Also at the game was Freiburg coach Christian Streich – unsurpising seeing as how Hertha are their opponents next Sunday, and Germany u21 coach Stefan Kuntz. I’m unlikely to be collecting any Hansi videos and photos now so Stefan will have to do:
I wasn’t sure I could enjoy any part of this evening’s games, indeed it took a little while before I could focus on what I was watching. I still felt a little guilty about being so easily distracted but I guess that’s normal. Whilst Tuesday’s round of games were a little disappointing and maybe didn’t offer sufficient distraction Wednesday was very different. I’m certainly glad I chose not to watch the news before the game (a mistake I made the previous night), had I done so it may have ruined what came after. Both games which were of most interest delivered not only on their promise of distraction and entertainment but in giving me exactly what I wanted. Three points a piece for Bayern and Freiburg from their respective games, and Leipzig being given no chance of resuming their brief stay at the top of the table. They I’m very happy to say are not the winter champions. It pains me to say they were last season, with them having a three point lead on Freiburg in the 2.Bundesliga table but they couldn’t repeat the feat in the top flight. I didn’t get my Christmas wish last year but I have now, it may seem unambitious in comparison to what Leipzig are aiming for but I don’t care. Freiburg are in the top half of the table and will stay there for another month. They are very far off from the position they were in two years ago, back then they were in the relegation zone and it’s where they spent the winter break. It’s nowhere near where they are now:
In their final game before the Christmas break in 2014 they played Hannover and drew 2-2, conceding a late goal which thanks to a technical fault I didn’t get to see. Matter of fact I still haven’t seen that goal, I guess some things you don’t need to see. There is one good thing from that game, the two players who scored the goals, Mike Frantz and Marc-Oliver Kempf are still part of the squad. This time round they faced Ingolstadt who are doing their best to do what Freiburg were doing two years ago, avoiding relegation. As the title suggests it was Florian Niederlechner who scored the winning goal, actually he scored both of them. It didn’t snow but that doesn’t matter, I like calling him a snow king. Nils didn’t start again which is always disappointing, even more so is that he didn’t get to add to his tally when he did come on. In his absence it fell to Niederlechner to take the penalty, and in scoring those two goals he got his first Bundesliga brace. It wasn’t an easy game and they worked hard for those three points, Schwolow like he did in the previous two games at his best to keep the score as it was towards the end. One final thing I have to mention about Hannover, neither they nor Stuttgart get the honour of being winter champions either. Both of them being overtaken in the table by Eintracht Braunschweig. Something which makes me happy for two reasons, firstly Braunschweig are my promotion pick for the season and secondly I don’t want them getting something Freiburg didn’t get.
Speaking of getting something Freiburg didn’t Bayern did that and then some, putting three goals past Leipzig and not just beating them but taking them apart. I know it’s wrong to enjoy someone else’s misfortune (not least when it’s Freiburg who face Bayern next) but I make an exception when it comes to Leipzig. As always Neuer celebrated the goal as he usually does, the GIF isn’t quite as good as the other celebatory ones of him but I had to make it:
It’s funny in a way, I’m totally focused on football after being unable to stop thinking about bad stuff and now the football is over. I’ll have to find something else to occupy myself with until the 20th January. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, it’s only 29 days without football. To be more precise without German football. The time will most likely fly by, if these past few weeks are anything to go by I won’t even notice it, let alone remember.
I don’t know how much of that I’ll remember but for the next few days there’s one thing I can’t forget, the last few days of the advent calendars. Day 21 saw defender Marc-Oliver Kempf make his appearance which is excellent timing on his part, seeing as how I was just talking about the Hannover game in which he scored the first goal. Though to be honest there’s not a bad time for him to make his appearance, he’s the kind of person I’d always be happy to see. In the Dortmund calendar was midfielder Felix Passlack whose last appearance for Dortmund was in the crazy 8-4 win against Legia Warsaw, in fact he scored the seventh goal. And because it’s Marc-Oliver’s day I think the GIF of him and Grifo dancing should make a reappearance, it’s so good it should be used twice:
This year has felt like a sort of groundhog day type year, the same stuff over and over again, and I don’t just mean in terms of the mistakes I’ve made. I wish I just meant that. With Monday’s night events it feels all so very familiar, indeed the same things are said all over again. The same hatred and racism is brought to the fore. Lots of things are said but little changes. A lot of people are ignorant of what’s going on in the wider world and they want it to stay that way. Syria seemed like a place far away and so the events there could be ignored, except now such things are happening right on Europe’s doorstep. And some people’s answer, to ban all refugees from entering Europe. To refuse to help the very people who are trying to escape things like this. I don’t know, nothing makes any sense, I’m not sure anything ever did. I just don’t understand how anyone could be so blinkered and ignorant not to care what’s going on there. The fact it’s so faraway should make no difference, nor that the people are of a different nationality or religion. People are people no matter where they’re from. It certainly doesn’t feel right to be celebrating Christmas whilst all this is going on.
Monday was not a good day anyway, and it become less of one because of what I woke up to. Just when you think you have a shot at getting back on track something else goes wrong. In reality I don’t think it had a shot of going right, I just wanted to believe it could. Everything feels just about as pointless as it’s ever done, yet I can’t stop writing or doing any of this. I’ve seen what happens when I do that, no matter how pointless it seems you have to carry on. A few days ago (I’m not sure which one exactly) I was watching The Counsellor, I don’t know why I decided to rewatch it, I didn’t think much of it the first time round. I felt drawn to it for some reason. I saw it at the cinema when it was released with a friend. Before seeing it I thought it would be good and they thought the opposite, after seeing it our positions were reversed. They said it was better than they expected and I was disappointed with it. I’m not sure I can articulate why exactly, I do however know why it angered me. The main character doesn’t care about the violence in Mexico when he has the potential to make money from it, he only cares when it affects him, when it’s someone he loves that gets hurt. Which is kind of like the situation now I suppose. The majority of people don’t care what’s happening somewhere else as long as it’s not affecting them. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much or why I can’t stop thinking about all this, maybe it’s because I’m often accused of lacking empathy, clearly that’s not true.
I have plenty of distractions but none of them are working, I don’t feel much like watching football, I couldn’t focus on tonight’s game in which Dortmund drew 1-1 with Augsburg. I don’t think the game made any difference, had I watched Gladbach’s game I probably would have felt the same. It’s a good thing I didn’t watch their game in fact, I would have felt even worse. After losing again there’s a good chance Gladbach will be parting ways with Andre Schubert before Christmas. I hope Wednesday’s game does a better job of distracting me, though at the same time it feels wrong but then almost everything does. Even writing this but I had to, I couldn’t not write it. As suffocating as routine is it can be comforting too, and sometimes it’s a little of both. Truth is without routine I wouldn’t know what to do.
Speaking of routine that brings me to the final part of the post, the advent calendars. Behind door number 19 in the Freiburg one was summer signing Janik Harberer and in the Dortmund one Andre Schürrle. And behind door number 20 was Julian Schuster and Roman Weidenfeller. Harberer scored his first Bundesliga goal the weekend before last against Leverkusen, he also got the assist for Niederlechner’s equaliser against Schalke last weekend: