           Valencia
 8  FC Augsburg	  	    Newcastle         Sevilla
 9  1. FSV Mainz 05	    Southampton       Levante
10  1899 Hoffenheim	    West Ham          Espanyol
11  Hannover 96	  	    Hull              Celta Vigo
12  1. FC Nürnberg	    Swansea           Osasuna
13  Eintracht Frankfurt	    Aston Villa       Granada
14  Werder Bremen	    Norwich           Elche
15  VfB Stuttgart	    Stoke             Getafe
16  Hamburger SV	    Crystal Palace    Almeria
17  SC Freiburg	  	    West Brom         Malaga
18  Eintracht Braunschweig  Sunderland        Valladolid

BUNDESLIGA, Round 22

“Mirko Slomka Fussballgott!!” In German football culture, there often is a player who gets the term “Fussballgott”, which bares little relation to their skill. Usually it’s because at some critical point, they rose to the occasion and got a critical goal, and eventually became a fan favorite. Often they would be eulogized by fans for the rest of their career, which would in general would be passable, but hardly impressive – they would almost never be anywhere near the best player on the squad. Just a decent, reliable squad player, but for that shining moment…

Anyway, Slomka is well on his way to becoming such for Hamburg, albeit as a coach. In his first game in charge as crisis ridden HSV leader, the Hamburgers were unrecognizable, and stepped out and kicked Dortmund’s ass. If HSV survives, he automatically will become a legend. (And should probably immediately resign to not tarnish that legend). I lean towards St.Pauli, so I wouldn’t have been unhappy if HSV hadn’t taken another one in the shorts. But I suppose it is somewhat comforting that there is one club that has always been there, and if they ever go down, they’d have to take down the famed Bundesliga-clock, that counts off how HSV has been in the Bundesliga forever. HSV has a lot of work to do, but if this one match is any indication, Slomka has them turned around already. In the match itself, the horrible HSV defense looked rock solid, the players fought for every ball instead of going through the motions, and the counterattacks were speedy and dangerous. Dortmund probably had more of the play, but in coach Jürgen Klopp’s words “we played crap.”

Schalke and Mainz battled in a tense, but ultimately unsatisfying draw. Mainz packed the defense, but in reality both teams battled furiously in midfield, so not much else was going on. However since the Aspirins and Neons got owned, the Blues manage to sneak closer. Mainz really didn’t help themselves, but it was pretty clear from the outset that they only were looking for a point.

2014 hasn’t been kind to Gladbach, but they were looking to break out of their funk against Hoffenheim. Indeed, with an early two goal lead, things seemed promising. But in fact they looked nervous and confused for most of the match. Hoffenheim actually had most of the play and pushed the hosts back, and eventually were able to square the match late. Overall, a just division of the points, but Gladbach can’t be too happy.

Is Stuttgart the new Hamburg? VfB is sucking wind, and just sets a club-record 7th straight loss, beating their previous futile effort from 18 years ago. Now to some extent, VfB has simply choked when the prize was available, whereas HSV was truly drab. But teh results are the same, and morale must be zero. This time they battled back after falling behind early, only to lose it at the end. An excellent effort for visitors Hertha, still hoping to sneak into Europe. VfB’s loss means their only ahead of HSV on a single goal, so by next week, they could replace them in the relegation spot.

This is the kind of effort that saves the season. Nürnberg was certainly hoping for a win in a critical relagtion battle against Braunschweig, but things didn’t go their way. First, after only 30 minutes, Per Nilsson got his ass tossed. (Nilsson fouled Nielsen…). And then the guests took the lead by in form Kumbela. Down a man, down a goal. Five minutes later, penalty! Kumbela takes it… Rafael Schäfer makes the save! FCN regrouped and blasted out of the half-time and stunned Braunschweig with two quick goals to grab a lead. Braunscwheig got another penalty, and this time…Schäfer saves again! Despite furious Braunschweig assaults (FCN was out shot 22-6 at home!), der Club managed to hold on and get the critical points.

Augsburg showed that they are perhaps the fittest team in the league. Both FCA and host Freiburg are known for all out fight, and in this one the Fuggers showed they had more gas in their tank. Down the final stretch they turned a Breisgau lead into a a Fugger win. Things have never been better for Augsburg, but SCF needs some quick results now, since HSV has apparently woken up.

