Berliners have never had it so good as Bundesliga kicks-off

CHANCELLOR MERKEL lives there, it is the centre of the techno music industry and it’s a trendy city that attracts creatives and media folk alike. Berlin is a great, vibrant and dynamic city, but it has rarely been a centre of football. As unified Germany’s capital, it comes in well behind Munich, Dortmund and other cities as a hub for the beautiful game. But in … Continue reading Berliners have never had it so good as Bundesliga kicks-off

Bayern’s double – more nutritional, healthy and balanced

IN BRITAIN, we used to think we were the only football community that truly cared about domestic cup competitions. Other countries were blasé about their FA Cup, it was considered to be a sideshow to the league. In recent years, the media, fans and some clubs have forced us to admit that the FA Cup has lost some cachet, that it is not the primary … Continue reading Bayern’s double – more nutritional, healthy and balanced

Soccer City: Frankfurt – aiming to be Fußballplatz

EINTRACHT FRANKFURT reached their first UEFA semi-final since 1980 when they overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Portugal’s Benfica on away goals in the last eight of the Europa League. Eintracht may not be regular European contenders these days, but the club played its part in one of the most famous matches of all time, the 1960 European Cup final which they lost to Real … Continue reading Soccer City: Frankfurt – aiming to be Fußballplatz

Great Reputations: Borussia Mönchengladbach 1974-77 – mythical rebels

IT’S part of popular football culture that Bayern Munich have always been the dominant force in German football. Certainly, Bayern is the country’s most high-profile club and undoubtedly the most successful football institution from the Bundesliga. In recent years, only Borussia Dortmund have challenged Bayern on a sustainable basis, but the first club to grapple with the slick Bavarians was a team from North-Rhine Westphalia, … Continue reading Great Reputations: Borussia Mönchengladbach 1974-77 – mythical rebels

Club of the Month: Borussia Dortmund – back in contention

ANYONE who has become tired of the Bayern Munich monopoly in the Bundesliga over the past six years will find the resurgence of Borussia Dortmund somewhat heartwarming, particulary as the Bavarians have, in the past, made a habit of cherry-picking the best players from their rivals. BVB are seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, while Bayern are getting to grips with a … Continue reading Club of the Month: Borussia Dortmund – back in contention

Peter Bonetti and death in the afternoon

CHELSEA’S Peter Bonetti was a fine goalkeeper: agile, occasionally flashy, brave and consistent. But for World Cup winner Gordon Banks, he would have won more than his seven England caps – and this was in an age when decent English-born custodians came off the production line like Ford Cortinas. Unfortunately for Bonetti,  he will be remembered by fans from most clubs for one career-defining and … Continue reading Peter Bonetti and death in the afternoon

Week Two – Written in the stars

FOR A while, we were led to believe this World Cup would be the one of shocks and surprises. We had Brazil spluttering to a draw, Argentina getting hammered and Germany beaten by Mexico. Messi would exit, leaving his last World Cup unfulfilled, Ronaldo would be crowned the greatest of all time and perhaps “little” Mexico would produce a fairy story. As for England, they … Continue reading Week Two – Written in the stars

Commentary Box: Germany’s “crisis”

IT is easy to admire many things about Germany, from the trains running on time, to German pragmatism and consensus, employee protection, high quality products, Kraftwerk and refusal to discard industries that appear to have little in common with modern trends. Back in the 1990s, some people in Britain laughed that Germany was still “bashing metal” to make money, while the UK was looking to … Continue reading Commentary Box: Germany’s “crisis”

Club of the Month: Holstein Kiel

ALL over Europe, smaller clubs have been coming up through the ranks. In Italy, Spain and England, some of the less celebrated football institutions have achieved promotion not once but twice in a relatively small timeframe. In Germany, the Bundesliga has seen the rise of Ingolstadt, Hoffenheim and Darmstadt. Below the top flight, there are other clubs making their mark. In Bundesliga 2, Holstein Kiel … Continue reading Club of the Month: Holstein Kiel

Gornik and Lokomotiv show that it’s not all business as usual

EACH year, the pundits hope for something different to talk about. In Germany, Borussia Dortmund started the season on fire, Bayern looked a little rusty. A new name on the Bundesliga shield? Then Bayern sacked Carlo Ancelotti, brought back Heynckes and Dortmund slipped up. Look at the top….it is Bayern, and they are three points clear. Crisis in Munich over. Paris St. Germain are going … Continue reading Gornik and Lokomotiv show that it’s not all business as usual

Football Media Watch: Billy goats and scapegoats

THE DAY before the Arsenal v 1. FC Köln Europa League match, I was offered two tickets for the game by a Gunners’ season ticket holder. I also looked on Viagogo, there were a few tickets for sale, almost certainly from Arsenal fans who didn’t fancy Thursday night football. In London, there had been a steady stream of German fans arriving for 48 hours. In … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Billy goats and scapegoats