With just two games left after this one the season is almost at an end but the drama is far from over. The 2.Bundesliga title race is all wrapped up but Bayern are being forced to wait until the very last minute before they can celebrate what will be their fourth title in a row. A win against Gladbach would have seen them confirmed champions but once again they failed to wrap it up with Gladbach again proving to be a thorn in their side. No big surprise really considering Gladbach were the first team to beat them this season. With that draw Gladbach now extend their unbeaten run against Bayern to amusingly enough four in a row. At first it seemed like it would be Bayern’s day with them scoring their quickest goal all season when they took the lead after just six minutes through Thomas Müller. But as it turns out it just wasn’t to be. Dortmund on the other hand had an excellent day, beating Wolfsburg 5-1. They too got off to a flying start against Wolfsburg, scoring two goals in the opening ten minutes.
MD32 was a special weekend and not just because it could have seen Bayern confirm a record breaking fourth title in a row. The other reason it was special is because of the Monday night game, a rare occurrence in the Bundesliga and only the 15th such game. It was a game well chosen, Bremen v Stuttgart, their 100th encounter. Two teams who have the second worst and worst defensive record in the league. A fixture which guaranteed goals, though just how many there were was quite a surprise. I thought Bremen could beat Stuttgart but I hadn’t expected them to score six goals in the process. Having lost four games in a row all of a sudden Stuttgart find themselves back in trouble. Bremen on the other hand move up to a place of safety. To make things worse for Stuttgart on Saturday Eintracht Frankfurt beat Darmstadt, meaning they move up to the play-off place. The only thing for sure is that nothing will be decided until the final day, just like last season it goes right down to the wire. Last season Stuttgart saved themselves by defeating Paderborn on the final day of the season. This year they end their season against Wolfsburg and with the form they’ve been in Stuttgart pulling off a similar feat wouldn’t be completely impossible. The one to watch however on the final day is Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt. It’s a good thing in one way that H96 are already relegated, because on the final day of the season they face Bayern. That would be a horrible game to face at the end of the season knowing you needed to get something from it, not that I have any sympathy for them either way. I shall enjoy watching Bayern beat them on the final day of the season, hopefully they can correct their goalscoring problem by then. I wouldn’t mind watching Bayern put a few past them. With the title race being a lot closer this time round Bayern certainly won’t be taking it easy on the final two match-days.
Videos, matches first:
Bayern München v Borussia Mönchengladbach MD32 2015-16
Borussia Dortmund v VfL Wolfsburg MD32 2015-16
Werder Bremen v VfB Stuttgart MD32 2015-16
Bayern v Gladbach
Dortmund v Wolfsburg
Bremen v Stuttgart
Leverkusen v Hertha
H96 v Schalke 04
Mainz v HSV
Darmstadt v Eintracht Frankfurt
Hoffenheim v Ingolstadt
Pictures from Bayern’s game:
Posted in Fußball, Germany, Manuel Neuer
Tagged Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bundesliga, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Vfb Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen
The Bundesliga rarely disappoints and despite several teams suffering from a post Europe hang-over this weekend was no exception. This weekend was a little different with no game of the week on Saturday, instead being an aptly named “Super Sunday.” Despite there being no official game of the week Wolfsburg v Bayern was obviously the top game everyone had their eyes on. There was unfortunately no repeat of the Lewandowksi show this time around. He just got the one goal. Wolfsburg battled hard against Bayern, no doubt very motivated to avoid the humiliation they endured earlier in the season.
The real action however was on Sunday with Dortmund playing host to Hoffenheim and as the title suggests two former Freiburg keepers battling it out. Roman Bürki for Dortmund and his predecessor in the Freiburg goal Oliver Baumann.The latter also going up against his former team-mate Matthias Ginter who remained on the bench. As it turns out they came a little closer to going head to head than two keepers usually would. On the subject of former players facing each other the game has another connection of that nature, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsman have a connection too. Tuchel having worked with him whilst he was the youth coach at Augsburg.
Visiting a high flying Dortmund would be nerve wracking enough for a team battling against relegation, let alone one that’s adjusting to life under new coach Julian Nagelsman. He certainly had a difficult job on his hands yet he didn’t disappoint. It’s ironic that a hard earned 1-1 draw with Dortmund was one of Hoffenheim’s few successes before sliding into the relegation battle. A lot has changed since then with the team on their third coach of the season. Naglesman was meant to take over in the summer but had to take over ahead of schedule after Huub Stevens was forced to step down because of health problems. Since taking over his presence has certainly made a difference and it most definitely showed against Dortmund. Going 1-0 up against Dortmund is incredible enough but holding onto that lead until the 80th minute is all the more so. It looked like Hoffenheim could do the impossible and hold onto what would be a vital three points, that is until Sebastian Rudy was sent off. What a day for him, his birthday, a potentially match winning goal and then a red card.
