Tag Archives: Amir Abrashi

Advent Calendar Day 11: A Quiet Sunday

The day was quiet enough in real life anyway, football wise there was plenty of drama and funnily enough yesterday’s title could be used today as well. Both of today’s games was decided by just the one goal and in both it was a late goal. Equally both games were partially decided by a referee’s decision. It’s a reminder in a way that no matter what you do sometimes things are taken out of your hands and it’s not always fair, Mainz being denied their goal certainly wasn’t. As for Schalke you just have to feel sorry for them, even if you’re not particularly fond of them like I am. Last week they had a penalty awarded against them which was nothing of the sort and this week they have a man sent off after just four minutes in what probably was a mistake. It must feel like the universe is against them right now, a feeling I know well. And with that in mind I can’t work out why I made the decisions I made yesterday. I find it difficult to deal with last minute changes when other people impose them upon me, especially when they involve talking to another person. So why would I choose to inflict such a thing upon myself? Was I trying to prove something? Or perhaps I can just write off my poor decision making as being the result of distraction and sleep deprivation. Either way I shouldn’t have done it and not just because of the social element of it. A far bigger issue was having someone in my personal space. A whole day later and it’s still bothering me. I have a feeling it’s going to for a while.

In a way I can’t really explain my room doesn’t feel quite right anymore, it feels like it’s been violated somehow. I used to laugh at Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory when he freaked out about other people being in his room, not anymore. Not only have I never had a social type acquaintance in the house before but not in my room either. It’s not something I’ll be doing again in a hurry. Matter of fact I’m not that crazy about spending time in someone else’s house either. It’s just too awkward, too many unknowns and too much uncertainty. I’m probably being an idiot about it but I feel kind of disappointed in myself. As if I should be able to deal with stuff like this. I’m not a child anymore so why should it be so difficult? Things are meant to get easier as you get older, that’s what people always tell you anyway. But certain things just seem to get worse. I mean I’m an adult and I  still can’t handle Christmas. Last year we tried out the concept of surprise presents, we’re not doing the same this year, just three gifts I already know about in advance. I couldn’t deal with the uncertainty of surprise presents right now and I definitely don’t need something else to obsess over.

Two days ago I thought having friends was a good thing, regardless of how difficult it can sometimes be. Now I’m back to thinking maybe it’s too much and I’m never going to get this right. This how it’s always going to be, going back and forth between two extremes and never quite finding any sense of balance. And this too is one of the issues I have to explain to someone else. How can I explain it so that it makes sense to them when it doesn’t even make sense to me? A few days before and now I’m starting to get seriously worried about  it, worried enough to feel sick about it. My attempts to be positive didn’t last long. Now all I can think is once it’s over there will be one more person on this earth who knows what a helpless pathetic human being I am. It feels like someone judging you, as if they’re deeming your life not worthy of living. I feel that way about myself sometimes already. I find myself asking if this is really living or it’s just an existence, one which isn’t particularly meaningful. Sooner or later I’m going to run out of distractions which is all my special interests and obsessions are. Distractions from the fact I don’t know what I’m doing and I don’t really care. I have a room full of collectibles and for what? Each new collection I spend money I shouldn’t on stuff I don’t really need, and it changes nothing. I’m just as confused and lonely as before I obtained whatever my latest acquisition is. Yet I keep doing it because I don’t know what else to do. Or rather I know exactly what needs to be done, I’m just too cowardly to do it. Until then I guess I just keep on doing what I’m doing.

