5 Conclusions from Matchday 2By: Jan | August 14th, 2011
1. Title candidates stumble and struggle. Good news for the rest of the league: Mario Götze has off-days. Dortmund have a bogey team and are perfectly beatable. The good news for Dortmund: their biggest rivals still have some way to go to be a serious threat. Both Leverkusen and Bayern just about grinded out their first unconvincing wins. In case of teams like Schalke, Stuttgart, Wolfsburg et al, time will tell whether anyone can be promoted to title candidate, following topsy turvy performances so far.
2. Hamburg are in a perilous state. Hamburg are without a Bundesliga win for nine games in a row. Admittedly, one of the biggest squad revamps in recent Bundesliga history took place in between. Yet Hamburg’s loose organization and uncoordinated football can’t just be about new players needing time to gel. Michael Oenning now has a long way to go to prove he is the right man for Hamburg’s reboot. Otherwise you almost ought to feel sorry for all the promising talent being wasted at the club.
3. Mainz and Hannover are no surprise teams. They are no top teams either, despite temporarily being placed first and second in the table. But they have a good manager, good coach and a good team. And just looking at how rocky the start of a couple of self-appointed top teams has been, there is reason to believe that this season’s Bundesliga has room for one or two underdogs in the top 7 again. Doesn’t need to be Mainz or Hannover. Who knows where someone like Lucien Favre will take his team.
4. Augsburg are the only unbeaten team in Bundesliga history. They are also the only team in Bundesliga history without a win. Two draws against fellow or potential relegation strugglers at least isn’t as bad as most people expected Augsburg to be. It also isn’t good enough to suggest Augsburg can have realistic hopes for league survival yet.
5. If Stale Solbakken can survive at Cologne this season, he’ll be automatic #1 pick for coach of the year. Solbakken is doing everything to turn Cologne into a professionally run, well established and respectable Bundesliga club that plays attractive attacking football. Left in his trail are a frustrated ex-captain, puzzled fans, a chaotic unorganized defense and a press close to opening hunting season.