Dortmund is chasing a third Bundesliga title. The season following a surprise title win is supposed to be the hardest. Dortmund proved that theory is nothing more than a theory when they won with ease last season. This season, however, teams are seemingly finally learning how to deal with them.
Of-course, Marco Reus is currently still only settling in, trying to cover the gaps left by Shinji Kagawa. Mario Götze is not fully fit as of yet and is only coming into matches from the bench. Nürnberg defended doggedly and launched well-worked counters. They could have snatched a winner in the match as well.
Tomas Peckhart was able to score due to sloppy defending to a certain extent. The draw was perhaps the correct reflection of the match. Last week, against Bremen, Dortmund gave away a lead but thanks to Götze, snatched a win away. We will learn more about Dortmund’s mettle as the season wears on.
A 4-0 loss to a side that is three divisions below them in the Pokal followed up by an opening day loss to Mönchengladbach had fans of Hoffenheim complaining. Thus, Markus Babbel decided to set up a meeting between the fans and club officials. Plenty of beer followed; Hoffenheim, seemingly filled with indolent players, crashed to a 4-0 defeat to a newly promoted side, Frankfurt.
Frankfurt and Armin Veh deserve credit for their two victories. However, Hoffenheim was simply too awful. They were opened up far too easily; Babbel hardly had an explanation for the tumultuous events on the pitch. And of-course, they not only gave up four goals but also had two players sent off.
There is a certain amount of discontent in the club to say the least. Babbel, whose coaching track record isn’t too bad but isn’t fantastic either, seems, strangely, out of his depth. Hoffenheim has to find quick solutions. They are filled with good players who, if involved properly in matches, can see Hoffenheim through to a European spot. Babbel needs to turn things around to not only save the club but also to save his job.
Who will be involved in the relegation battle at the end of the season? Most picks contained the names Fürth and Düsseldorf. Fürth picked up a first victory of the season against Mainz while Fortuna drew against Gladbach. Hamburg lost in the derby to Bremen but has secured the services of a former star who might be able to save them, Rafael van der Vaart.
Frankfurt was another pick; they currently sit second and are the only side apart from Bayern to have picked up a full complement of points after two match-days. Augsburg has started with two losses but played well enough against Schalke to show they have the game-plan but they just aren’t taking their chances.
Nürnberg meanwhile has started with a very decent away win and a home draw. Hoffenheim is in big trouble; nobody called them a relegation candidate prior to the season. For now, matters remain as unclear as ever.
Ever since Mirko Slomka took over, things have drastically changed. From relegation candidates, Slomka has turned them into a side that can challenge for European spots every season. Hannover 96 made a run for the third spot in the league in 2011. They opened this campaign with a 2-2 draw against Schalke in which they had to come from behind.
They thrashed Wolfsburg 0-4 in the previous match-day. Szabolcs Huszti set up four goals while Artur Sobiech grabbed two. Schalke is the only challenger to the duopoly of Bayern and Dortmund. Hannover is seemingly a dark horse for the title. They are more consistent than Bremen and Leverkusen as well and could grab that fourth Champions League spot this season and more.
Javier Martinez has featured in fourteen minutes of Bayern’s season so far. He hasn’t scored a goal- nor has he assisted any. However, he has already had a major impact if Sunday’s performance is anything to go by. Almost each and every Bayern player knows that he is not going to be granted a spot on the first eleven (except Philipp Lahm and Manuel Neuer of-course).
The competition for places seems to have awoken the beasts that Bayern are capable of being. Stuttgart’s lead via Martin Harnik lasted about six minutes. The Bayern midfielders and strikers sprung into action and struck six times in the span of twenty minutes. Bruno Labbadia’s men made Bayern’s job easier for them. Martinez’s capabilities are unknown to the Bayern fans as of yet. His impact on the field will be seen after the international break.