Denglischer Fussball is a comment blog on German and English football written and edited by Kit Holden. It was born in January 2011.
Goal line technology
And so it returns. The much maligned debate over goal line technology. The bile riven indignation of an entire week’s headlines as sport proves once again that, despite the best efforts of EA Games, is not as simple as a computer program.
Juan Mata’s goal to put Chelsea 2-0 up in the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham should perhaps have not been counted. The ball, from several angles, appeared not to have crossed the line. Even that famous bastion of sly dishonesty John Terry admitted that the ball did not cross the line (though, for all such gallantry, he notably failed to tell the referee that at the crucial moment.)
Dortmund’s latest step towards Bayern-dom
The “Meister der Herzen” tag, which Borussia Dortmund have worked so hard to develop, would appear to be in increasing amounts of danger of late. The charm and success of the anti-Bayern are clearly not enough to prevent Lucas Barrios from becoming yet another not quite world class striker from moving East in search of gold reserves, and Kevin Großkreutz’ behaviour on Tuesday evening was the sort of which Olli Kahn would have been proud.
The question of whether the Dortmund midfielder racially insulted Fuerth striker Gerald Asamoah is, I think it is safe to say, entirely unsolvable. As it stands it is one person’s word against another’s , and indeed one character witness’ assertion against another’s. The fact that Asamoah himself is yet to accuse Großkreutz of racism does rather indicate that, though inadvisable, Großkreutz’s action was not quite on the side of bigotry. That Juergen Klopp, however, immediately defended Großkreutz’ character when the allegation was raised perhaps betrays that he has not been following the fate of Liverpool FC enough recently.
A new beginning at FC.
Volker Finke left 1. FC Köln last week “like the three monkeys: I see nothing, I hear nothing, and I say nothing.” A wise decision, perhaps, at a club at which scandal and stories have, for a long time now, been far more important than football.
The former Director of Sport at the Rhein Energie Stadion finally found himself on the losing side of a power struggle with coach Ståle Solbakken last week. The tipping point in a relationship that was always far from cordial was allegedly the signing of North Korean striker Jong Tae-Se. For Finke, it is a somewhat undignified end to a tumultuous tenure at a rollercoaster football club; for the club itself, it perhaps points to the desperation to finally beckon in a new era.
Stuart Pearce’s claim for the England managership.
Stuart Pearce declared this week that he would love to manage at England at Euro 2012, but would be uncomfortable taking the job on further, due to his being, in his own words, a “lightly raced coach”.
English football then, still labours under the bizarre illusion that if a man’s achievements have not been sufficiently covered by the press, they are worth less than those of a man who is constantly in the limelight. There are myriad reasons why Pearce may not be suited to the England manager’s post long term, but a lack of inexperience is ostensibly not one of them.
A word to the wise for the Robben-haters.
As the last remnant of the “Bayern Oranje” team which brought Dutch flair (complete with defeat in a major final) to the banks of the Isar, Arjen Robben must surely expect a bit of stick from the German press. The past few weeks may have been one of the Dutchman’s most disappointing since joining FC Bayern in 2009, but the criticism to which he has been subject has been nothing if not disproportionate.
That the anti-Robben campaign has been fronted by former Bayern plaers is hardly surprising. Olaf Thon dismissed the Dutchman and his French teammate Fracnk Ribéry as “unmotivated prima donnas”, and Mario Basler has declared, with his usual discretion, that “Robben must go”.
The end of the Capello era.
To paraphrase an example of light hearted patriotism from a better man than I, who do you think you are kidding, Mr Capello? If the Italian’s reign as England manager could have ended in a more typically farcical manner, it probably would have had to involve Benny Hill. The man who once stripped John Terry of the captaincy has resigned on moral grounds. Why? Because John Terry has been stripped of the captaincy.
That the FA were contractually quite justified in not consulting Capello in that decision, that the decision in itself was quite ostensibly the correct one given the legal storm surrounding the former England captain seem to have been erased from the Italian’s brain in the blink of an eye. The blink of an eye with which it took him to perceive that this was his chance. His golden ticket out of a job which had become as tedious to him as it had been to the England fans who have long been eagerly awaiting his departure.
Schalke’s M Word
Listening to some of the stuff that comes out of Gelsenkirchen in the form of media soundbites these days, you’d think they were all a bunch of masochists. Not only is the “M Word” a forbidden profanity, it is also a risible suggestion, according to most of the declarations from Horst Heldt, Huub Stevens and co.
The excellent Vampy Archer is our fourth guest writer this month. With another titular homage to a great record from the late seventies, he takes a look at how stats can change some immediate perceptions, and how some highly rated players suffer as a result.
The big-bang explosion of the sport, mainly football, blogosphere in recent past gave the number of platforms where one could read about their favorite leagues, teams, and players. It didn’t just stop there, as some creative minds weaved a web of statistics and completely revolutionized this football universe like never before. With the help of those stats, we started looking at things from completely different angles .
The silent Subotic affair.
When Franck Ribéry was involved in an underage sex scandal several years ago, the press kicked up a tremendous storm. The French winger’s career briefly suffered as a result, and he is arguably only now returning to his best form.
When John Terry was discovered to have had an affair with Wayne Bridge’s former partner, it cost him – if only temporarily – the England captaincy. It also cost him a host of supporters, and, coupled with other off field scandals, rendered him Public Enemy Number One in large sections of the British sporting press.
When Wayne Rooney got into trouble over a lot of cigarettes and a call girl, he was branded as immoral, and very nearly saw his career and his marriage dissolve in front of his very eyes.
All these various condemnations of high profile professionals were justified. Whatever your views on the morals of each individual case, all three showed flagrant disregard for their duties as sporting role models.
So why is Neven Subotic barely forcing his way into the tabloid headlines?
As February draws ominously closer, Denglischer Fussball welcomes another guest contributor in the form of Bundesliga Fanatic founder Gerry Wittmann. A one time follower of the Premier League, and now a staunch devotee of the Bundesliga, Gerry explains why he fell out of love with the ever becapitaled “Best League In The World.”
I’ll admit, right off, that I’m a Bundesliga fan ….. although I watch a matches from leagues around the globe, the Bundesliga is my favorite domestic league.
It wasn’t always that way. When I first acquired satellite TV with the express desire to watch European club football, my main league of choice was the English Premier League. I watched every league available on the tube in the States, which were and are legion, but the Premiership was by far the most captivating, (and if you were to have any doubt about that, ninety minutes of dutifully reverent commentary would surely put you right). I would sit, copying lineups, trying to learn the players and the various English competitions (FA Cup? Carling Cup? Championship is 2nd division? WTF?). Being a lifelong crusader for the underdog, I fell for the semi-hapless Bolton Wanderers coached by Big (Mean) Sam Allardyce — certainly not swayed by the promise of attacking prowess, but rather charmed by the pairing of an Israeli and a Jamaican on their backline fronting a Finnish goalkeeper, a Greek winger and a less than handsome Spanish midfielder. All this diversity alongside the relentless home nations solidity of the likes of the two Kevins, Nolan and Davies, and the late Gary Speed was enchanting. Besides, I found a Bolton jersey at a discount store for $20.