Friday, 30 November 2007

Yo-yo round-up the third

A much better week in the Chumps League for Bundesliga clubs. First up, Schalke kept another clean sheet which is no mean feat with Manuel Neuer in goal. The goalless draw against a poor Valencia side sets up a play off for second place in Group B at home to Rosenborg. I'm not sure how many people would have predicted that.

Stuttgart are out thanks to their woeful start to Group E. But their domestic upturn was carried over into European competition with a ding dong 3-2 win over Rangers.

Bremen cashed in on Real Madrid's terrible record in Germany. Werder were 3-1 up against the Spanish champions thanks to goals from Rosenberg, Hunt and Sanogo. Van Nistelrooy pegged it back to 3-2 but the home side hung on. I bet the atmosphere was jumping at the Wesserstadion. A win at Olympiakos will see Bremen through fom Group C. Not bad for a team without Diego and Frings. On paper that looks unlikely but I reckon its worth a punt on an away win.

So all in all, two teams from three could go through to the next round. Again, who here would have said that at the start of the campaign?

A tale of two draws in the UEFA Cup. Nurnberg secured a 2-2 draw at newly crowned Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg which is a decent result. Bayern drew 1-1 at Braga. Klose scored for the Munich club.

Finally, Hamburg impressed with a 3-0 tonking of Rennes. Van der Vaart got the hoop-la going with yet another goal. What will they do without him?


Chris said...

VDV has really cranked it up for Hamburg lately. I have no idea how they will replace his production when he leaves.

Duffman said...

I'm not sure a team can ever replace a player like that in the short term. Over time, you can bring in someone to succeed him but any coach would be lucky to sign a player and they just pick up where the old guy left off. The best Hamburg can hope for is to keep him until the summer and start the new season with someone else.

Jan said...

I heard rumours that Hamburg plan to sign another central defender in the winter break. That would hint at Huub Stevens preferring to play Vincent Kompany as a defensive midfielder, where he can make his creativity and playmaking ability count. If you combine Kompany with Jarolim and Trochowsky you end up with a midfield that is quite strong already. Their biggest problem is up front. Of the top Bundesliga sides Hamburg probably has the lowest quality strikers. Though Olic and Guerrero seem to be on an upward spiral at the moment. If Hamburg can come up with a killer duo up front, they could compensate the loss of van der Vaart. And maybe they'll find a talented young midfielder who can fill vdV's shoes over the years...

Duffman said...

Olic will have turned a few heads at Wembley. He's the kind of player that mid-table Premier League clubs may be interested in.