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08-13-2012, 12:18 PM
  #26
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For Dortmund I have to say, Marco still doesn't look right wearing yellow and black for me, and I don't think he's comfortable wearing it yet either. He played well, showing his intelligence, but he was off. Fortunately when Goetze came on he settle in and got much better.

Staying in the attacking midfield, Perisic looks their best winger, I appreciate Grosskreutz' work rate and heart, but he's the least skilled of the 3 wingers in question and plays on the same wing as a LB who similarly has a massive motor but unspectacular skillset. Having the two of them on the same side is going to make them to unbalanced against better teams. Kuba will likely get the start alongside Reus and Goetze once they're all healthy, experience, time served, having strong skills, etc., but Perisic seems more able to make incisive plays, his balls are just more dangerous. Shame they didn't loan out Bittencourt because of how stacked their attacking band is, that kid looked amazing for Cottbus and could really become an excellent player. If he can't get on the field much I hope they look to loan him out in January to a lower table BL team, cause he's ready to play at this level.

Leitner and Gundogan really struggled early, however they got much better in the second half, more comfortable playing alongside each other and generally more confident. Both are very skilled on the ball and very smart for their age, but you could see they're used to playing with Kehl or Bender to be the workhorse and couldn't figure each other out to start. I doubt they play next to each other too much moving forward, but it was interesting to watch them figure each other out.

Like most of hte team in the first half, Subotic and Hummels just weren't in their flow in the first half, sloppy mistakes in defense and their great long balls weren't on target. I wonder if there was some mental exhaustion going on. Could be an important year for the backup CBs as Klopp will have to rotate them a lot for Dortmund to contend continentally as well as for the title. Getting knocked out of the DFB Pokal early could be a blessing in disguise for them if it happens.

Schmelzer's lungs are made of a different substance than those of normal humans, he's still not a high skill player, but he gives them width in the final third and that crazy hard working drive that's kept Grosskreutz in Klopp's lineup for so long. Lowe has done pretty well recreating that work rate when he's been called upon, but he really is just a poor man's Schmelzer.

Overall my questions for them are:
1. Same as it has been since they started they're rise under Klopp, will these kids ever run out of steam? Physically or Mentally.
2. Europe, can they take the next step and make it out of their group?
3. Injuries, if Hummels or Subotic goes down they're just not going to be able to keep battling on multiple fronts, they're loaded in the midfield, but those two CBs are so important and irreplaceable for them.

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08-13-2012, 01:24 PM
  #27
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Perišić played as a defensive midfielder against Bayern, what was that all about?

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08-13-2012, 04:31 PM
  #28
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Boateng looked really good next to a mobile and in command partner like Dante. I really think those two could push Badstuber to third choice this year and both could have great years. Especially with their superior athletic ability over Bads, that'll help with Bayern's vulnerability to counters. Boa's going to have to step up his mental game, but I do think that Dante's a great partner for him to learn from.
I was more impressed with Dante than I was with Boateng, and I really think those two are battling for the spot next to Badstuber, rather than pushing him out of the regular lineup. In any way, with a long season and hopefully an extended stay in the CL beyond the early stages, being able to rest a guy is huge for our hopes in the Bundesliga. Can't say enough about Dante. He looked really comfortable given the small amount of time he's been on the team.

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Gomez has scored a **** ton of goals for Bayern, but that front line was just so much more fluid with Mandzo. Mueller was more comfortable than he ever looked between Robbery last year.
I agree on that. It was really refreshing to see. I also have to give Robben some praise, after being somewhat mad with him like many for a while. He's a pro, and with all that happened for him over the last months, he just comes back and works hard right away. I wouldn't be surprised to see an immense season coming from him, and Ribery.

