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.