Tag Archives: Mirko Slomka

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.

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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

Bundesliga Review – Yet ANOTHER entertaining weekend in Germany by Archie Rhind-Tutt

Talking up the Bundesliga – it’s very chic at the moment, isn’t it? It’s really hard not to especially after another engaging and entertaining weekend in Germany. Now, that might not seem apparent were you to focus on the fact there were two goalless draws and that last season’s top three all secured relatively comfortable victories. Delve deeper though, look to some of the division’s supposed lesser lights and there’s entertainment aplenty.

Saying lesser lights is perhaps a bit harsh.  After all Eintracht Frankfurt are effectively standing shoulder to shoulder with Bayern Munich at the moment, with only an inferior goal difference keeping them off the top of the table. Eintracht’s win on Sunday ensured their best start to a season since 1966 – a great achievement when you consider they were relegated from the Bundesliga in May 2011. Relegation may not be too far away for the side Frankfurt overcame on Sunday either – Hamburg. The northerners were edged out 3-2 as some appalling defending cost them.

This was despite the return of Rafael van der Vaart. The Dutchman was keen to make clear last week on his homecoming that he was not the messiah. It’s worth asking then if he’s not the messiah, is he a very naughty boy? The answer is no because that was left to Petr Jiracek, sent off during Sunday’s game for a dangerous lunge and one word too many to referee Wolfgang Stark. As much as Hamburg look in heaps of trouble, credit must be paid to the offensively impressive Frankfurt who punished HSV’s errors, in what was a very open encounter. Still, it could be worse for Hamburg – they could be bottom of the Bundesliga.

That’s where Hoffenheim are as they were involved in another Sunday game where the defending was rather generous. Die Hoffe may have taken the lead early on but their match against Freiburg proceeded to ebb and flow in a manner you wouldn’t have expected prior to kick off.  With the game standing at 3-3 with ten minutes to go, Freiburg finally won the game, but not before they were given a helping hand from the Hoffenheim defence. An unmarked Cedric Makiadi was allowed to slam home from a corner before super sub Sebastian Freis, on for less than five minutes, rounded the erratic Tim Wiese to seal victory. The words “it’s five for Freiburg” have not been heard all too often in the Bundesliga – in fact it was the first time they’d hit five in the top flight in just over 11 years. For Hoffenheim, it was another result that belied pre-season optimism about them being the division’s dark horses.

That honour instead falls to Hannover, another team who were involved in a “crazy game,” as Coach Mirko Slomka called it. He would have been thrilled by the 96’s great start against Werder Bremen. They raced into a two goal lead after just ten minutes courtesy of Szabolcs Huszti and Leon Andreasen. Werder would eventually draw level, after Aaron Hunt’s first half penalty was followed by a Kevin de Bruyne equaliser with just less than 15 minutes to go.

Yet just like in their last away game at Bourssia, they were unable to stay level until the end. In fact this time round, they had two disallowed goals but they were defeated in injury time by Hannover’s man of the moment – Szabolcs Huszti. Into the net flew his (deflected) ove head kick and then came the celebration. Off came the shirt, over the advertising hoardings Huszti went and rapidly he climbed the fence. (BILD even labelled him the “fence king”.) However, referee Deniz Aytekin wasn’t prepared to be lenient with Hannover’s Hungarian hero. When Huszti, already on a yellow card, eventually returned to the pitch, Aytekin sent him on his way. It is the only stain on what has otherwise been a magnificent return to Lower Saxony for Huszti. At this rate, Hannover look like they could be outsiders in the title race – something  Borussia Mönchengladbach did so well last year.

Gladbach so far haven’t been able to match their stunning performances of last season. They’re still entertaining though – just not in the way fans of the Foals quite want them to be. In what was the weekend’s fourth Bundesliga game to produce five goals or more, Gladbach were unable to hold off Nuremberg at Borussia-Park. The Bavarians were another side this weekend to take a two goal lead and to have it erased. The difference on Saturday though was Hiroshi Kiyotake. He’s one of quite a few players of an Asian persuasion to be excelling in the Bundesliga at the moment. Having set up Nuremberg’s first two goals, Kiyotake scored the third as Der Club became only the second team to win at Gladbach in 2012.

This game, along with the other three highlighted, did help to show off the best of the Bundesliga on a weekend the DFL were keen to show what was great about the league. (Every club in the division wore the slogan “Geh Deinen Weg” (Go Your Way) on their shirts as the Bundesliga looked to promote integration.) Still, it’s always good when the main focus of the weekend’s action is on the football and not the politics surrounding it. Whereas handshakes dominated the agenda elsewhere, Germany offered quite the footballing spectacle this weekend, even if the standard of defending left something to be desired for.

Matchday 3 Results:

Augsburg 0-0 Wolfsburg

Bayern Munich 3-1 Mainz

Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Gladbach 2-3 Nuremberg

Hannover 3-2 Werder Bremen

Stuttgart 0-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Fürth 0-2 Schalke

Freiburg 5-3 Hoffenheim

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-2 Hamburg

Table:

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

Table thanks to the Bundesliga Official Website

For more on the Bundesliga, follow @archiert1 on Twitter

Article originally posted on Football Fan Cast

Bundesliga Review – Derby excitement tempered by Pezzoni incident By Archie Rhind-Tutt

 

Derbies – they are part of what makes not just the Bundesliga but football in general great. It’s there where all of the passion is poured out onto the pitch by both fans and players. This weekend the Bundesliga had no less than four of them on show. Not all of them were necessarily local – Bayern Munich and Stuttgart for instance are 136 miles apart.