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Kroos is really flourishing for Jupp Heynkes so they can rest Schweini until he's actually healthy, with Gustavo as a destroyer, Can and rumors that a Martinez move is getting close, the midfield is stacked even without Schweini.
I don't quite feel that way about our midfield. Especially Kroos left me pretty unimpressed recently. He's taking the speed out of the game so often. I found his decision making to be quite off. As for Gustavo, I really appreciate the guy, and he's outstanding against the ball. The issue is that playing for Bayern, in the vast majority of games there is very limited use for that rather one-dimensional skillset of his. Against the Real Madrids of the world, he's a guy I love to have, but on ~ 30 of our league matchups, he's a position that could be upgraded - which I think is why we're looking as hard as we do at Martinez.

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My Only questions are:
1. What happens with Gomez if they're playing great and fluid ball with Mandzukic/Pizzaro?
Very realistic scenario, and it's going to be interesting to see, especially if Robbery get used to playing the way they can with Mandzukic. I don't think Gomez is untouchable, in any way, so if the team works well without him, he'll have to wait for his turn (which will come). This year could really turn into crossroads for his career in Munich - yet again.

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2. Can Schweini sit still long enough to make sure he's fully healthy?
I think so. Getting Martinez would help that, I suppose.

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3a. Counters, will they do better against them?
3b. Deadballs, will they be able to defend them?
Actually, I doubt it. Sure, we've been vulnerable to counters, but all things considered, we didn't give up a lot of goals. Teams won't start pressuring against us and score goals that way, so unless we stop conceding altogether (which I'd have no issues with, at all! ), I guess counters and deadballs is what it will continue to be.

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For Dortmund I have to say, Marco still doesn't look right wearing yellow and black for me, and I don't think he's comfortable wearing it yet either. He played well, showing his intelligence, but he was off. Fortunately when Goetze came on he settle in and got much better.

Staying in the attacking midfield, Perisic looks their best winger, I appreciate Grosskreutz' work rate and heart, but he's the least skilled of the 3 wingers in question and plays on the same wing as a LB who similarly has a massive motor but unspectacular skillset.
I think he's comfortable with the jersey, and for some reason I felt he looked "right" in it right away, but it's not an easy process for Reus. So far, he's made a career of the fast paced counter attack game in Gladbach, and while Dortmund likes to do that, as well, he won't get nearly as much room there. Kagawa was an outstanding fit for the style, and I expect his loss to be felt. I think Reus will settle in nicely, as well, simply because his skill level is just too high to not impact the game positively, but it's probably going to be a bit of a process.

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Having the two of them on the same side is going to make them to unbalanced against better teams. Kuba will likely get the start alongside Reus and Goetze once they're all healthy, experience, time served, having strong skills, etc., but Perisic seems more able to make incisive plays, his balls are just more dangerous.
I'm actually not sure if Götze will be in to start the season. He just hasn't played a lot ever since his injuries, and I think you can tell he's not quite there on many levels. Wouldn't be surprised to see him come from the bench in their opener, given how Kuba has apparently looked, especially.

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Shame they didn't loan out Bittencourt because of how stacked their attacking band is, that kid looked amazing for Cottbus and could really become an excellent player. If he can't get on the field much I hope they look to loan him out in January to a lower table BL team, cause he's ready to play at this level.
Yeah, that would have made sense, but I always feel the positive impact of keeping such a guy with the team gets overlooked. Sure, playing time matters, but with a kid like him coming up from Cottbus, I actually believe that simply practising with the type of talent you have in Dortmund is going to be better for him than going right back to a Cottbus-type (or even an Augsburg-type) team and play in bunch of games, that would require him to play a very different game. Obviously, that doesn't work forever, but for the first six to twelve months, I can see some upside in having him around there even if it results in limited playing time. At his age, that's not where player development happens, IMO.

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Leitner and Gundogan really struggled early, however they got much better in the second half, more comfortable playing alongside each other and generally more confident. Both are very skilled on the ball and very smart for their age, but you could see they're used to playing with Kehl or Bender to be the workhorse and couldn't figure each other out to start. I doubt they play next to each other too much moving forward, but it was interesting to watch them figure each other out.
Agreed. I think they are both better fits to play the more creative part next to the more defensive counter-parts in Kehl/Bender, which are used to just drop back almost between Hummels/Subotic when in possession. These two aren't quite made for that. I expect a big season from Gündogan.