In the battle of the corporate stooges, Volkswagen spanked Bayer Chemicals in an interesting match that moves the Euro spots ever closer. Leverkusen had a slight edge through most of the match, but although technically superior, they remind you of times of dilettantes that get spanked when it matters (Witness their disgraceful midweek roll over against PSG). Wolfsburg waited patiently for their chances, and then seized them. Overall, they deserve the win. Luserkusen should perhaps consider voluntarily accepting 7th place and not qualifying for Europe, as recently they have been embarrassing German football, with results like 1-7 in Barcelona, 0-5 to Man Utd, 0-4 to PSG…)

Bayern München had an easy time in Hannover, coasting to victory. The champions mixed things up, leaving out a few starters, not that it mattered.

Eintracht Frankfurt dominated against Bremen, but couldn’t get the win, despite havin a man advantage for almost an hour, when Werder’s Felix Kroos (Toni’s little brother) got his ass tossed. Alex Meier hit the post twice, but Frankfurt couldn’t find a way to win.

Total attendance 391,401 (avg 43,489), sell outs in Hannover and Hamburg

FC Schalke 04	      -   1. FSV Mainz 05	0:0 (0:0)   60,952

Bor. Mönchengladbach  -   1899 Hoffenheim	2:2 (2:0)   49,088

                     1:0  Herrmann (4.)
                     2:0  Jantschke (18., Raffael)
                     2:1  Roberto Firmino (57., Volland)
                     2:2  Salihovic (82., penalty, F. Johnson)

VfB Stuttgart	      -   Hertha BSC	        1:2 (1:1)   45,700

                     0:1  Kobiashvili (5., Ramos)
                     1:1  Boka (45.)
                     1:2  Wagner (87., Cigerci)

1. FC Nürnberg	      -   Eintr. Braunschweig	2:1 (0:1)   36,000

                     0:1  Kumbela (34., Theuerkauf)
                     1:1  Kiyotake (46., Drmic)
                     2:1  Pekhart (47., Drmic)

SC Freiburg	      -   FC Augsburg	        2:4 (1:1)   22,000

                     0:1  To. Werner (7., Hahn)
                     1:1  Schmid (17., direct freekick)
                     2:1  Mehmedi (73.)
                     2:2  Verhaegh (78., Esswein)
                     2:3  Halil Altintop (84., Verhaegh)
                     2:4  Hahn (90. + 4)

Hamburger SV	      -   Borussia Dortmund	3:0 (1:0)   57,000 *

                     1:0  Jiracek (42., Lasogga)
                     2:0  Lasogga (58., Arslan)
                     3:0  Calhanoglu (90. + 1, direct free kick)

VfL Wolfsburg	      -   Bayer 04 Leverkusen	3:1 (1:1)   27,721

                     1:0  Dost (13., Perisic)
                     1:1  Sam (45., Hegeler)
                     2:1  Luiz Gustavo (58., Olic)
                     3:1  Rodriguez (73.)


Sunday:
Eintracht Frankfurt   -   Werder Bremen	        0:0 (0:0)   44,300 

Hannover 96	      -   Bayern München	0:4 (0:2)   49,000 * 

                     0:1  T. Müller (25., Rafinha)
                     0:2  Thiago (34., Schweinsteiger)
                     0:3  T. Müller (59., Mandzukic)
                     0:4  Mandzukic (66., Rafinha)


 1  Bayern München (M, P)	22   20  2  0 	  61:9 	 +52 	  62 
 2  Bayer 04 Leverkusen	  	22   14  1  7 	  39:25  +14 	  43 
 3  Borussia Dortmund	  	22   13  3  6 	  51:27  +24 	  42
 4  FC Schalke 04	  	22   12  5  5 	  41:30  +11 	  41
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  VfL Wolfsburg	  	22   12  3  7 	  38:26  +12 	  39 
 6  Bor. Mönchengladbach	22   10  5  7 	  39:28  +11 	  35
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Hertha BSC Berlin (N)	22   10  4  8 	  34:27  +7 	  34 
 8  FC Augsburg	  	        22   10  4  8 	  34:32  +2 	  34 
 9  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	22   10  4  8 	  31:35  -4 	  34 
10  1899 Hoffenheim	  	22    6  8  8 	  46:46   0 	  26 
11  Hannover 96	  	        22    7  3  12 	  29:41  -12 	  24 
12  1. FC Nürnberg	  	22    4  11 7 	  27:37  -10 	  23 
13  Eintracht Frankfurt	  	22    5  7  10 	  24:38  -14 	  22 
14  Werder Bremen	  	22    5  7  10 	  25:46  -21 	  22 
15  VfB Stuttgart	  	22    5  4  13 	  35:47  -12 	  19
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Hamburger SV	  	22    5  4  13 	  38:51  -13 	  19
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  SC Freiburg	  	        22    4  6  12 	  22:44  -22 	  18 
18  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	22    4  3  15 	  16:41  -25 	  15

