Races tighten in La Liga, Serie A; Manchester City stumbles again

January 19, 2017

“While the Bundesliga continues to remain on break, the title races came alive in two of Europe’s other preeminent leagues as Real Madrid and Juventus both slumped to surprise defeats to reignite the drama atop La Liga and Serie A. In England, Pep Guardiola has more problems to deal with at Manchester City, which is now out of the Champions League spots and 10 points behind Chelsea in the Premier League. Meanwhile, there is a new owner in Ligue 1 at one of France’s clubs hoping to rebound and rediscover greatness. This is what caught our eye around Europe this weekend. SI


Untold Declines: The Tragic Demise of Alemannia Aachen

January 19, 2017

“Show a young football fan the final standings of the 2006/07 Bundesliga and I’m sure they’d be shocked at its differences from the current campaign. Recently relegated Stuttgart are champions. There’s no Hoffenheim, only just promoted from the 3rd division. Red Bull are still two years away from creating Leipzig. European giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund languish in 4th and 9th. Mönchengladbach are rock bottom with just twenty-six points to their name. Arguably the biggest question though concerns the identity of the team one place above die Fohlen; Aachener TSV Alemannia 1900.” Outside of the Boot


Germany’s ‘second wave’ is giving more opportunities to young coaches

January 4, 2017

“The revolving door of Premier League management turned again with Bob Bradley’s sacking from Swansea City. For the second December running, first-team coach Alan Curtis has been appointed as interim boss as the Swans search for the right man to keep them up. Were this situation played out in Germany, then Curtis would stand a better chance of getting the job full-time – as shown by recent events at Augsburg. It probably slipped under your footballing radar that the Bundesliga club promoted youth team coach Manuel Baum to be in charge of first-team matters on a permanent basis.” the set pieces


After Terror, Berlin Finds Comfort and Joy in a Soccer Club’s Ritual

December 27, 2016

“BERLIN — They matched Santa hats with soccer scarves. They sang hymns in cherubic voice and screamed sports chants at the top of their lungs. They held ceremonial white candles and swigged mulled wine from plastic cups. On Friday night, for the 14th year in a row, the home stadium of F.C. Union Berlin, a second-division soccer club in the eastern corner of the German capital, became the site of the country’s most discussed Christmas celebration. What began more than a decade ago as an improvised gathering of 80 people has since morphed into an ostentatious event — part pep rally, part church service — attended by an arena-stuffing crowd of 28,500.” NY Times (Video)


Tactical Analysis: Bayern Munich 3-0 RB Leipzig | Famed Leipzig press disappears

December 27, 2016

“Bayern and Leipzig met at the Allianz Arena in a first versus second contest as both sides looked to open up a lead at the top of the table before heading into the winter break. The result of the game would depend on how each team battled the other’s contrasting style of play. Bayern put in a formidable performance to run out comfortable winners as three first half goals gave them the three points. It was a top notch performance from the home side, while the promoted team were totally off colour on the night.” Outside of the Boot


Champions League last 16: Tie-by-tie analysis

December 12, 2016

“1) Manchester City v Monaco. Pep Guardiola will be content with this draw, but Monaco are among the most exciting sides in Europe and perhaps the most underrated team in the competition. Leonardo Jardim has created an exciting side who have scored an incredible 53 goals in 17 Ligue 1 matches. Although Monaco share the goals around impressively, it is notable that Radamel Falcao has found his shooting boots again, scoring five goals in Monaco’s past two games. They are also tactically flexible, able to play both 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 effectively, as they demonstrated with 2-1 victories home and away against Tottenham Hotspur in the group stage.” Guardian – Michael Cox


MD 14 Team of the Week – Ingolstadt take down RBL, only Bayern take advantage!

December 12, 2016

“We covered the weekend’s action in our extensive recap yesterday, so let’s not waste any more time and get to the performers from the Bundesliga’s Team of the Week for Matchday 14! Goalkeeper – Freiburg’s Alexander Schwolow must be reading these as motivation, because it’s back to back appearances for the guy who was ranked as the worst goalie in the league by Squawka just two weeks ago.” Bundesliga Fanatic