Yeah, but who's in 2nd? The ongoing Bundesliga thread

Dummy Hoy

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Nagelsmann's record at Bayern isn't very impressive by their standards. At this point, winning the league is the minimum expectation and its what you do on top of that which counts. Last year he lost 5-0 to Gladbach in the DFB Pokal and, more importantly, go knocked out of the CL by Villarreal. You are right that he is doing great in the CL this year but Bayern are also in more danger of losing the league than they have been in a decade.

Nevertheless, that's not a record that gets you sacked in late March on its own. There are rumors flying that he clashed with some of the sporting directors at Bayern and wasn't well liked by some influential players. Who knows what happened but I think something like that had to be part of it.
Dude won 71% of his games. He's basically been their best manager since Pep (better record less trophies than Flick).

Again, I get it if they think he's a smarmy know it all (and I've heard of some -some, not all- players not liking his tactical communication) but it's still absurd. And short sighted. They basically lit $25m on fire.

What you seem to be defending is that unless Bayern (or any of the other Huge Teams) don't win every title their manger should be on the hot seat. That's a horrible way to run a team or a business.
 

67YAZ

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“Nagelsmann clashed with the directors, so let’s get back to organizational harmony with Tuechel” is a helluva plan.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Dude won 71% of his games. He's basically been their best manager since Pep (better record less trophies than Flick).

Again, I get it if they think he's a smarmy know it all (and I've heard of some -some, not all- players not liking his tactical communication) but it's still absurd. And short sighted. They basically lit $25m on fire.

What you seem to be defending is that unless Bayern (or any of the other Huge Teams) don't win every title their manger should be on the hot seat. That's a horrible way to run a team or a business.
There is no case for him being more successful than Flick, who took over a team in fourth place and won the treble. There really isn't much case for him being more successful than Kovac or Carlo, who also both won the league and then got sacked midseason the following year.

I'm not defending how the club is run but this is the reality of how Bayern have been operating for a while. Ancelotti has more of gripe than Nagelsmann to be honest. The guy got sacked after starting a league season 4-1-1 and losing one CL group stage match.
 

Dummy Hoy

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There is no case for him being more successful than Flick, who took over a team in fourth place and won the treble. There really isn't much case for him being more successful than Kovac or Carlo, who also both won the league and then got sacked midseason the following year.

I'm not defending how the club is run but this is the reality of how Bayern have been operating for a while. Ancelotti has more of gripe than Nagelsmann to be honest. The guy got sacked after starting a league season 4-1-1 and losing one CL group stage match.
Good shout on flick, I had forgotten how moribund the team was at that point and that they won the treble. And you're right that Bayern (and others) have been this way for a while but its poor leadership and a bad way to run a club.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Good shout on flick, I had forgotten how moribund the team was at that point and that they won the treble. And you're right that Bayern (and others) have been this way for a while but its poor leadership and a bad way to run a club.
I agree completely about Bayern. And I would love to see it come back to haunt them.
 

Schnerres

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1.FCK vs Hamburg 2-0
49.000 fans saturday 8.30 match.

My ears were ringing when in bed and now i woke up with a headache
 

candylandriots

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@candylandriots how confident are you of Union finishing top 4 with 5 games to go?
I’m feeling *pretty* good about it. Leipzig losing their last match helped a lot. Of the 5 left for Union, they have home with Leverkusen (hot team), away against Augsburg (never beaten them in the Bundesliga, but due) home with Freiburg (maybe the biggest match of the season), then Hoffenheim (A) and Werder Bremen (H). So, not a terrible run-in, and no more midweek games.

Freiburg has Köln (A), RB Leipzig (H), Union Berlin (A), Wolfsburg (H) and Frankfurt (A).

RB Leipzig has Hoffenheim (H), Freiburg (A), Werder Bremen (H), Bayern (A) and Schalke (H).

I think Berlin has the best schedule of the 3, with Leipzig, with the other two being pretty much even. I think the Union Berlin - Freiburg game might decide it.

Union has the GD edge on Freiburg right now, and 4 points on RB Leipzig. I’m feeling 50/50 maybe? I would have taken that at the beginning of the season without hesitation.

