Saturday, May 23, 2009

German Bundesliga General Preview

German Bundesliga had finished the 2008-2009 season after VfL Wolfsburg claimed their first ever league title. Bayern München had just barely claimed the 2nd spot in order to progress to UEFA Champions League Group Stage in 2009-2010 season. Now I will review the league generally, then I will list out some statistics:

Intense but poor season

This season was the most intense one since 2000-2001 season as Schalke at that moment just lost the title by a goal difference in last minute. As Bayern München failed to climb up to the top spot ever once, there were a lot of teams to climb up to the top, including Hamburger SV, Hertha Berlin, 1899 Hoffenheim, and the final winner VfL Wolfsburg. However, when looking at the league table, VfL Wolfsburg won the title with only 69 points. This was a very poor record as normally this level only led them to 4th to 6th position. This was because generally the title contenders played really poorly. They won the game at the same time but they all lost the game at the same time as well. So no team could have a clear lead in the top spot. At the same time, the difference between top and bottom team was only 41 points, so which meant the league was really even.

Attacking football

Attacking football kept ruling from the Day 1 to the end of season. Current champion VfL Wolfsburg had scored 81 goals overall. Their strikers, Grafite and Eden Dzeko had scored 54 goals in total and led the team to kept scoring. This was the reason why they won the title as there was no one to stop them well. The second placed Bayern München had also scored 71 goals, thanks to attacking style Jürgen Klinsmann. On the other hand, the relegated team such as Arminia Bielefeld and Karlsruher SC had 29 and 30 goals respectively, which meant their inability to score goals led them to fail to retain their spot on 2009-2010 season. Especially when looking at their goals conceded, which were 56 and 54 goals respectively, proved that their defense was not really bad. So it proved attacking football in Bundesliga could lead the team win the championship and lead the team to relegate.

Home team rules

Home court advantage was the key factor to win the title or avoiding relegation. Current champion VfL Wolfsburg was invincible in their home. They had beaten Bayern München and Werder Bremen 5-1 seperately. Furthermore, they were unbeaten in their home, and had won 16 matches out of 17, which was top of the league. This was an astonishing record and this was the biggest reason for them to win, as their away record was 8th in overall. Oppositely, Bayern München even was the best in away form, their home court record did drag them down, which they were 5th in overall. Hannover was the other example of the importance of home court advantage. They had the worst away game record, which they only scored 7 points in 17 away matches. However, their home record was very good that they had 8 wins and 7 draws at home. So, the home record led them to avoid relegation in the end.

Power shift

As Bayern München failed to defend their title this season, it showed that the power had shifted to the teams with solid, consistent, and highly attacking style. VfL Wolfsburg had played really consistently in the last month of the season and led them to win the title. Bayern at the same time they failed to do so, therefore they could not climb to the top spot ever once. On the other hand, the title contenders such as Werder Bremen, Schalke 04, and Bayer Leverkusen failed to perform consistently so that they only remained at the middle of the table. So this season was the metaphor of power shift of the league. Apart from Bayern München, who they had their quality all the time, the other team could not guaratee their chances to win the title.

Now here's some facts and statistics in this season:

Champion: VfL Wolfsburg
Champions League Group Stage: VfL Wolfsburg, Bayern München
Champions League Qualifier: VfB Stuttgart
Europa League: Hertha Berlin, Hamburger SV, DFB Pokal winner
Top Goalscorer: Grafite (VfL Wolfsburg, 28 goals)
Biggest Home Win: Borussia Dortmund 6-0 Arminia Bielefeld (16 May 09)
Biggest Away Win: Eintract Frankfurt 0-5 Werder Bremen (13 May 09); Hannover 96 0-5 VfL Wolfsburg (16 May 09)
Highest Scoring: Werder Bremen 5-4 1899 Hoffenheim (27 Sep 08)
Total Goals: 894
Average Scoring: 2.92

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