Tag Archives: Erik Durm

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

Bundesliga MD31

Fresh off their disappointment in the DFB Pokal Hertha were handed the unenviable task of facing almost champions Bayern. A win for Bayern would have sealed the title this weekend but only if Dortmund lost to Stuttgart. Bayern managed to find their way past Hertha in an efficient but most unsatisfying way. Dortmund however prevented them from being able to celebrate just yet. Unlike Bayern they had no trouble getting past Stuttgart and there was no luck involved with any of their goals. Indeed after the third it seemed as if Stuttgart had all but given up. Last week Jogi Löw said he was sure that Stuttgart would avoid relegation but then he said the same thing about Freiburg last year and look how that turned out. I’m not so sure he’s right this time either, Stuttgart usually do get away with it by the skin of their teeth but their luck has to run out sometime surely. I wouldn’t make any predictions as regards who’s going to survive, with just two points between them and Bremen and only three separating them from Frankfurt I really wouldn’t. I guess next week will be the telling one, not just because there’s only two games left after that but because Bremen face Stuttgart on Monday night. The final day of the season offers up a relegation clash too with Bremen hosting Eintracht Frankfurt. I hate the fact that’s the case because those are the two teams I would hate to see getting relegated.  I hate it even more because I’m not sure I can watch it, I’m set on watching Bayern play H96 on the last day of the season just so I can watch them get relegated, getting revenge I guess. I don’t really need to watch it, I mean they are all ready relegated because of their draw against Ingolstadt and Eintracht Frankfurt’s victory on Friday. I’ve just been set on it ever since seeing the schedule, even before they were in actual danger of being relegated.

Bayern needed the first half and a little bit to get past Hertha’s defence and an impressive Thomas Kraft upon his return from injury, when they did finally do so it involved a bit of luck, Arturo Vidal’s shot taking a slight deflection on it’s way into the net. It wasn’t a pretty game to watch but their second goal certainly was, no luck involved there from Douglas Costa:

Douglas_Costa_goal_Hertha_v_Bayern_15_16Dortmund’s game was a lot more watchable thankfully, especially seeing as how it’s the one I chose to watch live. It was a game which was guaranteed goals, neither side really the goalless draw kind of team. Unfortunately for Stuttgart it was for the most part one way traffic, after dominating for the opening twenty minutes Dortmund finally got off the mark through Shinji Kagawa. From then on you got the feeling it wasn’t a question of whether Dortmund would win or not but by how many. A little over twenty minutes later on the stroke of half-time Christian Pulisic made it 2-0, a goal which makes him the youngest ever player to score two goals in the Bundesliga apparently. Dortmund killed off the game eleven minutes into the first half with the goal coming from Henrikh Mkhyitaryan. It was a particularly cruel goal for Stuttgart’s keeper Przemyslaw Tyton to let in. He was unable to get hold of the header from Ramos and could only push it out into the path of the waiting Mkhyitaryan who was never going to miss from there. My favourite moment of the match however is reserved for Thomas Tuchel, the game was highly entertaining but Thomas was almost equally as fun to watch. Once more he provides another fun GIF for my collection. The funniest thing about his reaction is all he’s arguing over is a throw-in, as if that really matters:

Thomas_Tuchel_Stuttgart_v_DortmundThe real highlight however is Jogi related and happened by accident, I hadn’t planned on watching the repeat of Leipzig’s game on Monday night but given the result I just had to. It’s a good thing I did because I got three awesome pictures of Jogi as a result, they aren’t from that game. I don’t even know what game they’re from or when. All I know is it’s a Stuttgart game:

