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  1. #26
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    They seemed to be very happy to be back home at Grunwalder Strasse

  2. #27

    I ought to report you to the Gnome Office
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    I used to hate going to the Grünwalder Stadion, but--since the renovations--I don't mind it so much.

    Plus there's an excellent pub-cum-brewery nearby that sells its own beer (Giesinger Brau). Not my favourite Helles, but I buy it sometimes buy it out of local loyalty.


  3. #28
    Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth in Dortmund after Ousmane Dembelé skipped training in an apparent bid to force a transfer to Barcelona. Dortmund don't want to sell and slapped a price tag of 150 million euros on him. Dortmund are not at all impressed. But, as 11 Freunde pointed out, they pulled the same stunt when Mkhytaryan went on strike at Shakhtar Dontetsk to force a transfer to BVB (where he more or less repeated that stunt to join Man Utd). And Dortmund seem to have forgotten that just a year ago, Dembelé went on strike at Rennes -- even threatening "retirement (at 19!) -- if he couldn't go to Dortmund. As 11 Freunde said, sometimes you're the dog, and sometimes you're the tree.

  4. #29

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    Dembele is the main reason I get up early on Saturday mornings, so I'll be pissed off if he's gone.

    Is this the most Big City Bundesliga for years? Two promoted, joining other recent arrivals like Frankfurt, Leipzig. I'll miss seeing Darmstadt's ground on telly, with fences and standing it was like being transported back to UEFA Cup highlights in the 1980's.

  5. #30
    The only difference in the line-up from three years ago — before the two-season intermerzzo of Ingolstadt and Darmstadt — is Leipzig in for Paderborn.

  6. #31
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    That still matters, though, as Leipzig is the tenth most populous city in the country.

    The only two cities in the Top Ten not to feature this season (Düsseldorf and Essen) have managed one season in the top flight since unification and Fortuna were in a 1. Liga that had no team from Berlin or Köln.

  7. #32

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    Interesting article here on Union Berlin from Australia's The World Game Website http://theworldgame.sbs.com.au/blog/...-success-story

  8. #33
    HSV is the comedy gift that keeps on giving. Knocked out of the DFB Pokal with a 3-1 defeat at third-tier Osnabrück, who've had a shocking start to the season, and played 70+ minutes with then men. Augsburg also got knocked out in the first round, at third-tier Magdeburg. And Stuttgart needed penalties to get past Cottbus, now in the fourth tier. After being 2-0 down Stuttgart were save by an own goal
    Last edited by G-Man; 14-08-2017 at 06:55.

  9. #34
    imp's Avatar
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    Eintracht, by contrast, heroically won 3-0 at sixth-tier something or other despite being a man down after 15 minutes. FSV Frankfurt lost at home to Worms (that's as bad as it sounds) and are equal second-last in the Regionalliga Südwest. They avoid bottom spot because Kassel had nine points deducted for insolvency, but I'm sure they'll make it their own at some point.

    Here's my table prediction. It's no more scientific than any of the others, but I just feel the need to think that Bayern's grip on the shield will be loosened. Friday night's opener between Bayern and Leverkusen will probably render it laughable after the first 90 minutes played.

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

  10. #35

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    Is there any particular reason why the Pokal isn't larger? It starts with 64 teams, which is like starting the FA at the third round. Also, of the 24 teams qualifying from the Verbanspokal this season, only 6 were from the 2016-17 3.Liga, meaning 8 teams from the third tier didn't make it (discounting the two B sides, who I presume can't play in it). Given the relative depth of German football, the size of the county and the fact they only have one national cup competition, you'd have thought they could have allowed more teams to enter.

  11. #36
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    I think that the regional federations like it that way, as it provides a tangible reward for the winners of their Cup competitions (particularly as they get to play at home and that they can get drawn against the likes of Bayern). If there were more rounds, there would be significant pressure to exempt "big" clubs early on.

    And because any registered club is eligible for their local Verbandpokal, it preserves the "universal" aspect of such competitions (though spread over two seasons).

  12. #37
    imp's Avatar
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    Only the top four teams from BL3 qualify. Any other BL3 teams in there would have been winners of their Verbandspokal.

    But reform is on the table, starting with the 2019 competition, with 182 clubs instead of the current 64. A new first qualifying round in July would include all semi-finalists of the 21 Verbandspokale (though not the winners), plus 49 teams from the Regionalligen (various D4s) and 15 teams from BL3. Winners from this round would go into a second qualifying round with Verbandspokal winners, top three from BL3, all BL2 teams, and the 11 BL teams not in Europe. First round proper would then be in September, with the European qualifiers now entering.

    The idea is to give the big Bundesliga clubs more rest from their Far East tours. Although this would mean dozens more amateur teams having a chance, they are actually against it - they think there will be less chance of a shock, and less chance of a big pay day. That is, at the moment they win the Verbandspokal and could get Bayern or Dortmund at home in the first round - a pay-day that keeps them going for years. With the reform, that's less likely. Given the scope of the FA Cup and the French Cup including all 7000 of the country's teams, this seems a very narrow view. I think the reforms, despite being mooted for the benefit of the big clubs, would also work in everyone's favour and potentially spread the money among smaller clubs.