Drücke die Daumen!!!
 

Royal Reader

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Hope so, though run-in is tough. Bayern away next. Home to Frankfurt then away to RBL. This was more a "Don't take this one, we're doomed" game than a "Win and we're in a strong position" game. I'd probably take being in the playoff spot to be honest.
 

Royal Reader

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So bottom-placed Hertha manage to throw themselves the thinnest of lifelines by beating VfB. The non-evil Borussia did the job vs Bochum, while sort-of-in-trouble Hoffenheim and Augsburg pull off home wins against Eintracht and Union respectively. RBL beat Freiburg, which, combined with the Union loss, produces a top three which is both predictable and nauseating. Bayern delivered a routine 2-1 away win at Werder, while Dortmund host Wolfsburg today, aiming for a win which might let folks believe Bayern won't win the league for another week or two.
 

candylandriots

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HUGE game coming on Saturday. Union Berlin hosts Freiburg for a UCL six-pointer. Whoever wins that game definitely has the inside track for a spot, while the loser would require some serious good fortune to make it.

It’s realistically 3 teams fighting for the last two Champions League slots. Here’s who each face in their final 3 games:

RB Leipzig: Werder Bremen (H), Bayern Munich (A), Schalke (H)
Freiburg: Union Berlin (A), Wolfsburg (H), Frankfurt (A)
Union Berlin: Freiburg (H), Hoffenheim (A), Werder Bremen (H)

Freiburg seems to have a slightly tougher schedule than RBL and FCU, and Union Berlin have a 4 goal advantage on GD on them. RBL is one point and a healthy GD of +6 on Union, +10 on Freiburg. I’ll definitely be hoping that Bayern need those three points when they play RBL in two weeks.

Should be fun, by which I mean anxious as hell.
 

candylandriots

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@candylandriots lots of rumors of Sergio Dest to Union Berlin for next season (On loan). Sounds nearly done so you could have two Yanks.
Wow that’s interesting. I hadn’t heard about that, but just read up. I’m all for depth - this team really needs more of it - but Dest plays in the same position as Josip Juranovic, who Union just got from Celtic for one of, if not the biggest transfer fees they’ve ever paid. Juranovic is now signed through 2027, and has arguably been their best player since he joined the team.

But Dest seems like the kind of player that could work In Fischer’s system. And as a USMNT fan, I’d love him to get some experience playing in Union’s defensive system. Union Berlin has given up only 32 goals for the entire season in 31 games played. That’s the stingiest defense in the league, even better than Bayern’s. So that would, I think, be a great move for Dest.
 

candylandriots

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After refreshing pretty much all afternoon yesterday, I somehow snagged a ticket for today’s Union Berlin-Freiburg match at SadaF. If there’s a winner, that team definitely has the inside track for a Champions League position. I’d say a draw slightly favors Union, as they hold the tiebreaker on GD, and a slightly more favorable final 2 games than Freiburg. And of course, RB Leipzig faces Bayern next week, so it remains super tight. Should be a fun end to the season.

I went to see Lichtenberg 47 last night (4th division ). They drew at the death with a bicycle kick to end the game to pretty much confirm safety and also confirming Borussia Tennis going down. Quite the ending!
 

candylandriots

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I don’t know how much air it’s gotten in the US, but Hertha’s problems go beyond an almost certain relegation. They may have trouble securing their license for next year, and have an expensive €40 million loan coming due. They’re almost certainly going to require another big investment from their principal owners, 777, on top of the pile of money they’ve already torched. I honestly don’t know anything of the FFP implications of their current predicament.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2023/may/15/hertha-berlin-are-done-the-only-question-is-how-much-worse-it-gets-bundesliga
 

candylandriots

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If anyone is interested in the ongoing negotiations in the DFL about selling some of their TV rights to private equity/investment funds - an extremely controversial topic in German soccer - I just got this letter from Union Berlin President Dirk Zingler (sent to all members - translated from German to English).

Berlin-Köpenick on May 25, 2023
Dear Mr. Candylandriots
dear Unioner,

In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of discussion in German soccer - in the clubs, the fan scenes, at the association level and in the media. It was about a topic that was unfortunately often inadequately titled "investor entry at the DFL".

