Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Bundesliga Show Episode 81 – Silence in Stadiums and the Herbstmeister

Finally, the Bundesliga Show is back. Apologies for our absence last week, but Matt Hermann and Jon Hartley have returned to give their opinions on all things Bundesliga. With midweek fixtures (the English Week) and a big protest from fans across Germany, there is plenty to talk about.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the Bundesliga Show!

 

Bundesliga Review – Low-key Freiburg Surge Into Top Six by Archie Rhind-Tutt

 They may not be the most high profile club in the Bundesliga but having been down in the doldrums a year ago, Freiburg have made great progress

What a year it’s been for Freiburg coach Christian Streich. Twelve months ago, he was Marcus Sorg’s assistant as the club slipped to the foot of the Bundesliga by Christmas. So the Black Forest side did something they hadn’t done for 20 years – they sacked the coach. So into the breach stepped Christian Streich at the very end of December.

He knew the club well having coached the youth team for 16 years but less than a few weeks into the job he’d lost the team’s talisman, Papiss Demba Cissé, to Newcastle. And even though they won their opening game under the new coach, a five match winless run culminated in a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of local rivals Stuttgart, leaving Freiburg bottom of the Bundesliga, again.

To date, it’s the nadir of Christian Streich’s time in charge, because after the Stuttgart match, things rapidly improved for the Black Forest outfit. Freiburg went on a ten match unbeaten run, before finishing the season in 12th place. After a few summer tweaks, they’ve continued their impressive form from the last campaign. And this Sunday marked the high point in the Streich reign.

Exactly seven months to the day after Stuttgart had demoralised them, Freiburg had the chance for revenge against their provincial rivals. Stuttgart is the capital city in Baden-Württemberg and Christian Streich was keen to play up his side’s role as underdogs prior to the game. “VfB were German champions and we are the little neighbours who try to annoy the great capital city,” he said in an interview with Badische Zeitung.

On Sunday, Freiburg annoyed Stuttgart in some style. Streich wouldn’t have needed to do much motivating beforehand either, with Stuttgart’s sporting director Fredi Bobic saying that Freiburg was not a proper derby for the Swabians.

But the “little neighbours” swept aside their more illustrious opponents, who seemed to tire having been in Bucharest for Europa League action on Thursday. Acknowledging that the visitors would be tired after the midweek travels, Streich’s move to give his players two days off before the game worked a treat too.

Despite a frantic opening, the home side were ahead midway through the first half as Jan Rosenthal beat Sven Ulreich with a low effort from just outside the box. Chances followed for both teams either side of half time but Freiburg were the ones in control. Half way through the second half, it showed too as Pavel Krmas doubled Freiburg’s lead.

Stuttgart failed to deal with a free kick, allowing the Czech to round Ulreich and shoot past the defenders on the line.  With Stuttgart fading, summer signing Max Kruse grabbed a third ensuring Freiburg moved into the top six on Sunday.

Since that Stuttgart game in February, Streich’s side are unbeaten in 19 of their last 24 Bundesliga games, showing the progress the team have made under his guidance. That’s the thing about Freiburg too – it really is about the team.  That togetherness and organisation is a testament to the magnificent work of Christian Streich, as he approaches his first anniversary as Freiburg coach.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga

  • Let’s start with the side Freiburg play in midweek – Bayern Munich. They cruised past Hannover with Javier Martinez netting an overhead kick and Mario Gomez scoring just 26 seconds into his return from injury. Yes, they were playing a Hannover side that’d only had a day’s rest having played in the Europa League in Thursday but Bayern continue to turn on the style in the Bundesliga.
  • Champions Borussia Dortmund are now the side directly behind them. That’s after Jürgen Klopp’s men came from behind to win at his former club, Mainz. One of the main talking points though was how much more restrained Klopp was on the touchline. He’s had a very public fall out with the head of German referees in the last week. However, BILD put Klopp’s more dignified appearance down to the presence of a policewoman, Bibiana Steinhaus – she was the 4th official on Saturday.
  • Dortmund rose to second as Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt drew on Saturday. There was some off field controversy too with the majority of Schalke fans booing and whistling against some of their own supporters who lit flares in one corner of the Veltins Arena. They weren’t the only fans to have flare troubles as Hamburg supporters accidentally set their own flag on fire before their game with Fortuna Düsseldorf, delaying the game by a few minutes. It got worse for HSV too as Fortuna went on to secure their first home win of the season.
  • Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen closed on the top four. Despite a below-par performance against Hoffenheim, they held on for an away victory. Die Hoffe though are teetering above the automatic relegation places. The teams below them, Greuther Fürth and Augsburg, drew with Nuremberg and Gladbach respectively. Finally, Wolfsburg’s new sporting director Klaus Allofs was unable to see his side overcome his former charges as the Wolves played out a draw with Werder Bremen.
For more on the Bundesliga on Twitter, follow @archiert1