M = Meister, defending Champion 
P = Pokal, defending Cup winner
N = Neuling, newly promoted

1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Relegation to 2.Liga

2.Liga, Round 22

The battle for promotion is really heating up. Köln has a slight hold on 1st, but 2nd is potentially up for grabs. 3rd place may only be a playoff spot, but several teams want to seize it. Paderborn was the surprise hold last week, and they were playing excellent football in München and looked to have a win wrapped up. Instead they choked and 1860 scored twice at the end to salvage a point.

Karlsruhe has come out of no where. They faced off against Sandhausen in a Baden derby, although I’m sure KSC fans would bristle at the thought that SVS could be a rival. Afterall, we’re talking Bundesliga pedigree against country bumpkin villagers. But Sandhausen has proven extremely difficult to play against this season, and this one was no exception. Neverthless Karlsruhe kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a victory that at least momentarily puts a foot back in the Bundesliga.

Union Berlin dominated Frankfurt from start to finish, so the result is logical. FSV really showed nothing, so it’s not clear why they even bothered showing up. Union needed this to keep on track and challenging for promotion. Mission accomplished.

Things are grim in Cottbus. OK, you probably already figured that out, a collapsed, non-competitive industrial town tucked into the extreme southeast corner of the former GDR. But we’re talking about football, and unfortunately Energie is going the way of the town. After 17 years of competing in the top-two flights of German football, it looks like they’re dead and buried.
A critical eastern derby with Aue, and they came out flat. Erzgebirge ran all over them and jumped to an insurmountable lead. Energie came out in the 2nd half like a new team and pulled a couple of goals back, but despite frantic efforts, it wasn’t enough. Another miserable loss and it looks like it’s over.

A solid defensive performance and opportunism on counters gave Ingolstadt a deserved victory at troubled Bielefeld. Arminia isn’t quite in the hole like Cottbus, but the alarm bells should be deafening at The Alm. Ingolstadt however is steering towards calmer waters, after staring the season on the wrong foot and looking like a relegation candidate.

Kaiserslautern was stunned at home by Aalen, whose victory allowed them to get breathing room in the relegation battle. FCK was not in form, and couldn’t punch Aalen’s tight defense. The shocking win allowed Aalen to jump all the way to 10th, as several teams are bunched up.

Bochum and Düsseldorf played a generally boring match. The hosts had a slight advantage, as Fortuna did nothing. But despite controlling most of the game, Bochum could do nothing. Both clubs remain anxiously glancing over their shoulder, but results did go their way.

Dresden needed a win to get closer, and instead were knocked off at home by an engaged St.Pauli. In general, the visitors looked better, and Dynamo was somewhat fortunate to be equal at half. Afterwards, St.Pauli deservedly took the lead and were pretty much in control.

On Monday night, the top clash between Köln and Greuther Fürth looked like a win for the home side. Köln was dominating and had the lead, but wasted many chances to finish off the match. As a result, near the end a Greuther counterattack caught the hosts with their pants down, and they dropped points.

Total attendance 189,596 (avg 21,066)

 	
1. FC Union Berlin    -   FSV Frankfurt	        2:0 (1:0)   17,082

                     1:0  Mattuschka (39., penalty, Terodde)
                     2:0  Schönheim (76., Mattuschka)

Energie Cottbus	      -   Erzgebirge Aue        2:3 (0:3)    9,495

                     0:1  Löning (15., Könnecke)
                     0:2  Löning (18., Könnecke)
                     0:3  Sylvestr (36., Luksik)
                     1:3  Stiepermann (48., Michel)
                     2:3  Stiepermann (72., Michel)

Arminia Bielefeld     -   FC Ingolstadt 04      0:2 (0:0)  12,200

                     0:1  P. Hofmann (51.)
                     0:2  Lappe (83., Quaner)


1860 München	      -   SC Paderborn 07	2:2 (0:2)   13,800

                     0:1  Vrancic (5., Kachunga)
                     0:2  Meha (18., direct freekick)
                     1:2  Bierofka (81., Stoppelkamp)
                     2:2  Osako (86., Stoppelkamp)

Karlsruher SC	      -   SV Sandhausen	        2:1 (0:0)   13,322

                     1:0  Peitz (51., Torres)
                     2:0  Hennings (79., penalty, Torres)
                     2:1  Adler (86., Ulm)


Sunday: 
1. FC Kaiserslautern  -   VfR Aalen	        1:2 (0:1)   25,430

                     0:1  B. Hübner (24., Lechleiter)
                     0:2  Pohjanpalo (54., Leandro)
                     1:2  Matmour (68., Lakic)

VfL Bochum	      -   Fortuna Düsseldorf	0:0 (0:0)   23,145

Dynamo Dresden	      -   FC St. Pauli	        1:2 (1:1)   29,622

                     0:1  Kringe (35., Trybull)
                     1:1  M. Hartmann (44.)
                     1:2  Halstenberg (48., direct freekick)


Monday:
1. FC Köln	      -   SpVgg Greuther Fürth	 1:1 (1:0)  45,500

                     1:0  Wimmer (36., Ujah)
                     1:1  Azemi (86.)



 1  1. FC Köln	  	        22   12  7  3 	  34:12  +22 	  43 
 2  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (A)	22   11  4  7 	  38:26  +12 	  37
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  Karlsruher SC (N)	  	22    9  9  4 	  30:20  +10 	  36
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  1. FC Union Berlin	  	22   10  6  6 	  34:27  +7 	  36 
 5  SC Paderborn 07	  	22   10  6  6 	  39:34  +5 	  36 
 6  FC St. Pauli	  	22   10  5  7 	  30:27  +3 	  35 
 7  1. FC Kaiserslautern	22   10  4  8 	  35:24  +11 	  34 
 8  SV Sandhausen	  	22    8  6  8 	  19:20  -1 	  30 
 9  1860 München	  	22    8  6  8 	  21:26  -5 	  30 
10  VfR Aalen	  	        22    7  7  8 	  24:26  -2 	  28
11  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	22    8  4  10 	  23:27  -4 	  28 
12  Erzgebirge Aue	  	22    8  4  10 	  27:34  -7 	  28 
13  Fortuna Düsseldorf (A)	22    7  7  8 	  23:31  -8 	  28
14  FSV Frankfurt	  	22    7  6  9 	  32:34  -2 	  27  
15  VfL Bochum	  	        22    7  6  9 	  20:22  -2 	  27 
--------------------------------------------------------------------
16  Dynamo Dresden	  	22    4  10 8 	  23:34  -11 	  22
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  Arminia Bielefeld (N)	22    6  4  12 	  29:44  -15 	  22 
18  Energie Cottbus	  	22    3  5  14 	  25:38  -13 	  14



1st line: Promotion to Bundesliga
2nd line: Playoff with 16th Bundesliga
3rd line: Playoff with no.3 of 3.Liga
4th line: Relegation to 3.Liga

3.Liga, Round 26

The winner this week is probably Leipzig, as they got an away win at Kiel, whereas Darmstadt could only get a point at troubled Chemnitz. This means that the RedBulls/Rasenballsportler have opened up a gap on 2nd place.

However the Leipziger hardly covered themselves with glory in getting the points. It was more like Kiel had no clue and ran around aimlessly. The Rasenballsportler did only the minimum necessary, and only really created two chances – but got two goals. Aside from that, Leipzig was taking it easy The players had probably gone clubbing the night before, and had some generous supplies of Red Bull and Vodka. So they were clearly on the downside of the hangover, but their hosts wer quite gracious in not pushing them at all.

Darmstadt had a rough time at Chemnitz. The relegation threatened home side are desperate, an of course the 98ers need points for promotion. So it started pretty scrappy, with seven (!) yellow cards in the first seven minutes. CFC gave the favored visitors all sorts of problems, and eventually grabbed a lead. SV98 came back as the league leader Domink Stroh-Engel notched another goal (his 19th league), but that was all they could muster. For CFC, they are now equal on points with Kiel, but with an inferior goal difference, they still need to make up ground.

Last place Saarbrücken put up a good fight at leaders Heidenheim, but were eventually overpowered. No surprise there, but if FCS had been playing like that all season, they wouldn’t be in their current predicament. *If* they take this as a moral victory and translate it into a last gasp stretch run, they might have a chance to escape. That’s a tall order, and doesn’t seem too likely, but a couple wins in the next couple of games could do that. FCH on the other hand is just marching to the 2.Liga in a relaxed manner.