I myself was very actively involved in the discussion and explained in many conversations in larger and smaller groups exactly what it was all about and what decisions would have to be made and when. I would like to do this again at this point, because there is still a lot of incorrect information circulating.

First of all, some basic comments on the content:

Many clubs in the DFL see a considerable need for investment in the coming years in order to strengthen both their own competitiveness and the solidarity community that is the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga. The 36 members of the DFL have been marketing their media rights jointly for many years, although FC Bayern München would earn much more by marketing these rights individually, while SV Sandhausen would earn much less. We as 1. FC Union Berlin have also benefited from this solidarity and have been able to develop continuously.

In recent months, the acting management of the DFL, on behalf of all 36 clubs, has examined in an orderly and objective process whether and how the revenues from the joint marketing of media rights can be increased with the help of a strategic partner who, in addition to money, should also bring expertise in terms of content, if possible.

As a result of this process, a model was developed that envisaged the establishment of a DFL subsidiary in which a partner could be given a 12.5% share of the revenues for a limited period on the basis of a licensing model. The partner was to contribute approximately EUR 2.0 billion for the 20-year participation. The famous "red lines" were also defined. According to this, all sovereign rights would remain with the DFL and thus with the clubs. To put it simply, everything that we do not want in principle, such as interfering with the match schedule or influencing the stadium experience on match day or even the match venue, would thus also remain legally protected from a possible marketing partner.

The DFL had provided its members with extensive information on this in advance, which I am happy to share with you here.

Contrary to many reports, yesterday's meeting did not vote on the conclusion of a contract, but on whether the DFL management should be given the mandate to continue the process that has already begun and to negotiate a draft contract with interested partners.

As the executive committee of 1. FC Union Berlin, we voted yesterday in favor of continuing the process. The approval of a draft contract that was to be created in the continuation of this process would only have been given if the terms of the contract had been in line with our values and our ideas of soccer.

It is noteworthy that even clubs that voted no yesterday want more money. The alternatives put forward to increase revenue range from taking on debt by borrowing, to marketing the league's naming rights, to - and this is hard to fathom - further fragmenting the game day by marketing an additional kickoff time.

These proposals are exactly what are "red lines" for us as the presidium of 1. FC Union Berlin: Encroachments on the sovereignty of the clubs and the league, on the match schedule and on the stadium experience - all of which have been expressed by many fans in recent weeks as the feared result of the influence of a possible investor.

It is precisely because these points are non-negotiable for us, because we stand for our way of shaping soccer, because we are in favor of the joint marketing of the clubs' media rights in the DFL and the preservation of the 50+1 rule, that we voted in favor of yesterday's motion to continue this process and bring it to voting maturity.

What I would like to reiterate at this point is that we will continue on the path that has led us to the Bundesliga and now to European competition for the third time in a row. This involves moderating a permanent balance between the various interest groups. Members, fans, spectators, players, coaches, employees, sponsors, strategic partners - they all belong to 1. FC Union Berlin, and together we form the strong community that has been able to develop very successfully over a long period of time.

Moreover, I remain convinced that investment funds will support us on our "Football for People" path. That's why a yes to investors is not automatically a no to soccer for people. Our club is the best proof that it is the right use of funds that counts.

We will continue to stand up for our values and our ideas about soccer. However, the prerequisite for this is a strong and independent 1st FC Union Berlin e.V.

With iron greetings
Dirk Zingler
 

Royal Reader

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Gutted to go down.

Couldn't be more relieved it wasn't paired with fucking BVB winning the league though.

S04 can come back up, this choke will live forever.
 

candylandriots

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Seemed a little early to start a Champions League thread, and it surely seemed inappropriate from my gate-crashing ass, but I just got the letter from Dirk Zingler, Union Berlin's president that I had been more or less expecting. TL;DR - even though UEFA would allow them to have UCL games at Stadion an der Försterei (~22k capacity) and would allow standing, the club decided to play those matches at Olympiastadion (~80k capacity) instead. While the Europa League games were able to work in Köpenick, the addition resource demands for Champions League (press, sponsors, cameras, etc.) would have meant an even further reduced capacity for those games.They decided to make the people decision rather than the place decision. Not mentioned was a fortune of additional match-day revenue, but you can't blame them and their very modest budget for picking that up.