Mkhitaryan’s equaliser in the 80th minute promised an exciting end to an already pretty exciting game, and it did not disappoint. Those final nine minutes plus extra time provided plenty of drama. A late winner from Adrian Ramos who only came on the pitch ten minutes earlier and then Hoffenheim decided to throw everything at it. Even Baumann got in on the act coming up into the box in the final minutes before having to rush back. That wasn’t the end of the drama, after having a fairly uneventful and quiet game Aubameyang finally got his goal in extra time, making it 3-1. It is a result Dortmund didn’t really deserve but one that’s important for them in terms of keeping in touch with Bayern at the top of the table. It’s even more important considering they were to face Bayern the weekend after.
Dortmund v Hoffenheim
Wolfsburg v Bayern
Posted in Fußball, Germany
Tagged Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Julian Weigl, Oliver Baumann, Roman Bürki, Sebastian Rudy, Sven Bender, Thomas Tuchel, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, VfL Wolfsburg
Writing this post before catching up on the others means my Bundesliga posts will be out of order but that doesn’t matter. The only person it bothers is me and I’m being an idiot about it, as I am with most things. I can’t put it off forever after all. MD24 was of course “die englische Woche” and it wasn’t short on drama. Two matches on Tuesday night and then seven on Wednesday. The big result of Tuesday night was Wolfsburg beating H96 4-0 with Andre Schürrle getting his first Bundesliga hat-trick. The fourth goal was scored by Julian Draxler and was nothing less than they deserved. I got a kick out of the result because the day after Freiburg beat Arminia Bielefeld 4-1. I like it, that Freiburg win by 4 and H96 lose by 4. H96 seeming to be rooted to the bottom of the table with just ten games left to play. Their chances of being relegated looking increasingly likely despite the bringing in of experienced coach Thomas Schaff. I wonder if at this point he wishes he’d stuck with Eintracht Frankfurt. No doubt they too are similarly ruing their bad luck in not being able to hold onto him. For the first time all season they’ve slipped into the bottom three thanks to Bremen beating Leverkusen 4-1 thus repeating their feat of defeating them in the quarter finals of the DFB Pokal. One fact worth mentioning about Bremen is they haven’t managed to keep a clean sheet all season, they are the only team in the Bundesliga to not have done so. This is particularly important in light of this week because were it not for an own goal by Papy Djilobodji they would have likely kept their first clean sheet of the season.
With Hoffenheim continually improving under new coach Julian Nagelsman it’s not at all difficult to picture Eintracht Frankfurt falling into 17th place and getting stuck there. As far as Bremen goes I wouldn’t dare to make any such predictions, I could see them getting stuck in the relegation battle as easily as I could see them just scraping through again.
I know some people think the Bundesliga is kind of boring, that it’s just a case of watching Bayern win yet another title. This season it’s a case of Bayern v Dortmund and then the best of the rest, Dortmund have a 15 point lead on third placed Hertha. This season it’s looked like a case of Bayern well on their way to yet another title. But this week has added a little bit of intrigue to the story. For the first time all season Bayern lost at home, losing 2-1 to Mainz. The game went as you would expect it to, Bayern completely dominating yet unable to make the most of their considerable chances. Mainz being forced to pretty much defend for close to 90 minutes on the other hand did make the most of their limited chances. Elsewhere in the league Dortmund ground out a 2-0 win away at Darmstadt, meaning the gap between them and Bayern is reduced to just five points. The final twist in the tale is that this weekend der Klassiker round two takes place with Bayern visiting Dortmund who will be looking to defend what Bayern just lost, an unbeaten home record. Dortmund unlike Bayern still remain unbeaten at home, given the 5-1 thrashing Bayern handed out in the reverse of the fixture there’s a good chance that will no longer be the case come Saturday.
I wonder who’s going to start in goal for Dortmund on Saturday, the last time round Bürki played as he’s done for every league game so far baring Thursday night. But he did not have a great game, that’s putting it mildly, it was awful in truth. It’s kind of ironic I got Roman’s sticker today, Bürki that is. Weidenfeller isn’t in this season’s album. Ironic because it’s the day after the one league game Bürki didn’t play. I also got Thomas Müller’s sticker:
Videos, post-match interviews from both Bayern and Dortmund’s games with Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, Erik Durm and Thomas Tuchel:
Bayern v Mainz
Darmstadt v Dortmund
Leverkusen v Bremen
H96 v Wolfsburg
Pictures from Bayern’s game, first two GIFs of a very angry Manuel Neuer:
Some pictures from Dortmund’s game:
Longing for Gravity
You are on a mission to Mars. Because of the length of of the journey, you will never be able to return to Earth. What about our blue planet will you miss the most?
Well one thing is for certain I wouldn’t miss other people all that much. I would be fine never seeing anyone ever again, I really would. I probably wouldn’t get lonely either, or rather I would but I’d have no trouble in dealing with it. I’m used to it by now. Imaginary friends are the order of the day once more. It’s kind of my default setting, as is not being able to do anything about it. Too lonely to be by myself but it’s too hard to be around other people. At least if I were on a mission to Mars I would no longer be troubled by such thoughts. I would imagine I’d have far more pressing issues to deal with.