Osnabrück got back on track with a domination win over Halle. Whether they can get back in the promotion race seems dubious.
Certainly a touch of nostalgia as you could imagine a Bundesliga oldie Ruhr Derby: Dortmund vs. Duisburg at the Rote Erde! Unfortunately, it is BVB II that now plays at the legendary stadium, as the A squad has long moved to the gigantic Westfalen/Signal-Iduna. And of course the Zebras have collapsed down into the 3rd division.

Nobody was paying attention, but Elversberg got a huge relegation battle win over Burghausen, gaining a tiny bit of breathing space.

 	
VfB Stuttgart II      -   Preußen Münster      0:0 (0:0)     650
Borussia Dortmund II  -   MSV Duisburg	       2:0 (1:0)   4,580
VfL Osnabrück	      -   Hallescher FC	       3:0 (3:0)   7,940
SpVgg Unterhaching    -   Stuttgarter Kickers  2:2 (0:1)   1,700
1. FC Heidenheim      -   1. FC Saarbrücken    2:1 (1:0)   8,300
Chemnitzer FC	      -   SV Darmstadt 98      1:1 (1:0)   4,215
SV Wehen Wiesbaden    -   Rot Weiß Erfurt      1:1 (1:1)   2,597
Holstein Kiel	      -   RB Leipzig	       0:2 (0:1)   4,946
SV Elversberg	      -   Wacker Burghausen    1:0 (0:0)     870

Sunday:
Jahn Regensburg	 -  	Hansa Rostock	       1:1 (0:1)   5,169 	


 1  1. FC Heidenheim	  	26   18  6   2 	  45:15  +30 	  60 
 2  RasenBallsport Leipzig (N)	26   15  4   7 	  40:26  +14 	  49
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 3  SV Darmstadt 98	  	26   12  8   6 	  41:23  +18 	  44
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 4  Hansa Rostock	  	26   12  6   8 	  33:36  -3 	  40 
 5  VfL Osnabrück	  	26   11  6   9 	  36:28  +8 	  39 
 6  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	26   10  8   8 	  30:32  -2 	  38 
 7  Stuttgarter Kickers	  	26   10  6  10 	  32:30  +2 	  36 
 8  MSV Duisburg (A)	  	26    9  9   8 	  33:33   0 	  36 
 9  Rot Weiß Erfurt	  	26   10  5  11 	  37:31  +6 	  35 
10  Jahn Regensburg (A)	  	26    9  8   9 	  37:35  +2 	  35 
11  Borussia Dortmund II	26   10  4  12 	  36:39  -3 	  34 
12  Hallescher FC	  	26   10  4  12 	  29:33  -4 	  34 
13  VfB Stuttgart II	  	26    9  6  11 	  33:34  -1 	  33 
14  Preußen Münster	  	26    7  11  8 	  36:36   0 	  32 
15  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	26    8  8  10 	  34:44  -10 	  32 
16  SV Elversberg (N)	  	26    9  5  12 	  25:35  -10 	  32 
17  Holstein Kiel (N)	  	26    6  10 10    27:27   0 	  28
--------------------------------------------------------------------
18  Chemnitzer FC	  	26    6  10 10 	  25:36  -11 	  28 
19  Wacker Burghausen	  	26    6  6  14 	  26:45  -19 	  24 
20  1. FC Saarbrücken	  	26    5  7  14 	  28:45  -17 	  22

A = Absteiger just relegated 
N = Neuling just promoted

1st line: Promotion to 2.Liga
2nd line: Promotion Playoff with 2.Liga 16th place
3rd line: Relegation to Regionalliga

Who’s the smartest?

The German media likes to pick up stories of rather dubious merit, although I suppose thats not a uniquely German trait. One headliner in the respected newspaper “Die Zeit” indicated that “You don’t have to be smart to be a Bayern fan!”. What this was based on of course was some silly non-statistically significant study. A German website, xing.de, which looks to be a Linked-in copycat, apparently also hosts Bundesliga discussion groups (OK, that makes it better than linkedin!). And based on some results from this, they announced some “interesting” results. Now of course, a statistician can see the holes big enough to drive a truck through, but there is some amusing content…

First they merely counted the number of fans (presumably you register as such, so it’s biased on that account already). But anyway, here are the most popular teams:

1. FC Bayern München
2. Borussia Dortmund
3. Werder Bremen

OK, no surprise for the top two, and Bremen, well, they are popular (A similar recent poll in sport-bild had Schalke slightly edging Bremen)

But then things get more interesting. The next category was

“Who has the most university student and graduate fans?

