Tag Archives: Champions League

Advent Calendar Day 11: Vampire Mondays

Despite getting out of bed whilst it was actually still morning today didn’t go as I wanted it to. Even though I was out of bed and doing what I was supposed to be doing it didn’t feel right, half the time I felt like I was still asleep and the rest of the time I was wishing I were. It was only late in the evening that I actually felt awake, something which doesn’t bode well for my efforts at straightening out my sleeping patterns. I’m doing everything I can to resist a nocturnal schedule but evidently the rest of me does not agree. Come night time that old familiar feeling returns, a feeling of invincibility almost. Like I can do anything and I have a million and one ideas. Which of course I don’t actually do anything about, that’s all anything is these days, ideas and thoughts. Hardly anything is real anymore, most things don’t get beyond my head. I plot stories, come up with ideas for posts and projects. Yet I don’t do any of it. When it comes to writing stuff down the words aren’t there anymore. And when they are it’s not right, the stories are more complete when they’re in my head. Like something gets lost when I try to put them down on paper.

Things aren’t happening as they’re meant to and these posts are no exception. I thought I might use them to get back on track. And of course I had plenty of ideas, like digging some stuff out from my archives and making videos for the players whose cards and stickers I got on that day. Something which never materialized, not because I forgot about the idea. It was just the thought of all that work, what is usually fun felt like a chore. Almost everything feels that way these days. Forget about actually getting anything done by the time you’re out of bed, showered and dressed it feels like that’s half of your energy gone already. Yesterday was a lot of fun, maybe too much fun.

Not a lot happened today, other than what seems to be the now mandatory Playstation marathon (the game of choice being Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood this time) the main event today was the Champions League draw. Bayern have got what on paper is a not so difficult draw, having been drawn with Turkish team Besiktas. I find it funny myself, because Besiktas are from RB Leipzig’s group. The best of the bunch though is obviously Real Madrid v PSG. I don’t care about the Ronaldo v Neymar competition though. What I care about is German being pitted against German, well Germans since PSG have two in the form of Julian Draxler and Kevin Trapp. And of course Real Madrid have Toni Kroos. I can’t really root for either, I don’t like PSG because of where their money comes from yet I can’t root for Real Madrid because I can’t stand Ronaldo. As for picking who I like better, I don’t know if I can do that. My first instinct is to say Julian, though I think that might be Matze’s fault. Either way it’ll be brilliant to watch, I just hope that Julian actually gets to play. On the subject of Germans being pitted against one another the draw of Chelsea and Barcelona does just that. This time it’s Antonio Rüdiger against Marc-Andre ter Stegen. And this is the point where I say I’m staying neutral. Between those two I really can’t pick.

Despite the excitement of the Champions League draw the highlight of today was a new video for my collection, not Jogi of course (I’ve never gotten one of him from a 2.Bundesliga game – besides they’re in Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup) but Stefan instead.

Stefan Kuntz at Fortuna Düsseldorf v 1.FCN 2017/18

Joachim Löw at Dortmund v Real Madrid (CL 17/18)

Joachim Löw at Dortmund v Real Madrid (CL 17/18)

Joachim Löw & Hansi Flick at Hoffenheim v Liverpool – CLQ 2017/18

Joachim Löw & Hansi Flick at Hoffenheim v Liverpool – CLQ 2017-18

Champions League Play-offs draw 2017/18

Champions League Play offs draw 2017/18

Technically my interest in European football ended with last night’s debacle in Slovenia, but truth is no matter how that game went the Champions League draw today held a lot of interest for me. Not least to see if my half wish, half prediction would come true, that is for Liverpool to get drawn with Hoffenheim. Well I got my wish on that count at least and a little something extra too, getting a new picture of Hansi from the draw. As nice as that is I wish I’d saved my luck for Freiburg. Them having lost hurts, admitting they deserved to lose even more so. I wasn’t under any illusions about it being easy, I watched Domzale play in the second leg of the previous tie. They showed in that game they were a team with plenty of fight in them and that worried me, and I guess I was right to be worried. Not that it matters anymore, the next big question is who to root for, Hoffenheim or Liverpool. Normally I would go with the Germans but this time I feel inclined to go the other way.