As for what I would miss, I don’t know if you could watch football on Mars or on the journey. Just in case you can’t that’s the first thing on my list. Things like Lewandowski’s incredible five goals in just under nine minutes against Wolfsburg last year. A feat he didn’t match today, he just got the one. But the pre-match show had a great little segment on it. They showed all five of those goals but in different languages; in English, German, Spanish, French and Portuguese. The Portuguese commentator in particular is brilliant. I call it Lewandowski: Five Goals in Five Languages
I’d also miss good food, like currywurst, spaghetti and meatballs and Nutella. Not to mention stickers, there’s one thing you definitely won’t be able to get on Mars. I’ve traded with people from lots of different countries, by now; for example Russia, Hungary, Finland, Brazil and Romania but never anyone from another planet. I think most people would draw the line at sending stickers to Mars, even if it were possible. That would mean I’d miss out on special stickers like the one below. It’s Joachim Löw’s sticker from the Deutschland sammelt Deutschland album. Unfortunately Hansi’s not in there too which hardly seems fair seeing as how both Jogi and Klinsi are in the 11 Freunde album. Which Hansi is also not in. But at least Jogi’s sticker is cool:
There is one surprising thing I’d miss and that’s the weather. I wouldn’t have thought that would make my list, seeing as how me getting outside is such a rare occurrence. Surely the weather makes no difference to me, but actually it does. Not least because sometimes it gives me ideas for stories. Two days ago after training Amir Abrashi was interviewed and they were talking about snow. My German is not perfect and Abrashi is not the easiest of people to understand. He’s Swiss-Albanian and to make it more difficult he talks about as fast as he runs, there’s a reason I call him Triple-A and it’s not just his initials and his nationality. So I checked the weather in Freiburg just to double check what I’d heard and he really did say snow. Though happily it didn’t snow today, the sky was clear for their game against 1.FC Kaiserslautern, a game which they comfortably won 2-0.
The other thing I would miss very much is trains, though as it turns out you don’t need to go outside to enjoy those. Last night whilst I was meant to be watching Cologne’s game I came across some very cool videos on YouTube, train journeys in Germany, more specifically Stuttgart, like this one:
Posted in Die Mannschaft, Fußball, Germany, SC Freiburg
Tagged Adrian Ramos, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Christian Streich, Die Mannschaft collectibles, Jonas Föhrenbach, Julian Draxler, Mike Frantz, SC Freiburg, VfL Wolfsburg
Behind door number four in the Freiburg calendar was back-up goalkeeper Patric Klandt. In the DFB one was the card of defender Jerome Boateng. And last but not least in the Dortmund one midfielder Ilkay Gündogan:
Today has been a somewhat frustrating day. It would have been fine had it not been for the courier who’s taken it upon themselves to lie about the location of my packages. The day was going fine until that happened. At least everything else is so far going to plan. I have all but one of the Christmas presents I’ve bought. I’m almost done now, just the wrapping to take care of. Plus the cards I have to make and the special bookmarks. I’m making three of them this year, one of which I’ve already gotten done. The other two I haven’t even started yet but I don’t think it’ll take long. One is a Philipp Lahm one and the other a Michael Shannon one, I don’t think you get two requests that are more diametrically opposite to one another if you tried. Well the Lahm one is not a request exactly. The person in question asked a while ago for some copies for a certain photo of him and I couldn’t give them the photos then. But I can make them a bookmark now. It’ll be a nice surprise and I’ll get to show that I do listen and can show an interest in other people.
I myself got a nice present too, the new Champions League album, though unfortunately there are no Germans in the four packets that came with it, nor in the first five packets I opened from my box. I did however get one Bayern player, a Gladbach one and Wolfsburg one. And amusingly enough the badge for Malmo, amusing because of course that’s where part of The Bridge is set and Saga lives.
I’m happy I’ve got the album but not with the album itself, nor the stickers. It’s Topps rather than Panini and I’m not happy about that at all. But it did give me a new idea for a Jogi adventure so it’s not all bad:
With the parcel situation it’s very strange indeed, normally I’m going out of my way to avoid other people at all costs and here I am frustrated because there’s not a human in sight. I can’t believe I’m sitting here complaining about not being able to speak to someone, what a strange situation this really is.
At least it’s been productive on a writing front, I haven’t put pen to paper yet but I at least have an idea as to how to proceed with my Jogi Christmas chapter. I’ve worked out how to connect the beginning with the excellent idea that fits in the middle. I’ve also gotten several ideas for other adventures, including one for Matze’s Christmas chapter and a completely new sticker story for Jogi.
I’m trying to keep my mind on this and not on stressing out about next week. I’m trying to keep in mind that the day might not go exactly as I want or expect it to. With that in mind I’m writing two schedules for the day, one for by myself and one with the other person being there. It’s not helping any, I can’t stop obsessing over the day and the fact that I may not get to give them their gifts before Christmas. I’m trying at least anyway.
One final and very good thing, new pictures of Hansi:
Posted in Autism, Die Mannschaft, Germany, Hansi Flick, Stickers, Writing
Tagged Anxiety, Bas Dost, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Champions League 2015/16 album, Hans-Dieter Flick, Ilkay Gündogan, Jerome Boateng, Rafael, VfL Wolfsburg