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Not much change in Dortmund…

5 Aug

The 49th instalment of Germany’s top professional league began much the way it finished last term – with a 3-1 home win for Deutscher Meister Borussia Dortmund.

The side they beat last May were of course Eintracht Frankfurt, who had to bare the ignominy of being relegated on the day their opponents lifted the Salad Bowl. This weekend, it was Hamburg who were blown out of the water by the incisive and thrusting style Jürgen Klopp has impressed upon his young side.

Dortmund were simply too good on the night for a young and very much ‘work-in-progress’ Hamburg. Nuri Sahin may be gone, Lucas Barrios and Marcel Schmelzer might be injured, but die Schwatzgelben nonchalantly disposed of Michael Oenning’s men within 48 minutes.

Dortmund were vibrant from the start. Quick, purposeful passing was backed up with pressing that bordered on harassment at times. Their midfield, on paper largely the same as last year but with Ilkay Gündogan in for the departed Sahin, popped the ball around swiftly like they’d never been away. Ex-Nürnberger Gündogan lined up alongside Sven Bender, but it was Shinji Kagawa who often dropped deep in order to create room high up the pitch.

And 2011/2s first goalscorer is....

This Dortmund side is beginning to draw tentative comparisons with a certain Catalan outfit. There are similarities with the way they conduct themselves off the ball, but Borussia’s first goal showed they are not afraid to go direct. A long punt upfield was controlled by Lewandowski, who turned and gave the ball to Götze. One pass, a hopelessly out of position Dennis Diekmeier, and two Kevin Groβkreutz touches later, the ball was in the back of the net.

By this stage, Dortmund were rampant. Kagawa hit the post after seemingly doing all the hard work. Minutes later Groβkreutz was again away down the left and his clever pull back found the Japanese in acres once again. This time Shinji pushed his shot wide of Drobny’s goal.

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An Englishman walks into a Bundesliga Club…

1 Jun

Mancienne has signed a four-year deal at HSV

One may mistake the title for the start of a poorly crafted joke. But such jokes are all too common and often over-told. This story however, is not.

This week Michael Mancienne was excused from England Under-21 training to sign a four-year deal at Hamburg, for a fee believed to be around £1.75m. Having spent the past two years on loan at Wolves, the versatile 23 year old joins the port-city club on the back of HSV sporting director (formerly of Chelsea), Frank Arnesen’s recommendation. On joining HSV, the London born defender had this to say:

“Hamburg are a big club with a lot of tradition and some fantastic fans. It’s a big challenge for me to be able to play for this club. It would be great if I could play a part in helping Hamburg get back into Europe.”

He’s right. Joining Hamburg will be a huge challenge for Mancienne. After all, the last Englishman to play there happened to be Kevin Keegan, who led the club to their first Bundesliga crown and won two European Player of the Year’s whilst he was at it.  Continue reading

New Kits 2011/12

12 May

It’s that time of year again. Designers have a nightmare or there’s that occasional beauty that everyone agrees on. Let us know, on the comments below, what you think of these so far confirmed efforts:

 Freiburg (Home, Away and 3rd)

Kaiserslautern in action

Schalke 04 (3rd and Away)

Bayer Leverkusen (Away)

 

Borussia Dortmund

Mainz 05

Bayern Munich

 Köln

Hamburg (Home)

Wolfsburg 

Nürnberg