Matchday 13 Results:

Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-0 Hamburg

Bayern Munich 5-0 Hannover

Fürth 0-0 Nuremberg

Mainz 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Schalke 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Wolfsburg 1-1 Werder Bremen

Freiburg 3-0 Stuttgart

Augsburg  1-1 Gladbach

Hoffenheim 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Table:

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 13 11 1 1 38:5 +33 34 CL*
2 Borussia Dortmund 13 7 4 2 28:14 +14 25 CL*
3 FC Schalke 04 13 7 3 3 23:15 +8 24 CL*
4 Eintracht Frankfurt 13 7 3 3 26:19 +7 24 CL* Qual.
5 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 13 7 3 3 23:18 +5 24 EL* Qual.
6 SC Freiburg 13 5 4 4 19:14 +5 19 EL* Qual.
7 SV Werder Bremen 13 5 3 5 21:19 +2 18
8 Hannover 96 13 5 2 6 25:25 0 17
9 1. FSV Mainz 05 13 5 2 6 16:16 0 17
10 Hamburger SV 13 5 2 6 12:16 -4 17
11 Borussia Mönchengladbach 13 4 5 4 19:24 -5 17
12 VfB Stuttgart 13 4 4 5 14:23 -9 16
13 VfL Wolfsburg 13 4 3 6 13:20 -7 15
14 Fortuna Düsseldorf 13 3 5 5 13:18 -5 14
15 1. FC Nuremberg 13 3 4 6 10:18 -8 13
16 1899 Hoffenheim 13 3 3 7 19:28 -9 12 Play-offs
17 Greuther Fürth 13 1 5 7 10:23 -13 8 Relegation
18 FC Augsburg 13 1 4 8 9:23 -14 7 Relegation

Table from official Bundesliga Website

This piece was originally written on FootballFanCast

Bundesliga Review – Wolves howl with joy after Magath leaves by Archie Rhind-Tutt

After Felix Magath’s departure in October, it’s no coincidence that Wolfsburg have hit form since.

Popularity and respect are two important things for a coach to have. You don’t have to necessarily be popular but if you have the respect of the players, you’ve got a decent chance of succeeding. The problem for Felix Magath is that he had neither by the time he left Wolfsburg for a second time in October.

Then again, popularity is not something which Magath has been renowned for and that’s not surprising. After all, this is a guy who threatened to cancel Christmas for his squad last year. He’s also been known to send his players running in the woods and fined them for individual mistakes during games.

Most spectacularly, in his time at Stuttgart, he once had his players, during training, stand in a circle for 90 minutes in near freezing temperatures after a defeat the day before. This season, his antics have continued. Here’s Raphael Honigstein’s account of what he did to his players in September. (

“Magath had them running through the Wolfsburg woods (again) and when they had finished, they found that most of their water bottles had been emptied on purpose by the coach. Magath tried to justify this exercise in sadism as an “educational measure” afterwards – “I wanted them to learn to share resources as a team.””

Funnily enough, the players were not reacting to the coach’s “techniques” and after a 2-0 home defeat to Freiburg, the Wolfsburg hierarchy decided it was time for Magath to go. It’s no real surprise that since then the Wolves have improved markedly.

Interim coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner has been at the helm for the last four games but judging by the results, the players have just been happy to have someone who isn’t Felix Magath. Their third win in four games came on Sunday as they won away at Hoffenheim.

Seven minutes in, Makoto Hasebe headed the opener after some poor defending. Hoffenheim lost the ball just outside their own box soon after, allowing Bas Dost to double Wolfsburg’s lead. The home side did press but Diego Benaglio was relatively comfortable in any save he had to make. This was in part down to the surprisingly shot-shy Joselu. He blazed over from a matter of yards in the second half, epitomising his and Hoffenheim’s day in front of goal. With just over ten minutes to play, Naldo made it three for Wolfsburg with a well struck free kick before Eren Derdiyok scored a late consolation for the hosts.

