Of all the things I’ve been looking forward to this season the new sticker album would come close to topping the list and for two simple reasons, Freiburg being back in the top flight and finally getting a sticker of Nils Petersen as a Freiburg player. I’ve waited two years for the latter and it was worth the wait. As luck would have it I got one of his stickers in the first lot of packets I opened from the blisterpack, the shiny version of him too. In total I got six Freiburg players from the first lot of stickers, including getting Alexander Schwolow in the first page of the album which made me most unhappy. I wanted to get him from a packet and now I feel cheated of that. As well as Nils and Alex I also got who is shaping up to be my favourite player this season, Turkish defender Caglar Söyüncü. And Vincenzo Grifo, Marc-Oliver Kempf and Aleksandar Ignjovski. From the packets however it wasn’t a Freiburg player who was the first of my favourites to appear, that honour goes to Jonas Hector of 1.FC Köln. Now that I don’t mind, he may not be a Freiburg man but I like him a great deal and I was just as happy get Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski.
I do however have one major complaint with the album, just like the Champions League one it has no sticker of Matthias Ginter or Erik Durm, he was in there last season but isn’t now. It’s one of two reasons why I have no pictures of the Dortmund page. The other reason is the same one there’s no picture of the Bayern page either, with Freiburg being back in the top flight it’s not necessary. They’re in there and instead VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 suffer the ignomy of having just a sticker for their badge and kits at the back of the album:
Posted in Bundesliga, Fußball, Germany, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg, Stickers
Tagged Aleksandr Ignjovski, Alexander Schwolow, Çağlar Söyüncü, Bayern Munich, Bundesliga 2016/17 stickers, Jonas Hector, Marc-Oliver Kempf, Nils Petersen, Robert Lewandowski, SC Freiburg, Thomas Müller, Vincenzo Grifo
The Copa America this year has been quite the goal fest, the group stage of the Euros not so much. Weirdly enough there was a 7-0 win in the semi-finals of the Copa America, Chile getting the better of Mexico and Javier Hernandez, a score-line which of course ineveitably merits a comparison to Germany’s 7-1 defeat of Brazil. In the other semi-final the USA of course lost to Argentina, meaning they’ll be playing Colombia for third place. The final is a repeat of last year’s, Chile v Argentina. It’s strange, the USA opened the tournament against Colombia and it’s how they’ll be ending it. On a similiarly strange note Germany started their tournament preparations against Slovakia and now they’ll be meeting them in the last 16, though their tournament journey is of course unlikely to end there.
Despite the low number of goals and a lot defensive football being played it’s not been quite so bad. True there hasn’t been a huge number of goals, but there have been plenty of exciting ones. Last gasp winners and equalizers have been a key feature. On the one hand it keeps things interesting, at the same time it makes for a very nerve-wracking experience. Especially as far as Albania are concerned. I knew them getting through to the next round was a long shot anyway but it was so damn close. They almost got there, the first half of last night’s games went exactly as they needed them to. But Portugal came back to draw and Ireland somehow got the winner against Italy. The latter in particular is most annoying. Both countries are on my root against list anyway, Italy for that video of Jogi and Ireland for beating Germany in qualifying.
Germany will be playing Slovakia in the last 16 which is most disappointing, I was hoping they’d play Albania which I know is completely illogical seeing as how that’s a guaranteed defeat for them but it doesn’t matter now. I do still have one of my wildcards left in the tournament though becuase Iceland made it through to the knockout round whcih is pretty incredible. A nation of approximately 330,000 people is up against the fifty somethimg million of England. With Albania out and Denmark not there at all I’m left with Iceland to root for as a second team.The last 16 has thrown up some good draws, not least Italy v Spain. I was disappointed by that at first, it means one of the favourites going out at such an early stage. I’m not now and will be rooting for Spain to win. This is very strange indeed, I have to root for Spain to win. The other game of interest to me is Switzerland v Poland. Two players I like going up against each other, former Freiburg player Admir Mehmedi for Switzerland going up against Robert Lewandowski.
I have to admit I had mixed feelings about the expanded format, I know without it teams like Albania would be unlikely to even be at the tournament let alone have a chance of progressing to the knockout stages. It has been a little more interesting than I thought it might be but it still feels wrong, the idea of being rewarded for finishing in third place. Not that it matters now anyway, Albania are out. But at least I got Amir Abrashi’s sticker before that happened, plus three more Germans:
As for favourite moments there’s two sets of those, Jogi moments and then the best of the rest. Some of the Jogi ones are from training and some from matches, my favourite one is probably him gloving up or maybe him taking pot-shots at Bastian in goal. And it pains me to say it because I’m not a fan of Mario Gomez at all but his goal celebration with Jogi was quite cool.
