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.
Posted in Autism, Bundesliga, Fußball, Germany, Hansi Flick
Tagged 1. FC Köln, Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Benedikt Höwedes, Depression, Jonas Hector, Leroy Sane, Schalke 04
No doubt Thomas Tuchel had Liverpool in mind when he picked his team for the match against Schalke, that seems to have been the general consensus anyway. It’s also probably recognition of the fact that the Bundesliga title race is all but wrapped up by now. No team has ever overcome such a gap in the last four weeks of the season and Bayern seem unlikely to drop any points between now and then. With that in mind it seemed Dortmund were putting all their eggs into the Europa league basket so to speak. If that’s the case it’s a move which didn’t quite work out, in more ways than one. They did get a point at Schalke which is in all honesty a fair result but resting the number of players they did turned out to make no difference in the end as regards the Europa league.
The first half was largely uneventful for both sides, though overall Schalke had a few more chances. Dortmund’s best chance came in the 22nd minute for Christian Pulisic, he had just the keeper to beat but his shot went just wide. The second half things got better and fast. A fact which most likely had a lot to do with the appearance of Henrikh Mhkitaryan who replaced Mats Hummels at the start of the second half. Whatever the reasons anyway the game started to liven up and in the 49th minute Dortmund took the lead through a cheeky little goal from Kagawa. It was one of those goals which impressed everyone, even Thomas Tuchel. It was just perfect, both the lay-off from Moritz Leitner and the goal itself. Schalke had an answer almost immediately however because just three minutes later Leroy Sane pulled them level. After a largely dull first half it was a very lively and entertaining start to the second half. And things were about to get even better, not to mention stranger. Matze Ginter is becoming quite the derby expert. He scored in the reverse of the fixture too, back in November. Though his goal then was a lot more straightforward than this one. This time it was a deflection from a free kick which somehow landed perfectly for him to head into the net. Strangely enough Shinji Kagawa scored the first goal in that game too. Unfortunately for Dortmund that wasn’t the end of the goals, their lead lasted all of ten minutes. Sokratis was a bit unlucky to give the penalty away, I don’t know if it was a penalty or not. One commentator says no, the other says yes. I’d say it wasn’t but then I have to admit I’m slightly biased. If it was a penalty than Sokratis is at least lucky he only got a yellow card, since Ginter was covering Hunterlaar too, otherwise it would have been a red. Either way Hunterlaar had no problem converting said penalty, thus once again leveling the score. Despite Thomas Tuchel sending on an extra sharpshooter in the form of Aubaymeyang 2-2 is how it ended. Though not without a few more tussles and a couple more yellow cards, including one for Belhanda for elbowing Matze Ginter in the face.
Friday night saw another 2-2 draw and one which was an extremely surprising result. I know it’s not uncommon for a team who’ve sacked a coach and brought in a new (in this case temporary) one to benefit from a false revival of sorts but I didn’t think such a thing could or would happen to H96. Nor did I think Hertha would be in any danger of dropping points against them. Elsewhere in the relegation battle fellow strugglers Eintracht Frankfurt and Bremen both lost, both of them in a somewhat cruel fashion. Late goals it seems are becoming a feature for Hoffenheim under new coach Julian Nagelsmann. For once Bayern provided the entertaining game of the weekend, usually it’s their game which is a little dull to watch and Dortmund that provide the fun. Not so this time around, Bayern’s defeat of Stuttgart was plenty to fun to watch and the 3-1 scoreline flattered them a little in fact. Stuttgart may still be close to getting entangled in the relegation battle but they certainly gave Bayern a run for their money.
Stuttgart v Bayern highlights
Bremen v Augsburg highlights
Eintracht Frankfurt v Hoffenheim highlights
Schalke v Dortmund highlights
Schalke v Dortmund – 1st & second half & post-match interviews