The pair nevertheless make up the Southern derby (not to be confused with Nuremberg v Fürth which is the South derby). With Borussia Dortmund drawing with Nuremberg on Saturday, it was a great opportunity for Bayern to take an early lead over the Champions. They did just that, but not before Stuttgart were made to realise that Bayern are like the Incredible Hulk – you wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.

The Swabians hit the bar early on and then took the lead through Martin Harnik’s superb volley on 25 minutes. By half time, Stuttgart were trailing by two after Müller, Kroos and most spectacularly Luiz Gustavo, gave the Bavarians the lead their fans expected. In the second half, it continued with Müller (again), Mandzukic and Schweinsteiger ensuring last year’s runners up were 6-1 up just six minutes after half time. That’s how it stayed but there was still time for Vedad Ibisevic to be sent off, completing a bad start in the Bundesliga for the Bosnian after last week’s horrible miss.

Perhaps not for the last time this season though, Bayern went to the top of the Bundesliga. Still, they weren’t the only side to enjoy a Sunday roast. For the Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) derby was more like the demolition derby as Hannover thumped Wolfsburg at the VW Arena.

This in itself was a surprise. After all, Hannover hadn’t won in Wolfsburg since 2006 and they weren’t great on the road last year, picking up just two away wins all season. The Wolves have also been tipped to do well this season and were expected to build on last weekend’s win at Stuttgart.

Still, Hannover are not a side to be underestimated, as they showed. Their star was Szabolcs Huszti. The Hungarian, who returned to the club after three years at Zenit St. Petersburg, set up all four goals for “The 96.” Karim Haggui and Artur Sobiech made it 2-0 before the break. In the second half, Leon Andreasen and Sobiech completed a fantastic day for Mirko Slomka’s men. Wolfsburg also had substitute Robin Knoche sent off in the second half and it was unsurprising when coach Felix Magath apologized to the fans after his side’s tame performance. After all, the Lower Saxony bragging rights were firmly with Hannover.

It wasn’t as clear cut in the Niederrhein (Lower Rhine) derby as Fortuna Düsseldorf and Borussia Mönchengladbach renewed rivalries in the Bundesliga for the first time in over 15 years. Yet neither was able to find a winner in a tight affair on Saturday evening. The match belied the ever entertaining nature of Fortuna Düsseldorf whilst for Gladbach, you can’t help but feel it was the sort of game they might have won, if they still had a certain Marco Reus. Still, the Foals look well set for the season, something which cannot be said of Hamburg.

HSV travelled to Werder Bremen in the Nordderby (North derby) but were outclassed for a second week running. With new signing Rafael van der Vaart watching on having returned from Spurs, Werder picked up from their encouraging performance at the Champions on the opening night of the season. Aaron Hunt had one penalty saved by René Adler, a definite positive for Hamburg in the new season. However, Adler was beaten by a second Hunt penalty in the second half and then by a Nils Petersen strike, ensuring that Werder and Hamburg were looking in different directions going into the international break. BILD even questioned after the result whether van der Vaart’s contract extends into the 2.Bundesliga – a cheeky and slightly premature jibe. Time is on their side but HSV’s start has been far from inspiring. Patience is thin on the ground with fans, as it is with many supporters these days.  Passion runs high which is what makes derby matches and indeed what made this weekend’s Bundesliga matches special.

However, we must be careful, especially after what happened to Kevin Pezzoni this week. Pezzoni was a player at another big club who have been going through hard times, that being Cologne who were relegated from the Bundesliga just a few months ago. He cancelled his contract this week after being threatened outside his home by a group of angry Cologne fans – an appalling development. So while fans displeasure at results is understandable, the Pezzoni incident certainly helped to put into context where football’s boundaries for passion lie.

For more on the Bundesliga, follow @archiert1 on Twitter

Matchday 2 Results:

Mainz 0-1 Fürth

Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Freiburg

Hoffenheim 0-4 Eintracht Frankfurt

Nuremberg 1-1 Borussia Dortmund

Schalke 3-1 Augsburg

Werder Bremen 2-0 Hamburg

Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-0 Gladbach

Wolfsburg 0-4 Hannover

Bayern Munich 6-1 Stuttgart

Table

Position Club Games W* D* L* F:A GD* Points
1 FC Bayern Munich 2 2 0 0 9:1 +8 6 CL*
2 Eintracht Frankfurt 2 2 0 0 6:1 +5 6 CL*
3 Hannover 96 2 1 1 0 6:2 +4 4 CL*
4 FC Schalke 04 2 1 1 0 5:3 +2 4 CL* Qual.
5 Fortuna Düsseldorf 2 1 1 0 2:0 +2 4 EL* Qual.
6 Borussia Dortmund 2 1 1 0 3:2 +1 4 EL* Qual.
7 1. FC Nürnberg 2 1 1 0 2:1 +1 4
7 Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 1 1 0 2:1 +1 4
9 Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2 1 0 1 3:2 +1 3
9 SV Werder Bremen 2 1 0 1 3:2 +1 3
11 SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2 1 0 1 1:3 -2 3
12 VfL Wolfsburg 2 1 0 1 1:4 -3 3
13 1. FSV Mainz 05 2 0 1 1 1:2 -1 1
14 Sport-Club Freiburg 2 0 1 1 1:3 -2 1
15 Hamburger SV 2 0 0 2 0:3 -3 0
16 FC Augsburg 2 0 0 2 1:5 -4 0 Relegation
17 1899 Hoffenheim 2 0 0 2 1:6 -5 0 Relegation
18 VfB Stuttgart 2 0 0 2 1:7 -6 0 Relegation

Table thanks to the Bundesliga Official Website

Article originally written on Football Fan Cast