Hoffenheim  were left with nothing after a master class in clinical finishing from the visitors – not bad for a team who netted just twice in their opening eight games.

The win on Sunday was made all the sweeter as new Sporting Director Klaus Allofs watched on for the first time since arriving from Werder Bremen during the week. He spent 13 years at the Weserstadion and Wolfsburg need that sort of stability after a destructive second reign of Felix Magath.

His first tenure at the club brought a maiden Bundesliga title but the results from this latest spell have tainted Magath’s legacy at Wolfsburg. Players such as Diego have openly welcomed his departure but like quite a few in Magath’s coaching career, he didn’t see eye-to-eye with him.

Diego is likely to help Wolfsburg climb further into a mid-table position this season but it’s hard to foresee another Bundesliga club appointing Felix Magath anytime soon.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga

  • The unthinkable happened this weekend – Bayern Munich didn’t just concede a goal away from home, they also failed to win. Nuremberg were the team to stop them as they claimed an unlikely point against the Bundesliga leaders. There was controversy too after Mario Mandzukic’s celebration prompted claims he was showing support to two Croatian generals who had convictions overturned on Friday.
  • Bayern’s stumble allowed the chasing pack to close the gap and Borussia Dortmund were only too happy to do so. Inspired by Mario Götze, they overcame Greuther Fürth and surprise package Eintracht Frankfurt were also victorious as Alexander Meier continued his rich vein of form. He scored two as the Eagles beat Augsburg. No such luck for Schalke who were lacklustre in a 2-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen – the highlight of that was André Schürrle’s stunning opener.
  • Meanwhile in mid table, Son-Heung Min ensured Hamburg beat Mainz. Freiburg continue to chug away quietly after they won at Hannover and Stuttgart recovered from their collapse last weekend to win at Gladbach. Werder Bremen were the weekend’s other victors, coming from behind to beat Fortuna Düsseldorf at the Weserstadion.
For more on the Bundesliga, follow @archiert1 on Twitter

Matchday 12 Results:

Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Fürth

Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 Augsburg

Gladbach 1-2 Stuttgart

Hamburg 1-0 Mainz

Hannover 1-2 Freiburg

Nuremberg 1-1 Bayern Munich

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Schalke

Werder Bremen 2-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Hoffenheim 1-3 Wolfsburg

Table:

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 12 10 1 1 33:5 +28 31 CL*
2 FC Schalke 04 12 7 2 3 22:14 +8 23 CL*
3 Eintracht Frankfurt 12 7 2 3 25:18 +7 23 CL*
4 Borussia Dortmund 12 6 4 2 26:13 +13 22 CL* Qual.
5 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 12 6 3 3 21:17 +4 21 EL* Qual.
6 Hannover 96 12 5 2 5 25:20 +5 17 EL* Qual.
7 SV Werder Bremen 12 5 2 5 20:18 +2 17
8 1. FSV Mainz 05 12 5 2 5 15:14 +1 17
9 Hamburger SV 12 5 2 5 12:14 -2 17
10 SC Freiburg 12 4 4 4 16:14 +2 16
11 Borussia Mönchengladbach 12 4 4 4 18:23 -5 16
12 VfB Stuttgart 12 4 4 4 14:20 -6 16
13 VfL Wolfsburg 12 4 2 6 12:19 -7 14
14 1899 Hoffenheim 12 3 3 6 18:26 -8 12
15 1. FC Nuremberg 12 3 3 6 10:18 -8 12
16 Fortuna Düsseldorf 12 2 5 5 11:18 -7 11 Play-offs
17 Greuther Fürth 12 1 4 7 10:23 -13 7 Relegation
18 FC Augsburg 12 1 3 8 8:22 -14 6 Relegation

Table thanks to official Bundesliga website

Article originally written on Football Fan Cast

Respecting Bayern…Begrudgingly

By Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http-_creativecommons.org_licenses_by-sa_2.5), via Wikimedia Commons

With the AGM at Bayern Munich over for another year, Jon Hartley looks at the club that so many love and also love to hate.