Matthias Ginter at Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid CL 2016/17

matthias-ginter-at-bayer-leverkusen-v-atletico-madrid-cl-2016-17-1

Advent Calendar Day 12: An Early Christmas Present

These days I always have trouble starting posts and put way too much thought into it when I should just do what I do in real life, just start wherever I want. Sometimes it’s at the beginning and more often than not right in the middle of whatever I want to say. Though with this post there really isn’t a beginning, middle and end because there’s only one important point. That point being today’s draw for the last sixteen of the Champions League and it’s in that draw I received the aforementioned early Christmas present. I said I didn’t want any surprises this year but this is one surprise I’m happy to get, though it seems I’m in the minority on this count. It’s mostly due to the draw I didn’t have to try very hard at being positive today. So happy am I with the result I’ve actually managed to write a few pages. As soon as Bayern got drawn I prayed “Arsenal, Arsenal, please get Arsenal.” Low (no Jogi reference intended) and behold Arsenal is who they got drawn with. Sometimes wishing does work. It means Mesut and Mustafi get to face off against Manuel, Philipp, Thomas and Jerome. And significantly increases my chances of getting a Jogi video and maybe even a half-time interview. The game isn’t until February and I know I shouldn’t be thinking that far ahead but just this once I can’t help myself. Dortmund on the other hand will be playing Benfica and Leverkusen got drawn with Atletico Madrid which pretty much ends their hopes of getting any further, Dortmund have a much better chance of going through. I’d put good money on them making the next round. As for Bayern, well I wouldn’t bet either way.

champions-league-achtelfinale-2016-17Speaking of Jogi videos I got no such thing from any of this weekend’s games but then I didn’t expect one. I didn’t get one from last week’s Champions League games either, instead getting as a sort of consolation prize in the form of video and pictures of Miro Klose. Well this week’s consolation prize of sorts is Stefan Kuntz who was at Eintracht Frankfurt’s game on Friday night against Hoffenheim:

stefan-kuntz-at-eintracht-frankfurt-v-hoffenheim-2016-17There’s a quote I like from The West Wing, when Leo says “I like the little things.” I haven’t watched the show in quite some time yet that quote always sticks with me, as do a lot of the things from the show. It’s one of those things I wish I could watch again, but I can’t and not just because I know it too well. Rather it’s because it’s too depressing, both because of how idiotic real life politics are and because I view it a lot differently now. The only character I feel the same affection for is Toby, everyone else including the president I feel somewhat differently about, in fact especially him. I guess I’m a lot less naive than when I first watched it.

And none of that was my point, I had no intention of saying anything about the show itself. My point was I wonder if sometimes I’m a little too easily pleased, today’s draw being an example of that. It hasn’t completely taken my mind off what I was worrying about but it has a little, and it has put me in a slightly better mood. It’s the first time in several days I’ve decided to write something story wise and actually sat down and done just that without too much fuss. It should be a good thing yet I don’t feel like it is. This is why I don’t have any long-term plans. How can I have any real plans when I’m happy just to get a new box of cards. Or maybe I’m over thinking all of this. It’s just that question keeps coming up again and again, and every time I get asked it makes me feel like an even more inferior to other people than I already do. As if I’ll only be a person in their eyes if I do what they think I should. One day I’ll answer what I’m really thinking, I’ve never done that. I’ve never said that all I really want is for them to go away. I don’t know what’s worse, constantly being interrogated as to what your plans are in life or being completely forgotten about and people assuming you couldn’t possible have any such plans. It’s sort of like the way I never get invited anywhere when people go out because they just assume I can’t go. Chances are I probably can’t but it’s still nice to be asked. And that was a whole of rambling which wasn’t planned. Better to write it here than for it to keep me up at night I guess. I suppose that’s enough rambling for one night.

In the Freiburg calendar was Slovakian striker Karim Guede who scored that invaluable goal against Heidenheim last season, and who of course played such an important part in Petersen’s goal against Bayern two years ago. Joining him from the Dortmund calendar is Nuri Sahin who like Karim has made just the one appearance so far this season:

Karim Guede & Christian Streich - 1.FCK v SC FreiburgKarim Guede & Mike Frantz – SC Freiburg v KSC20161213_001612-1

Joachim Löw at Borussia Mönchengladbach v Barcelona (CL 16/17)

joachim-low-at-borussia-monchengladbach-v-barcelona-cl-16-17-1 joachim-low-at-borussia-monchengladbach-v-barcelona-cl-16-17-2