Category Archives: Bundesliga

Advent Calendar Day 16: Frohe Weihnachten aus Matze Ginter/Ein typisches Söyüncü Nachmittag

The second part of the title is a phrase the commentator used today when talking about Freiburg’s Çağlar Söyüncü. And he wasn’t wrong, it was a typical Söyüncü afternoon and indeed that later turned out to apply to the whole game. As he usually does he had a pretty good game, winning most of his challenges and battles until that is he made a mistake and gave away a penalty. Which wasn’t actually given because of an earlier handball. That’s right a VAR decision actually went in Freiburg’s favour. With that I was thinking just maybe things were going their way. But of course it wasn’t to be and Alfred Finnbogason had other ideas. Last weekend Freiburg came from 3-0 down to beat Köln so there was no reason why they couldn’t do that in Augsburg, unfortunately things happened a little differently today. Before the game started there was a little bit of snow in the air and I foolishly hoped it maybe provide some good luck. Snow didn’t stick and unfortunately neither did Freiburg’s luck.

Had they won it would have been three victories in a row. But even without having won it’s still five games without defeat, that’s not the worst way to end the year. And of course they’re not in the relegation zone, finishing the first half of the season in 13th place. So today isn’t without it’s good points, though the fact they yet again conceded three goals makes it a little hard to enjoy the silver lining of the situation.There is however something about today I had no trouble enjoying and that is the delightful little Christmas greetings video from the highlights show. That was most definitely a nice little early Christmas gift to get. I’m not the only who got a gift early today either, Köln also got one, finally winning a game. Seventeenth time’s a charm I guess, they beat Wolfsburg 1-0.

Advent Calendar Day 12: The Day of Petersen

I wish I could come with a better title, Nils certainly deserves one. Also because the title makes it sound like I got Nils’ card in the DFB calendar, something which of course is never going to happen. Maybe Christian Günter will be in there one day but not Nils. That doesn’t matter tonight anyway, they didn’t win a trophy or promotion but you wouldn’t know it from the players and Christian Streich’s reaction. It was a big game, three points would see them out of the relegation zone. For some reason at home they don’t lose against Gladbach and tonight was no exception. It may not have been a performance as terrific as the one which saw them beat Gladbach 3-1 last season but it was good in it’s own way. They only scored the one goal and that was a penalty but it so easily could have been more. I’m kind of glad it wasn’t though, it would have made a dent in the goal difference which obviously is important but I would have felt bad for Matze. Gladbach aren’t having a very good week, last weekend they got a penalty wrongfully taken away and scored an own goal. And this week Jannik Vestergaard isn’t any happier, the penalty was debatable to say the least. And once again it showcases how annoying and intrusive VAR can be. It took them close to a minute to stop the play and tell the referee. If they are going to keep VAR they need to make it more responsive and communication needs to be better. In the end  don’t think it would have mattered, the way the second half went I think Freiburg would have won anyway. That won’t make Vestergaard feel any better of course.

I could rage against everything that went wrong today and all the things I screwed up, not least about the fact I need to take better care of my stuff. This time it’s my tablet and the USB port needs replacing. Being without it makes me feel like I’m missing a part of me, I’m so used to it being at hand it actually feels like an extension of me. Having a laptop in front of you is just not the same at all. But it’s my own fault and now I have to pay the price, not just the cost of the repairs but the waiting. I keep going to get it thinking it’s there. It’s only been 24 hours and it’s like I’m going through a withdrawal of some kind. One thing is for certain I’ll be careful not to mention this to any so called “professional.” Lest they give  me yet another lecture about being “overdependent on technology.” You know because normal people aren’t over reliant on technology at all. I’m not going to rant about that or anything else. Freiburg won, Nils scored a goal and just as importantly I got the Jogi video I was expecting to get today.

Nils scored the only goal of the night but he was far from the most important man on the pitch tonight, in fact everyone but Alex was. He for once didn’t have a lot to do, which makes a pleasant change for him I suppose. Of great importance tonight was Çağlar Söyüncü. This was a game made for him, several times he got partake in the monster tackles and interventions he thrives on, earning himself a much deserved equally monster hug from Christian Streich after the game. Apparently some Premier League clubs are interested in Söyüncü, I hate to say it but I can see why, he would be great in the English league. But he’s not going anywhere, not yet.

Nils Petersen goal – SC Freiburg v Gladbach 2017/18

SC Freiburg v Gladbach 2017/18 – last ten seconds and celebrations

Sometimes I think maybe things are predestined, today of all days I get the sticker of Jonas Hector and the card of Marco Reus. The connection of course being Peter Stöger who up until last weekend was Hector’s coach at Köln and is now Reus’ coach at Dortmund. There’s another interesting connection in the sense that tonight was his first game in charge of Dortmund against Mainz, the team of former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel. As well of course as being the former team of current Dortmund player Andre Schürrle. Well Dortmund won their first game with the new Peter in charge. As for Köln tomorrow night will be their second league game without him and there is no way in hell they are going to win it or even draw with Bayern. Last season they got a very respectable point at the Alllianz arena, a feat which is the very definition of impossible now.

Advent Calendar Day 10: Snow Day in Köln

Of all the things I expected to happen today that wasn’t one of them. I know it doesn’t sound good when you go into a game like this unsure if your team can win or not, but I didn’t want to curse anything by thinking about winning at all. I honestly thought they would draw and well they almost did. Were it not for Nils Petersen’s last minute penalty it would have been a 3-3 draw, and quite a spectacular one too. Freiburg came back to win 4-3 and that’s great, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be relegated. Those three goals they conceded are exactly why relegation is still a very real threat. That was their way of playing in the 2.Bundesliga in 2015/16, don’t worry if you concede two, we’ll just go and score three more. They’ve always been partial to a very open style of play, which isn’t to say they can’t be disciplined defensively. Their 0-0 draw against Dortmund earlier in the season proves that, a result all the more impressive for the fact they played the majority of the game with ten men. That open kind of play worked when they had players like Maximilian Philipp and Vincenzo Grifo around. But they left in the summer for Dortmund and Gladbach, taking some of the magic. their goals and more importantly their assists with them.

I don’t even know what today’s game was, it was crazy that’s for sure. And it’s proof that whatever they do Köln are doomed, they threw away a three goal lead, you can’t draw any other conclusion. Then again this game didn’t doom them, that was already done several match-days ago. There remains only one question, can they really go a whole Bundesliga season without winning a single game? Today’s game brought back a lot of memories, like the equally crazy (but much better to watch) snow game against Leipzig in the 2015/16 season. And of course their first game of that season against 1.FC Nürnberg. which was Nil’s first league game as a proper Freiburg player. A game in which he scored a hat-trick and just like today two of them were penalties. In fact Nils scored a hat-trick in his first ever game for Freiburg as well, against Eintracht Frankfurt.

1.FC Köln v SC Freiburg 2017/18 Highlights

Speaking of memories there was a very familiar face at today’s game, though not a very happy one obviously:

Lukas Podolski at 1.FC Köln v SC Freiburg 2017/18

As happy as I am they won I don’t feel like I can celebrate, not only  because they’re still in danger of relegation but the game seems to be reflective of how their season is going and life in general. They can’t go on conceding goals at the rate they have, not even if they start scoring some themselves. On the subject of unexpected events the confirmation of the sacking of Peter Bosz wasn’t one of them. The announcement of his replacement the very same day however was, not just the fact they did so quickly but who it was. They’ve switched one Peter for another, Dortmund’s temporary coach until the end of the season being none other than former Köln coach Peter Stöger. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

I still can’t find a word other than crazy to describe today’s game but I know one thing, I really needed today. It was exciting, infuriating and intense. But most of all it was fun and for those two hours the game was on things felt like they used to do, like when I first started watching them. They were struggling then and they’re struggling now, so it’s not that they’ve changed, it’s me. But I don’t want to reflect on that now or anything else serious or real life related, today was fun and that’s enough. For once I just want something to be simple. Today’s game was anything but simple but the joy I derived from it was exactly that. No obsessing over what I’m doing and why, no wondering if maybe I’m not too obsessed and shouldn’t I be spending time with other people instead of stuck in my room alone. Today none of that mattered. Today there was the game and nothing else.

