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Bundesliga - Does anybody really care?

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11 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Terrible idea, that would only make the top clubs bigger, at the expense of the small clubs. Nobody would watch the lower clubs in the second half of the season.

 

Also how does it solve the issue of home/away games?

 

Yep, totally daft idea. The gap between first and third in the BL is bigger than the gap between third and the relegation zone, suggesting that it is reasonably competitive in the middle so splitting it would be pointless.

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Even though the championship was (once again) decided 6 weeks before the end of the season, other aspects are still exciting - like who will make the other European league spots and who will get demoted.

 

Bayern has had a pretty good run lately, winning their 6th championship in a row, but there have been regular surprises in the past. I blame Bayern's strategy of buying key players from other clubs that threaten their dominance (and usually wasting them on the bench - see Götze, Gomez et al.) for both the regularity of them winning the championship and the relative weakness of the rest of the league. It also squanders their resources and has prevented them from getting the really expensive talent lately.

 

Next year might be interesting, though, under their new, internationally untested coach (aside from his disastrous outing as coach of the Croatian national team) Kovac. By all accounts, Rummenigge and Hoeneß are grade-A bell-ends, never afraid to second-guess their coaches, so it will be interesting to see whether he can stand up to the pressure and motivate his squad of overpaid kickers to win the elusive triple, or whether they've completely misjudged the situation and end up without any titles at all, like 2010-2012.

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I went yesterday for the end of League 2, specifically a game between teams at risk of relegation (Darmstadt vs Aue).   The whole day was certainly very very intense, this match was like a bearpit (in a good way) and the day ended up with crying coaches, suggestions of matchfixing and lots lots more across the league.  So no lack of caring there.

 

It's a small league for such a big country, with a lot of big population centres notably absent, while little sport club satellites with small fan bases do take part (think Heidelberg).  Aue (near the border with Czech) now have to hike back over to the western border (Karlsruhe) for the playoff.

 

The "is anyone interested?" just seems like more anglo projection (English mainly in this case).   It's like "but Germany has never produced a worldleader like Facebook".  We do love to presume Germany actually might want these things.   Most Germans seem quite happy with how it is, except the usual money grabbers (who include DFB of course) who think there should be more.  The Bundesliga is vastly profitable.   

 

In the modern era, I am not even sure a big name dominator is a problem internationally.   Quite possibly it's a help.  Big brands tend to generate interest.  Is the average football fan in Addis Ababa or Hanoi agog for Wolfsburg and Stuttgart to win the title, while Nuremberg pick up the Cup, like a decade ago?  No.  It wants comforting familiar names.   

 

The thing I think would help would be to get Schalke (a huge club) punching its weight again.  Second this year is a sign that might happen.  Ditto Hertha BSC - a team in one of Europe's largest capital contesting better is long overdue.

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16 minutes ago, swimmer said:

Ditto Hertha BSC - a team in one of Europe's largest capital contesting better is long overdue.

Unfortunately, it's looking increasingly like Preetz will have to go before anything close to that happens. But he's Gegenbauer's golden boy, which means we'll probably keep buying mediocre talent and chewing through coaches every 2-3 seasons instead.

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5 minutes ago, swimmer said:

...

The "is anyone interested?" just seems like more anglo projection (English in this case). .

 

I think the complaint most people have, me included, is just that Bayern are too dominant at the top.  Take this aware and I like that the league(s) can vary significantly and not just because of the amount of money invested.

 

I was watching the last day of the premier league yesterday and they were analysing what went wrong for Swansea and Stoke, and the basic message was the same;

"Failed to invest"

"Invested in the wrong type of player"

"Didn't invest enough to replace player x, y, x"

"Didn't invest in enough players with the right quality"

etc.

 

It is all about money!

 

Where as if you look in the German leagues I see my local team, SV Wehen Wiesbaden, last season were fighting at the bottom until they changed manager.  This year they just missed out of the play-off spot.  They have not invested heavily, or at all.  They changed manager who brought in new ideas and motivated the team and they improved significantly.

 

And I see this also in Bundesliga 1:  Where a team can one year be bad, make changes and improve the next year be fighting for European places.  Like Frankfurt did, when in 2016 they finished 16th and this year 8th and in the German cup final (again!).

Of course you do need to make the right investment, but this does not just mean in buying expensive players but players, staff that fit your way of playing, who are hungry and care for the club etc.

