Five Conclusions from Matchday 32By: Jan | April 24th, 2012
Dortmund’s title win was finally made official. And while the pundits discuss, whether we are looking at a dynasty in the making, elsewhere clubs compete for the right or burden to play two extra matches.
Dortmund are deserved winners.
In a matter of eleven days, Dortmund have now beaten the second, third and fourth placed teams in the Bundesliga. Bayern and Schalke have been beaten twice in fact. Dortmund are on a record 26 match unbeaten run. They do have the chance to play the best ever season in Bundesliga history, if they win their two remaining matches. They play an entertaining brand of energetic attacking football. However, they were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League. That was embarrassing and it also meant they had to play five (soon six) fewer matches than their immediate rivals Bayern. That’s about the last and only straw you could clutch to downplay Dortmund’s remarkable achievement. But for that, you would need to be a rather bitter Schalke or Bayern fan. So, congratulations Dortmund.
Cologne and Hertha have no such thing as a form curve.
Abject performance against Gladbach. Good performance against Stuttgart. That’s Cologne’s “form curve”. Good performance against Leverkusen. Abject performance against Kaiserslautern. That’s Hertha’s “form curve”. Good luck predicting, who’ll eventually beat the other to the relegation play-off spot. With Fortuna Düsseldorf looming in the play-offs, you might want to root for Cologne though, to enjoy a massive do or die derby.
Schalke lose a lot lately.
They lose points. They lose players on free transfers. They lose their composure in training. They lose Huntelaar in Augsburg – or rather, just leave him there stranded. They might lose their guaranteed place in the Champions League after all. Good news is, with games against Hertha and Bremen remaining, they’ll face teams who are even better at losing than Schalke.
Playing all games of the last two matchdays at the same time has more than one advantage.
It’s not just about ensuring a fair competition. It also means you won’t have the chance to watch more than one bad or boring match. As fun and exciting as this season has been, more and more teams have secured their goals for the season and the quality of the remaining matches has dropped considerably.
Late bloomers give an early glimpse of next season.
Nuremberg’s Daniel Didavi and Hamburg’s Son Heung-Min have been highly rated talents for a while, but it took them until the end of the season, to start living up to expectations. It was soon enough to be vital to both club’s Bundesliga survival. While tipped as potential breakthrough stars this season already, at least they reminded us, what we can be looking forward to next season.