As for favourite goals so far, Shkodran Mustafi would be top of the list but he’s upstaged by Armando Sadiku scoring Albania’s first ever goal at an international tournament. Apart from that I think Schweinsteiger’s is my favourite out all of them:
Posted in Euro 2016, Fußball, Germany, Jogi Löw, Stickers
Tagged Albania, Amir Abrashi, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Euro 2016, Euro 2016 stickers, Julian Draxler, Lukas Podolski, Roman Bürki, Thomas Müller
Today has all in all been a very strange day, obviously it’s an improvement on last year because today I had nothing to worry about as far as Freiburg are concerned. But I thought I would enjoy seeing Hannover getting relegated a lot more than I actually did. Either I overestimated how much fun it was going to be or I underestimated how much I cared about it. I’m pretty good at holding a grudge but it seems I’ve moved past this. I guess time really does make a difference, as does the fact Freiburg have already secured their return to the Bundesliga. With Bremen surviving it means I get my wish, I’ll get to see Nils Petersen return there in a Freiburg shirt. But getting revenge on Stuttgart for that 4-1 defeat last year will have to wait. I feel very conflicted about seeing them get relegated, not because I feel sorry for them, just because they’re Jogi’s team. It’s strange, technically Stuttgart have been relegated twice today, not only did they get relegated from the Bundesliga but their second team also got relegated from the 3.Liga. It’s even stranger because I was both rooting for them to win and lose, I needed them to lose in the Bundesliga but win in the 3.Liga. The latter would have been good for Cottbus, their direct relegation rival Wiesbaden needed to lose to Stuttgart II. Random fact the last and only time in fact Stuttgart were relegated was 41 years ago, that means the last time they were relegated Jogi Löw would have been 15 years old. Now that is kind of a weird thought.
Though getting a revenge of sorts as regards Hannover is marred by something else as well. Before watching Bayern’s game I made the mistake of watching Energie Cottbus in the 3.Liga play their final game. They had to beat Mainz II in order to stay in the league and they almost did that. Sometimes football is very cruel, they went up 2-1 in the 78th minute. That would have meant they were safe, but just 10 minutes later Mainz scored their third and winning goal. In a quirk of fate in the 88th minute that’s when Bremen scored the winner against Eintracht Frankfurt too. The reason I cared about Cottbus’ fate is because Nils Petersen used to play for them, in fact it’s because of them he got his shot in the Bundesliga. In the 2010-11 season he was not only their top-scorer but the league’s top scorer with 25 goals in 33 games. I really could have done without seeing a team I liked get relegated today. Eintracht Frankfurt aren’t safe either, losing puts them in the play-off spot. They play 1.FC Nürnberg next week, strange, Jogi’s team vs Andreas’ team. Funnily enough Jogi had a team in the play-offs last year too, though on the right side of it. Not in the sense they won, in the sense KSC were trying to achieve promotion rather than save themselves from relegation. It’s even funnier because Jogi was at the second leg of the game which HSV so cruelly won, funny because he was there with none other than Andreas Köpke. Despite the disappointment of what happened to Cottbus there is one moment which I did greatly enjoy today. It’s odd that I’m so happy about a goal being scored against Roman Bürki but when it’s as cool as Jojic’s goal you can’t help but like it:
The season isn’t quite over yet, there’s still one more day to go with the final matches of the 2.B being played tomorrow, Freiburg will be visiting Union Berlin. There’s one other thing to look forward to, Jogi’s press conference to announce the squad for the Euros. I have no worries on that count, all my favourites are guaranteed a spot. A much as I’m looking forward to the press conference I still can’t muster a great deal of enthusiasm for the tournament itself. Dread is my predominant feeling in relation to the matter. I wish I could fast-forward through all of it to mid August when the Supercup final will be held and the start of the season won’t be far off. I never thought I’d be wishing a tournament away rather than looking forward to it. Right now I have more enthusiasm for the sticker album than I do the real thing.
On the subject of stickers I’ve opening and sorting through quite a few of them, with there being no afternoon game I had some time to fill and because of how strange everything felt I needed a distraction. I started a new album towards the end of last season so I thought I’d continue the tradition. I got quite a few stickers which are quite amusing and very relevant to today’s events. First of all was Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich who I’m no fan of so I won’t put his sticker here, I like him even less because he made his first Bundesliga appearance for Bayern today, replacing Neuer in the 51st minute. About fifteen minutes later he conceded a goal, I may not be feeling quite so vengeful about Hannover but that doesn’t mean I want to see them scoring any goals. The next amusing sticker was Felix Klaus. Seeing his sticker made me realise how much I didn’t care about enjoying seeing Hannover getting relegated. He’s been relegated three times in a row now, first with Greuther Fürth, then with Freiburg and now with Hannover. It’s not the fact he left Freiburg which upset me so much, it’s where he went. But I can honestly say I don’t care anymore. The third special sticker was Andre Schürrle, special because he scored against Stuttgart today. The three Hansi related ones however are the best of the lot:
When I posted the pictures of the Euro 2016 album on Monday I said I hoped I’d have better luck today. Now I meant that solely in regards to stickers and it turned out to be true in this regard. But it also proved to be true in quite another important way. Earlier this evening RB Leipzig lost 1-0 to SV Sandhausen which means if Freiburg win on Monday night against Eintracht Braunschweig there’ll be a three point gap separating them. I have to say I like the fact it’s Sandhausen who brought this about, not just because they too are a south-western team but more because they are a Hansi team. It’s who he played for before moving to Bayern. Thursday night was a huge disappointment, not the game itself. That was absolutely incredible, a true once in a lifetime experience. It’s just the result which is so devastating. Dortmund are only a team I follow because of Matze Ginter and Roman Bürki but I’m still crushed over the result. Not least because it would have meant me getting one over on a Liverpool fan in real life. Though I have to admit if I had to pick I would choose Leipzig losing tonight, Dortmund getting to the Europa League final would have been great but Freiburg first as always. There is at least one upside to Dortmund being out of the Europa League, I’m now free and clear for my Captain America triple bill and don’t have to worry about getting someone to record the game.
