Category Archives: Werder Bremen

The Bundesliga Show Episode 101 – The End of an Era – Goodbye Thomas Schaaf

Join Jon Hartley, Matt Hermann and Archie Rhind-Tutt for this week’s Bundesliga Show. It may be the final weekend of the season, but is so much left to discuss: There has been big news this week with the departure of Thomas Schaaf from Werder Bremen. If that wasn’t enough, there are the battles to for a place in the Champions League and to stay in the Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!

The Bundesliga Show Episode 80 – The Future For Allofs

On this weeks edition of The Bundesliga Show, Matt Hermann and Jon Hartley get under the skin of Matchday 12 in the Bundesliga. They also tackle some of the big issues of the week including the future of crowd control in German stadiums, as well as the future for Klaus Allofs, Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen.

All that, plus a round-up of the 2.Bundesliga from Terry Duffelen.

Enjoy the show!

Match Report – Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Werder Bremen by Archie Rhind-Tutt

There were some neat parallels to Borussia Dortmund’s opening game with Werder Bremen. In what is the Bundesliga’s 50th season, the two teams also met on the opening day in the competition’s first season. BVB were Champions of Germany then but lost 3-2 on that day. Forty nine years later, history didn’t repeat itself in North Rhine-Westphalia, as Jürgen Klopp’s side edged past Werder.

Dortmund didn’t have the swagger which they ended last season with. Still, they were able to spark into life when it mattered most as they punished Thomas Schaaf’s team for missing some great opportunities. Marco Reus returned to Borussia with greater status than when he left in 2006. Much greater in fact – now he’s the German Player of the Year.

Reus showed why Dortmund paid €17 million for him as he took advantage of some poor defending after 11 minutes. Jakub Blaszczykowski poked the ball towards Reus which should have been cut off by Aleksandar Ignjovski. Instead, Ignjovski got his legs in a tangle, as he would do for most of the night, allowing the ball to roll through to Reus who finished nonchalantly.

Werder responded despite characteristic pressing from Die Schwarzgelben. Soon after, Aaron Hunt slipped Eljero Elia through on goal down the left hand side but he could only fire at Weidenfeller. Minutes later, they were to come closer. BVB failed to clear a corner as the ball looped up towards Marko Arnautovic. His well executed volley could only find the base of the post.

Thomas Schaaf’s side couldn’t break the Dortmund defence in the rest of the half, even if debutant Eljero Elia was continually getting the better of Oliver Kirch down the left hand side. Kirch wasn’t the only full back having problems as Ignjovski toiled at left back for Werder. Most who faced Blaszczykowski last season did too but the Serbian cut an isolated figure on Friday night.

His exit from the pitch mid way through the second half helped his side, though it wasn’t before Dortmund threatened to double their lead. Sebastian Mielitz tipped over Neven Subotic’s header five minutes after the break with the Champions seemingly finding their rhythm.

Yet, they dropped off and the 65th minute substitution of striker Nils Petersen for the struggling Ignjovski gave Bremen some much needed momentum. With Dortmund offering little, Werder took advantage of some poor defending.

With just over 15 minutes to go, Borussia thought the ball had drifted out. Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller appealed in vain before the ball was squared to Marko Arnautovic wide on the right hand side. He chipped in to the centre where Euro 2012 star Theodor Gebre Selassie flicked a header into the far corner – not a bad finish for a right back.

Then came the response of Champions five minutes later. The skilful Mario Gӧtze was subbed on quickly by Jürgen Klopp and minutes later, he was celebrating the winning goal. As Werder couldn’t retain the ball, Gӧtze played a one-two with Robert Lewandowski before the 20-year-old found himself through on goal. He rolled the ball past Mielitz to the delight of a relieved Signal Iduna Park.

Nils Petersen (or as he’s a loanee from Bayern Munich, perhaps it should be Agent Petersen) missed Werder’s only other chance to equalise on 85 minutes. He failed to guide in the lively Arnautovic’s cross as it bounced off his body and wide.

It was a tame end for a Werder Bremen side that looked promising in patches. Borussia Dortmund weren’t at their swashbuckling best by any means but they had a clinical touch in front of goal proving why they’re Champions. Improvement is needed if they’re to retain their crown for a third season running but they’re unbeaten in 29 league games – an achievement not to be sniffed at.