Speaking of acquisitions in today’s calendar was Matze’s little Erik. Obviously they aren’t a couple in real life, let alone in a three-way relationship with Julian Draxler but that’s how I’ll always see them. You can’t unread something like that once you’ve read it. Now in my mind Erik will always belong to Matze. And in Freiburg’s calendar was everybody’s favourite Albanian Amir Abrashi:

20161211_233906-1Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4Amir Abrashi - SCF v RBL 1

Advent Calendar Day 10: One Goal is Enough

The title could equally refer to real life and today’s events but it doesn’t, it refers only to Freiburg’s lone (and lucky) goal against Darmstadt. Though I suppose it can also refer to the very other important goal of the day, that of Ingolstadt’s surprise winner against Leipzig. Never would have seen that one coming, I would have liked to believe they could beat RBL but never would have predicted it, let alone bet on it. Freiburg beating Darmstadt on the other hand I would have happily predicted, I certainly didn’t expect it to be quite as difficult as it turned out to be. The game mirrored last week’s in a strange way. Last week Leverkusen almost gifted Freiburg the game with their non-existent first half performance and so Freiburg did exactly the same against Darmstadt. It’s a game they could just as easily lost as won. Not a great way to end the first half of the season at home but a win is a win I suppose. And as much fun as Bayern had against Wolfsburg today (racking up another five goals against them) I’m more than happy with Petersen’s penalty. Though I am happy for Thomas Müller, having finally gotten his first of the season. Not happy about Freiburg’s performance on the other hand. Sometimes when a commentator says the best player on the pitch for a team is the keeper it’s meant as a criticism of the rest of team. That wasn’t the case against Leverkusen last weekend when Schwolow saved Freiburg’s neck several times. This weekend against Darmstadt he did the same, he was the best man out there for the first half at least and now it is a criticism of the others. Hopefully Abrashi will be back in the starting 11 next week. What worked well last week with Schuster starting in his place didn’t have the same effect against Darmstadt.

I could easily rant about today’s events and lament how I wish I hadn’t made the mistakes I did. But I don’t want to do that, I want to have just one day where I can enjoy the result of the game. A day where the only obsessive analysing is reserved for football related situations. The stuff I’m trying not to think about will still be there tomorrow. So as far as words go less is more at the moment. The more I write the more likely I am to end up thinking and thus writing about what I’m trying to avoid. I can’t escape it forever but if I can just keep it away for what’s left of the weekend. So in that spirit I have some extra pictures instead:

nils-petersen-sc-freiburg-v-darmstadt-2016-17-1nils-petersen-sc-freiburg-v-darmstadt-2016-17-2nils-petersen-sc-freiburg-v-darmstadt-2016-17-3

thomas-muller-christmas-party-2016-1 thomas-muller-christmas-party-2016-2 robert-lewandowski-christmas-party-2016-1 robert-lewandowski-christmas-party-2016-2I do of course need just a few more words for the most important part of the post. Today’s players being Christian Günter for Freiburg and Gonzalo Castro for Dortmund:

Christian Günter - SC FreiburgChristian Günter – SC Freiburg v Heidenheim 120161210_233055-1

Euro 2016: The Group Stage

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.

Euro 2016 - last 16I 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:

Amir Abrashi - Albania - Euro 2016 sticker Lukas Podolski - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Julian Draxler - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Thomas Müller - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Bastian Schweinsteiger - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Roman Bürki - Switzerland - Euro 2016 sticker Official match ball - Euro 2016 stickerAs 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.

Jogi_celebrating_Deutschland_Ukraine_EM_2016Jogi_the_keeperJogi_taking_a_shot_at_Bastian_in_goalJogi_Deutschland_v_PolenJogi_Mario_Nordirland_v_DeutschlandAs 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:

Albania_s_first_international_goal_Armando_Sadiku_Romania_v_AlbaniaShkodran_Mustafi_goal_Deutschland_v_Ukraine(1) Bastian_Schweinsteiger_goal_Deutschland_v_Ukraine Radja_Nainggolan_goal_Sweden_v_Belgium Balazs_Dzsudzsak_goal_Hungary_v_Portugal