Joachim Löw – Stuttgart game 1 Joachim Löw – Stuttgart game 2 Joachim Löw – Stuttgart game 3The rest of the weekend was very entertaining too with Köln beating Darmstadt 4-1 and Leverkusen orchestrating an impressive comeback against Schalke. Going into the game Leverkusen were in better form, in particular their keeper Bernd Leno who hadn’t conceded a goal in five games. Yet it was Schalke who took the lead, though they didn’t convert the penalty they were gifted early in the first half. The way Schalke let themselves get overrun is a fair reflection of their entire season, losing puts their Champions League ambitions in doubt, leaving them with the more realistic prospect of the Europa League again. Sunday afternoon provided more entertainment with Gladbach erasing the memory of their truly awful performance against H96 last week. It was the second game which was of more interest to me, Eintracht Frankfurt playing host to Mainz. I don’t care so much about the latter’s European ambitions but I do care whether or not Eintracht Frankfurt get relegated. It wasn’t the most attractive game you’ll ever see, not by a long shot but they got the job done. Getting just their second victory under new coach Niko Kovac, funnily enough the scorer of the winner was Anis Ben-Hatira who scored the winning goal in the other victory since Kovac replaced Armin Veh. Technically it’s an own goal because it took a deflection off Stefan Bell but that won’t matter to Eintracht Frankfurt I suppose.

Bundesliga MD31 results Bundesliga table MD31 1 Bundesliga table MD31 2Videos, interviews first:


Hertha v Bayern

VfB Stuttgart v Dortmund

1.FC Köln v Darmstadt

Schalke v Leverkusen

Wolfsburg v Augsburg

Gladbach v Hoffenheim

Eintracht Frankfurt v Mainz

Pictures from Bayern’s game:

Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 1 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 1 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 2 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 2 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 1 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 3 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 3 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 2 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 4 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 5 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 4 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 6 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 7 Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 5 Mario Götze & Thomas Müller – Hertha v Bayern 1 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 8 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 3 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 9 Robert Lewandowksi – Hertha v Bayern 4 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 10 Manuel Neuer – Hertha v Bayern 11Pictures from Dortmund’s game:

Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter & Erik Durm – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Erik Durm – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 2 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 3 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 4 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 5 Thomas Tuchel – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Thomas Tuchel – Stuttgart v Dortmund 2 Thomas Tuchel – Stuttgart v Dortmund 3 Roman Bürki & Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 1 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 6 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 7 Matthias Ginter – Stuttgart v Dortmund 8 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 4 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 5 Roman Bürki – Stuttgart v Dortmund 6

Stickers of the Day: The First Germans

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:

Erik Durm - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Jerome Boateng - Germany - Euro 2016 sticker Robert Lewandowski - Poland - Euro 2016 sticker Borussia Dortmund Trikots - Bundesliga 2015-16 sticker

Bundesliga MD28 2015/16

The Bundesliga certainly wasted no time getting back into the swing of things after the international break.The weekend kicked off with Leverkusen v Wolfsburg in an encounter amusingly dubbed “El Plastico.” That’s even funnier when you consider Wolfsburg’s next opponents were Real Madrid who the same weekend beat Barcelona 2-1 in the real “El Classico.” Strange indeed, Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-1 yet a few days later lose 2-0 to Wolfsburg, and the latter find themselves outclassed by a team that got knocked out of the Europa League.

The real excitement was on Saturday though with Dortmund hosting Bremen. They have a pretty good record against Dortmund, though admittedly not at Signal Iduna Park. Regardless one thing was for sure, this was a fixture which guaranteed goals. The best attack in the league up against the worst defence in the league, you wouldn’t expect anything else. Say what you like about Bremen, more often than not they are good value for money as regards entertainment. Even when they lose they manage to be watchable and exciting. It was a big game for both teams but for very different reasons, Dortmund looking to keep up the pressure on Bayern and Bremen doing their best to distance themselves a little bit further from the relegation struggle.