  13. #38
    First VAR decision gives Bayern a pretty soft penalty. But it was a pull on Lewandowski, however minor. And there is nothing in the rules about the degree of force needed for it to be an offence.

    About thirty seconds earlier we had a bizarre non-VAR piece of officiating as Bayern were flagged for offside, and somehow Leverkusen were allowed to take the free-kick 15m into the Bayern half!

    Edit - oh and as per imp's commentary on his prediction, said penalty made if 3-0 to Bayern after less than 50 minutes play.
    Last edited by Janik; 18-08-2017 at 21:07.

  14. #39
    One observation on the VAR call is that Lewandowski essentially persuaded the ref to go to it by being up-in-arms about the challenge on him. Such a reaction may convince a ref to check whether he has missed something. I'm not sure this is a good thing, but don't see how it can be avoided.

    Actually, no, thinking about it, I do know. Hockey, Cricket, Tennis and others have a system. Make the use of VAR at the discretion of the teams themselves, but with unsuccessful challenges costing a review and no right to call one if all challenges have been used up. Tennis offers three a set, cricket two an innings and Hockey only one a match. That later option is probably right for Football, as it makes speculative reviewing very dangerous.
    Last edited by Janik; 18-08-2017 at 21:17.

  15. #40
    Nikolai Müller twisted his ankle while celebrating his goal for HSV and had to be subbed. They really can't be topped for entertainment value, that shower.

  16. #41
    ursus arctos's Avatar
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    It was beautiful

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by treibeis View Post
    Nikolai Müller twisted his ankle while celebrating his goal for HSV and had to be subbed. They really can't be topped for entertainment value, that shower.
    Helicopter celebration, I believe. Whicvh is even better.

    HSV really are the gudt that keeps on giving. Now benefactor and part-owner of the club Klaus-Michael Kühne, a man who has opinions, has slammed the whole management structure, including the coach, and said that Hamburg is a club which gets stuck with all the Luschen (= wimps). Somehow, not everybody took that as a constructive criticism. Though coach Gisdol laughed it off. Much as he protests how much affection he has for the club, he knows that when he gets the sack, there'll be another club he can acquire affection for. Not so sure about the management team or the Luschen whom HSV apparently can't get rid off.

  18. #43
    imp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janik View Post
    Edit - oh and as per imp's commentary on his prediction, said penalty made if 3-0 to Bayern after less than 50 minutes play.
    I switched off at 2-0. It wasn't after 90 minutes, but only 9 when I realised my feeble attempt at optimism would be punished with all the severity it deserved.

    I speculated on last weekend's match-going thread that the Bremen ultras must have smuggled their flares and Bengalos in via their arses at the Würzburg . Funny. According to kicker, quoting inside sources from the ultra scene, that's exactly what's been happening. They've been using local anaesthetics to dull the pain as they anally penetrate themselves with plastic-protected incendiary devices. I guess it's admirable dedication to the cause.

    More glory for FSV Frankfurt in the Regionalliga - a 6-0 hiding at FC Astoria Walldorf.

  19. #44
    Nureyev Müller's done his cruciate ligament and is looking at six months on the treatment table. Doesn't do much for his prospects of negotiating a new salary (he wants a 40℅ hike on his current two million per year, so he can be on the same as the "Luschen" - Lasogga, Hunt, Holtby - that G-Man mentioned upthread).

  20. #45

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    It just gets funnier every time

    Did he actually injure his knee with the helicopter landing or is the corner flag getting all the blame?

  21. #46
    Looks like he does it in when he stumbles over the cornerflag.

    If it was pre-ordained that such a mishap should befall a professional footballer, I'd have preferred it had this happened to Neymar.

  22. #47
    Toby Gymshorts's Avatar
    I must confess, I'm an impatient cat
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    Sat in a German pub in South London, as (as far as I can tell) the only person who was rooting for Hertha.

    That worked out well then.

  23. #48
    imp's Avatar
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    G-Man's gloating about Hamburg took a karmic hammering on Friday night.

  24. #49
    Yeah, it did, didn't it? I do like Stöger's response though. None of that "we dominated but conceded two goals in two minutes against the run of play and hit the woodwork twice our boys done well" business. He said they played poorly and must improve. I expect Köln to be flirting with relegation this season, and this was a six-pointer.

  25. #50

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    I wasn't keen on a 6 am start, so I did a "Likely Lads" for Cologne-Hamburg, and was later rewarded with a comedy worthy of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Starring Papadopolous, who I loved for 98 minutes, the archetypal old school centre-half, until ... the worst acting since Rivaldo 2002. Disgraceful (in other words, wonderful, you can watch it again and again). Also starring the entire home team. Plus a young Ralph Fiennes as the substitute ref.

    The football was mostly rubbish (do these two teams even practise corners and free kicks?), but who cares?

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