Five Conclusions From Matchday 21By: Jan | February 14th, 2012
Dortmund have the right backups for a successful title defense. Dortmund had already benefitted from Robert Lewandowski’s and Felipe Santana’s breakthrough performances in the absence of Lucas Barrios and Neven Subotic in the Hinrunde. Now, they benefit from Shinji Kagawa’s and Kuba’s excellent form, in the absence of Mario Götze. Player for player, Bayern have more quality in their first eleven, but Dortmund can claim to have the better, deeper bench.
Borussia Mönchengladbach play some decent football for a side that got nearly relegated less than a year ago. That’s why I’ve dedicated a whole post to them already.
Lukas Podolski and Hamburg start flirting with European football. Lukas Podolski does so in interviews. Hamburg do so on the pitch. Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen, and as such the Europa League spots, are there for the taking. Yet, Cologne were so uninspired and one dimensional on Sunday, that they look likely to disappear somewhere in the grey muddy middle of the table this season. Which in turn means, Podolski might have to look elsewhere for regular European football during the upcoming primetime of his career. Meanwhile, a win over Bremen in the northern derby next weekend, and Hamburg will be right back in the hunt for the European places. And different to last season, they do have the right coach to get them there.
There is a one in three chance, that a bottom of the table clash turns into an entertaining goal fest extravaganza. Which also means, there is a two in three chance, it’s going to be a snooze fest. Those fortunate enough to give the unsexy Friday match-up between Wolfsburg and Freiburg a chance, were rewarded with a five-goal thriller and some questionable offside calls, to add a bit of controversy. Those who looked to cap off the weekend with some nice Bundesliga football on Sunday, were left bitterly disappointed. Two completely forgettable bottom of the table encounters, at least allowed you, to let your mind wander and dream of all the beautiful football Borussia Mönchengladbach is yet going to play this season.
Michael Preetz is starting to make Dieter Hoeness look like a decent manager. And that’s good news for Dieter Hoeness only. At least Preetz was quick to admit that signing Skibbe was the wrong decision in the first place, following Hertha’s utterly complete meltdown at Stuttgart on Saturday. If there is any logic to how Preetz hires new coaches, there is a small chance it’ll be someone decent. He so far had the habit of replacing smart coaches with uninspired ones and vice versa. Of course, there is also a name like Thomas Doll making the rounds in Berlin, which for me would be a clear indicator that Preetz’ stint as Hertha sporting director is likely going to end this summer.