The letter also stated that it was also done so that every member could attend the home UCL matches. There are about 56,000 members, so if you fancy coming over for a match or two, here's the membership link (I'm kinda posting the link as a joke since it does cost 10 euros per month, and I think you need a European bank account, but if anyone is actually serious, send me a PM).

Here's the translated text of the letter for anyone interested:

Berlin-Köpenick on July 3, 2023
Dear Mr. candylandriots
dear Unioner,

This is the second time in just a few weeks that I have addressed you directly. There are decisions where I think it is important that as many Unioners as possible understand why we made them the way we did.

The decision about the venue for our home games in the Champions League is one such decision, because it has to do with our home, the stadium An der Alten Försterei. Accordingly, this decision not only has a rational component, but also a very important emotional level.

The actions of the club's management are primarily focused on people, not places. But of course places are important because they mean home, being at home, familiarity and security. They can offer security, we live and work there, develop our own future and provide for the security of next generations.

That's why, since we took office in 2004, the most important thing for me and my colleagues on the Executive Committee has been to save the natural place of our club and open up a future for it. There has never been the slightest doubt in our minds that this place is and will remain the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Over many years, some of them very difficult, and against considerable opposition, we have pushed ahead with the development of our stadium. We've come a long way along the way - from saving the stadium from decay to hosting a round of 16 match in the Europa League. Today it's ours, it's paid for, it's free of encumbrances, and we're going to grow it significantly over the next few years. We can all be very proud of that together!

Currently, we had to decide whether our stadium is also suitable for the Champions League. Fortunately, UEFA is continuing its standing-room-only program in the season ahead. Thus, taking into account many provisional arrangements and requirements and a considerable reduction in our own seating and sponsor areas, even Champions League matches would be possible in our stadium.

I have had a great many discussions in recent weeks: with honorary members, with former players and staff, with organized fans, with non-organized fans, with members and sponsors, even with people who have been close to our club for many years, in some cases for decades, and who are not members.

We never had to point out to each other in these conversations how important the Alte Försterei is to us. But we quickly realized how important it is to give many Unioners the opportunity to experience these extraordinary games live. This also applies to our own sponsors and the many older Unioners who have been watching games in our stadium for many decades in the already few seats available.

After considering many good arguments, the club's management has therefore decided to stage the Champions League matches at the Olympiastadion and the Youth League matches at the An der Alten Försterei stadium.

I understand the disappointment of those who would have liked to see Champions League games at the stadium An der Alten Försterei and would even have done without their own ticket for them. In essence, our decision put the possibility of being able to offer tickets for these games to all Unioners above the possibility of playing these games in front of a rather small group of Unioners at the Alte Försterei.
We have a small stadium, so for many years we have been able to offer more and more members of our club no or only a few games of their club live. We believe that giving every one of our 56,000 members the opportunity to experience these special Champions League matches live is the right decision.

Champions League for all Unioners - we were guided by this idea, and we will make sure that as many people as possible can afford these games.

Dear Unioners, you can believe me, there have been easier decisions in the last 19 years. Therefore, I would like to close on a personal note: For me for more than 45 years, for my children for more than 25 years and for some years now also for my grandchildren, our stadium has become a piece of home. I know that it is the same for many thousands of other Unioners and their families. But it's just as important to me to make it possible for people to experience Union. Let's spend the high point in our club's history so far together with as many Unioners as possible. My personally happiest moments at Union were the ones I was able to share with my family and friends.

