Donnerstag, 22. Oktober 2020

Promising start to the EuroLeague

I would have expected more from a top French team than what I saw tonight in the BayArena in Nice. The Werkself started the game in a concentrated manner and took an early 2-0 lead through consistent pursuit and a hammer goal from Lucas Alario. Nice came close to 2:1 and you had the feeling that the equalizer would also fall until halftime if the referee had let the game play a little longer in halftime.

Thank God the picture has turned around in the second half. And I was again strengthened in my opinion that Karim Bellarabi is much more dangerous as a substitute than when he is in the starting eleven.  His two goals today are clear proof of this. The second goal of the French team after 6:1 was only cosmetic, but it also shows that you can't be casual in your own defense during the 90 minutes. 

All in all a promising start into the EuroLeague. If this victory and the hope that Nice is actually the second best team in our group doesn't get you through the winter internationally, then I don't understand the world anymore.

Now the English weeks will continue in the same vein. Monday at home against Augsburg with Heiko Herrlich and Thursday evening in Prague before Sunday it goes to Freiburg. Today's victory gives tailwind. The defense was stable despite the two goals scored and the lightness seems to have returned to the front. 

Sonntag, 18. Oktober 2020

Good result, nothing more

The most important news of the weekend is that the Werkself scored three points in Mainz. In my opinion, however, it was not a nice game and was characterised by a certain lack of ideas on both sides. I had expected much more from our team. Okay, half of the Temas was in pointless international matches around the world. But that's why it's now the job of the coaching team to promote the ideas on the pitch and to let the team play attractive football again. How it works could be seen impressively at the start of the year until the last game in Glasgow before the Corona break. We have to come back to that. The next two home games against Nice and Augsburg could be the first important steps towards this.

Samstag, 10. Oktober 2020

Slowly it hurts

In good German one would say that the last week was an epidemic week for the Bavarian. First the unnecessary 1:1 at the ascent in Stuttgart with the injuries of Schick and Sinkgraven, then the unnecessary discussions at the end of the transfer window and now also the killer injury of our Colombian newcomer Santiago Arias. So you can somehow be glad that the national teams are currently playing without Leverkusen players so that no one else gets hurt.

And at the end of the transfer window without further new commitments: After the Havertz sale, it was clear that every selling club wanted to get a bonus from the Bavarian for its players. In this respect, the economic approach of our responsible persons is absolutely correct, not to pay every moon transfer price and every moon transfer salary. Now it is the trainer's responsibility to bring Mr. Dragovic, Jedvaj and Weiser into shape during training so that they can make a valuable contribution to the club and earn their salary.

The next few weeks will be difficult due to the density of the games and the supposedly broad squad is suddenly no longer so broad. I am still in good spirits, but slowly it is starting to hurt.

Sonntag, 27. September 2020

Desire for more

Of course it would have been nice if the Werkself had beaten the bulls. But I can live well with 1:1. It was nice to be among the 6,042 spectators who were drawn for the game on Saturday. Everything took some getting used to: not my usual seat, no smoking in the stadium, drinks and bratwurst only on the pitch. It was still cool, especially since even with 6,000 people you can support the home team loudly these days.

Playfully, our team has clearly increased. We especially liked our newcomer Patrik Schick, who had an incredible number of balls in the midfield. And Daley Sinkgraven also convinced me after initial nervousness and pulled the tooth of one or two bulls.

Of course there are only two points on the account after two matchdays: now it's off to Stuttgart, after the break to Mainz before Augsburg comes at the end of October. That's nine points absolutely not out of reach, even though I can see that Mainz will probably have changed coach by then, and Augsburg is greeting Augsburg from above in the table right now.

In the meantime, the EuropaLeague draw is still on this week. You can't imagine away games in the group phase. But the home games should at least take place in front of a backdrop. I would be there if the draw pot made that possible, even if the opponent comes from Albania, Bulgaria or wherever and is not attractive on paper. That is part of the game

Montag, 21. September 2020

To be better you need more playing practice

I'm absolutely satisfied with the 0:0 in Wolfsburg, because you shouldn't underestimate the fact that Wolfsburg has a good team that has recently qualified for international places time and again.

Of course, we cannot be satisfied with the performance of our team in the Autostadt. We were standing well in the back, but we lacked any punch at the front. I hate all this talk about the fact that with the departure of Havertz and Volland we are missing so and so many scorer points from last year. You can actually see that the team lacks playing practice because of the very short preparation time. By the way, if I was a coach I would have done the same. If you look at the match schedule, you will soon be hunting one English week after another. The last few years have shown time and again - and not only here - that the back of the pack is running out of air. So I think there's now a better chance of doing better from the back.

And I also cannot share this oil in the social media about missing commitments. Particularly in the current transfer window, prices will fall significantly in the coming weeks. Then you can shop better later. Of course, this also applies in the opposite sense to our potential departures. Why buy expensive now and sell cheaper later?

My season ticket is in the draw pot. Hopefully the infection figures in Leverkusen will not rise even further in the next few days, so that the game "Behind closed doors" will take place. I'd like to be there, even if it won't be like before, but it's a step towards normality.

