Matchday Takeaway – Week 7: The Bavarian crisis continues

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It has been an eventful weekend in the Bundesliga as Bayern once again fell short of their high standards and Borussia Dortmund rose to the occasion. Terry and Nik are back with their take on Matchday 7 of the Bundesliga.

Terry’s Take

It’s fair to say that the Bundesliga has had the stuffing knocked out of it in Europe both on and off the field with a clean sweep of defeats and general scorn about declining standards is the league. You would expect a blog dedicated to German Fussball, like this one. to say that such reactions are knee jerk and one snowball does not make a winter. And you would be right.

Bayern’s defeat to PSG was the culmination  of an ongoing malaise at the Munich club that is uncommon but not unheard of. Borussia Dortmund’s woes can be attributed to the fact that they played Real Madrid who are European Champions and one of the best teams in the World. The rest of the Bundesliga clubs are relative novices in Europe. If Schalke or Leverkusen were in UEFA competitions this season it is likely that their experience and pedigree would result in better results.

In any event, the domestic season is providing enough excitement to be unconcerned by short term results in the European preliminary rounds. Bayern started their game against Hertha Berlin looking like a team determined to respond positively to the negativity of their mid-week defeat and subsequent sacking of their coach. However they finish the game having blown yet another two goal lead and with Franck Ribéry being carried of the pitch.

Meanwhile, BVB worked that backsides off to earn a 2-1 win at this season’s surprise packages, Augsburg. The performance (although marred by an atrocious Panenka by Aubameyang) was being hailed by Borussia commentators as just the sort required for team with genuine league title hopes. Could this matchday prove to be a turning point in the title race?

Nik’s Take

Finally, after 522 minutes without a goal FC Köln managed to get their first goal since match day 2. A lot has happened since the season started, and from now on out it might actually be fair to say that the Billy Goats are facing an early crisis this season. We know that the word has been thrown around loosely in the cathedral city, but this time around after only 2 goals, 15 goals conceded and 1 point from 7 matches speak a pretty clear language.

The fact that the coach hasn’t been fired and that the officials at the club haven’t started the in house blame game by talking anonymously to the local paper Express bodes well for the club when it comes to the chances of solving the problems at hand. However, the transfer of the 39-year-old Claudio Pizarro shows that the departure of Anthony Modeste hasn’t been fully processed, yet. His replacement Jhon Cordoba hasn’t worked any wonders so far. Add to that Artjom Rudnevs early retirement due to personal problems this week and you why things are currently looking very shaky upfront for Peter Stöger and Jörg Schmadkte. There’s very little doubt that the club needs to strengthen their side during the winter transfer window, as the replacements for both Modeste and Neven Subotic haven’t worked out so far.

Not an awful lot has gone the Billy Goats way this season and the match against Leipzig presented another one of those missed opportunities. Despite being the better team in the first 30 minutes it were the corporate stooges from East-Germany who took the lead through a goal by Lukas Klostermann. The team’s performance also showed that the players on the pitch are not playing against their coach Peter Stöger, which also bodes well for the next few matches to come. Claudio Pizarro stated in the press that the team at hand had the potential to get out of this mess. If this team continues to believe in its coach and doesn’t stop working hard, they will eventually get out of the mess they are currently in.

Talking Points

1. Between the 15th and 18th minute SC Freiburg scored as many goals as they had done in the six matches before their match against Hoffenheim. Christian Streich’s team have struggled to get results so far this season. Many of their problems at the start of the season can be traced back to the fact that the team was once against shaken up by the transfers of quality players to bigger teams, but Sunday’s outing against Hoffenheim shows the potential within that side.

2. The Bild Zeitung published an overview of how often the video referee has been involved in games of each Bundesliga. Results so far? Both Dortmund and Bayern have never had any calls against them due to the new 5th official, whilst Leverkusen and Stuttgart have had three calls against them without any calls going their way. Now the debate about the video referee being biased towards bigger teams has started, especially in the light of the penalty that Hertha were awarded by ref Osmers on the weekend which was taken back by the VAR and Dortmund’s goal against Köln a couple of weeks ago. Given that the video referee should have been the answer to all problems according to many people, we can now state that this hasn’t been the case so far.

3.”Keep your calm” was the request issued by Eintracht Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac ahead of The Eagles home match against VfB Stuttgart. So far this season Kovac’s side have been uneven in their performances, but what the team needs is more time according to the Croatian. Given that he and his side are given the space to continue their work they might more often than not reach their potential.

4. What HSV and Werder Bremen didn’t need from the Nordderby was a draw. And what did they get? A goalless draw. Both sides struggle currently at the bottom of the table and both sides need wins now. For the Green and Whites is a case of turning decent performances into wins, whilst HSV have been playing some dreadful football of late. Given that it certainly should be the home side who should be the happier out of the two, given that Hamburg’s performances was their best game in some time.

5. Bayern Munich have never in their rich and long Bundesliga history given up a 2 goal lead in 2 consecutive matches before this Sunday. Right now the team from the Bavarian capital seems to be shaken, and now it seems like the lesser sides in the Bundesliga can take advantage of a weakened juggernaut. Most Bundesliga fans have been waiting for this to happen for some time now. Given that the international break is on our hands and the backroom staff has some time to sort out things, it might turn out that this phase can stop rather sooner than later though.