The title is slightly misleading of course since unlike the English league the Germans don’t play over Christmas, though their winter break is considerably shorter this year due to the world cup. It’s only three weeks but it’ll feel like forever, it always does. And I’m not the only who’ll be missing it whilst it’s gone, sky made this cute but very sad little video about the mascots. But it’s the only title I could come up with so it’s staying. This year is my fourth Bundesliga Christmas. Ironically enough before my first Bundesliga Christmas I saw Hannover play on a Sunday then too, against Freiburg. It was not fun, thankfully today was. Amusingly enough this game ended in a draw just like that one with a lot more goals but no less drama. All in all today saw thirteen goals with Leipzig losing 3-2 to Hertha Berlin and Leverkusen drawing 4-4 with Hannover. I love getting match predictions right but I love it even more when I’m right about Leipzig losing. The football was fun but I didn’t get any Jogi videos, not from the games or the award ceremony tonight. So it’s lucky then that Stefan popped up at Sandhausen’s game against Holstein Kiel. I’d like to think he brought Sandhausen some luck as they beat Kiel 3-1, which means the latter missed the opportunity to be winter champions.
I wish I could come with a better title, Nils certainly deserves one. Also because the title makes it sound like I got Nils’ card in the DFB calendar, something which of course is never going to happen. Maybe Christian Günter will be in there one day but not Nils. That doesn’t matter tonight anyway, they didn’t win a trophy or promotion but you wouldn’t know it from the players and Christian Streich’s reaction. It was a big game, three points would see them out of the relegation zone. For some reason at home they don’t lose against Gladbach and tonight was no exception. It may not have been a performance as terrific as the one which saw them beat Gladbach 3-1 last season but it was good in it’s own way. They only scored the one goal and that was a penalty but it so easily could have been more. I’m kind of glad it wasn’t though, it would have made a dent in the goal difference which obviously is important but I would have felt bad for Matze. Gladbach aren’t having a very good week, last weekend they got a penalty wrongfully taken away and scored an own goal. And this week Jannik Vestergaard isn’t any happier, the penalty was debatable to say the least. And once again it showcases how annoying and intrusive VAR can be. It took them close to a minute to stop the play and tell the referee. If they are going to keep VAR they need to make it more responsive and communication needs to be better. In the end don’t think it would have mattered, the way the second half went I think Freiburg would have won anyway. That won’t make Vestergaard feel any better of course.
I could rage against everything that went wrong today and all the things I screwed up, not least about the fact I need to take better care of my stuff. This time it’s my tablet and the USB port needs replacing. Being without it makes me feel like I’m missing a part of me, I’m so used to it being at hand it actually feels like an extension of me. Having a laptop in front of you is just not the same at all. But it’s my own fault and now I have to pay the price, not just the cost of the repairs but the waiting. I keep going to get it thinking it’s there. It’s only been 24 hours and it’s like I’m going through a withdrawal of some kind. One thing is for certain I’ll be careful not to mention this to any so called “professional.” Lest they give me yet another lecture about being “overdependent on technology.” You know because normal people aren’t over reliant on technology at all. I’m not going to rant about that or anything else. Freiburg won, Nils scored a goal and just as importantly I got the Jogi video I was expecting to get today.
Nils scored the only goal of the night but he was far from the most important man on the pitch tonight, in fact everyone but Alex was. He for once didn’t have a lot to do, which makes a pleasant change for him I suppose. Of great importance tonight was Çağlar Söyüncü. This was a game made for him, several times he got partake in the monster tackles and interventions he thrives on, earning himself a much deserved equally monster hug from Christian Streich after the game. Apparently some Premier League clubs are interested in Söyüncü, I hate to say it but I can see why, he would be great in the English league. But he’s not going anywhere, not yet.
Sometimes I think maybe things are predestined, today of all days I get the sticker of Jonas Hector and the card of Marco Reus. The connection of course being Peter Stöger who up until last weekend was Hector’s coach at Köln and is now Reus’ coach at Dortmund. There’s another interesting connection in the sense that tonight was his first game in charge of Dortmund against Mainz, the team of former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel. As well of course as being the former team of current Dortmund player Andre Schürrle. Well Dortmund won their first game with the new Peter in charge. As for Köln tomorrow night will be their second league game without him and there is no way in hell they are going to win it or even draw with Bayern. Last season they got a very respectable point at the Alllianz arena, a feat which is the very definition of impossible now.
It would be today of all days that I get not only Benedikt Höwedes’ sticker but the card of Jonas Hector. How perfect is that, getting them in the same calendar door when their teams play each other. And they end up drawing 2-2 just to make it that little bit more perfect. Well Schalke is only technically Benedikt’s team at the moment, with him being on loan to Juventus. And Jonas of course is still out injured so didn’t play. Though in a way it’s a good thing Benedikt isn’t there because I don’t like Schalke very much and I would under the circumstances feel compelled to root for Cologne anyway, even though they are in the relegation fight along with Freiburg. But I don’t feel too bad for doing so, simply because surely Cologne are too deep in trouble to be of any danger to Freiburg, Bremen or HSV who are also stuck in the relegation fight. At this point forget about fighting relegation, they’re fighting against having the unflattering record of being the worst Bundesliga team of all time. I bet no-one ever thought Tasmania Berlin were in danger of losing that record. But with three points and six goals after fourteen games Cologne are giving them a run for their money.
Rumor has it they’ve parted ways with Peter Stöger though that hasn’t been confirmed officially. I at least hope it’s not true. In the poll I voted in 71% of people agreed sacking him would be the wrong way to go. But then maybe I’m a little biased, I like the underdog after all. I don’t have to worry about the same thing happening at Freiburg. On the news last week the club president said that Christian Streich is going nowhere, that they stand by him “through thick and thin” which was reassuring if unnecessary to hear. For the simple reason Freiburg aren’t the kind of club to go sacking a coach just because things aren’t going so well. Whatever happens he’s going nowhere. Obviously I don’t want to think about them getting relegated but it would in a weird way be funny, a Jogi team and a Hansi team getting relegated together.
As what I’ve written so far suggests today has been all about football. And I know what they’ll say, fixating on one thing to the exclusion of everything else isn’t good, you need some balance in the day/your life in general. But you know what I don’t really care right now. For two reasons, first it got me out of bed and secondly it was a distraction from all the stuff I’m worried about at the moment. It’s a good thing I did get up too, I wouldn’t have gotten my new Hansi video if I hadn’t and I would have missed Peter’s pre-match show. It’s funny that is. Whilst I’m beating myself up for having obsessions at all and worrying how immersive they are I end up adding another one to the list. This one is kind of new too, I’ve never been obsessed with a reporter before. Seems I’m not done collecting things and that includes obsessions. In one way I suppose it’s a good sign, the fact I’m still engaged enough with something to form a new interest and to care about something. Even the stupid psych can’t argue with that. Though something tells me they’ll find something to complain about. They’re supposed to be helping but it feels like they’re doing the exact opposite. Surely it can’t be a good thing that I worry so much about what they think, then again I do that for pretty much every social situation, so it’s kind of hard to tell. I’m not even sure why I keep going, I guess I’m just used to going where I’m told when it comes to this sort of thing. I did at least manage to write something today, only three pages but it’s better than nothing.