Tag Archives: Champions League

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

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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)

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Joachim Löw at Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid (CL 2016/17) & Sky half-time interview

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The Silver Lining/Champions League group stage draw 2016/17

In the case of Germany at the Olympics their silver lining was a literal one, coming home with silver medals rather than gold. I can’t say I’m disappointed because I gave little thought to them reaching the final at all. Just them being at the competition was something of a novelty so I didn’t really have any expectations. Regardless of how I pictured the summer ending I really wish it hadn’t happened that way, Germany losing to Brazil hurts a little but it being Nils Petersen who missed the all important penalty hurts even more. Not that I’m disappointed in him but rather for him, that’s not how you want to end your time in a German shirt. But at least he stepped up and took one, he didn’t shy away from the responsiblity, he never has as far as penalties are concerned. It’s painfully ironic that the same day Freiburg played in the first round of the DFB Pokal and won 4-0 without him, the first goal coming via a penalty which in Petersen’s absence was taken by Vincenzo Grifo. The next time I see him and Matze Ginter together they’ll be on opposite sides, here’s hoping they can avoid losing too badly this time round. Though with how good Dortmund are looking I fear that may not be an option.

Nils Petersen – Deutschland v Brasilien (Olympics 2016) 1 Matthias Ginter – Deutschland v Brasilien (Olympics 2016) 1 Matthias Ginter – Deutschland v Brasilien (Olympics 2016) 2 Nils Petersen – Deutschland v Brasilien (Olympics 2016) 2Nils Petersen – Deutschland v Brasilien (Olympics 2016) 3Jogi Löw’s words on the matter are the right way to look at it, “You didn’t lose goal but you won silver.” He’s right and it’s a healthy attitude to have but it doesn’t make you feel much better. It takes thinking of all the goals Nils did score to even start doing that. That’s not the penalty I remember when it comes to him, the two he scored against 1.FC Nürnberg will always be the ones in my mind. And as happy as I was to see him in a German shirt these are always the first pictures in my head when I think of him:

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Nils Petersen - penalty 1Nils Petersen - post-match interview 4On the subject of pictures and silver linings I didn’t have to look to hard to find today’s, with two days to spare my kits arrived from Freiburg. In honour of Petersen being chosen for the Olympic squad I got his name put on the white away one and Grifo on the home one. I’d already decided to have Petersen’s name on there and in fact placed the order before that game, but even if I hadn’t I still would have done so. I’m still happy and proud to wear his name:

20160825_124153-1 20160825_12490720160825_125727-1 20160825_125834I’m almost all ready for the new season now, I’ve got my new kits, the first round of the Pokal has been played and more importantly I’ve seen Freiburg, Bayern and Dortmund’s games. Tomorrow Bayern will play Bremen in the opening game and Jogi Löw will announce his squad for the first international break, including the game against Finland which will be the swansong for both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski. Together they represent the last of the old gurad, the two players in the squad who didn’t get their first cap under Jogi Löw. Today of course an equally important event took place, the group stage draw for the Champions Leage. But before I get to that I have to mention one more thing, one final silver lining to today and that is my newly obtained figurine of Jogi Löw. An addition to my collection which makes me very happy indeed, a good thing really because real life sucks at the moment.

Jogi Löw figurineAnd now to the draw, today may be a total bust but the draw most definitely was not. It’s no less exciting than last year, though exciting as it is I’m not sure whether or not to feel bad for Gladbach or be excited by the possibilties. It’s curious anyway, the fact three out of the four German teams have all been drawn with a Spanish team. Bayern v Atletico should be a lot of fun and I can’t help but think of Bayern winning and getting some sense of vengeance out of it, becuase of Antoine Griezmann. Similiarly I cant’t help but think of Dortmund’s clash with Real Madrid and Sporting in the same way. I don’t want to curse either of them but I cant’t help it. I might have gotten over the summer in the sense I’m not obsessing over it but I’m not completely over it, not yet. I don’t know if you ever do get over it completely. Well at least there’s plenty to look forward to, not least Freiburg being back in the Bundesliga, just two days to go until their first game against Hertha BSC. Or to be more precise two days, 16 hours and 50 minutes until kick-off.

Champions League group-stage draw 2016-17 1 Champions League group-stage draw 2016-17 2