1. Eintracht Braunschweig
2. SC Freiburg
3. VfB Stuttgart

What?! Apparently university is overrated. I already knew that, I’m a graduate of UC Berkeley, and I’m pretty dumb.
Now of the above three, all had over 70% of their “Xing” fans with univeristy association. Maybe study makes you lousy at picking winning teams. Anyway, Bayern apparently finished middle of the pack, hence Die Zeit pondering whether you had to be intelligent to be a Bayern fan. (Aside from the statistical nonsense, it does show German intellectual bias towards academic titles, even though their politicians apparently love to cheat on their doctorate theses, hehehe…inside joke for you Germanophiles).

Now of course the list has to have losers. Well they didn’t come out and say it, “who’s the dumbest fans”, but rather,

“Who has the *least* university grads?

16. Hamburger SV
17. Mainz
18. Augsburg

A bit unfair, as even last place Augsburg with 51% is more than half, so those Fuggers are fine. Let’s just say this shows that smart people like the Bundesliga, upon which I’m sure we could all agree…

Then it gets more interesting

“Who’s got the most board members?”

1. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (17.0%)
2. 1. FSV Mainz 05 (12.9%)
3. Eintracht Braunschweig (11.6%)

OK, apparently the only people that cheer for Hoffenheim are the SAP board. And a lot of them probably live close to Mainz, so maybe not too much of a stretch. Now I think that’s way too many board members, so they probably really meant upper management. Braunschweig makes no sense at all, but they’re probably those university graduates that cheated on their exams, so they’re used to lying.

“Who’s got the least board members?”

16. Borussia Dortmund (8.1%)
17. Bayer 04 Leverkusen (7.6%)
18. VfL Wolfsburg (7.2%)

Ah ha!! Now we know something is wrong! OK, as all fellow Schalke fans know, I guess the Neons being unwashed prols is pretty accurate. But clearly something is wrong with Leverkusen and Wolfsburg. These are in fact the only two clubs that are fully owned by corporations, so you’d think the board would be truly behind it. OK, maybe not Leverkusen, since they were really founded in 1904 and it was a clever way to hoodwink the Bayer working class. But Wolfsburg? Cmon, I think their only fans are the VW board, and they only started paying attention in the last 15 years or so.

Whose fans are self-employed?

1. FSV Mainz (12.0%)
2. Hertha BSC (11.0%)
3. Augsburg (10.0%)

Whatever. Just shows that Germans are mostly working stiffs just like the rest of us. I see those Fuggers made another list…

“Whose fans are NOT self-employed”

16. Werder Bremen (6%)
17. Bayer Leverkusen (6%)
18. VfL Wolfsburg (4%)

OK, finally one that makes sense! Obviously, unless you worked for Bayer or Volkswagen, would you even consider rooting for them ??

Then we get to the most important question:

“Where’s the best stadium to get a date?” (aka female fans)

1. FSV Mainz (24%)
2. VfL Wolfsburg (19%)
3. Werder Bremen (18%)

OK, Mainz seems like a pretty good place to visit, and you don’t even have to impress them with a “Herr Doktor” title, since most of them didn’t go to college (or maybe that means you should be a German politician, because perhaps they *would* be impressed.) Volkswagen on the list again. Good grief. Well maybe VW is progressive in their employment policies…

“No date for you!!!” (aka fewest female fans)

1. Braunschweig (10%)
2. Bayern München (9%)
3. Gladbach (9%)

So maybe there is something to the 1860 fan comment “FCB is gay”.

OK, I think this has gone far enough….only could go downhill from here…

Cheers! :)

Judge to fans: Be quiet!

Not sure about all the details, but apparently some judge in Gelsenkirchen passed a court order to Oberliga Niederrhein club FC Kray. The Essen club was relegated from the Regionalliga last season, but has recovered well and is challenging for promotion, sitting in 2nd place. However the judge apparently was reacting to some complaint and banned all drums, horns and other loud instruments for Kray’s home match with VfL Rhede – and even banned announcements over the loudspeaker. Kray won the match 3-1, but according to those present, it was quiet like a funeral wake in the stands. The club president was justifiably outraged, stating “This is the death of football!”

Again, I’m not sure about what the original complaint was all about, but it seems totally ridiculous. Hopefully this ruling will get overturned soon enough…