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ivansneck

Half time report - Post your team's report here

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I'll start with Borussia.


 


Bundesliga: Currently 4th - in the "Champions League" play-off spot. Settle for that of even 5th or 6th at the end of the season. However, the commitments of the German Cup (away to Kickers Offenbach in the 1/8th final) and the Europa League (Sevilla in the 1/16th final) may prove too much for the club's squad. Gladbach have a lot less money than the other current top 5 clubs, as well as some lower down, e.g. Dortmund and Hoffenheim. Good management and good coaching can only take you so far these days. The defence got very creaky without Martin Stranzl towards Christmas.


 


That said, a great first half, home crowds averaging 50 000, still selling out every away game in Germany and Europe (e.g. over 10 000 went to Zurich on a Thursday night in October).


 


Whilst the title race is just about over, FCB go to Wolfsburg on the opening day of the 'Ruckrunde', the interest is at the bottom with 5 'Traditionsvereine' (Traditional Clubs) in the bottom 6 and the Goat-worshippers not far above, HSV have huge money problems and Stuttgart are badly run behind the scenes, but I expect Doofmund to escape.

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I'm fairly happy with Derby's season so far.I predicted a playoff place so well on course.I would like a bit more consistency though.I wonder if the transfer window will increase my optimism?


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I'll start with Borussia.

 

Bundesliga: Currently 4th - in the "Champions League" play-off spot. Settle for that of even 5th or 6th at the end of the season. However, the commitments of the German Cup (away to Kickers Offenbach in the 1/8th final) and the Europa League (Sevilla in the 1/16th final) may prove too much for the club's squad. Gladbach have a lot less money than the other current top 5 clubs, as well as some lower down, e.g. Dortmund and Hoffenheim. Good management and good coaching can only take you so far these days. The defence got very creaky without Martin Stranzl towards Christmas.

 

That said, a great first half, home crowds averaging 50 000, still selling out every away game in Germany and Europe (e.g. over 10 000 went to Zurich on a Thursday night in October).

 

Whilst the title race is just about over, FCB go to Wolfsburg on the opening day of the 'Ruckrunde', the interest is at the bottom with 5 'Traditionsvereine' (Traditional Clubs) in the bottom 6 and the Goat-worshippers not far above, HSV have huge money problems and Stuttgart are badly run behind the scenes, but I expect Doofmund to escape.

 

The bottom half of the table is incredibly tight, most teams could still get dragged in there - Paderborn, who are tenth, are just two points clear of the relegation zone. It's also interesting that four of the last ten Bundesliga titles were won by teams currently in the bottom four. With BVB, Stuttgart, Bremen and HSV all fighting it out, we could well see an unfamiliar name in the second division next season. It's a good job the bottom of the table is exciting, because the title "race" isn't half dull!

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My own second favourites, Waldhof Mannheim, went into the winter break in a modest 11th place in the fourth-level Regionalliga Südwest, with a game in hand. It was always going to be a tough season after the budget was slashed in pre-season, leaving the manager having to assemble a whole new squad in the summer with one of the division's smallest budgets. He assembled a young, talented, imaginative and passionate team that plays excellent football and dominates possession. However, the youngsers are still a bit raw, have a tendency to overplay it sometimes and have dropped points unnecessarily, leaving them 3 points off a potential relegation spot (a maximum of five teams go down).


 


Crowds have been modest, averaging just below 3,000, which hasn't been helped by the top three galloping away into the distance and leaving the team marooned in mid-table. However, the two home derby matches against Kaiserslautern II and Kickers Offenbach (where there should be a five-figure crowd) are still to come. 21,000 people turned up for the friendly against Borussia Dortmund, but somehow I think most people were more interested in seeing Marco Reus than Marcel Sökler!


 


A bit more luck with injuries and a greater willingness to simply have a shot and not to try and pass the ball into the net will easily see them over the line. As for the future, it's absurd that one of the division's best-supported clubs is struggling to compete financially in this division - the top teams spend three to four times as much on players. It's also ridiculous that poxy clubs like SV Sandhausen, VfR Aalen and Borussia Mönchengladbach are playing higher up, but until more money is forthcoming from sponsors, nothing will change. There have been positive signals recently, but talk is cheap. Sadly, the sponsors' unwillingness to put money in is a long-term consequence of the early 2000s, when a huge amount of money was wasted.


 


On the bright side, city rivals VfR Mannheim have broken all records, picking up a grand total of 2 (two) points before the winter break!


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