Category Archives: Bundesliga

Notes from a spaced out soccer fan, Feb. 22

By Jonathan Gold

(Note: I have officially banned myself from writing about Arsenal – Orient on the advice of my physician. I have absolutely nothing to say about a team that can go toe-to-toe with the best in the world one day and then draw with Leyton goddamn Orient, or why so many good players at Arsenal are out of form or…takes drugs)

Aah, fine. Away we go.

SPAIN

The mighty Sid Lowe over at the Guardian thinks the goal scored by goalkeeper (!) Dani Aranzubia to rescue a point for incredibly dull relegation candidates Deportivo is the biggest story of the La Liga weekend, and he might be right. It was the first scored by a goalkeeper from open play in the history of the league, after all. Personally, I like his name enough that I’ve been going around saying “Arrrranzubia!” to friends and co-workers and that’s the extent my my interest in the matter. Hats off to him, though, big goal.

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Time is right for Michael Bradley move to Aston Villa

Michael Bradley's loan move from the Bundesliga in Germany to the English Premier League will help the player keep growing and it will be another challenge for the American midfielder.

By Kevin Koczwara

Michael Bradley made the best of his chances in Germany with Borussia Monchengladbach, but right now, as Gladbach sit in last place in the Bundesliga, and Michael Fink’s arrival at the club on loan, Bradley needs to get out. Aston Villa signed the American midfielder on loan for the rest of the season. It’s about time he moves on and test his American spirit in the English Premier League, a league tailored to his style. .

Bradley will find himself in a similar situation at Villa to the one he leaves behind in Gladbach. Aston Villa is fighting the relegation battle too, but it has better prospects than its German counterparts. Things look brighter these days at Villa Park.

Gerard Houllier has the team fighting again. He has removed a few of the cancers in the side that were sleep-walking through the season (looking at you Stephen Ireland). The one piece Houllier is missing, a hard-working and young holding midfielder who can break up an opponents attack and spring a counter-attack. He gets that missing piece with the arrival of Bradley.

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Notes from a spaced-out soccer fan, January edition

By Jonathan Gold

SPAIN

It doesn’t speak particularly highly of Emanuel Adebayor’s progress as a player since joining City a couple seasons ago that they could only even hope to get 15 million pounds out of Real Madrid, a club not known for its fiduciary restraint. And they probably won’t even get that, of course, given that the extent of The Special One’s ambitions in his boardroom battle with Jorge Valdano are just to get an extra striker for the rest of the season.

Why on earth would Madrid want to exercise that option, anyway? Who wants a fifteen-million-pound overgrown baby and noted malcontent in a locker room that already includes Cristiano Ronaldo?

Elsewhere, Valencia won a truly wacky contest against Malaga 4-3, and Real Madrid and Barca are close to a completely unexpected meeting in the finals of the Copa del Rey after both teams won the first legs of their semi-final matches.

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Bundesliga's back and Dortmund still rolling

The Bundesliga's winter break is over and Dortmund picked up where it left off, beating any and everyone in its path.

By Jonathan Gold

I do love a romp through the collected online bounty of sports punditry that accumulates – like that weird scaly stuff in the shower – with mechanistic regularity. There’s plangent mockery, high-flown rhetoric, and the occasional genuinely insightful analysis to be had. (The latter is mostly at Zonal Marking, from some of the Guardian’s guys, and, of course, on this illustrious site.)

Of course, there’s also woefully dumb crap like this, in which Peter Staunton says it’s somehow a bad thing that moneyed powerhouses like Bayern are occasionally undone by less-wealthy competitors, pointing to Dortmund’s struggles in the Europa League as evidence of the terrible damage that can be done when the likes of Mainz and Hannover get ideas above their station.

This is, as I’ve said, crap. Staunton’s idea is that, by gearing themselves solely to take on heavyweight domestic sides like Bayern and Schalke, teams like Dortmund, Mainz, and Hannover are essentially one-dimensional and unable to compete with serious European heavyweights like Barcelona and Chelsea. News flash – NO Bundesliga teams can stack up to the big-time powerhouses right now, period. I for one would much rather see exciting teams like BvB go out there and take a swing at Real Madrid than watch “perennial Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich and thank God they’re there because they’re the only German team the commentators know anything about” crap out in the first knockout round.

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Dortmund finally lose a game – and why that won’t matter, either

Borussia Dortmund go into the Bundesliga's winter break with a commanding lead, having only lost one game thus far.

By Jonathan Gold

Despite Arsene Wenger’s protestations that the English Premier League needs a winter break, the Bundesliga is currently the only major European league to provide one. It’s an excellent idea, giving the season a two-part feel and, more importantly, resting the players.

I’ll admit, I was pretty sure Dortmund was going to make it to the break undefeated. They have looked untouchable in their domestic campaign, despite having crashed out of the Europa League to a badly out-of-sorts Sevilla. Given their last fixture before the holiday break was Eintracht Frankfurt – hardly a match to make an undefeated side with a double-digit lead at the midway point of the season quake with fear. There’s no way they could lose that, right?

Oh yes there is. The Borussians missed chance after chance and were undone by a scrappy late goal from Theophanis Gekas. Hmm, played better, missed a lot of chances, lost because of a late goal…gee, they’re taking tips from Arsenal now.

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Bundesliga Bringing the Boom

Young German starts Philip Lahm (left), Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira defend a free kick in the World Cup this summer against Argentina. (Photo Courtesy sdhansay)

By Jonathan Gold

Quick, no thinking allowed: What’s the most entertaining soccer league in Europe? I guarantee you just got that wrong.

The Prem? Overpaid, overexposed, overcapitalized.

La Liga? If you’re not a fan of the endless financial pissing contest between Barca and Real, then you’re out of luck.

Serie A? Corrupt, slow, predictable.

Ligue 1? Sorry, too many racist shithead fans (at some clubs), the national apparatus is in utter disarray and all the talent goes to one of those other three leagues about 0.00145 seconds after it gets discovered.

Why didn’t you say the Bundesliga? Vas ist deine probleme? (Apologies, I’m 99 percent sure that doesn’t mean “What’s your problem?”)

All that aside, you should be watching German soccer. Yes, you. Particularly since the Revs season is over.

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