Bayern Munich are one of those clubs that just divides opinion. They are not only the most successful club on the pitch but are also the most successful off of it as well. They have more members than any other club, and in the recent club financial reports they were once again in good profits and had more turnover than ever before (1). But being top of the pile polarises opinion of fans across Germany and of Bundesliga fans across the world. It seems to be the way that you are either with Bayern or against them. I feel my own position is somewhere in the middle. I may not be a Bayern Munich fan, but I certainly respect them and I think that is a decent position to take.

This loathing of a successful club has been the way of things in many football leagues over many years when you have a party or two that dominants proceedings. It is difficult to argue against some of it when it comes to your own club, because when something doesn’t go your way you need someone to blame. When the cause of that hurt is Bayern Munich, it doesn’t take much to lay the blame at the Bavarians door. Let’s be honest, Bayern have been breaking the hearts of fans from other clubs for decades and they will probably continue to do so for more to come. If it isn’t hoovering up the best of the league in terms of players, it is snatching the title at last gasp moments. I’m sure that Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke fans can relate after the end of the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons.

So not only do Bayern inflict pain on the rest of the Bundesliga’s fans by results, they, like many successful clubs in the past like to play the odd mind game or be provocative. And can you blame them? With the amount of success they have had and the resources at their disposal, it is not unsurprising that most of the time Bayern are not left with egg on their faces. The chief provocateur is club president Uli Hoeness. Never backward in coming forward, Hoeness divides opinion almost as much as his club does. As a result he courts his own criticism. The list of those willing to take a swipe at Hoeness is long and distinguished. Only recently, both Louis van Gaal (former Bayern coach) and Dr. Theo Zwanziger (former DFB President) have taken pot shots at Hoeness.

This won’t bother him as he was just re-elected as president with over 90% of the votes going his way. One of the reasons for that will be the financial results and to a certain extent the success on the pitch. While they haven’t won the Bundesliga in two seasons, there is little sense that the ‘Salad Bowl’ won’t be back in Munich in the near future. There is little doubt that Hoeness is an excellent football administrator, of which the evidence is there to see over many years. Many don’t like his demeanor, his choice or words or his timing, but I would also argue that the Bundesliga would be a less interesting place without a character like him in it.

Bayern are a prime example of taking the opportunities that are presented to them. Whether that be the arrival of Franz Beckenbauer when he almost went to 1860 Munich in his youth, or building the legacy that came after; whatever it has been Bayern take a small glimmer of a chance and run with it. That has also been true in the lean times as well. Bayern haven’t always been a rich club and in the 1980s were deeply in debt, but even then they won titles and went on to build a powerhouse, thanks in no small part to Uli Hoeness I might add. (2)

Uli Hoeness - By User:BMK (Own work (own picture)) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5) , via Wikimedia Commons"

What has been achieved financially since that time has been very impressive. These days Bayern can quite rightly hold see themselves with the big guns of European football. These recent financial results at Bayern is just another step forward but is very much part of an on going trend. In 2010-11, Bayern were fourth in the Deloitte Football Money League behind Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United. The impressive thing about the breakdown of that income was the amount that came from commercial revenue – 55% of Bayern’s money came from commercial activities. In fact, the only other club with in the top 20 with a better percentage (and the only other with over 50%) were Borussia Dortmund (3).

Bayern have been the commercial masters for sometime and they have needed to be because it is the only way they can keep the success going. So it is no surprise that their shirt sponsorship deal is in the top 5 in European football (€23 million is the latest deal) (4). When it comes to making the best deals, Bayern are about as good as it gets.

Bayern also understand their position in German football. They play the pantomime villain but they know that it would be no fun playing that role if they didn’t have rivals. So when both Borussia Dortmund, and more recently 1860 Munich, went into big trouble it was Bayern who offered a little financial aid to help these clubs survive. That must have been tough to take and it doesn’t mean that Bayern are a benevolent beast but demonstrates that their position is only as good as the rivals they face. If they want to be the number one club in Munich then there needs to be a number two. And if Bayern want to be the number one in the country, they certainly need the likes of Borussia Dortmund to battle against.

So while I understand why many dislike Bayern because of the heartbreak they bring, the posturing or the clout they possess, it is tough to not to have respect for them. For their achievements on and off the pitch it is difficult not to recognise that Bayern’s impact on the Bundesliga in the last 49 seasons has been little less than outstanding and deserves it a little doff of the cap…even begrudgingly.