 

Advent Calendar Day 3

Today has been an extremely slow and lazy day, so lazy in fact that I couldn’t even be bothered to come up with a proper title for this post. When possible I like to reference at least one of the players whose card or sticker I got but it’s just not happening today. I’m just glad I didn’t get Matze Ginter’s card or sticker, or Lars Stindl’s for that matter. Watching them lose 3-0 today was punishment enough. If I hadn’t bothered to get out of bed I wouldn’t have seen them lose so badly, but on the other hand I would have missed seeing Peter, Marc and Matze Ginter. And then I would have had yet another thing to beat myself up about, god knows I don’t need any more of those. I think you have to keep doing what you’re doing, even if you don’t know why. When the alternative is doing nothing then it’s not really a choice is it? I won’t feel good either way, so I might as well be doing something.

Believe it or not there is one good thing about today (and I mean besides the surprise of Peter doing the pre-match show for the first game). At least I know partly why I feel the way I do. Right now it’s something specific I’m running away from. I don’t want next week to happen and not sleeping or waking up feels like a way to achieve that. Logically I know it’s not but it feels that way when you’re trying to convince yourself to get out of bed. I’m not just scared, I’m angry. It’s bad enough when you have to suffer because you screwed up, it’s even worse when you’ll potentially suffer because someone else made a mistake that was entirely avoidable but for their arrogance and self confidence that they know everything. When in actual fact they know nothing. And what makes me even angrier is knowing that when things do go wrong they never take responsibility, always finding someone else to blame. Even when it’s a decision they have made, a situation entirely of their own making – they still have to find a way to twist it so that it’s anyone’s fault but theirs. I think that’s pathetic and just about one of the worst personality traits a person can have. I hate that I’m even ranting about them, because that means I’ve let it get in my head.

There’s no question of it being anywhere approaching good news at the end of the week, it’s just a question of how bad it’s going to be. I know that now, even without having all the facts. I can put the pieces together that I already have to work that much out. All of this and yesterday’s events has left me wondering what’s worse, bad news that you know is coming or bad news that comes from nowhere? Because this feels like torture of a kind, knowing something is about to hit you, but not quite knowing what. It’s the waiting that kills you. I didn’t have to wait long to find out about the Cologne situation at least. I found that out this morning, waking up to the news that not only are they parting ways with Peter Stöger but that it was already decided before the Schalke game. He got them back into the Bundesliga and into European competition after 20 plus years, yet he doesn’t even get to be in charge for their last Europa League group game. Strange thing is they still actually have a shot in that competition. Whereas in the league I think they’re pretty much done for either way, so why couldn’t they just stick with him?

On the subject of sticking with things I thought after writing something positive yesterday that maybe it wouldn’t just be a one off sort of thing. It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote something properly, Jogi’s little trip to Russia having provided suitable inspiration, his shirt and tie helping considerably on that count. But sure enough when I couldn’t sleep I ended up writing more depressing stuff. I really need something else to write about, something that doesn’t involve plotting the demise of alternate Matze. When I couldn’t sleep last night I got thinking about the whole thing and about a conversation online I had the other day. In particular we were talking about nightmares and allowing other people to help. That’s not something I’m good at, which is a big problem. What bothers me even more is the fact I’m so bad at showing my feelings in front of other people. I can’t be honest with them even when I want to. And when someone does see me upset it’s because I’m in the midst of a meltdown and have no choice in the matter.

