Wednesday, January 21, 2009

German Bundesliga second half season team by team preview (Part 2)

Last time I had previewed the teams from 1st to 6th in the second half of the season. In this second part, I will preview the teams from 7th to 12th:

FC Schalke 04 (7th):

Transfer In: Danny Latza (MF - Schalke 04 II); Marvin Pourie (FW - Liverpool Reserves and Academy)
Transfer Out: Albert Streit (MF - Schalke 04 II); Gustavo Valera (MF - released); Peter Lovenkrands (FW - released); Ze Roberto (MF - Flamengo - on loan); Markus Heppke (MF - Rot-Weiß Oberhausen); Marvin Pourie (FW - 1860 München - on loan)
Preview: I do not believe they did change anything at all in the winter transfer in order to improve their poor performance in the first half of the season. From their transfer moves, I believe they are reforming the team for the 2009-2010 season as they released a lot of unused players. They only signed 2 young players and I do not believe they will have any chance to start the match. So the attacking problem of the team will still remain as Kevin Kuranyi and Jefferson Farfan will be still on the field and they do not perform so well at all. However, there is a good news that they do not need to get distracted for the European matches so that their fitness is their biggest advantage. So, I believe they will stay in this position at the end of the season.

Werder Bremen (8th):

Transfer In: Alexandros Tziolis (MF - Panathinaikos - on loan)
Transfer Out: Carlos Alberto (MF - Vasco da Gama - on loan); Said Husejinovic (1. FC Kaiserslautern)
Preview: Werder Bremen only fine tune their squad in the winter transfer market. They made the correct move to loan the defensive midfield, Tziolis from Greece. However, is it enough? The problem of the defense is not really solved yet as I predict the new comer will be the reliever of Torsten Frings, who is the starting defensive midfielder. On the other hand, the centre defender does not change so that Per Mertesacker is still the key of success. Claudio Pizarro, Aaron Hunt, and Markus Rosenberg will be the important factor of attacking because Diego need the target for his excellent through balls. As their defense is not improve too much, I believe they will keep focus on the "scoring one more goal than you" tactics in the remaining of the season.

VfL Wolfsburg (9th):

Transfer In: Yoshito Okubo (FW - Vissel Kobe); Peter Pekarik (DF - MSK Zilina)
Transfer Out: Vlad Munteanu (FW - Arminia Bielefeld - on loan); Bernd Korzynietz (DF - Arminia Bielefeld - loan return); Mame Niang (FW - Viking FK)
Preview: "Japan policy" is becoming the major transfer tactics from Wolfsburg side. This may because they are easy to purchase in terms of transfer fee and the competition of the transfer. Okubo is definitely has the ability to relieve Eden Dzeko and Grafite. However, it is all about the trust from Felix Magath if Okubo can play or not. So I guess Okubo will not have too many chance to perform himself in the football field. On the other side, Wolfsburg had made the correct decision on purchasing the young defender Pekarik. As the defense is the weakest link of Wolfsburg, they do need the central defender to relieve the pressure. I believe the defense will get improved at the certain extent, so that their position can be improved and they are the main top 5 challenger.

VfB Stuttgart (10th):

Transfer In: Timo Gebhert (MF - 1860 München)
Transfer Out: Pavel Pardo (MF - Club America); Manuel Fischer (FW - TuS Koblenz - on loan)
Preview: Report said Timo Gebhert is one of the most talented players in Germany, now it is time for him to prove himself how good he is. Generally Stuttgart feels satisfied about their performance and the lineup after Markus Babbel took control 3 months ago, so that they do not purchase so many players. Gebhert in a certain extent can relieve the pressure of the starter such as Sami Khedira and Thomas Hitzlsperger. However, I believe it is quite hard for him to get into the first team so I believe the effect of the change is very limited. On the other hand, the players who left the club are the unused players of Stuttgart, so I cannot see any huge impact to the team. I predict that Stuttgart will remain safe in the mid table but it is very hard to climb up the table to the top position.

1. FC Köln (11th):

Transfer In: Derek Boateng (MF - Beitar Jerusalem); Andre (MF - Nautico - loan return)
Transfer Out: Tobias Nickenig (DF - FC Vaduz)
Preview: Even the team had a very poor run before the end of the season's first half, I believe that the board are still happy with the performance and the table position. The purchase of Boateng and return of Andre is believed that the team would like to strengthen the midfield power, as this is the main reason why the team had a very poor run in first half of the season. I believe that Boateng can impact the team as Armando Petit cannot hold on the midfield in all 90 minutes as his fitness is not good enough. The departing player does not affect the team at all so that the team chemistry generally is affected by a bit in the beginning of second half of the season because the arrival of Boateng. So I predict the team will remain the position in the end of the season.

Eintract Frankfurt (12th):

Transfer In: Leonard Kweuke (FW - DAC Dunajska Streda - on loan)
Transfer Out: Aaron Galindo (FW -Club Deportivo Guadalajara)

Preview: Generally the team did not change at all. The main problem in the attack is Martin Fenin cannot find back his excellent form in 2007-2008 season, so that they have trouble in attacking. So that Frankfurt had loaned Kweuke to relieve the pressure from Fenin. However, it is doubtful for me that if he really does his job. Ioannis Amanitidis is the most important player in the team still, but I cannot see there is any players who can relieve him when he is not available to play, or he cannot perform well in the field. So this problem will still remain at the team and I think Frankurt will avoid the relegation as their first priority.

So this is the second part of the preview. The last part I will preview the bottom table team.

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