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2. Europe, can they take the next step and make it out of their group?
I hope so, but it will come down to what opposition they draw, and what can be expected. I think they'll still struggle against teams possibly less talented, but with experience at the level.

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3. Injuries, if Hummels or Subotic goes down they're just not going to be able to keep battling on multiple fronts, they're loaded in the midfield, but those two CBs are so important and irreplaceable for them.
I am actually not too sure there. Subotic has come down to earth, IMO. He's a very good defender when he's on, but he is rather inconsistent. I think his loss to a hypothetical injuray could be dealt with by Santana, who's pretty solid.

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08-13-2012, 05:58 PM
  #29
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I was more impressed with Dante than I was with Boateng, and I really think those two are battling for the spot next to Badstuber, rather than pushing him out of the regular lineup. In any way, with a long season and hopefully an extended stay in the CL beyond the early stages, being able to rest a guy is huge for our hopes in the Bundesliga. Can't say enough about Dante. He looked really comfortable given the small amount of time he's been on the team.
Oh I agree, just wanted to comment on Boa, who I think is poised for a breakout year next to Dante. I think their skills not only compliment each other, but Jerome will also learn a lot from Dante. Dante is great though and i should've given him more attention, he played the way Hummels did last season, already. He's going to be their best CB and it's the spot next to him that Boateng and Badstuber will have to fight for.

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I don't quite feel that way about our midfield. Especially Kroos left me pretty unimpressed recently. He's taking the speed out of the game so often. I found his decision making to be quite off. As for Gustavo, I really appreciate the guy, and he's outstanding against the ball. The issue is that playing for Bayern, in the vast majority of games there is very limited use for that rather one-dimensional skillset of his. Against the Real Madrids of the world, he's a guy I love to have, but on ~ 30 of our league matchups, he's a position that could be upgraded - which I think is why we're looking as hard as we do at Martinez.
Kroos is coming off a great season and his chemistry with Schweini was astounding before the injury. Playing into that is why I like Gustavo, in Schweini's absence he will free Kroos to play even more aggressively. I do agree that his skillset isn't vital for a lot of your league matches, but I think he'll help in the big games and will be someone you can work around as all of your CBs are so strong on the ball. Although as you say, Martinez would be a much better fit and a welcome upgrade.

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Very realistic scenario, and it's going to be interesting to see, especially if Robbery get used to playing the way they can with Mandzukic. I don't think Gomez is untouchable, in any way, so if the team works well without him, he'll have to wait for his turn (which will come). This year could really turn into crossroads for his career in Munich - yet again.
That's what I'd hope happens. But I'm skeptical.

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I think so. Getting Martinez would help that, I suppose.
I dunno, I just see Schweini rushing back before he's ready and hurting himself again. Gut feeling. Hope I'm wrong though.

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Actually, I doubt it. Sure, we've been vulnerable to counters, but all things considered, we didn't give up a lot of goals. Teams won't start pressuring against us and score goals that way, so unless we stop conceding altogether (which I'd have no issues with, at all! ), I guess counters and deadballs is what it will continue to be.
Fair point, but ultaimtely you lost the CL because a deadball leveled the score and you lost to Dortmund in league and cup because of counters. You had a strong defense, but in the biggest games it got beat and can improve.