It was as promised a very entertaining game, even though all the drama came in the last 25 minutes. Given their respective strengths it’s a surprise that Bremen started slightly better. Even with their obvious defensive emphasis (not taking any chances they lined up with five at the back) they managed to get a few chances early on. Dortmund were a team frustrated. After a slow start they managed to get going and pretty soon it was raining down on Felix Wiedwald’s goal but he denied them, several times. He’s been unable to keep a clean sheet all season, in fact he’s the only keeper in the league not to have done so but he was world class on several occasions in this game. Even Zieler with already condemned H96 has managed to keep at least one clean sheet, ironically enough against Bremen was the first time he did so. Here’s one of those saves from the first half:

Wiedwald_save_1_Dortmund_v_BremenWiedwald_save_replay_1_Dortmund_v_BremenWiedwald_save_replay_2_Dortmund_v_BremenIt’s thanks to such efforts that Bremen went into the break with the scores at 0-0. Considering it’s Dortmund they were up against that’s an achievement in itself. Though obviously it couldn’t last forever. Sure enough just seven minutes after the restart Aubameyang made it 1-0 to Dortmund. He had little trouble outrunning the last two defenders, for Vestergaard it was a case of almost but not quite. He just got there but too late to do anything and Aubameyang put the ball over a helpless Felix Wiedwald. The drama was not done however and the game far from over. The next goal did not as you might expect come from Dortmund, though I suppose in a sense it did seeing as how the next goal was an own goal scored by Gonzalo Castro. A stroke of luck for Bremen but they wouldn’t have cared, the celebrations would suggest so. It enlivened them and gave them the confidence to look for an equaliser. Dortmund were once again frustrated and more than a little rattled. Which may have had something to do with Bremen taking the lead in the 73rd minute. Not to take anything away from Zlatko Junuzovic, it was an excellent goal. Unluckily for them however Dortmund had not one ace up their sleeve but two in the form of Shinji Kagawa and Adrian Ramos. The latter rescued them against Augsburg and he did so again here, getting the winning goal. Dortmund left it late to get their result but then it’s not the first time they’ve done so this season. Better late than never and the three points meaning they at least theoretically have a chance of winning the title. It would be incredible were it to happen but I’m not sure it will. I just can’t see Bayern dropping any points between now and the end of the season, maybe against Gladbach but that’s all. Dortmund on the other hand, it’s not unthinkable to think of them doing so.

On the subject of Bayern they had a fairly uneventful game against Eintracht Frankfurt, winning 1-0 with a pretty awesome goal from Franck Ribery. It wasn’t a great game to watch, no doubt Bayern were saving their energy for their impending Champions League clash against Benfica. Niko Kovac said they were going to Munich with the intention of trying to win, brave words indeed but not as foolhardy as they may sound. Eintracht did draw 0-0 with Bayern earlier in the season after all. As it stands they of course lost but only 1-0, that could prove to be important in their fight against relegation. Speaking of relegation H96 continued their inevitable slide down into the 2.Bundesliga with a 3-0 loss to HSV. I don’t think anyone was surprised on Sunday morning when they announced the sacking of Thomas Schaaf. I got the impression his time was up from his post-match interview and his comments after the game. I guess the only question was would he leave of his own accord or be fired. As it turns out H96’s problems are too big for even him to solve. Meanwhile elsewhere on Sunday Hoffenheim made inroads to safety with an important 1-1 draw against Köln. They left it late, very late in fact, Kevin Volland scored the equaliser in the 90th minute. In the other game Gladbach humiliated Champions League hopefuls Hertha BSC 5-0 in a hugely entertaining affair making the battle for the Champions League spots just that little bit more interesting.

Bundesliga - MD28 results Bundesliga table 1 - MD28 Bundesliga table 2 - MD28Highlights:

Bayern v Eintracht Frankfurt

Dortmund v Bremen

Mainz v Augsburg

H96 v HSV

Darmstadt v VfB Stuttgart

Ingolstadt v Schalke

Picturesfrom Dortmund’s game:

Thomas Tuchel - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Erik Durm & Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Sven Bender - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Sven Bender - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Thomas Tuchel - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 3 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 4 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 2 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 3 Thomas Tuchel - Dortmund v Bremen 3 Erik Durm - Dortmund v Bremen 5 Matthias Ginter - Dortmund v Bremen 4 Matthias Ginter & Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 1 Roman Bürki - Dortmund v Bremen 3

Bundesliga MD25 2015/16: Der Klassiker Round 2

Sometimes after midweek games the weekend which follows can be a little slow, lacking in both goals and excitement. That wasn’t the case the weekend just gone, though ironically there were no goals in the biggest game of all. But then it didn’t need any, what it lacked in goals it more than made up for in terms of excitement. In one way it’s a good thing there were no goals because if there had been no matter who the goalscorer was it could not have bettered Pizarro’s goal against H96.