SC Freiburg Cards 2015/16

Alexander Schwolow - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Vegar Eggen Hedenstad - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Marc Torrejon - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Immanuel Höhn - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Mike Frantz - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Tim Kleindienst - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Mats Møller Dæhli - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Lukas Kubler - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Nils Petersen - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Florian Kath - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Marc-Oliver Kempf - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Patric Klandt - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Julian Schuster - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Mensur Mujdža - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardJonas Föhrenbach - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardMaximilian Philipp - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardNicolas Höfler - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardMarco Hingerl - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardKonstantin Fuhry - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardChristian Günter - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardKarim Guede - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Vincenzo Grifo - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardCaleb Stanko - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardAmir Falahen - SC Freiburg 2015-16 cardLucas Hufnagel - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Christian Streich - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Lars Voßler - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Patrick Baier - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Andreas Kronenberg - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card Simon Ickert - SC Freiburg 2015-16 card

2.Bundesliga MD 9 2015/16 – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt

At the end of “die englische Woche” Freiburg played host to Vincenzo Grifo’s former team FSV Frankfurt. Though he wasn’t in the starting eleven, instead coming on as a substitute in the 71st minute for Lucas Hufnagel. Also on the bench was Patric Klandt who of course came to Freiburg from Frankfurt. To make it trio of players going up against their old teams leading the attack for Frankfurt was Dani Schahin who played for Freiburg last season, having been on loan to them from Mainz.

It was all things considered a good time to be playing mid table Frankfurt after the game on Thursday night against RB Leipzig. After the considerable exertion which went into winning that point it was a welcome change of pace to be playing Frankfurt. It was also fortuitous that it was Frankfurt up first and not KSC which was the game after this one. The reason being that game was every bit as much a battle as the Leipzig one had been. Frankfurt on the other hand whilst they were not unworthy opponents and did not lose their heads against Freiburg were eventually broken down. It was a test of patience and concentration more than anything else, Frankfurt needing to remain disciplined in order to keep Freiburg from posing any threat. With Frankfurt putting all their energy into maintaining their defensive strategy and Freiburg no doubt being somewhat tired from the game against Leipzig the game got off to a bit of a slow start. Fifteen minutes into the first half and there was still no real chance for either side, no anything approaching a play which looked remotely dangerous. It took until the 25th minute for Freiburg to get close to having a real chance. But it remained an almost chance since Maximillian Philipp was brought down in the box before he was able to get a shot off. He was calling for a penalty but none was given.

After this the pace of the game started to pick up with Frankfurt getting an opportunity of their own just two minutes later. Their fast break down the left however came to a swift end when the only man in the box to receive the ball found himself surrounded by a swarm of Freiburg players. This is something Freiburg did well pretty much the whole game. When they lost the ball they almost always regained possession extremely quickly, Frankfurt weren’t allowed any considerable amount of time on the ball meaning it was difficult for them to really put anything together. They looked a little harried and often found themselves surrounded by three or four Freiburg players. Wherever they where there was someone to greet them.

From this point onward things started to get a little more exciting and Freiburg were given the chance to open the scoring in the 29th minute when they were awarded a penalty. The strangest thing happened, Petersen stepped up to take it and it was saved by the keeper. He would prove to have something of a quiet day, he didn’t get on the score sheet at all which is a little unusual. It wasn’t a problem however because Frantz and Hufnagel both had a good game. Frantz himself had a few good chances before the first goal was scored by Maximillian Philipp in the 38th minute. Höfler did well to win the ball back and to shield it in order to make the pass whereupon the waiting Phillipp nicely took his shot and struck it perfectly into the lower left corner, right past the keeper who despite being right there saw nothing until it hit the back of the net. It’s only his second goal of the season, he’s usually setting up goals than scoring them so it’s nice to see him get on the score sheet. He had plenty of time and room to take his shot, there were three defenders making their way to him but none of them were close or quick enough. Freiburg’s patience paid off and they continued putting pressure on Frankfurt immediately at the start of the second half. The game was theirs for the taking if they wanted it and knowing this they wasted no time in putting a little bit more pressure on Frankfurt. Their efforts were rewarded quickly when Amir Abrashi made it 2-0 in the 48th minute in a terrific solo effort from him. He made his run down the left hand side but instead of setting someone else up he took the shot. Evidently Frankfurt had not learnt their lesson from earlier he like Philipp had plenty of time and space. There were three defenders there, one nearby, one next to him and one in front of him. Yet they all reacted too slow.