Notes: (1) FC Bayern: http://www.fcbayern.telekom.de/en/news/news/2012/38173.php

(2) Tor! The Story of German Football (Uli Hesse) P.208

(3) The Swiss Ramble: http://swissramble.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/borussia-dortmund-back-in-game.html

(4) Sport+Markt: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Global/Issues/2012/10/09/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/Shirt-sponsorship.aspx

Bundesliga Tickets – A Buyers Guide

Once the Bundesliga has taken its hold on you, it is only natural that you want to experience a game first hand and get that incredible atmosphere that the league possesses. So it is probably no surprise that one of the most frequent questions we get asked in relation to the Bundesliga is how to get hold of tickets. There is no hard and fast rule for success but Jon Hartley provides a few guidelines and things to remember.

Plan ahead: You really need to plan ahead if you want to watch Bundesliga football. If you are coming from abroad there are so many things that you need to consider and I would put the ticket for the game at the head of that list. Bundesliga games are announced in blocks, so while the weekend of the game is known, the exact day and time of the match is worked out as the season progresses. If time is not an issue and it doesn’t matter if the game is on Friday night or Sunday evening you’ll have less of a problem, but do take this into consideration.

Some clubs take different views than others about the way they will sell tickets. Bayern Munich tends to be sold out from the beginning of the season onwards, while others will also sell them in blocks and only put the tickets on sale when the exact date and time of a game is known. So you need to do your homework! See if the date of the game you want has been announced. If the fixtures list shows all the games on a Saturday (apart from the final two matchdays of the season), the fixture date has not been announced. Keep looking, keep checking for that to change, scour the Bundesliga official website…you need to be on the ball. Also take the time to find out the policy that the club you want to watch has. Searching club ticketing websites can be tricky if you don’t speak German. One key word you may need is the German word for sold-out: Ausverkauft.

If you can’t work the website out it is best to contact the club ticket office. Send them an email and find out what the score is. I can’t speak for across the board, but every ticket office I’ve been in contact with has English speakers and are willing to help. So find out what you need to do for that specific club and also ask about the payment options and which cards you can use. Germany is different from other nations when it comes to payments. A bank transfer is a typical form of payment and from abroad that will come with a hefty fee attached.

Be ready to strike: As with clubs across the world, it is typical that clubs members have the first chance to buy tickets and that applies in Germany as well. So it is likely that you’ll be at the back of the line to buy your tickets – another reason that planning is crucial. So armed with your information, be ready to strike the moment the tickets go on sale. You are going to have to get in there quickly as those tickets are going to go swiftly, and more so for the bigger and more successful clubs.

The vision of the Bundesliga is that of terraces and cheap tickets, and while that exists, don’t build up your hopes that you’ll be joining the Ultras for your game of choice. In most cases terrace tickets do not get past the members selling stage. Accept the fact now that they will all be gone! So prepare yourself now to be sitting for this match. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing as seeing a choreo from the seats is very impressive.

Use your connections: If you are already a fan of a specific club and this trip is your footballing pilgrimage, it is probably a good idea to search out a fan club from whichever part of the world you live in. Many clubs have branches across the globe and to be a member of a fan club could be advantageous. International fan clubs are often affiliated with the club as a whole and may have access to tickets. Not only does a membership to a fan club have benefits in terms of ticketing, but it also puts you in touch with other fans in your area which always a good thing.

So you have you ticket…what next: You’ve done the hard work and you have a ticket for the game. The flights and train tickets are booked and the hotel is sorted, so what now? The good thing is that your ticket to the game will also include your travel to the match on the city’s local transports system. So having saved yourself a few euros on an U-Bahn ticket you have a little more to buy a coveted beer in the stadium.

There are two things to be aware of. Firstly, in the stadium there is often a system for paying for food and drinks with a card that you load with cash (Just Pay Card). Personally it isn’t a system that I’m joyous about but I have to live with it. Ask around with the stadium staff if a system like this is in place and if so, where can you get a card. They cost around €3 (but this can change from stadium to stadium) and then you load it up with cash. There are often people around to assist that process so do keep an eye out. The good thing is that the scheme runs in many stadiums, so you can use that card again when you next go to another Bundesliga match.

Having managed to get hold of the card, the next step is to get a beer. If it is a big match there may be a no alcohol rule for that particular game. It isn’t a common occurrence but it does happen. What this doesn’t mean is that there will be no beer, just that it will be Alcohol free beer will be served. Beware!

