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  1. #1

    Hollerbach's Currywurst - Bundesliga 2017/18

    So, a new season. Who dares to make predictions after last season? A couple of days ago I read the annual kicker Sonderheft for the last season. Bayern were obviously the total favourites. Dortmund were expected to mount a credible challenge (they were lucky to finish third), Leverkusen were thought to have a strong season (at one point they feared possible relegation). Schalke and Gladbach were thought to be in the mix for CL places (dire midfield), Wolfsburg was regarded as having the potential to do very well (saved by a relegation play-off). After a season of overachievement, nobody expected Mainz to finish 5th again, but nobody had them down as relegation candidates, which they turned out to be.

    Franchise Leipzig was thought to be good enough to get Europa League qualification (runners-up). Hoffenheim were traded as relegation candidates (fourth, their best placing yet), as were Freiburg (seventh). Köln was expected to reside in mid-table safety, bothering neither relegation nor European places (finished fifth; their highest finish since 1992).

    Werder and Frankfurt were the enigmas; the kind of sides that might do anything short of qualifying for the Champions' League. Both were gloriously unpredictable: Werder started like they were going for 17th, ended up a couple of games short of qualifying for Europe; Frankfurt started very well, ended as one of the worst teams of the second half of the season.


    The only teams that did what was expected of them were Bayern, Hertha, Darmstadt, Ingolstadt and Augsburg.

    The question now is how Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Köln (and Freiburg, if they go through the qualifications) will handle Europe and Bundesliga, and for Köln whether they'll be able to compensate for the departure of 25-goal Antony Modeste. And what if Dortmund lose Aubameyang?

    We can presume that most of last season's big failures will recover, so the top half of the table will be very keenly contested.

  2. #2
    Having said all that, and with my dreadful record in seeing into the future, here's my prediction:

    1. Bayern
    2. Dortmund
    3. Leverkusen
    4. Franchise Leipzig
    5. Mönchengladbach
    6. Stuttgart
    7. Werder
    8. Hertha BSC
    9. Schalke
    10. Wolfsburg
    11. Hoffenheim
    12. Hannover
    13. FC Köln
    14. Hamburg
    15. Augsburg
    16. Frankfurt
    17. Freiburg
    18. Mainz

  3. #3
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Great to see you posting, G.

    Hope all is well.

  4. #4
    Yeah, all's well. Thanks.

  5. #5

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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    Three ex-Haching coaches in the 1. Bundesliga, trivia fans.

    Why've you demoted Hoffenheim so far G-Man?

  6. #6
    The loss of Süle and Rudy, primarily. And I reckon that they and Köln are going to struggle to cope with playing in Europe.

  7. #7
    Augsburg are playing a friendly at the Boro a week on Saturday, so I may have some insight after that.

  8. #8
    Felicity, I guess so's Avatar
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    I like your avatar, G-Man. I can't seem to get the upload/display to work. Hope you're right about Gladbach, last year had some very deep dips in form.

  9. #9

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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    Quote Originally Posted by sw2bureau View Post
    Augsburg are playing a friendly at the Boro a week on Saturday, so I may have some insight after that.
    Could be interesting. This Augsburg team is one of the more physical teams in the Bundesliga.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Felicity, I guess so View Post
    I like your avatar, G-Man. I can't seem to get the upload/display to work. Hope you're right about Gladbach, last year had some very deep dips in form.
    As a Gladbach fan, you're supposed to hate the Geissbock. Derby on the opening day of the season.

    I expect Gladbach to bounce back. They have a good squad and a decent (albeit evil-eyed) coach. Dahoud has gone, but I think Ginter is a great signing, Reece Oxford is said to be quite a talent, and Grifo looks like a good bet as well.

  11. #11
    Felicity, I guess so's Avatar
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    Yes, but I like goats, and it looks like a nice vintage one, and it fits neatly in the space above your username.

    And if you want me to get local-rivalish on your ass: it's so long since FCK were serious rivals I've forgotten how to hate them...

  12. #12
    Stumpy, so are their fans going by the carry on I saw when Stuttgart visited them the season before last.

    Also saw a chap wearing an interesting pair of adidas FCA's on the tram there.

  13. #13
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    Modeste officially off to Tianjin, one year loan with an option to buy

  14. #14

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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    Quote Originally Posted by sw2bureau View Post
    Stumpy, so are their fans going by the carry on I saw when Stuttgart visited them the season before last
    FC Augsburg fans don't really have a reputation. Shame it's not the other way round--Augsburg's a nice city and only 30 min from Munich.

    There are certain 1860 fans I avoid, although I have the advantage of playing the 'Brit supporting the plucky underdog' card. Unterhaching is the last dangerous football club in Christendom.

