Friday, 6 February 2015

Dortmund's Bundesliga 'brain fart' and other football titbits

Dortmund's Bundesliga 'brain fart' and other football titbits

Dortmund's spectacular 2014-15 collapse:

2 things Dortmund need to do-

1. Sack Club Director Watzke and Sporting Director Zorc

2. Employ a top class sports psychologist

....but Klopp should have just one more chance to keep his job: the next match against Freiburg

Dortmund's issue is not Klopp. It is their Director Watzke and Sporting Director Zorc.

Their sins:

Giving buy out clauses to Goetze and Reuss (20 million is a complete joke for such class acts!! ) and not giving a hefty raise to a vastly underpaid Lewandoski by the 3rd year of his contract ( which would have meant getting a contract extension in return)

It was a recipe for the disaster this season.

Nobody at the club thought: "What are we going to do when every other club in this League follows out example and starts gegenpressing too!"

Why Klopp should go if he doesn't get a result in the next match:

Klopp gave us Gegenpressing and Dortmund ( under his watch) were absolutely top of the game in 2010-13- winning the Bundesliga back to back ( even doing the double in one of those glorious seasons) , and getting to the CL final.

Klopp is the longest running coach at one club in the Bundesliga ( among the current lot) . He's the longest running coach ever in the history of Dortmund.

He took the club to the CL final with 1/500th of the player budget that ManU, ManCity, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barca have

So his record shows he's not a two-bit chancer.

With that kind of record, he's not suddenly a bad coach.

One last chance with Freiburg, in my opinion. If that goes south again,

I hope he'll step down on his own terms and spare the club the heart-break of firing him. Perhaps a fresh start in another league would do both club and him a lot of good.

Dortmund needs to hire a good sports psychologist 'cos confidence is a fragile thing.

During a spell of bad results ( irrespective of the League or the division) a range of reactions occur - one loss is an aberration, two losses is bad luck, three is a bad patch. After four losses people start to question things they had total faith in and the players start to lose confidence. You then begin to change things that were previously trusted.

It is what it is

Aubameyang, Reus and co can't buy a goal at the moment. Dortmund have always conceded goals but they often score 2-3 in a game so conceding didn't matter.

Sticking the ball in the net is their main problem this season. Once they concede one goal now, it's 'things fall apart' territory. They've scored a miserable 18 goals in 19 games ( Bayern have scored 43! )

Mkhitaryan and Immobile are looking like bad buys by the minute. Kagawa and Sahin are no longer the players they were ( JSP has a word for that: saponified! :-) )

Even the 40m Man Utd -rated Hummels is looking like a 4m defender without Subotic constantly by his side ( just as Lovren hasn't been the same without Jose Fonte at 'Pool )

I think they'll ultimately avoid the drop. Stuttgart, Hertha Berlin, Paderborn and Freiburg- the teams just above them are poorer quality-wise

but the Freiburg game is make or break territory

Speaking about Lovren:

He's been missing for so long that some 'Pool fans are wondering when his face will start appearing on these milk cartons

You'd be a wise man to bet on somebody receiving the marching orders in the 'Pool - Everton derby today. Someone.Almost.Always.Does

Speaking about Man Utd:

LVG went into January wanting a world-class centreback and a first-choice rightback, along with perhaps a dynamic midfielder and another winger, yet came out the other side with an (admittedly excellent) back-up goalkeeper. Hands up if you think Valdez would be happy playing second fiddle for long? Which makes it appear that his move was a gamble on De Gea leaving for ( Hala! ) Madrid in the not too distant future.

The bigger gamble is the lack of activity in the transfer window (for which there might be legitimate reasons- no good enough quality in the market) . Which leaves the question: is this current squad good enough for a CL place? Their current position suggests 'yes'. Can this side win the FA Cup? A rejuvenated 'Pool and Arsenal will have a say. You've got to factor in Okafor's law in that permutation though

Spurs vs Arsenal

Y'all know whom I'm supporting in this one- and it's not 'cos I particularly like them either. It is just what it is. Poche is doing a good job over there- giving the youths a chance in the team, Kane and Bentaleb readily come to mind.

(You've got to read about Spurs' latest wunderkid who has Nigerian origins, Dele Alli

He's been compared to Stevie G. I hope he fulfils his potentials)

Utd fans may remember him. He bossed their millionaires in the middle in that League Cup whitewash earlier in the season at MK Dons

Arsenal have the edge in these fixtures, but with Eriksen's current form and Dembele leading the high pressing game which Poche favours ( this covers the deficiency of their pivot and backline) I won't be surprised if Spurs get something out of this

A word on El Derbi

What Real Madrid have to do to win El Derbi :

Atletico have had the edge in recent times. They'll be compact as ever with their disciplined 4-4-2 ( usually derided as bus-parking) and force Real to play through the wings where the Real player can be double or triple-teamed

To win this game Real needs to finish the one or two clear chances they get or have one of the players pull something spectacular.

Atletico won't want to lose this though, as it could put their title defence in real jeopardy

On Luis Suarez missing sitters:

Some believe that he'll rediscover that that killer instinct at Barca. He just hasn't managed to get his teeth into things in Spain yet. :-)

On a serious note: in comparison to Neymar’s first season at Barca-

First 16 games with Barcelona:

- Neymar: 4 goals + 8 assists

- Suarez: 5 goals + 9 assists

Similar init? You can't fault the assist stats. Neymar is a better player this season so, there's hope for Suarez. He just isn't going to be a 30-50 goal a season player anymore. That accolade is reserved for the main man. It ain't Suarez.

Ghana vs CIV ACN final

Just found out that former Chelsea Gaffer, Avram Grant, manages Ghana

Bad news for Ghana! The Undertaker doesn't win cup finals ( it was why John Terry slipped while taking his penalty kick in the CL final back in 'em days :P )


Juan 'Vespa' Cuadrado

Why would Mourinho be interested in a player who is very similar to Willian?

There is an attacking deficiency on that Chelsea right wing- which I've talked about before. Mou has seen this too ( or has been reading our blogs over here! :-) )

Cuadrado vs Willian

A quick scan of the statistics will show you:

Cuadrado notched up 11 league goals and five assists in 32 appearances last season compared to Willian's four goals and two assists.

You might argue that Willian was adjusting to a new club in a stronger league back then, but even this season — one in which Cuadrado has been supposedly "out of form" — his four goals and four assists for Fiorentina better Willian's one in each category for Chelsea. Don't forget that in a World Cup bursting with attacking flair, Cuadrado ended the tournament as the joint-top assist maker in the welcome company of Toni Kroos.

He has to be an upgrade

So, welcome son, light up that right wing! , just like Hazard does the left.

NB- origin of the Vespa moniker :-) : The winger from Colombia weaves through opponents just as a rider on a scooter does fellow commuters in rush hour on a gridlocked stretch of road. Luca Toni calls him Vespa. A twist of the throttle, a sudden burst of acceleration and vroom, Cuadrado's off. Fiorentina's right-side is their fast lane. Few can stay with him." - James Horncastle

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