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I'm actually not sure if Götze will be in to start the season. He just hasn't played a lot ever since his injuries, and I think you can tell he's not quite there on many levels. Wouldn't be surprised to see him come from the bench in their opener, given how Kuba has apparently looked, especially.
Thus the when tehy're all healthy part ;-)

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Yeah, that would have made sense, but I always feel the positive impact of keeping such a guy with the team gets overlooked. Sure, playing time matters, but with a kid like him coming up from Cottbus, I actually believe that simply practising with the type of talent you have in Dortmund is going to be better for him than going right back to a Cottbus-type (or even an Augsburg-type) team and play in bunch of games, that would require him to play a very different game. Obviously, that doesn't work forever, but for the first six to twelve months, I can see some upside in having him around there even if it results in limited playing time. At his age, that's not where player development happens, IMO.
Bittencourt looks ready for the Bundesliga, like Goetze and Draxler his instincts are way beyond those a teenager should have. While I appreciate the idea of keeping him and integrating him into the team, I think his youth plays against that, meaning because he's so young, loaning him away to improve his skills further and get used to 1st Bundesliga defenders, makes more sense because when he comes back in a year he'll still be a teenager and he'll still have Reus, Goetze, Kuba, Perisic and Grosskreutz to pass for PT. So next year you take a kid who's already gotten experience against BL defenders and start integrating him into the team.

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I am actually not too sure there. Subotic has come down to earth, IMO. He's a very good defender when he's on, but he is rather inconsistent. I think his loss to a hypothetical injuray could be dealt with by Santana, who's pretty solid.
What I was trying to get at is that if one of them goes down they're left with the other one and Santana as their only experienced CBs. Leaving the remaining two with a beastly work load competing on three fronts.

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08-13-2012, 07:14 PM
  #30
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Kroos is coming off a great season and his chemistry with Schweini was astounding before the injury. Playing into that is why I like Gustavo, in Schweini's absence he will free Kroos to play even more aggressively. I do agree that his skillset isn't vital for a lot of your league matches, but I think he'll help in the big games and will be someone you can work around as all of your CBs are so strong on the ball. Although as you say, Martinez would be a much better fit and a welcome upgrade.
I still have faith in Kroos, but I feel like his play was a lot better in the first half of the season. I was a lot more optimistic about him half a year ago, so I hope I'll change my mind again soon, over what probably only needs to be seeing a few tiny things that help me remember. But recently, Kroos at Bayern seemed to have become a guy doing routine stuff, and lacking the creativity that he can add. I guess that could just appear (to me) quickly again. I don't really know.

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I dunno, I just see Schweini rushing back before he's ready and hurting himself again. Gut feeling. Hope I'm wrong though.
Knock on wood.

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Fair point, but ultaimtely you lost the CL because a deadball leveled the score and you lost to Dortmund in league and cup because of counters. You had a strong defense, but in the biggest games it got beat and can improve.
I don't think you can ever really prepair to defend a goal like the one we conceded against Chelsea. Just the perfect ball to the perfect guy making the perfect play. And against Dortmund, I'm not even sure it was the counters that were decisive. Obviously, they ended up the biggest factors on the scoresheet - moreso in the cup final than in our league meetings - but I think it involved a couple factors on offense just as much. I mean, I absolutely agree with you in that it can and should be improved, without a doubt. But I also think that we'd not lose those matches every time playing with that same skillset both teams had at the time. I hope we'll improve, though, so that will be one hypothetical we'll never quite get the answer to.

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Thus the when tehy're all healthy part ;-)
Oh, sorry, went right by that.

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Bittencourt looks ready for the Bundesliga, like Goetze and Draxler his instincts are way beyond those a teenager should have. While I appreciate the idea of keeping him and integrating him into the team, I think his youth plays against that, meaning because he's so young, loaning him away to improve his skills further and get used to 1st Bundesliga defenders, makes more sense because when he comes back in a year he'll still be a teenager and he'll still have Reus, Goetze, Kuba, Perisic and Grosskreutz to pass for PT. So next year you take a kid who's already gotten experience against BL defenders and start integrating him into the team.
The bolded part is kind of my line of thought - it's not so much the integrating into the team, for me. I think he'll actually be able to improve his skills further staying in Dortmund, especially if you put it in those terms. League games are just 90 minutes (at best) a week. The real development at that age isn't done in those 90 minutes, it happens in months of everyday practise. I think he'll get to improve his skills more in practising with/against his Dortmund teammates than he'd practising and playing for an hour on Augsburg, or some comparable team where he could reasonably expect to see meaningful minutes just yet. You improve by playing with higher quality guys, and I think he'll get the most of that in Dortmund.