By now Freiburg were firmly in control and looked unlikely to sacrifice their hard earned 2-0 lead. Frankfurt did pose more of a threat in the second half and Schwolow actually had some real saves to make but apart from that it was all Freiburg. Frantz set up a couple of more chances including a very nice back heeled pass to Christian Günter which unfortunately went straight to the waiting keeper. Petersen got an opportunity in a one on one with the keeper but the keeper pushed the ball out to a waiting Philipp who despite having plenty of time put it wide. It just wasn’t Petersen’s day and he was taken off in the 78th minute for Tim Kleindienst. Also brought on in the 71st minute was Vincenzo Grifo for Lucas Hufnagel who looked impressive in his second start of the season. Grifo quickly made his presence felt, getting a chance to make it 3-0 not long after coming on. He went one on one with the keeper and had him beat but he put it wide. He also took a free kick which just went over the bar.  Sub Kleindienst also got a chance to make it 3-0 and to score his first goal for Freiburg. After Günter won the ball back he made a nice pass to Kleindienst who was unable to take advantage of the opportunity. In the 89th minute they made their final change with Julian Schuster coming on for goal scorer Amir Abrashi. He was not to be a last minute joker this time however like he was on MD1 against 1.FCN. Not that it mattered, another important three points all wrapped up. Taking advantage of the fact Bochum lost to Kaiserslautern and St Pauli drew with Paderborn it meant the top spot for Freiburg after dropping two points against Leipzig. Speaking of the devil Leipzig after drawing with Freiburg on Thursday night also drew 2-2 with struggling 1860 München.

MD9 - 2.Bundesliga results 2.Bundesliga table - MD9 1 2.Bundesliga table - MD9 2

Highlights – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt

Post-match interviews with Christian Streich and Amir Abrashi:

Mensur Mjudza – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Maximillian Phillip & Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 5 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 6 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 3 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 4 Vincenzo Grifo – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Alexander Schwolow – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 5 Lucas Hufnagel – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Lucas Hufnagel – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Vincenzo Grifo – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Nils Petersen – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 2 Julian Schuster – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 1 Amir Abrashi - SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 5 Maximillian Philipp – SC Freiburg v FSV Frankfurt 8

Advent Calendar Day 9: The Day of Ginter

Behind door number nine in the Freiburg calendar was midfielder Amir Abrashi. In the DFB one was the card of Oliver Bierhoff. I was kind of hoping Matze would be there. It would have been perfect since today he was in the Dortmund one. It would have been cool, to first have two of Lukas and then two of Matze but it was not to be:

Oliver Bierhoff - DFB card 2015-16 1 Oliver Bierhoff - DFB card 2015-16 2 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund advent calendarTonight was the final day of the group stage of the Champions League. Gladbach are already out, having lost 4-2 to Man City. Wolfsburg are through, as are Bayern who played Zagreb in Croatia tonight. A game which was no fun at all since Manuel Neuer was given the day off, Ulreich was in goal. That leaves Leverkusen who needed a win against title holders Barcelona, they drew 1-1 meaning they too are out, but not completely, finishing in third means they go into the Europa League. Also Per Mertesacker and Mesut Özil with Arsenal are through to the next round, having beaten Olympiakos 3-0. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Man United are eliminated finishing in third meaning they too go into the Europa League. And last but not least Shkodran Mustafi and Valencia having lost 2-0 to Lyon also find themselves in the Europa League.

Champions League 2015-16 - last 16 1 Champions League 2015-16 - last 16 2

A very quiet night tonight, I spent most of it half watching Bayern’s game whilst I figure out how my next story is going to go. This time I’m working on something for Manuel Neuer. Progress is slow going, mostly because I’m nursing something of a hangover from yesterday. I’m glad I went yesterday but I’m certainly paying the price for having done so.