I am very much looking forward to the season ahead. Bundesliga again, this time even Champions League and Youth League. All teams of 1. FC Union Berlin e.V., men, women and youth, deserve our full support - no matter where and no matter when.
With iron greetings



Dirk Zingler
President
 

candylandriots

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PSA - I knew this happens every year, but was still surprised to see that the 2. Bundesliga kicks off on Friday with Hamburg-Schalke in case anyone is missing competitive games.
 

candylandriots

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PSA - I knew this happens every year, but was still surprised to see that the 2. Bundesliga kicks off on Friday with Hamburg-Schalke in case anyone is missing competitive games.
This game has been an absolute blast to watch.
3-3 now in the 68th minute. If anything like it’s been to this point, the rest of this game is not a bad use of the next 30 minutes.

and now Schalke down to 10
 

Kliq

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Massive game tomorrow, 12:30 EST start. Bayern at Leverkusen. Leverkusen are unbeaten and having a dream season, but Bayern trail by just two points and can go top of the table with a victory.
 

candylandriots

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Crossposting here from the weekly game thread.




These stoppages during Bundesliga games are getting pretty excessive. I get it, I understand it and want to see the unique features of the Bundesliga preserved.

The Union game the other night had like 14 minutes of 1st half added time. This game is going to be way more than that.

Fans are throwing tennis balls onto the pitch and the referees remove the players. It's a nationwide thing.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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It not even that Bayern are having an objectively bad season. 50 points from 21 games is on pace for 81 points, better than they’ve finished the last three years. It’s just that Leverkusen are having a dream run so far.
 

wonderland

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It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out for Leverkusen. They are alive in the cup and Europa league too. Going to have a packed schedule coming up.
 

SocrManiac

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Kane is just destined to be trophyless.
Look, I realize it’s fun to make fun of Harry Kane’s lack of silverware, but this statement is exaggerated and incredibly disrespectful of the Audi Cup.

In researching this, I learned that Messi even has one of these dumb medals. He really has won everything.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Look, I realize it’s fun to make fun of Harry Kane’s lack of silverware, but this statement is exaggerated and incredibly disrespectful of the Audi Cup.

In researching this, I learned that Messi even has one of these dumb medals. He really has won everything.
This is well done. I had to Wikipedia what the hell the Audi Cup is.
 

candylandriots

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In the weekly game thread we discussed the current protests going on in Germany, related to the the DFL selling a share of its TV rights to private equity firms.

{maybe a mod should move those posts over here?}

This has been very poorly received in Germany, with actions being taken at games around the country. The Union Berlin-Wolfsburg game could have been abandoned. As it was, the deciding goal was in the 26th minute of first half added time! It probably would have been abandoned if the fans hadn't run out of tennis balls to throw on to the pitch.

But the fans in Hamburg get the creativity award for this one!
View: https://twitter.com/matt_4d/status/1757356831402332649?s=46&t=NWVaAidcdeMhYbSVdbggsg


Officials had to use an an angle grinder to cut the bicycle locks which HSV ultras fastened to the goalposts on Friday night. Yet a glance at the Hannover away end might have helped: "The solution is 50+01." According to HSV ultras, the code "50+01" would have opened the locks.
 

PedroisGod

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It not even that Bayern are having an objectively bad season. 50 points from 21 games is on pace for 81 points, better than they’ve finished the last three years. It’s just that Leverkusen are having a dream run so far.
I'm a Bayern fan. That's how I had been approaching things before the game against Leverkusen. Of the last ten seasons, 50 points through 20 matchdays was tied for Bayern's second highest point total, and was 6th all-time in the Bundesliga. My only disappointment so far had been the Pokal loss to Saarbrucken. I mean, what can you do when one team just never loses? But I have no idea what the hell I watched on Saturday. I have never seen Bayern get outclassed like that and look completely overmatched. I know they don't want to act too hastily and dismiss yet another coach, but I'm not sure Tuchel lasts the season at this point, and I would bet that they'll make a run at Xabi Alonso in the summer.
 

Kliq

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Bochum defeat Bayern, 3-2. Tuechel's seat has to be on fire.
 

Kliq

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Bayern hammer Mainz 8-1, but they still trail Leverkusen by seven points, and Leverkusen has a game in hand. It would take a pretty epic collapse by Leverkusen to blow the Bundesliga.
 

wonderland

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Jenz getting a red card in the 28th minute for Wolfsburg made it easy sailing for Leverkusen today. 2-0 win.