Sure, at some point, this changes, and what it takes to get to the next big levels are games, games and games, but that comes a little later, IMO. At his age, there's still some way to go, and a lot to learn that is happening in practise even moreso than in games. Can't help but think that making sure he's learning those skills in the best possible environment, and isn't left to an unfamiliar coaching staff, a weaker team, etc.

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What I was trying to get at is that if one of them goes down they're left with the other one and Santana as their only experienced CBs. Leaving the remaining two with a beastly work load competing on three fronts.
That's certainly true. For a long term thing, that could prove quite problematic. Thinking about it, I think in such a scenario Bender could very well see some minutes at centre back, and I am sure he wouldn't look out of place, even with the accustomed high level from Dortmund's defense. It just works very well with his strengths, and there's enough depth in midfield to cover for that for some time. In the end, the work load will end up very dependent on how their CL run will go. If Bayern goes deep again, and Dortmund's suffering another early exit, their additional focus could be an advantage, once again. But I hope the best for them in international play, without a doubt.


Looking beyond Bayern and Dortmund, I'm looking forward to finding out about quite a few teams. Gladbach is one of those. I think they have done a great job this summer. Usually teams in their situation that just finished an uncommon huge year suffer the loss of some key players, cash in, and go back to being run of the mill. They certainly had their fair share of integral losses, themselves, but it's good to see them being pro-active in trying to make up for that. Xhaka supposedly looked outstanding in preseason. De Jong obviously has some class. No idea about the Dante replacement from Spain, but he could be another good one. They are going to be interesting to follow.

Leverkusen is another one. I absolutely loved the Wollscheid-signing for them and expect a breakout year from him, establishing himself as one of Germany's great young center backs. Schalke I expect to play a good role, as well. Another team that intrigues me is Stuttgart. I like their balance. I really don't rate Labbadia as a coach, at all, and usually would expect his team to fail (again), but looking at that team I can't really see them doing so.

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08-14-2012, 01:18 PM
  #31
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Practice is very important, but practice is a wholly different than game time. Practice is great for developing skills, but nothing will prepare him for Bundesliga defenses like playing against them. Even on the skill development front, starters get more attention in practice and getting to test out what you're learning in games is a great way to boost the learning process. I think you have a point for some players, but Bittencourt is one who's talent is already exceptional and has the instincts to be able to adjust. What he needs is PT to learn and adjust.

Stuttgart is a team who I just get a bad feeling about, their tendency to start slow, lack of striker depth and mediocre coaching, make me feel a collapse coming, even though they do have good talent.

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08-14-2012, 01:50 PM
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I think Labbadia is actually a very good coach, as long as his relationships with his players doesn't sour. Hamburg was playing great and successful football when he was coach here, leading the league after having played all the really tough opponents after 10 games or so. Pretty much the only coach in recent memory who looked like he had a game-plan and actually got the team to use it.

Then injuries piled on, players were turning against him because of his style of leadership and everything collapsed from then on. If he learns to not bring up the team against himself, he should turn out to be a rather successful coach.

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08-14-2012, 01:59 PM
  #33
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What would you say are Leverkusen's ambition for this season? Europa LeaguE spot or even higher for Champions League?

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08-14-2012, 02:29 PM
  #34
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I like Leverkusen to take the final CL spot behind Dortmund, Bayern and Schalke. They have a lot of young talent, they can put the ball into the net and in Leno have an excellent young goal keeper. If Wollscheid can settle that defensive line and Carvajal makes that right flank his, they could end up third.

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08-16-2012, 09:07 PM
  #35
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What's happened between Timo Furuholm & Fortuna Dusseldorf?

They buy him in January and now want to sell/loan him

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08-18-2012, 09:42 AM
  #36
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Hoppenheim, Champions League? Good one Timmy!

