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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

German Bundesliga halfway team by team analysis (Part 2)

Following from Part 1, this part I would like to summarize the performance from 7th to 12th in the German Bundesliga league table:

Schalke 04 (7th - 27 points): It is quite disappointing for Schalke 04 this season so far. Fans are quite enthusiastic about the team, not only in defense, but also in attacks. Jefferson Farfan is predicted to be the major attacking force, together with Kevin Kuranyi and the company, they will become one of the most threatening attacking combinations in the league. However, it turns out at just an opposite way. Both Farfan and Kuranyi fail to gain any confident throughout these 17 matches at all, and Halil Altintop and Gerald Asamoah cannot be consistent every match. Coach Fred Rutten at the same time, he is not favoring Ivan Ratikic, the only creative playmaker in the team. Consequently, Schalke did not perform well at the attack at all, and only managed to score 24 goals in 17 matches, which is below the average. I believe Ivan Rakitic can be the saviour of the team and his creativeness can save the team from trouble. Coach Rutten needs to consider that.

Werder Bremen (8th - 26 points): Another disappointing team is found in the mid table. The astonishing 5-2 win against Bayern München at their home is the only match they can be proud of. Defense is still very fragile, same as last few seasons. Even worse, only Per Mertesacker can perform consistently. Naldo in these 17 matches did not perform well at all. He could not help Mertesacker but brought more harm. It is a bliss that they only conceded 28 goals in these 17 matches. Their attacks is always threatening, they can score 39 goals, just behind Hoffenheim, being at the second highest scoring team. However, the attacking force seems to get inconsistent. When they are facing the tough and well discipline defense, they seem they do not have any clue to break through. The team rely too much on Diego and Claudio Pizarro, so the attacking become inconsistent. Aaron Hunt, he should be the most talented attacking player, did not improve at all in these 2 seasons. It is very disappointing for me and I believe he should find another club. In short term Werder Bremen must urgently search another good defender to stabilize the defense. In long term, coach Thomas Schaaf must be sacked.

VfL Wolfsburg (9th - 26 points): Scoring the same game point with Werder Bremen, I believe Wolfsburg should feel satisfied, which is opposite to Werder Bremen. They have purchased lots of good quality players such as Misimovic, Barzagli, and Zaccardo to bring lots of expectation to the team. The performance also show that they can challenge any top teams in the league. Dzeko and Grafite are the main attacking duo that contribute a lot to the team, so this is the reason why they can stand firm in the mid table. However, their game finishing need to be improved, especially in the away games, which they never win so far. The losses against Bayern München and Werder Bremen showed they are able to win the match, but they are unable to finish to the end. So coach Felix Magath needs to think about game finishing in this winter break, as I believe the upper management and the fans are all expecting they can qualify to European competition through the league.

VfB Stuttgart (10th - 25 points): Lack of direction is the best description to them in these 17 matches. They have tried a lot of ways to win the game, but it all goes wrong. It can be explained they have too many injuries, but injuries is also a part of the game. Former coach Armin Veh failed to stabilize the team with a stable formation and tactics so he is sacked in the midway. New caretaking coach Markus Babbel so far only bring his passion to the team so that is why he is still at the unbeaten run, excluding the UEFA Cup match later. New captain Thomas Hitzlsperger shows his potential to lead the team, but he is not the person yet, but it is worth to keep trying. Mario Gomez is very inconsistent so Stuttgart cannot find the consistent way to keep scoring. Cacau is tragic, he only scores once so far. I believe Markus Babbel should think about how to boost up the attacking form in these 6 weeks break.

1. FC Köln (11th - 22 points): Very satisfying. They have purchased the right players, such as Armando Petit and Pierrre Wome to the team so that is why they are standing firm in the league. They can be at the higher position because they are facing the crisis before the winter break. Captain Novakovic is a good striker, but he cannot be the only striker in the starting lineup. It is understandable that the team wants to hold the midfield, but it turns the lack of support in the attack. So this is why they only score 19 goals in 17 games, which is far behind the average. I believe the team should think about how to support Novakovic in the second half of the season. As the league tend to play the push up attacking style, the team are very hard to win the game like this. Maybe another purchase of striker can help to relieve Novakovic.

Eintract Frankfurt (12th - 19 points): They are very inconsistent so far. After the poor start of the season, they started to gain back their form last season and climb back up on top slowly. I believed before it was slowly but surely, but in fact it was only slowly, and not surely at all. Their away form is the main factor leads them to keep in deep inside of the trouble, only having 8 points and scoring 9 goals in 9 away games. The players are very unstable at the away games, looks like they cannot play football at all. They are now standing at the 12th because their home game form, which brings them 3 wins and scoring 11 points and 14 goals in 8 matches. Away game form is urgently needed to improve or else they will be in the relegation trouble again.

So here's the second part of my analysis. The last but not least is coming soon!

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