You may have noticed that I haven’t spoken about touts/scalpers or resale sites. The reason for that is that I’m generally not a fan of either. Resale sites like Viagogo do exist and some are affiliated with clubs, so there are options there for buying tickets but you might run into a bank transfer problem with German tickets sellers. As for buying tickets on the day, I have little or no advice. I’ve seen touts/scalpers at some stadiums and not at others. I have no idea how much markup is usual and I don’t really intend to find out. If you choose that route you run have the uncertainly that comes with it, as with anywhere in the world.

Just one more thing! Sunday is still a day of rest in Germany. The football is on, some pubs are open as are some restaurants, but the vast majority of shops will be shut. Factor that in if you need essentials on a Sunday.

I hope this article helps and good luck with that hunt for tickets. Enjoy the game!

Betze News – Kaiserslautern News in English

The Bundesliga Lounge is pleased to bring you the latest English News from the 1.FC Kaiserslautern. The Betze News is the club’s English section of the official club magazine and is available to download in PDF form.

Betze News – 07 – 2012/13

(PC: Right click and ‘Save As’or Mac: CTRL+Click & ‘Save Link As’)

For other news concerning Kaiserslautern go to http://www.fck.de/en/home-page_.html

 

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!

Bundesliga Review: Hannover spectacular in second half show by Archie Rhind-Tutt

Hannover embarked on a 17-minute goal blitz on Sunday despite a continuing saga over Mirko Slomka’s contract

It’s half time at the Mercedes-Benz Arena early on Sunday evening. Stuttgart lead by two goals to nil having been in control for nearly the whole of the first half. The away side, Hannover, have been particularly limp thus far. Coach Mirko Slomka needs something special to turn around this deficit, especially with his side’s recent record away from home. “The 96” only won twice on the road last season but had already been victorious away once this year, beating Lower Saxony rivals Wolfsburg 4-0.

That day Szabolcs Huszti set up all four goals. The Hungarian has undoubtedly been Hannover’s star man this season. No player has more assists in the Bundesliga but on Sunday, he was having a shocker. Shackled effectively by Stuttgart’s Zdravko Kuzmanovic, the diminutive playmaker was struggling to have an impact. To make matters worse, he gave away the penalty which led to the Swabians second goal.

Mirko Slomka’s seen enough. Huszti comes off at half time with Jan Schlaudraff replacing him. Now, if you’d said in September that Hannover would be able to mount a comeback from two down without Huszti, you would have been afforded a patronising expression. On Sunday though, Mirko Slomka’s side learnt to fly without this season’s talisman. Looking at the attacking talent Hannover have at their disposal, that’s not too surprising. The manner in which they did it was.

Three minutes from the hour, Artur Sobiech capitalised on Sven Ulreich’s parry to halve the deficit, as the Pole set in motion a 17-minute blitz. Seven minutes later came a penalty, which substitute Jan Schlaudraff stroked into the top corner and Hannover President Martin Kind revealed after the game that he would have been happy with a draw. Thankfully for him, the players weren’t.

Just over two minutes later, Hannover led for the first time as another substitute, Mohamed Abdellaoue prodded home. After more clumsy defending from Stuttgart, the man nicknamed “Moa” added a fourth from the penalty spot as the Norwegian completed a most remarkable turnaround – 4-2 to Hannover.

Whilst it would be great to say it was all down to Hannover’s brilliance, it was an equally spectacular implosion from hosts Stuttgart. Bruno Labbadia’s side suffered their first defeat in six and they certainly did it in some style. This was the first time the Swabians had lost after having a two goal lead in 457 Bundesliga games – a run that stretches back to 1999. This result shouldn’t derail their season but uncertainty will remain so long as the contract situation of Coach Bruno Labbadia is unresolved, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

That situation is mirrored in Hannover where Mirko Slomka is yet to agree terms with the 96. According to Kicker, contract talks have been put on hold until the winter break and Slomka has until the 20th December to decide if he wants to stay in Lower Saxony or move on to pastures new.