Anyhow today’s stickers. I wanted my first German from the Euro 2016 album to be Matze Ginter, Manuel Neuer or Jonas Hector. Unfortunately my first two Germans are none of those. Yet the first one is still special, doubly so in fact. Because the first German is none other than Erik Durm. The reason for him being extra special is I’m working on a story for him and Matze. The second German was Jerome Boateng. In the same lot of packets I also got Robert Lewandowski, fitting seeing as how him and Boateng both play for Bayern. On the matter of things being fitting, it’s painfully ironic that today I get the sticker of Dortmund’s kits for the Bundesliga album:
Posted in Die Mannschaft, Germany, Stickers
Tagged Bundesliga 2015/16 stickers, Euro 2016 stickers, Jonas Hector, Kevin Volland, Matthias Ginter, Robert Lewandowski, SC Freiburg, Toni Kroos, Vladimir Darida
One of the reasons I kept putting off catching up with the Bundesliga posts is the thought of doing something out of order bothered me. It’s only when I realised that both options bother me and I’m the only one it bothers anyway did I realise it didn’t matter. Giving it some more thought I realised there’s another reason it’s not so important, I write fiction out of order so why not other stuff too? If I can live with writing stories out of order then I can live with this too. Besides everything else right now is all wrong anyway so it doesn’t really matter. It’s just one more thing to feel uncomfortable about. But I’m not stressing out about it or anything right now which is a nice feeling. The only bothersome thought on my mind is one which should be there, Freiburg’s game tonight with league leaders RB Leipzig.
The weekend has been a good one and pleasantly a very quiet one because the house has been a teenager free zone all weekend. I’ve always worried I would find living by myself too quiet, that the silence would get to me. Now I’m starting to feel a little differently about it. It was kind of nice. Besides having plenty of quiet time for reading there was also the fun of der Klassiker and the excitement of getting a new Jogi interview. With that and all the stickers I got at the weekend I can’t have any complaints really. My sleeping patterns are still far from perfect but there’s always going to be something that’s not quite right.
I did however get some sleep last night, too much in fact. But I’m not complaining because of the dream I had. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a dream with Nils Petersen in before. Not just him but also Karim Guede, Andre Schürrle and Julian Draxler. The scenario was a very strange one and had it not been for their presence it would have been a nightmare, dreams which are school based usually are. But not this time. The main event of note was some unknown person pointing out that Petersen was wearing a Freiburg shirt, which he was. Weirdly it was inside out. The person said they could tell because they could see the eagle. This makes no sense because it’s a griffin Freiburg have on their shirts, not an eagle which is what Eintracht Frankfurt have on theirs. At that point Petersen who was sitting across from me leaned over and offered his hand for a high five, saying that we were “t-shirt buddies” because I was wearing the same Freiburg shirt as him, the home red and black one.
It’s really random but then so is everything else, including the presence of Draxler and Schürrle. Had it been their fellow Wolfsburg players Max Kruse and Daniel Caliguri it would have made sense, since both of them have played for Freiburg. But I can’t work out why they would be there or what it could mean. I wonder if the money aspect has anything to do with it. Because obviously money would have been one of the chief motivators for both of them in moving to Wolfsburg. Or is it a message about being careful with your expectations of something. Because last season Wolfsburg had a great season, finishing second in the league, qualifying directly for the Champions League and winning the DFB Pokal. And they started off this season by beating Bayern in the Supercup final. So far that’s been their only major success, along with getting through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and the winter signing of Julian Draxler. The league form however has been terrible and nowhere near as good as last year. Maybe that’s the message, one good year doesn’t necessarily mean another one is going to follow.
Whatever it means and however tonight’s game goes I already have my consolation prize. Two new Jogi related clippings and some new Bundesliga stickers including the Heidenheim kits (important because of Niederlechner), Max Kruse and best of all Manuel Neuer. Just to round things off I secured a deal which will see me get Niederlechner’s Heidenheim card. I hope that’s a good omen for tonight.
Posted in Autism, Dreams, Manuel Neuer, Stickers
Tagged Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Bundesliga 2015/16 stickers, Dreams, Florian Niederlechner, Joachim "Jogi" Löw collectibles, Manuel Neuer collectibles, Max Kruse, Nils Petersen