 

Bayern is a bit like Man-Utd used to be at the end in the 90's and early 2000's.  There might be a decent challenger one year, but the next year they fade and somebody else appears which means that other teams are not strong enough, long enough to be serious challengers.  (In 11 years Man-Utd won the title 8 times, the second/third placed team was always different.  Although at the end Arsenal were more consistent, but then they moved stadium and no longer had the money to invest!)

 

 

I think somebody made the point before that Bayern do seem to sometimes get the best German players and put them on the bench, as they are not better than what they have and they only do this to stop their competitors having them.

I used to do the same tactic when I played the first "Championship Manager" game back in the early 90's.  This tactic served me well!

 

 

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15 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

I was watching the last day of the premier league yesterday and they were analysing what went wrong for Swansea and Stoke, and the basic message was the same;

"Failed to invest"

"Invested in the wrong type of player"

"Didn't invest enough to replace player x, y, x"

"Didn't invest in enough players with the right quality"

etc.

 

 

15 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

You could argue that success at football is fundamentally down to managers instinctively knowing what type of player the team needs and getting them..I read somewhere that Sir Alex Ferguson signed Steve Bruce because Bruce already had a broken nose and SAF knew he wouldn't mind getting it broken again! 

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Well, these days of course, you'd probably need a large wodge of cold hard cash to get (and keep) that player at the top level.   Lower leagues are way more random and marginal.  There are players seen as exceptions but look harder and they sort of prove the rule.  Jamie Vardy rose from non-league and factory work to head Leicester's title win but it was still one of the biggest budgets, thanks to a Thai billionaire, led by a global A-list coach.   Wolfsburg won in 2009 with that superb axis of Dzeko and co, yet they also had the biggest budget that year.

 

By the way, on Kovac, obviously we see a lot of stuff coming out of die Eintracht.   What I find noticable is that you see him talking strategically.  He's telling that club how they need to up their game to compete (facilities, methods etc) , not just thinking about the tactics for next week. 

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Well, if you want proof that people care, that seemingly innocuous game I mentioned would actually be it.   Official protest already in, all over the media, city leaders and MPs alleging god knows what.   And that's in respect of having to enter a playoff the upper team always wins.

 

On the one hand, the hosts did not need to win and currently do not let many in, and mistakes on goals are hardly rare & often go "home town".  On the other, hindsight says a commited conspiracy theorist might easily raise an eyebrow at how it all played out.  

 

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41 minutes ago, swimmer said:

Well, if you want proof that people care, that seemingly innocuous game I mentioned would actually be it.   Official protest already in, all over the media, city leaders and MPs alleging god knows what.   And that's in respect of having to enter a playoff the upper team always wins.

 

On the one hand, the hosts did not need to win and currently do not let many in, and mistakes on goals are hardly rare & often go "home town".  On the other, hindsight says a commited conspiracy theorist might easily raise an eyebrow at how it all played out.  

 

 

Local and smaller teams are comparatively well-supported but the top level clubs don't have the same level of international or casual support that the top Spanish and PL clubs have.

 

Aside from Bayern nicking top talent, foreign clubs have swooped in for the likes of Draxler and de Bruyne in recent times and this seems set to continue.

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It's the money again.   Outside the big boys here, it's small beer.    Typically it's about 200k p.a. in Darmstadt, inc. when they were in League 1,  albeit you get add ons and endorsements etc, and bigger names might get 300k or so (what e.g. Altintop was on).   Not more than many other professionals here earn these days and a fraction of other local sports peeps (Vettel, Petkovic etc).   A supergood international who has just joined from MSL (US) was not even on $100k there - which is just gobsmacking -  so even that's a step up for many.

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Currently reading the authorised biography (or really, more like a booklike interview/rant) with Holland's second greatest (and most underrated) player of all time, and he doesn't mince words on the way top football is killing the game, both with the way it's being played and the way it's being managed (or vice versa). And I think I agree wholeheartedly.

 

That's why I so enjoy watching the lower leagues these days, people play for fun and shits and giggles, even when they know they're not going to get promotion to a higher league, as is the case of my local TuS Dassendorf that just won their five championship in a row, but won't ever choose to promote from the Hamburger Oberliga (tier 5) because there is no support for clubs from tiny villages to play in the Regionalliga Nord. They'd have to get €300k a year in guarantees, upgrade a stadium in a 4,500-soul village...

