Tag Archives: Werder Bremen

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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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 25, 2010

Claudio Pizzaro (center) celebrates with teammates after he scored in the 105th minute against Sampdoria on Tuesday to send Werder Bremen through to the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League. (Photo Courtesy Deutsche Welle)

Deutsche Well – Werder Bremen completes massive comeback to qualify for Champions League Group Stage

Werder Bremen completed massive come back against Sampdoria on Tuesday to earn a bid to the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. After defeating the Italian club 3-1 in the first leg last week, Bremen fell behind 3-0 on Tuesday, which put them behind 4-3 on aggregate. However, a strike in the 93rd minute from Markus Rosenberg tied the clubs 4-4 and sent the match to extra time. In the 105th minute, Claudio Pizzaro scored for Bremen to seal the its place the 32-team group stage.

The Guardian – Robinho refuses to play in Turkey

Brazilian Robinho has turned down contracts Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Besiktas after deciding life in the country was not for him. The forward spent most of the summer embroiled in a struggle to remain with Brazilian side Santos before Manchester City demanded he return from extended loan spell. However, City’s summer spending spree deemed him expendable. After refusing to sign in Turkey, Robinho claimed he prefers to sign with an Italian or Spanish side, as many of his countrymen have succeeded in both nations.
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What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – August 18, 2010

James Milner has finally sealed his lucrative move to Manchester City from Aston Villa. Courtesy vuhlser

Sky Sports – City Agree Milner Fee

The former Leeds United and Newcastle United player, James Milner, has secured a lucrative move to financial giants Manchester City from Aston Villa. Milner played an integral part in Villa’s 4-0 weekend thrashing of West Ham. Villa have been trying to stave off the big spending City but were unable too refuse a deal that sent the England international Milner to Manchester and Stephen Ireland and cash to Birmingham.

The Guardian – Craig Bellamy in debt to Roberto Mancini after fairytale Cardiff move – Stuart James

Manchester City banned winger Craig Bellamy from their training grounds over the weekend and now have finally offloaded the troublesome player to his hometown club, Cardiff City. The catch? City will still be paying the majority of Bellamy’s large weekly sum.The real shocker here is that Bellamy even goes so far as to wish the club and the manager good luck in the upcoming season despite the recent feud he has had with management.

BBC Sport – Real Madrid confirm signing of Germany star Mesut Ozil

Ozil has been rumored to be moving from German club Werder Bremen to Premier League giants Manchester United and Manchester City, but he ultimately sealed his fate with fellow German international and World Cup star Sami Khedira. The young German star has been one of the transfer markets hottest prospects after he impressed at the World Cup. Bremen were forced to show their hand this summer rather than next because the 21-year-old had not signed an extension on his current deal that expires after this season.

The Guardian – Arsenal offer ‘fanshares’ to dampen fears of takeover

The Gunners are offering their fans a chance to purchase 1/100 of a share (valued at £10,000 each) for the price of £100. Fans that purchase the shares will be able to attend general meetings and ask the board of directors questions. Arsenal are setting a new trend in the English Premier League as many clubs face backlash from their fans (Manchester United and Liverpool mainly) by including Gunners fans in the team’s finances. Will this scheme work out for the best or will it just make a mess of  the ownership system?

ESPN Soccernet – Spurs avoid Young Boys thrashing, Ajax held

Champions League play began with some surprising results. Tottenham looked dead in the water early against the Young Boys as they fell behind 3-0 in the first 30 minutes. The Spurs rallied back with two away goals but have an uphill battle to come at home. Ajax was unable to take advantage of Denys Garmash second yellow card in the 57th minute for Dyanmo Kiev, reducing the club to 10 men. The Dutch club does return to Amsterdam with an important away goal though. To get through to the next stage (the group stages) is a major financial boost for teams, so many of the teams competing now are dreaming of the big checks that come with a win next week.

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A New Group of Stars Emerge At World Cup

Courtesy ???????? ????

By Joe Meloni

The stat lines of a few of the world’s best through the first few weeks of the 2010 World Cup may have left a few of the game’s newest fans a little confused. They’re wondering why Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo failed to lead his nation deeper in the tournament with a dazzling set-piece or two. They sat waiting as Spain and Portugal battled in the Round of 16, but they wound up remembering the name Gerard Pique instead as the massive Barcelona defender helped stifle Ronaldo and the entire Portuguese attack. Those opting to watch Argentina clamored with anticipation while Leo Messi left a defender or two in his path only to hit a ball wide or send one sailing into the crowd. It was Messi’s countryman Gonzalo Higuain drawing most of the praise for the Argentines in their run to the Quarterfinals.

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Hoffenheim's Story of Success

By Ryan Fleming

Coming off the field just past 8:30 p.m. on May 23rd, the players of TSG Hoffenheim lifted their heads finishing an entertaining 3-2 win over FC Schalke coming from behind on two separate occasions on the last match of the season. Sure, the win was nice, but the real reason for such a positive aura is that they were alive, alive in the league that took them so long to reach.

Despite being on the top of the table at the winter break (35 points), ahead of German powerhouses like Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen, the forever-underdog team began struggling, not because of its play but because of the injuries that began to engulf the team. Ten players went down with injuries including Hoffenheim’s leading scorer, Vedad Ibisevic. During a friendly match against Hamburg (in the midst of winter break), the 24-year old tore his anterior cruciate ligament, sinking the hopes and dreams of his teammates and supporters in one swift motion.

The injury kept Ibisevic out for the rest of the year but the importance Hoffenheim puts on his shoulders is still recognized. Just days after the season ended Hoffenheim extended Ibisevic’s contract through 2012 – hoping the striker returns to the form he maintained prior to the injury.

To Hoffenheim and the small village of 3,200 that it represents, each goal means much more than a just a means to victory, but another chance and survival in a place where for so long even evaded their dreams.

Just over 20 years ago Hoffenheim was buried deep Germany’s eighth division, obviously having no real hopes of ever making it to the Bundesliga. Then, just like that, everything changed. Dietmar Hopp grew up in Hoffenheim and played for its youth team in the 1950s. Today he’s worth over $8 billion and fortunate for his hometown team, he likes them … a lot. Since 1989 Hopp has invested over $135 million into club, rejuvenating its players and supporters. Hoffenheim has a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium, the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, that holds just over 30,000, a significant upgrade from the old park that held just 6,500.

Carlos Eduardo scored a goal

Carlos Eduardo helped his team stay in the Bundesliga and avoid relegation this past year. (Courtesy Sportsillustrated.cnn.com

In Germany, clubs can’t be owned privately, so Hopp doesn’t own the team or is he involved with them in anyway.

In 2006, Hoffenheim wanted to procure players with Bundesliga experience and a manger that had experience within the league. The club hired Ralf Rangnick, former manager of VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96 and Schalke 04. Hoffenheim, in a remarkable effort remained in the Bundesliga 2 for only one year, finishing in second place and automatically receiving promotion.

So, after Carlos Eduardo scored the winner on a penalty in the 89th minute, Eduardo and his teammates had a reason for being proud – they did it. They didn’t finish at the top of the table, they didn’t qualify for European play but they remained in one of Europe’s best leagues for another year.

With the success of Hoffenheim lately, I say to their supporters, continue to dream.

Ryan Fleming is a contributing writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at ryanrfleming@gmail.com.

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