Article originally written @ Gone With The Rhind

The Bundesliga Show Episode 42 – A mixed weekend of sadness and joy in the Bundesliga

This week on The Bundesliga Show, Terry Duffelen and Jon Hartley, talk about the big issues of Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga. It was a mixed weekend of emotions in the Bundesliga…sadness at the news of Referee Babak Rafati tried to take his own life before Cologne’s game with Hannover.

Also in the show, author and journalist Uli Hesse talks about the big match of the week between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

The Bundesliga Show Episode 42 – A mixed weekend of sadness and joy in the Bundesliga by soundoffootball

The Bundesliga Show Episode 41 – More crisis in Cologne & the battle of the top four

This week Jon Hartley & Terry Duffelen record The Bundesliga Show from the banks of the River Thames in London and discuss the latest problems at FC Cologne after the resignation of President Wolfgang Overath.

They also preview the big matchday 13 battles between the top four – Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The Bundesliga Show Episode 41 – More crisis in Cologne & the battle of the top four by soundoffootball

The Bundesliga Show Episode 35 – Matchday 8 and the Northern Entertainers

A short but sweet Bundesliga Show this week, where Terry Duffelen and Jon Hartley talk over Matchday 8, Bayern’s draw, Derdyok’s wonder goal and the Northern Derby cracker between Hannover and Bremen.

Also in the show, a chat with Tim Röhn from Bild about the never boring boys from Bremen.

The Bundesliga Show Episode 35 – Matchday 8 and the Northern Entertainers by soundoffootball

Lounge Acts: Marko Arnautovic

A slightly whimsical and completely false accounting of a footballing life from the first person. Today, we hear from Marko Arnautovic, that reputed troublemaker from Werder Bremen. Marko’s spoken up this summer about being less of a distraction this season as Werder look to rebound from a poor 2010/11 Bundesliga campaign. He chose to elaborate further on his new attitude.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. In fact, I did that just yesterday when I didn’t yell at that goalkeeper for not allowing me to score a spectacular goal in training. I think his name was Tom. Instead, I just gave him a respectful golf clap for catching the ball and told myself I let him do that so he would feel better about himself.
Because I think our GK Tom Wiener needs a bit more confidence after last season’s performance, especially since he had to live in my shadow for the first time ever last year.

What’s that you say? I used a quote from the Bible? But of course I did, silly! It’s from one of those Arnautovical texts left out of the New Testament. It’s from the book of Marko 3:31. Look it up. Great read, highly recommend. The author is a handsome devil who’s just as good with words as he is with the ladies. And speaking of ladies, is it not a sign of my increasing maturity that I admit, and then later lie about what I want in a woman? When I was keeping the benches warm in Milan a couple seasons ago, there were SO many beautiful women, and I sampled a bit of everything Italy had to offer. I was able to play the field and narrow down my choices. After all, I had plenty of energy to burn with that so-called “Special One” not giving me much time on the pitch, so I was as active as a rabbit while I was off it.

Heh, heh. Oh wait, supposed to be “mature” now.

Since I’ve been stuck in Bremen, (Remember Marko, not a dump, not a dump, not a dump) I’ve had a chance to consider who the future Mrs. Gold Boot Fantastic should be, and since I can’t get any more tattoos while here (not a trash heap, great place, happy place), I want her to have the beautiful ink. And silicone. Lots and lots of silicone. Other grown-up adult male types prefer a woman with a sense of humor, a good personality, or a love of music, and this is similar to me wanting a dark haired tattooed devil godess with massive, uh, “talents.” Some people even announce things like having attacking midfielders that play for their favorite clubs to score goals! That Peter Crouch chap loves nachos and doesn’t score goals over in England as a striker–nobody calls him immature.They call him into the England XI. As for me, I score a hat trick for the season and Herr ‘Tache saw fit to keep me on the bench most of last season.

This year, though, it’s a new attitude and a new Marko. I will not be bitter about any lack of playing time (which shouldn’t be an issue anyway since no one wants to come and play in this du…stop it Marko!) and do exactly as Mr. Schaaf says. I am out to prove I can play well with these Italian players they’ve got around me, such as Caligula Pizzaface and Mario Marinara and at last fill the void when that bug-eyed guy was sold off to Real Madrid (I hate him). I will demonstrate my mature turn at decision-making on the pitch, so when I consider that Pizzaface is highly unlikely to score, or that fake Marko looks like he’s going to trip over himself again, my not passing to them shouldn’t be considered selfishness. Instead, just assume I’m maturely deciding to take a shot for myself and that a spectacular goal is about to be scored.