As for the other games on Saturday in total they racked up 26 goals with three high scoring games. Stuttgart’s 5-1 defeat of local rivals Hoffenheim, Bremen beating H96 4-1 and finally Leverkusen drawing 3-3 with Augsburg but only thanks to a last minute penalty. The Stuttgart game is interesting because the last time they scored five goals in a game was also against Hoffenheim, back in 2013 when they beat them 6-2. In charge of Stuttgart at the time was none other than Thomas Schneider. Bremen’s game was special and not just because they totally destroyed H96 which naturally I found most enjoyable. The main reason for it being special is Claudio Pizarro scoring his 100th goal for Bremen, because being the Bundesliga’s oldest scorer of a hat-trick at the age of 37 just wasn’t enough. Not only that but he’s the top scorer of the Rückrunde so far, having scored eleven goals. The only other draw of the weekend was Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-1 draw with Ingolstadt, a result which turned not to be enough to save Armin Veh’s job. No big surprise there, with seven games without a win and the fans having turned against him weeks ago it seemed all but inevitable.

Ausburg v Leverkusen highlights

Köln v Schalke highlights

Wolfsburg v Gladbach highlights

Bremen v H96 highlights

Stuttgart v Hoffenheim highlights

Eintracht Frankfurt v Ingolstadt highlights

Dortmund v Bayern highlights

Mainz v Darmstadt highlights

HSV v Hertha highlights

Bundesliga MD25 results Bundesliga MD25 table 1 Bundesliga MD25 table 2Getting back to Dortmund the result of their game was anything but inevitable. I knew only two things for certain going into this game, that it wouldn’t end up quite as one sided as last time and it wasn’t going to disappoint. After the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal I was musing whether or not it would be good to see someone else in the final this year, a nice change from the Dortmund-Bayern match-up. I’ve changed my mind on that, I want them to go head to head once more. It’s tricky because I’d love for Bremen to get there too, but I think seeing a replay of this game especially seeing as it’s Guardiola’s last season at Bayern would be epic.

To be honest I wasn’t so concerned with the result as I was Roman Bürki not embarrassing himself like he did in the reverse of the fixture. He had a much better game this time round though he still had a few shaky moments in the opening minutes of the game, making two mistakes just a minute apart. I’ve seen the game twice and yet all that’s sticking in my head is not just Bürki’s mistakes but also the two great saves he made, one denying Costa the chance to score and secondly Vidal. The second one in particular goes some way to making up for the goal he almost gifted Müller in the first half. There is one non-goalkeeper moment I remember and that’s Erik Durm’s nice little turn and subsequent shot on goal in the 18th minute. Had that been a goal it would have been incredible, he scored midweek against Darmstadt but scoring against Bayern would have been a whole other world:

Roman_B_rki_mistake_1_Dortmund_v_Bayern Roman_B_rki_mistake_2_Dortmund_v_Bayern Roman_B_rki_v_Douglas_Costa_Dortmund_v_Bayern Roman_B_rki_v_Vidal_Dortmund_v_Bayern Manuel_Neuer_mistake_Dortmund_v_Bayern Erik_Durm_chance_Dortmund_v_BayernObviously there were other important moments in the game but in the excitement the rest is forgotten and to be honest overshadowed somewhat by Freiburg’s victory over RB Leipzig on Monday night. No matter how great Dortmund’s game was nothing compares to that, not even getting the half-time interview with Jogi. What I lack in words I can more than make up for in terms of videos and pictures, getting nine videos from this week’s game:

Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Erik Durm – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Erik Durm – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Mario Götze – Dortmund v Bayern Matthias Ginter – Dortmund v Bayern Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern pre-match show 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern pre-match show 2 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern pre-match show 3Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 5 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 6 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Thomas Müller & Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Thomas Müller – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 4 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Robert Lewandowksi – Dortmund v Bayern 5 Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Robert Lewandowksi & Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 1 Robert Lewandowksi & Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 2 Robert Lewandowksi & Manuel Neuer – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 5 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 6 Philipp Lahm – Dortmund v Bayern 7 Erik Durm – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Roman Bürki – Dortmund v Bayern 8 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 3 Thomas Tuchel – Dortmund v Bayern 4

The Final German & The Road to Completion

With the arrival of Erik Durm my Euro 2016 album is one step closer to completion, he was the final German I needed to complete their page. I now just have one sticker left before the whole album is finished, the missing sticker being number 326, Herr Kari Arkivuo of Finland. I hope this time around it works out. I got one of him just before Christmas and he was damaged. This time I hope he’s perfect. It’s nice in a way, it’s my final sticker and for the person I’m trading with it’s their first swap online. Anyhow, Erik Durm’s sticker and the complete German pages:

Erik Durm - Germany - Road to Euro 2016IMG_20160226_160252Seeing as how one collection is almost done I figure it’s the perfect time to start another one. The next one I’m embarking upon is the Bundesliga 2013/14 album. I’ve opened 10 packets so far and am very happy that in those fifty stickers is two Freiburg players, Matthias Ginter and Oliver Baumann. Also most amusing was the fact I got both Lars and Sven Bender. Even better is not only were they in the same packet but right after each other:

IMG_20160219_220333img_20160219_220420  Matthias Ginter - SC Freiburg - Bundesliga 2013-14 stickerOliver Baumann - SC Freiburg - Bundesliga 2013-14 stickerSven Bender - Dortmund - Bundesliga 2013-14 stickerLars Bender - Leverkusen - Bundesliga 2013-14 sticker

Advent Calendar Day 21 – The Final Sticker Decision

Behind door number 21 in the Freiburg calendar was midfielder Florian Kath. Joining him from the DFB calendar is the card of Christoph Kramer and from the Dortmund calendar is Erik Durm:

Christoph Kramer - DFB 2015-16 card 1 Christoph Kramer - DFB 2015-16 card 2 Erik Durm - Dortmund advent calendarI’ve done everything I wanted to do today and I’m still not happy, I don’t know why. Nor do I know why I’m so angry all of a sudden, though I suppose there’s a clue to be found in the fact that the time I was no longer in such a good mood coincided with the time I was no longer by myself in the house. No-one’s done anything specific to annoy me, I’m just angry with everything. I’ve tried lots of ways to distract myself and so far none of them have worked. Having run out of options I’ve decided an early night is best, well midnight is not so early but these days it’s certainly early for me.

I don’t know if something specific is bothering me and I just haven’t worked it out yet or it’s just because of the approach of Christmas which I’m finding unsettling. Of course there’s also the fact to consider that tonight was the final night of the first half of the season. Paderborn drew 0-0 with Fortuna Düsseldorf. I missed most of the first half and going by what I heard at half-time and saw for myself in the second, I didn’t miss much. I still have mixed feelings about no football for the next month or so. I might have to resort to watching the Premier League at this rate, question is if I did that who would I pick, Klopp and Liverpool or go with Mesut Özil, Per Mertesacker and Arsenal?

I wish the holidays were over already, not just because I can’t wait for the Bundesliga to resume but because I want things to get back to normal in other ways. I wish other people didn’t like to spend quite so much time together and that they weren’t quite so noisy about it. I know I sound like a bah humbug but I’m finding their presence a little challenging to deal with. It’s nothing to do with the holidays, I feel that way all year round. It’s just made worse by how unsettling Christmas is as a whole. And then on top of that there’s the whole surprise present element, I never should have gone along with that. It’s nice for them and it’s obviously important to them but it’s not good at all for me. Their words on the matter earlier today don’t help any, “I just hope you like what I’ve got you.” So no pressure then. I wish they had thought that through before saying it to me. Maybe this is the thing that’s on my mind and I just haven’t realised that yet.