After Sunday’s showing, Slomka said the contract is not ready to be signed but with Hannover performing well under his guidance, the club will be keen to keep him. There have been rumours of fall outs with general manager Jorg Schmadtke but Hannover has reached new heights with the Slomka/Schmadtke combination. Reports have linked Slomka with Bayern Munich, such has been his success in Lower Saxony. The Stuttgart result has put them within two points of the top four and in turn a Champions League spot. That’s the aim for ambitious Hannover and they’ll have a better chance of achieving that if Mirko Slomka stays with them.

For more on the Bundesliga, follow @archiert1 on Twitter

Eleswhere in the Bundesliga

  • As if one six goal thriller wasn’t enough on Sunday, Greuther Fürth and Borussia Mönchengladbach served up another. This one had two red cards, two penalties and Gladbach recovering from 2-1 down to win 4-2, leaving their promoted opponents struggling in the relegation zone. The other game on Sunday wasn’t bad either as Wolfsburg swept past the in-form Bayer Leverkusen with Diego turning on the style for the Wolves. He struck twice in the first half as Wolfsburg raced into what would prove an unassailable three goal lead.
  • The rest of the weekend went largely by the coupon. Dortmund beat Augsburg with Marco Reus’ stunning free kick the highlight. Bayern went past Eintracht Frankfurt with Bastian Schweinsteiger’s dive for a second half penalty the lowlight. Second place Schalke came from behind to get past Werder though there was controversy towards the end. Bremen’s Theodor Gebre Selassie had a back heel flick just cleared off the line. Some claimed it had crossed, some people thought it hadn’t. You know the drill with goal line technology, right?
  • Meanwhile in mid-table, Mainz beat Nuremberg on Friday night whilst Fortuna and Hoffenheim shared the points on Saturday. In bore draw news, Freiburg and Hamburg played out a goalless draw but Paul Scharner (remember him!?) was sent off.

Matchday 11 Results:

Mainz 2-1 Nuremberg

Augsburg 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-1 Hoffenheim

Freiburg 0-0 Hamburg

Schalke 2-1 Werder Bremen

Wolfsburg 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Fürth 2-4 Gladbach

Stuttgart 2-4 Hannover

Table:

Rank Club Matches W* D* L* G* GD* Pts.*
1 FC Bayern Munich 11 10 0 1 32:4 +28 30 CL*
2 FC Schalke 04 11 7 2 2 22:12 +10 23 CL*
3 Eintracht Frankfurt 11 6 2 3 21:16 +5 20 CL*
4 Borussia Dortmund 11 5 4 2 23:12 +11 19 CL* Qual.
5 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 11 5 3 3 19:17 +2 18 EL* Qual.
6 Hannover 96 11 5 2 4 24:18 +6 17 EL* Qual.
7 1. FSV Mainz 05 11 5 2 4 15:13 +2 17
8 Borussia Mönchengladbach 11 4 4 3 17:21 -4 16
9 SV Werder Bremen 11 4 2 5 18:17 +1 14
10 Hamburger SV 11 4 2 5 11:14 -3 14
11 SC Freiburg 11 3 4 4 14:13 +1 13
12 VfB Stuttgart 11 3 4 4 12:19 -7 13
13 1899 Hoffenheim 11 3 3 5 17:23 -6 12
14 Fortuna Düsseldorf 11 2 5 4 10:16 -6 11
15 1. FC Nuremberg 11 3 2 6 9:17 -8 11
16 VfL Wolfsburg 11 3 2 6 9:18 -9 11 Play-offs
17 Greuther Fürth 11 1 4 6 9:20 -11 7 Relegation
18 FC Augsburg 11 1 3 7 6:18 -12 6 Relegation

Table from official Bundesliga Website

Article originally written @Football Fan Cast

Remembering Robert Enke – Three Years On

Today we remember Hannover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke who took his own life 3-years ago after suffering from serious depression.

Please check out articles and podcast we have done on the life and loss of Robert:

Review of ‘A Life Too Short’: http://www.bundesligalounge.com/archives/44

Tribute podcast from 2011: The Bundesliga Show Episide 40 – Remembering Robert Enke

The Bundesliga Show Episode 79 – Bayern & The Best Of The Rest

This week on The Bundesliga Show, Terry Duffelen steps in for Matt Hermann and chats with Jon Hartley about Bayern’s charge for the title. And if the Bavarian’s are destined to win back what they see if rightfully theirs, then who are the best of the rest.

All that, some Champions League chat and a look at the 2.Bundesliga.

Enjoy the show!