That’s what I tell myself anyway.

And, if later in the season I should voice my concerns about my team’s performance or inadvertently remark that I still think this place is still a dump, that I hate the colour green or that Claudio Pizzaface smells like warmed goat cheese again, Please don’t think of it being another episode from last season’s bad boy Marko. Rather, think of it as a mature, adult Marko trying to be a leader for his squad now that Torsten Ringo has left. Also, should I remark that Thomas Schaaf is as useless as teats on a bull that hasn’t been injected with silicone, I’m not being immature but just trying to be an honest grown-up type person. For as it says in the Good Book, Marko 4:17, “He who is honest with himself and with others should be rewarded for his noble works with his own parking space in the club car park.”

I wonder if Klaus Allofs has read that passage yet?

A New League for Old Men

With all the pomp and circumstance befitting someone with the nickname “Goldenballs,” David Beckham joined Major League Soccer side Los Angeles largely to cheers but also to jeers from American football enthusiasts certain his arrival stateside was only part of his early retirement plan. Arsenal legend Thierry Henry later arrived in New York to slightly less pomp but more circumstance owing to his reputation as a goal scorer and having landed in the media capital of the nation. As other footballers of a certain pedigree followed Becks & Titi (sounds like a terrible mixed drink, eh?) across the pond, the ceremony surrounding their arrivals lessened and for most the jury’s still out as to what positive contributions they have brought to their respective MLS clubs.

So, what’s this have to do with Bundesliga? Principally, it centers around the recent signing of former Schalke 04 & Hamburg SV keeper Frank Rost to Red Bull New York. Now, while Bild‘s transfer rumors can be as true as a Protestant Pope, it appears that it did indeed come to pass that Grandpa Rost is moving to the Big Apple. Red Bull New York desperately needs a keeper who understands he is the one allowed by the rules of the game to grab the ball with his hands during a match, and after shipping Canadian international Dwayne DeRosario off to DC United the New York club have an empty Designated Player slot that was set aside for a competent keeper. Rost would certainly fit the bill for RBNY in this respect, and Seattle’s Casey Keller has shown that being old enough to become Medicare eligible is no deterrent to being a quality keeper in MLS.

Another consideration as to the merits of Rost’s departure from the Hamburglars is that of late, Major League Soccer has become slightly fashionable for Bundesliga players who might no longer have the chops to handle the talented youth who seemed to have become prominent performers in the league. With Rost getting his wings from RBNY general manager Eric Soler–himself a former Hamburg player–he is the third notable signing from the German top flight to the United States for the season. Former 1.FC Koeln GK Faryd Mondragon joined Philadelphia to begin this summer’s campaign and has started all matches for the club that sits just below RBNY in the table on goal differential. Werder Bremen’s Torsten Frings opted to discover first-hand just how many American fans still remember his dubious handball non-call in the 2002 World Cup by joining Toronto FC (yes, Toronto’s in Canada, but the Reds play in the US league and supporters will let him know how they feel on away days).

What might it be, then, that could be the appeal for these former Bundesliga regulars to make the jump to MLS rather than try their hands and feet somewhere in Germany or Europe? While the story of Mondragon’s move might be peculiar, owing to him leaving the Billygoats on less than friendly terms, for players like Frings and Rost it might be down to the style of play employed in the United States. While lateral movement and wing play has generally been improving in the league, most MLS clubs choose to attack in a more direct manner–not necessarily Route 1 football–but mostly through the center of the midfield with goals often coming from the heart of the pitch or by unbeatable shots from afar like Vancouver’s Eric Hassli performed earlier this summer. For experienced Bundesliga campaigners like Rost and Frings, they might have a chance to succeed playing in this style, as Rost is more than capable of collecting shots from the middle of the park while Frings can simply force his way through the average MLS midfield.

Or at the very least, draw fouls to set up free kicks he hopefully doesn’t take. Watching his last days at Werder last year on the dead ball was rather painful at times.

Granted, the league has some quality within its midst–Goldenballs and Henry are still about along with some promising young lads–but there currently exists a dearth of darting Kagawas, cutting Robbens, ball-hawking Vidals, and the like populating a majority of the MLS squads. An American adventure for both former Bundesliga pros, then, might turn into good business for the sides that employ them and give additional pause to older Bundesliga players like Hans-Jorg Butt who are suiting up in the top flight of Germany on the bench.