Everything is just all so strange right now, even stranger is the weather. I hate that it’s still warm, it’s a most disturbing aberration and a very troublesome one. I hate warm weather and it’s not making me any happier.

Seeing as how I’ve decided an early night is best I figured having a good book to hand will be of some help, just in case sleep doesn’t come so easy. Right now I’m reading The Man from Berlin which is proving to be a little less exciting than I thought. On paper it sounds perfect, a murder mystery set during WW2, it takes place in Sarajevo, has Nazis in it and the main character is a military intelligence officer. And yet I’m not so much enjoying it so much as reading it simply because I have to know what happens. I’m not the kind of person who can skip to then end of a book and just read the last chapter or the last page. Either I finish it or I don’t. I will persevere with this and finish it but I doubt I’ll be reading the second one. In fact my mind is already on what I’m going to read next.

Next in my to read pile is Ajax, The Dutch, The War which is about football and the Holocaust in Holland, more specifically about the Dutch team Ajax and their story under the Nazi occupation. I know it’s not a very cheerful book to be reading around Christmas time but that makes no difference to me. The other book I’m considering reading is an old favourite, The Book Thief. I’ve read several times by now and don’t really need to read it again. But I read it last Christmas and the one before that, at this point it almost feels like a tradition in the making. So what’s stopping me? Well just one little plot point which has been bugging me ever since it was brought to my attention, the fact that the child of a Communist being unable to read and never having been taught to do so is simply unbelievable. The question is should you let something like that ruin an otherwise incredible book, should you let it bug you that much? Is it just me being a pedant or is it really an issue?  One thing I know I’m being a pedant about is the fact I’m bothered by my copy of Ajax being an American copy. The reason for this is it says soccer instead of football, I know it’s stupid to be bothered by such a thing but it makes no difference to how I feel.  Shame it’s too late to send it back.

On the subject of being a pedant I wonder if I’m being too much of a perfectionist in regards to the decision I have to make, I have in my possession the final sticker to complete my Road to Euro 2016 album. The sticker in question being number 326, Kari Arkivuo of Finland. Problem is the left corner is noticeably creased. He wasn’t easy to get but I suppose I could get another if I were patient enough. But I don’t know if I’m being ridiculous or not. If I decide to keep him then I would get to mark the album as finished in 2015, if I don’t then I won’t. I’m also wondering whether or not it’s unreasonable to ask people if the sticker they are sending is in perfect condition or not and whether or not they’ll send a picture of it before you agree a trade. I wouldn’t ask for such a thing all the time but when you give them five in exchange for one, surely they should accept such a demand.

Whatever is on my mind I wish I could just work it out already, or do whatever it is I need to do. If that involves breaking something so be it. I just hate being this unfocused. I’ve read through this post several times to check for mistakes and each time I’ve found misspellings and missing words. I hope there is something I’m annoyed about and I just need to work out what it is. Because if this is just a reaction to Christmas then it’s not so simple to deal with. Even if I knew what was bothering me I can’t talk to anyone, I don’t exactly feel capable of stringing a sentence together right now. With this in mind having plans two days from now is not the greatest thing to be happening. Most of the day will be taken up by the film and Star Wars is 135mins long which is helpful. If it weren’t Christmas I would cancel, but I have to give them their gift. Last time I went out and I wasn’t in such a good mood it went terribly, though I maintain that my initial reaction was appropriate and their behaviour was over the line. But perhaps if I had been in a better mood I would have been more focused and thus able to walk away from the argument. So I guess just avoid any real conversation, see the film and find some excuse to come home straight afterwards. That should work to stay out of trouble.