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Monday, December 15, 2008

German Bundesliga halfway team by team analysis (Part 1)

As the German Bundesliga are now having the winter break, I would like to analysis the performance of each team so far. I will divide into 3 parts, according to the standing in the table. So in this part, I will analysis teams from 1st to 6th:

Hoffenheim (1st - 35 points): Miraculous! Their performance is excellent in thei first 17 matches. From the 3-0 win over Energie Cottbus in their first match, they are having a strong performance. Counter attacks and push up defense simply made the opponent suffocate. Also, their quick fire goal made the opponent had a very hard time to bounce back. Players like Vedad Ibisevic, Demba Ba, Obasi, as well as Carlos Eduardo performed very well in attacks, so they have scored 42 goals now. However, their 4 losses showed that they were inexperienced to play against the big teams, as well as the team with solid defense. Furthermore, their defense lacks of positioning and leadership so it is usual to see the opponent "beats one, beats all" situation, which means the fullbacks always cover the offside position. Timo Hildebrand from Valencia is confirmed to join, so hopefully he can lead the defense line to achieve success.

Bayern München (2nd - 35 points): As always, there is no surprise for the fans as they expect the team to dominate. Jürgen Klinsmann at the beginning did have lots of tries to the team, even from the formation to the starting lineup. I appreciate his courage to try but the team could not adept so they had a very bumpy start, including 5-2 heavy humiliating loss to Werder Bremen at home. Since the team has adepted, the team started to have a hot streak. They have 8 wins and 3 draws in 11 matches, which led them to climb up to 2nd place, actually the team has shared the winter champion to Hoffenheim. Their morality is very high, even higher than their last dominating season. Fans should give this credit to Klinsmann as his energy shone through. However, the team still over dependent on Franck Ribery, without Ribery the attacks lose the composure. There were 6 games without Ribery, and the team only managed to win 2. Landon Donovan is confirmed to join Bayern as loan, so hopefully he can be the "Ribery reliever" and bring some variety in attacks.

Hertha Berlin (3rd - 33 points): They are the other surprising team in the first half of the season. Maybe Hoffenheim catched too much attention, they are playing under the raider. Well positioning and well discipline defense made them to be the 3rd in the table. They have only conceded 20 goals in 17 games, however, they have lost 4-1 against Bayern München and 5-1 against Werder Bremen, if that 9 goals was erased, they have only lost 11 goals in 15 games. So it can prove that their defense is very solid and reliable. Even Hoffenheim are unable to score against them and Hertha Berlin won 1-0. Andrei Voronin and Karcar are the main attacking duo, however, their scoring ability needs to improve. They only score 27 goals in 17 games, it is just at the average level (average is 25.67). The contract renewal of Marko Pantelic will be the primary concern in the team as he can significantly improve the attacking force.

Hamburger SV (4th - 33 points): Hamburger SV this season has improved a lot. It is not surprised to me that their performance is not affected at all since Rafael van der Vaart has left to Real Madrid. Piotr Trochowski showed himself he can solo for Hamburger and he can make the fans to forget van der Vaart. Ivica Olic and Mlaten Patric are the main reason why Hamburger did so well in first half of the season. They are not only scoring, but running for spaces for the others to score goals. However, their injuries and defense problems make them cannot climb up further. Goalkeeper Frank Rost has lots of pressure every match as the defense cannot relief him. Also, the poor away form, which has 3 wins, 2 draws, and 4 losses in 9 away games is a big problem that coach Martin Jol needs to concern. As this poor away form goes, it is very hard for Hamburger to challenge the title in the second half of the season.

Bayer Leverkusen (5th - 32 points): Bayer Leverkusen plays very well this season so far. Their young guns performed very well. Patrick Helmes, and Stefan Kießling are the duo to lead the attacks. With the support from Tranquillo Barnetta and Arthur Vidal, their attacks is very fast and furious. They had a famous match to win against Hoffenheim 5-2 can show their attacks is very good. Rene Adler on the other hand, even he is only 23, his maturity makes him look like 29, that can make him to lead the defense well organized. Meanwhile, their excellent away form, which is 2nd overall and only behind Bayern München, make them to be at the close title challenge match. However, their inexperience make them cannot convert their performance in the important big match, such as the game losing to Bayern München. This problem make them fail to win the title in the end and I believe the team needs to purchase some experienced bench players in short term to relief those young guns.

Borussia Dortmund (6th - 29 points): Borussia Dortmund is the other young guns who play very well in the first half of the season. Coach Jürgen Klopp is very similar to Jürgen Klinsmann I personally believe, as they are both very enthusiastic and energetic. It influences the team a lot as the whole team are keen on play. Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic play surprisingly well in the defense. This is a very important factor to lead Dortmund to stand tough in the top half of the table. Captain Sebastian Kehl is very effective in the midfield and his leadership can lead the teammates such as Florian Kringe and Jakob Blaszczylowski to perform well. However, goalkeeper Roman Wiedenfeller failed to convince the fans that he can stop the shots. Also, only Alexander Frei can guarantee to the fans that they have a good attacks. Mohammad Zidan and Nelson Valdez both failed to be consistent. So I believe in the winter Dortmund needs another experienced striker to relief Frei. If possible, another starting goalkeeper is needed.

So this is the Part 1 of the analysis. I will post Part 2 and 3 later on.

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