Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Offside the Bundesliga: Making of Under Armour Football Boots

The young American brand and outfitter of Hannover 96 Under Armour provides a look behind the scenes of the production of their new football boots. I found it pretty astonishing that it takes about five months from the first scrawls to the finished and actual shoe. On the other hand, I never really thought about it… Anyway, watch and learn:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gone Coachy Gone

Didn’t loyalty used to go a long way? I know, not with players who immediately leave clubs when they smell two Euros more at another one. Okay, there a few exceptions of course, Lukas Podolski for instance who returns to his love FC Cologne or Robert Enke who does not want to transferred away from Hannover but should and therefore has to. But with coaches? Coaches used to get sacked, fired or axed, as you like it, but this season might have ended an era of coaches being the weak link in the chain. Out of nowhere a huge amount of self-confidence and self esteem occurred among the trainers, letting four Bundesliga instructors leave their clubs during a running contract.

Felix Magath chose to leave Wolfsburg for Schalke at the end of the season. This became public, three weeks before the last game was played. Lucky for him, his squad didn’t let themselves be influenced as they became later Bundesliga champion. No harm done. Hamburg’s coach Martin Jol is off for Amsterdam now, after a disappointing end of the season and an argument with the management about the future of the club. Meanwhile in Leverkusen, Bruno Labbadia was also dissatisfied with his management, forcing them to release him from his contract in order to train the Redpants in Hamburg. Luckily, Bayer received around one million Euros from Hamburg for the transfer of the coach. The players will now be trained by the man who took care of Bayern Munich for the last five games of the season after Klinsmann’s dismissal. The 64-year-old pensioner, Jupp Heynckes, admitted that his short engagemt at Bayern’s sparked a fire inside him. It was a very surprising and unexpected move by Bayer and Heynckes.

And last but not least, Cologne’s coach Christoph Daum left his love, too, in order to train the guys from Fenerbahce in Istanbul. But the situation in Cologne is slightly different. Fans who feel cheated and punked by what should’ve had to be their savior, should blame their management. I don’t know whether a contract like the one they gave to Daum, has ever existed at any other club in the whole wide world where the coach has the right to step back from his engagement at two certain days a year without any declaration of reasons. But this not a big surprise for the football fans in Germany, Cologne has pretty much experience in stumbling from one ridiculousness into another. Well done FC, you proved yourself right once again!

Thursday, June 04, 2009


After the dowdy draw againt China on Friday, Germany defeated the UAE 7-2 in Dubai on their second and last stop of the Asia trip on Tuesday. As suspected, it was a better training game, the only notable aspects were Schalke’s Manuel Neuer who debuted in the German goal and showed a strong and solid effort. The other thing was the four goals by Mario Gomez who somehow hadn’t scored in 15 consecutive caps while showing his goalgetter face only in the Bundesliga. A big relief for him, indeed.

Anyway, the point of the whole two game Asia trip was to put a German foot in the Asian market, believing that they have money left to burn. While all other big European leagues have multi-million-Euro deals with media corporations, the Germans hobble after them being three to four years behind as usual. But travelling with what has to be a better reserve squad to Asia, this goal was not going to be accomplished. And rightly so! Of course, many players couldn’t make the trip because they had to play in several cup finals or had other commitments but the atmosphere before and the arguments about the needlessness of this trip were nothing but an impolite slap in the face of Asian football fans. Therefore only a few fans managed to come to the games as Germany played in front of 7000 fans in Dubai.

The German football federation DFB should have sold the trip as what it was. A Thank You for the four Asian FIFA votes in order to get the 2006 World Cup to Germany. But it’s not really the proper way to thank someone with a lethargic and spiritless performance of a B-squad not to mention to earn any Asian money in the future. You still recognize the old and grey scabs in the managements of the DFB and the Bundesliga.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Christoph Daum off to Fener

Big and surprising news this morning as Cologne FC Coach Christoph Daum unexpectedly canceled his contract to return to his second home Istanbul to coach the local club Fenerbahce. I can’t help it but this got an awkward smack of breach of trust. After a soap-opera kinda like office taking three years ago with press conferences held in hospitals, a lot of seesaws with quotes like ‘there are no pros and cons when it comes to love’ (great conclusion, though) and joyful elations in Cologne, the lost son leaves the city once again to return to his other love, Turkey. Media writes that he took this decision as he will earn 800.000 Euro more a year than in Germany bringing it to a total of an annual 3.5million Euro. Moreover, he was denied to go on a grand shopping tour in Cologne as the budget of the rather small club has shrunken after the transfer of 10million Euro man Lukas Podolski from Bayern Munich. The vacant position of the head coach has to be filled now, though the manhunt will become very competitive in the Bundesliga as four, maybe five other Bundesliga clubs are looking for new coaches:

Hamburger SV – Martin Jol leaving for Ajax Amsterdam.

Cologne FC – Christoph Daum leaving for Fenerbahce Istanbul.

Eintracht Frankfurt – Friedhelm Funkel had to resign after too much pressure from fans and the club.

Borussia M├Ânchengladbach – Hans Meyer resigned and retired, saying he’s too old for that.

Bayer Leverkusen (?) – Still on dispute, as Bruno Labbadia might get sacked or resigns himself in the next couple of days.

This reminds one less of a merry-go-round as there the positions get refilled, it’s more of a coconut shy where the coconuts or cans stay down.