There is at least one thing to brighten things up today, a new picture of Hansi from the DFB site:

csm_87286-15.12.08_U_19-Euro_Plakat_009_f837e398d2

2.Bundesliga MD6 2015/16 – 1.FC Kaiserslautern v SC Freiburg

Match-day 6 saw Freiburg visiting the usually imposing Fritz-Walter Stadion, though at the moment the place is proving to be more intimidating to Kaiserslautern’s own players than to opposing teams with their fans growing impatient as their season gets off to a slow start. After initially getting off to a good start with an admittedly predictable 3-0 win against newly promoted Duisburg they’ve struggled ever since.

Freiburg on the other hand have no such troubles and with the victory against Kasierslautern are managing to keep up the pressure on Bochum who were only able to draw 1-1 with Sandhausen, meaning that only one point separates them now. All it will take is one slip up by Bochum and for Freiburg to be ready and waiting, and they can take their place once more at the top of the table. Also keeping pace with the league leaders are St Pauli who beat Duisburg 2-0 on Monday night.

At the other end of the table Duisburg return to the foot of the table, they are still looking for their first win of the season. And Karlsruher continue to struggle, after getting smashed 6-0 by Eintracht Braunschweig on match-day 5, they lost 3-0 to Union Berlin, as a result moving two places down in the table.

MD6 2.Bundesliga results 2.Bundesliga table - MD6 1 2.Bundesliga table - MD6 2The goals on Friday night were scored by Amir Abrashi, getting his first ever goal for the club and the second was scored by none other than Nils Petersen who is now in double figures, with six league goals and four Pokal ones. The assist for both goals came from Karim Guede. They may have left it late to earn all three points, with Abrashi’s goal coming in the 72nd minute and Petersen’s in the 87th but they always looked like the more likely to score. Abrashi’s goal was the first real threat but Freiburg were always in control of the game. That’s three wins in a row for them now, a pattern they should by rights continue this coming Friday when they play host to Arminia Bielefeld whose only win so far was a 2-1 defeat of Paderborn. It’s important not to slip up for Bochum play Fortuna Düsseldorf, a team they are unlikely to drop any points against. A potentially interesting match-up from the other end of the table is Paderborn v Karlsruher. Can even Paderborn add to KSC’s misery and secure themselves some much needed points?

Highlights of FCK v SC Freiburg.

Highlights of SV Sandhausen v VfL Bochum.

Highlights of Karlsruher SC v 1.FC Union Berlin.

Videos and pictures, first a pre-match interview with Karim Guede and then a post-match interview with Nils Petersen:

Amir Abrashi - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 1 Amir Abrashi - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 2 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 1 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 2 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 3 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 4 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 5 Nils Petersen - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 6 Karim Guede & Christian Streich - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg Christian Streich & Alexander Schwolow v 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 1 Christian Streich & Alexander Schwolow v 1.FCK v SC Freiburg 2 Christian Streich & Amir Abrashi - 1.FCK v SC Freiburg

A Summer Nightmare/500th Post

Deutschland: Ein Sommermärchen is the title of the film about Germany’s 2006 World Cup campaign and should be in theory my second favourite film ever. Die Mannschaft should of course be my first, the truth is neither of them are. In fact I’ve only seen the former once and the latter twice, the reason being I find them too emotional to watch and rewatch them as obsessively as I do my other favourite films. A summer fairy tale is what “Ein Sommermärchen” means, as the title of this post suggests summer is no fairy tale for me, especially when it’s as warm as it is right now. The heat is driving me to despair and just in case things couldn’t be worse I’m sick as well. After having slept most of the day and missing the press conference, I now find myself awake at 4:00am. Which is not good at all, not when the Gibraltar game is at 19:40 today and Sami Khedira’s charity match is on Sunday at 15:30. Such bad timing, it couldn’t wait two days, then I would happily spend the day in bed doing nothing but that’s not an option right now, there’s still so much to do. My mood is not improved by the impending end of the school year and with that the number of children around. Why is it that they must shriek in that way, it’s like having a banshee for a neighbor.