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08-19-2012, 09:23 AM
  #37
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Trapp sent off for Frankfurt on his debut

That's what you get for moving to Frankfurt, Mr Trapp

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08-19-2012, 09:34 AM
  #38
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lol Hertha joins HSV and Hoffenheim getting knocked outta the DFB pokal in round one. I'm so happy right now, as long as Union doesn't **** the bed tomorrow this will be the greatest.

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08-19-2012, 09:50 AM
  #39
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lol Hertha joins HSV and Hoffenheim getting knocked outta the DFB pokal in round one. I'm so happy right now, as long as Union doesn't **** the bed tomorrow this will be the greatest.
Doesn't matter, I'm taking Hertha to the Champions League on FM!

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08-19-2012, 10:08 AM
  #40
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Good luck, since they won't be getting promotion this year in real life.

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08-19-2012, 10:15 AM
  #41
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Is their squad really that bad this year?

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08-19-2012, 10:25 AM
  #42
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Is their squad really that bad this year?
Not really, but it's not so strong that they're guaranteed promotion, their defense looks weak, their manager's mediocre and I just don't like that team. I honestly think Union can finish above them this year if we get our defense sorted and Quiring stays healthy.

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08-19-2012, 10:55 AM
  #43
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Aue has knocked out Frankfurt and Werder only managed to get a draw with Münster after full-time.

Lots of cupsets this weekend.

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08-19-2012, 11:03 AM
  #44
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Not really, but it's not so strong that they're guaranteed promotion, their defense looks weak, their manager's mediocre and I just don't like that team. I honestly think Union can finish above them this year if we get our defense sorted and Quiring stays healthy.
I'd hardly call the manager mediocre, he took a average Augsburg not only into the Bundesliga, but kept them up despite everyone saying they'd have no hope, all of this on a pretty small budget at times [specially after promotion]

He's one of the better managers not in the Bundesliga, and didn't look out of place in the Bundesliga last season.

TBH a lot of things would have to go Union's way to finish above Hertha, mainly as I think Hertha will be top 5 and I don't see Union having top 5 potential just yet. Even though Hertha has Wagner on the bench, they are still a pretty good 2.BL team,Hertha are missing Kraft, Lassogga and Kobiashvili after all, all first choice players I dare say.

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08-19-2012, 11:13 AM
  #45
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Even in Augsburg his first campaign was very mediocre, they improved a lot in year two to win promotion and were solid last year, but Hertha's going to be very different experience as he's going to be expected to win from day one with a squad in massive transition. Maybe mediocre was too harsh, because keeping Augsburg up was a great achievement, but this Hertha squad will be completely different for him to manage than that team, not granting him the same luxury of time that he had with Augsburg, Gladbach and Paderborn. Plus I think their talent is very mediocre in defense and the central midfield.

As for Union, I think this team will build on last seasons finish, they've strengthened the squad, construction on the stadium has gone great, and youngsters like Menz and Quiring will be even better. I'm not sure we'll hit the top 5 target, but we'll be close.

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08-19-2012, 12:03 PM
  #46
Tanner Glass
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And the next one falls. Bye Bremen!

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Old
08-19-2012, 12:06 PM
  #47
Shrimper
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So fallen so far is;

Nurnberg
Hamburger
Hertha
Frankfurt
Bremen

Big teams gone out. How often do the lower league teams get quite far?

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Old
08-19-2012, 12:11 PM
  #48
Tanner Glass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrimper View Post
So fallen so far is;

Nurnberg
Hamburger
Hertha
Frankfurt
Bremen

Big teams gone out. How often do the lower league teams get quite far?
They're better than Hertha


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Old
08-19-2012, 01:27 PM
  #49
mightyquack
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3-1 over Rostock, solid win, best defensive display so far. Probably should of had another goal at least, but a win's a win.

Hoping to get Karlsruhe or Worms next round

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08-19-2012, 01:51 PM
  #50
Panteras
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bipolar View Post
They're better than Hertha

what the heck is that next to the leaf?

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