Montag, 14. September 2020

The never champions season forecast 2020/21

No sooner has the last season ended than the Bundesliga starts again. I am no prophet when I say that this will be the most difficult season for all clubs, especially those that play in international competitions and still have to send national players. This is a matter of going from one English week to the next. In this respect, every club should be keen to tackle the issue of 2020/21 with an appropriately broad squad.

With this season's forecast you can once again measure my footballing prowess. Last year my season forecast was consistent in that I correctly predicted three out of four Champions League participants as well as one Europa League starter, just like last year. It's just a shame that the Werkself was the fourth club I've seen in the Champions League, but they had to give the Gladbachers this place. And my predictive power was also not bad when it came to relegation, as I saw both Paderborn and Düsseldorf as relegated.

And here are my entry expectations for the coming season:

1.) Bayern Munich: Yes, unfortunately, the Bavarians will probably remain the measure of all things in the league again, even if many - like me - don't like that.

2.) Borussia Dortmund: Even if the coach discussion starts again after the first defeat. The team is well-positioned and anything less than a placing of three or worse would be a disappointment.

3.) Borussia M'Gladbach: You have to acknowledge the sporting development without envy. The second year is getting more and more difficult for a coach because expectations are raised. Nevertheless, I see Borussia as the number one chaser, but with a distance to the first two.
4.) Dose Leipzig: Will certainly have a more difficult year ahead of us after the small change in personnel. The triple burden takes its toll. But we have also learned that, if need be, we can add on more staff during the winter break.

5.) WE: By the end of the transfer period, there will certainly be one or two things happening in both directions. In view of the tight calendar it is important to have a broad cadre. For the EuroLeague it should be enough in any case, the rest has to be seen.
6.) Hoffenheim: On balance, it's difficult to judge: good players gone, one or the other brought in, but they still have to settle in. Besides, the coach is new and has to settle in. This year again, there is no more than sixth place.
7.) VfL Wolfsburg: Actually, there should be more to it with the squad. The structures have improved, but here too, the triple burden takes its toll.
8.) Eintracht Frankfurt: After a disappointing previous year, the Eagle should attack again, especially since he can almost concentrate on the league.

9.) Werder Bremen had barely jumped off the scales last year. I assume that the grotesque home balance will be improved significantly and that a secure midfield position will be achieved.

10.) Hertha BSC: At some point you have to invest properly as a capital city club, market yourself properly and have crisp investors to do better. But all this is of no use if your investor has money, but the right players don't necessarily want to go to the capital.

11.) Schalke 04: I think young coaches are good. But the structural improvement does not happen overnight. So I expect Schalke to remain almost unchanged, but not more. The high financial debts do not allow for more either.

12.) SC Freiburg: Konstanz will be outstanding again this year. The SC will be able to maintain its class with the squad this year as well.
13) 1 FC Köln: Class retention is absolutely realistic. The one or other surprising home point should be enough to get into the lower end of the midfield.

14.) FC Augsburg: Actually this non-super-team can't tear more than to sort themselves in just before the relegation ranks.

15.) Union Berlin: Good personalities, supported by the environment, should keep the class again in view of the continuing euphoria in the environment, although not as easy as last year.

16.) VfB Stuttgart: For years VfB has felt the need for a change in personnel in order to achieve more with fresh blood. In year one after promotion the relegation spot is a realistic goal.
17.) Mainz 05: From 2021/22 carnival songs will once again be sung in the second league.
I expect the first coach release of the season in Mainz. The teams in direct competition will certainly profit from the higher euphoria.

18.) Arminia Bielefeld: Unfortunately, Arminia will not be able to storm through the Bundesliga as she did last year in the second division due to the lack of financial possibilities. Thus the club remains a clear candidate for relegation in the year of promotion.

You can find the prediction of the bookmakers here:

Those of the fans should be available soon at the following link:

And if you participate in betting games, then take a look at the following link:

Sonntag, 13. September 2020

Room for improvement

After today's cup match against Norderstedt and the clear 7:0, there is still plenty of room for improvement, but we are only just beginning.

I was happy to be one of the 300 chosen ones today to support the Werkself. If you're honest, you could have let a lot more spectators into the stadium, the state government's limit of 300 is an arbitrary number. There's still a lot of room for improvement, and all the hygienic concepts have been adhered to.

There is certainly room for improvement when it comes to exploiting the chances of the Werkself. If you lead 6:0 after 30 minutes and then leave some things lying around, well. But our new assistant coach has already indicated that the yield after standard situations must be improved.

Thanks also to the Norderstedt team for a fair game, so that all Bayer players survived this round unhurt. And thanks also to the Norderstedt coach, who thanked us several times during the press conference alone for the hospitality and the great experience for his boys to play in this stadium. Unfortunately, this is not something you hear every day.

Next Sunday will be the first day of play with the Werkself's guest appearance in Wolfsburg. We have always played better away from home than at home, at least under the current coach. That gives. hope.

Promising start to the EuroLeague

I would have expected more from a top French team than what I saw tonight in the BayArena in Nice. The Werkself started the game in a concen...