I should be in a celebratory mood, this is my 500th post. Plus I did what I promised myself I would do all the way back in December, I posted for every day of the Rückrunde. I honestly thought I would never reach 500 posts, I thought for sure I would get bored or run out of ideas way before then. I can be like that with projects, have lots of great ideas at first and plenty of enthusiasm but after being totally focused on it for a while, I get bored and move on to something else. For whatever reason that hasn’t happened here and I’m not particularly interested in knowing why that it is, not tempting fate and all that. Some things just are.

It’s been a few days since I’ve actually written something for here, everything else has been die Mannschaft related. It’s funny then that one of the few posts containing text, starts out being about them too. On a related note, die Mannschaft is their official name now. It’s what I always refer to them as and yet somehow I’m not entirely satisfied with them being called that. I prefer die Nationalmannschaft, but that’s probably too long and unwieldy and of course it’s not the name the world knows them by. Jogis Elf is what some people like. I like that name a lot and think it would have been a good choice too, but it doesn’t fit with their project, with what they are building and the spirit of the whole thing. Calling the team Jogis Elf ties it to one person, to one coach. But what they are doing is bigger than one coach, than one set of players. The work started with Klinsmann, Löw and Bierhoff in 2004 and it will continue long after them, a legacy. Because that is the driving force behind the idea of “die Mannschaft.” That the team comes first and that no one person is more important or bigger than the team.

On the subject of Jogi, I dreamed about him earlier. In the dream he spoke English, he didn’t speak one word of German in fact. Interesting thing is, he didn’t sound strange at all. What makes this so fascinating is that in yesterday’s press conference he spoke English, not much, just to clarify a question put to him in English. Then he didn’t so strange either, I guess his accent is less pronounced when he’s less aware of what he’s saying. In one of the other videos I’ve seen in which he’s speaking English he’s reading from a script and that’s when he sounds strange. I also talked about Marc Andre Ter Stegen in the dream, got into a disagreement related to him in fact. Wonder what that’s supposed to mean. I wonder if it has anything to do with the predictions about who Weidenfeller’s successor is going to be. I know Ter Stegen’s international career didn’t get off to a great start, that’s putting it mildly, but that was three years ago, a lot has changed since then.  Also in contention are Timo Horn, Kevin Trapp and Bernd Leno. Horn in particular will prove to be formidable competition for him. Leno is an interesting one too, he’s highly rated in the Bundesliga and yet I keep hearing about how apparently he’s not highly rated by Jogi Löw and co.

2. Bundesliga Count-down – 41 days to go.

As pleased as I am that I did what I set out to do, I can’t be very happy about it. Not whilst I watch the team get torn apart. Jonathan Schmid has of course gone to Hoffenheim, Nils Petersen as expected has returned to Bremen and Dani Schahin is off to Mainz. And now the worst, Oliver Sorg to H96 and Admir Mehmedi to Leverkusen. Still no definite news on Roman, though I keep reading about Dortmund being interested in him.

Returning to the club is Alexander Schwolow who spent last season on loan at Arminia Bielefeld. Already signed last month were Tim Kleindienst from Energie Cottbus and Lukas Kübler from SV Sandhausen. Signed in the last few days were midfielder Amir Abrashi from Swiss side Grasshopper Club-Zürich, defender Vegar Eggen Hedenstad from Eintracht Brauschweig and midfielder Vincenzo Grifo from Hoffenheim who spent last season on loan at FSV Frankfurt.

GC-ABRASHIAbrashi is of Albanian descent but was born and raised in Switzerland. Like his fellow countryman Mehemdi he used to play for FC Winterthur but unlike him chose to play his international football for Albania instead of Switzerland and has 13 caps to his name.

Tim Kleindienst

Tim Kleindienst

Lukas Kübler

Lukas Kübler

Vincenzo Grifo

Vincenzo Grifo

Vegar Eggen Hedenstad

Vegar Eggen Hedenstad

Alexander Schwolow

Alexander Schwolow