 

I wonder what's going to happen to Holzbein Kiel. I sincerely hope they won't go and give in to demands to build a bigger stadium and bankrupt themselves (or go travel 2 hours south or north for home games), just because the DFB feels they have to stick to the brand identity or some shit like that.

 

 

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So Eintracht have won the Cup.  Well done them.  Kovac has moved them up, as I said.    Can't really call them a "rival" at the moment but good for the sport here and it's a familiar template: 27% possession, 8-22 on shots, 3-1 win :ph34r:. Bam!  Proper cartoon big finish, haring down the field, pursued by rivals.

 

In response to the comments on Kiel, obviously Darmstadt had similar and I think that was the last straw for DFB.   No more like that, thanks.   So poor Kiel are getting cut no slack, and without easy local(ish) alternatives like here.   Eventually, the state and city stumped up most of the cash for a rebuild here, about 20 mill, but then it's the city's property.

 

I was surprised by Wolfsburg getting three but Kiel are goal happy and have an away goal (so obv. better than 0-2). I would certainly not write them off in the way many already seem to have.  

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Yes, their former rather dipped.   

 

Not much let up.   Just over a week since the last game, ticketing and planning for next season now in full swing.   You know, start of August, summer will be passing and another world cup will have been won.

 

It's quite fun though because it's a good way to see Germany, and everyone (there's an enthusastic travelling fan base) starts contemplating the other locations.  Locations you might well not otherwise go.   New for next year, Magdeburg.  Two options for Hamburg, Cologne back on the schedule.  And so on.   It also can be about as cheap a full day event out as possible.  Last one was 10 Euro for train and 12 Euro for the match ticket (which includes all local transit so you can hang out, see the sights etc).

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Last day of freedom because our season starts tomorrow :lol:.    League 3 has already started and heartening to see Kaiserslautern pulling in 41,000 so their fanbase is sticking with them in hard times.

 

Most people expect the two relegated heavyweights to romp right back up (Cologne and Hamburg SV) but the rest of us have other ideas about that :ph34r:.  

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On 2.8.2018, 17:15:49, swimmer said:

Most people expect the two relegated heavyweights to romp right back up (Cologne and Hamburg SV) but the rest of us have other ideas about that :ph34r:.  

 

Kiel definitely do.    Opened the season in front of 55,000 in Hamburg and came away 3-0 winners :o.

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So the Bundesliga is interesting this year, due to the bad start of Bayern.

 

I wonder how long it will be before Kovac gets fired?

if so, will they turn to Jupp Heynckes yet again?

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4 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

So the Bundesliga is interesting this year, due to the bad start of Bayern.

 

I wonder how long it will be before Kovac gets fired?

if so, will they turn to Jupp Heynckes yet again?

Funny you should ask that - Spiegel Online just quoted Hoeneß as saying he'd defend Kovac "to the bitter end".

 

And apparently, even before that, the big joke everyone was telling at the Wiesn last weekend was that Heynckes changed his cell phone number so Hoeneß couldn't call him again.

 

My son and I were at Olympiastadion when Hertha beat Bayern 2:0 - their first victory over Bayern since 2009. It was amazing - even better than beating Gladbach 4:2.

 

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All the best teams haven't won the last four games I think you will find :wub:.   It's the in-thing.  Some have even lost them all :angry:.  League 2 looks like being every bit as bonkers as last year.   My prediction (a common one) is proving right that Cologne would win the league but Hamburg might find it harder going - they were good in all aspects when I saw them on Friday though.

 

Kovac clearly has not turned into a bad coach overnight.  Although he has made exactly the same mistake as Jogi, regarding striker (non)-selection :ph34r:.   Bayern suddenly look a bit sclerotic and flaky in much the same way as the MNT did in Russia - and of course there's quite a lot of commonality.   But it is a very big help to have a more vibrant BVB who have hit the ground running plus some of the others (as above) going well.

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Whilst it's good to see effzeh running away with the 2 Liga (just cursed them for tonight), it's a pity they aren't in the top flight this year - looks like a much less predictable affair. I'm not sure the problems at Bayern are entirely down to the coach though - the team is long overdue an overhaul. Robben and Ribery were good enough for the league last year, but already at Champions League level they were looking a bit tired. Mueller and Boateng have brought their world cup form with them.

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