I talk to someone twice a month about all of this stuff yet I feel like I can’t be completely honest with them, I’ve seen the same person for several months now yet I don’t feel like I can trust them. Which kind of defeats the purpose of going at all I suppose. On the other hand I feel like I should be able to solve my own problems, that needing help at all makes me weak somehow. In the same way my collections and obsessions make me feel weak for needing them. Because whether I want to admit it or not I do need them. Other people get friendships, relationships and attachments to other human beings, people in real life – not characters or people on TV. And I have my collections. Because even when that offer is there (as it currently is) of actual real life human companionship I can’t take it. That’s a subject that comes up a lot, finding ways of encouraging myself to spend more time with people in real life. So I guess no-one is going to be pleased that instead of finding a way to achieve that I have a new obsession instead.

Advent Calendar Day 2: The Unfortunate Coincidence

It would be today of all days that I get not only Benedikt Höwedes’ sticker but the card of Jonas Hector. How perfect is that, getting them in the same calendar door when their teams play each other. And they end up drawing 2-2 just to make it that little bit more perfect. Well Schalke is only technically Benedikt’s team at the moment, with him being on loan to Juventus. And Jonas of course is still out injured so didn’t play. Though in a way it’s a good thing Benedikt isn’t there because I don’t like Schalke very much and I would under the circumstances feel compelled to root for Cologne anyway, even though they are in the relegation fight along with Freiburg. But I don’t feel too bad for doing so, simply because surely Cologne are too deep in trouble to be of any danger to Freiburg, Bremen or HSV who are also stuck in the relegation fight. At this point forget about fighting relegation, they’re fighting against having the unflattering record of being the worst Bundesliga team of all time. I bet no-one ever thought Tasmania Berlin were in danger of losing that record. But with three points and six goals after fourteen games Cologne are giving them a run for their money.

Rumor has it they’ve parted ways with Peter Stöger though that hasn’t been confirmed officially. I at least hope it’s not true. In the poll I voted in 71% of people agreed sacking him would be the wrong way to go. But then maybe I’m a little biased, I like the underdog after all. I don’t have to worry about the same thing happening at Freiburg. On the news last week the club president said that Christian Streich is going nowhere, that they stand by him “through thick and thin” which was reassuring if unnecessary to hear. For the simple reason Freiburg aren’t the kind of club to go sacking a coach just because things aren’t going so well. Whatever happens he’s going nowhere. Obviously I don’t want to think about them getting relegated but it would in a weird way be funny, a Jogi team and a Hansi team getting relegated together.

As what I’ve written so far suggests today has been all about football. And I know what they’ll say, fixating on one thing to the exclusion of everything else isn’t good, you need some balance in the day/your life in general. But you know what I don’t really care right now. For two reasons, first it got me out of bed and secondly it was a distraction from all the stuff I’m worried about at the moment. It’s a good thing I did get up too, I wouldn’t have gotten my new Hansi video if I hadn’t and I would have missed Peter’s pre-match show. It’s funny that is. Whilst I’m beating myself up for having obsessions at all and worrying how immersive they are I end up adding another one to the list. This one is kind of new too, I’ve never been obsessed with a reporter before. Seems I’m not done collecting things and that includes obsessions. In one way I suppose it’s a good sign, the fact I’m still engaged enough with something to form a new interest and to care about something. Even the stupid psych can’t argue with that. Though something tells me they’ll find something to complain about. They’re supposed to be helping but it feels like they’re doing the exact opposite. Surely it can’t be a good thing that I worry so much about what they think, then again I do that for pretty much every social situation, so it’s kind of hard to tell. I’m not even sure why I keep going, I guess I’m just used to going where I’m told when it comes to this sort of thing. I did at least manage to write something today, only three pages but it’s better than nothing.

Hansi Flick pre-match interview – Hoffenheim v RBL 2017/18

Hansi Flick at HSV v Hoffenheim 2017/18

Hansi Flick at HSV v Hoffenheim 2017/18