    Talking of 1860, they've decided to keep their season tickets at 2. Bundesliga prices! Talk about a club forever shitting on its fans.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ursus arctos View Post
    Modeste officially off to Tianjin, one year loan with an option to buy
    As I understand it, it's a two-year loan at 6 million euros followed by a compulsory purchase of 29 million euros. It has to do with a bizarre rule by China's FA that clubs must pay a tax to the equal value of the transfer fee if a certain limit has been exceeded. So Chinese clubs are looking at all manner of creative ways to limit or even avoid that liability. Tanjin suggested that Modeste should pay that sum, which the player obviously thought a pretty dumb idea.

    I presume that the 29 million have been placed in a trust or something, safe from eventualities like Tianjin Quanjian or the Chinese League going under. I wonder how Hoffenheim view this deal; they stand to benefit from a sell-on clause. But will they get a slice of the 35m, or just of the 29m official transfer fee?

  16. #16

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    Every season I hope to see Hamburg go down, and every season the buggers always escape. Is this the season when their luck finally runs out?

    I watch a bit of 2.Bundesliga and one team that caught my attention last season was Erzgebirge Aue with their stadium appearing to be slap bang in the middle of a forest.


    And with the ground getting redeveloped, it was strange seeing the players having to wade through a building site just to get to and from the dressing room. Surely they should have been made to wear hardhats.

  17. #17

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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    Quote Originally Posted by CY_Boaby View Post
    … Erzgebirge Aue with their stadium appearing to be slap bang in the middle of a forest.
    Wacker Burghausen's ground is also like that (although I wouldn't quite describe it as a forest).

  18. #18
    Sam's Avatar
    You never can tell with bees.
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    Union Berlin, too (it's even called 'The Stadium in the Old Forestery' or something similar).

  19. #19
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    The Stadium at the Old Forester's House, though the ground is rather close to the edge of the wooded park.

    HSV and Eintracht Frankfurt's grounds are both in parks, though the approach to each is less rustic than it was back in the 70s and 80s

  20. #20
    Superb goal from 70 metres by Holstein Kiel (newly-promoted to the 2. Bundesliga) against HSV in their 5-3 pre-season win.

  21. #21
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    Frankfurt covered themselves in glory on their US tour by losing to San Jose (4-1) and Columbus Crew (1-0). It was a master plan to bolster their position in the US market, so that worked out well Meaningless pre-seasons results etc., but I'm going to back up G-Man with a standard pessimism regarding their final league position. Selling Oczipka to Schalke was regrettable, but he was offered more cash and they got a decent sum for a just above average player. But it's another example of 'identification players' leaving the team. Then again, as soon as any new player has a decent run then the fans start to identify with him, so that's a bit bollocks. And all the pre-season previews are as hopelessly shooting in the dark as last year's Kicker.

    Also looking forward to following FSV and Offenbach in the Regionalliga. God knows why, because the football will be about as cultured as the shite I ref every weekend.

  22. #22
    imp, I got my Sonderheft freshly delivered to me this year. The predictions are always crap, so I don't feel too bad getting mine embarrassingly wrong every year.

    I also read Peter Stöger's interview in Thursday's kicker. I don't think I have loved a football coach more since Helmut Schön. I hope Toni Schumacher is right, and Stöger will be Köln's Arsene Wenger...

  23. #23
    imp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Man View Post
    imp, I got my Sonderheft freshly delivered to me this year. The predictions are always crap, so I don't feel too bad getting mine embarrassingly wrong every year.

    I also read Peter Stöger's interview in Thursday's kicker. I don't think I have loved a football coach more since Helmut Schön. I hope Toni Schumacher is right, and Stöger will be Köln's Arsene Wenger...
    Good to know - I was going to take care of that this week. Read the Stöger piece too - he's a fairly sound bloke, except when he flips his lid at referees (no more often than anyone else). Not as cool as Kovac, though.

    Have you seen the cover of 11 Freunde's Sonderheft?

  24. #24
    Oh my goodness, that is a brilliant cover. One of those "want to look away but can't" images.

    I think the season before last Stöger had cause to flip his lid at referees. kicker worked out that wrong decisions had cost Köln something like seven points that season. The "Wahre Tabelle" -- which is itself not unproblematic, but gives us an indication as to how some clubs have been disadvantaged or benefitted from wrong decisions over the course of a season -- had Köln in 6th instead of 9th place, which would have meant Europa League qualification. The season before, Köln would have jumped three places.

    Other than when he has been frustrated by wrong decisions, I've found Stöger to be quite reasonable about refereeing errors.

  25. #25

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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    Despite being almost unbeaten last season, Unterhaching marked their return to the 3. Liga with a 3-0 defeat to Bremen II (who finished about fifth from bottom last season). I'm hoping this isn't symptomatic of the rest of the campaign.

    I rather enjoyed last season in Regionalliga Bayern, as I suspect will Sechzig fans this season.

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