Ich Bin Ein Berliner #2

by • August 4, 2013 • Blog from BerlinComments (1)698

 

It’s hot here. Really hot. So hot it’s a struggle to think.Bayernbeer

 

It’s hot in the flat, it’s hot outside, it’s hot at work.

 

The kind of still heat that makes it hard to think. And, as a man with a fairly ginger complexion, I’m having a hard time dealing with it.

 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not Brasil-hot, or Africa-hot, but still.

 

With that in mind, please excuse the lethargy – I’ve done very little recently worth writing about.

 

***

 

Well, aside from marrying a Jorman lass. Why would I do that, you ask me? Aside from the obvious reasons, when you lot get a chance to vote the UK out of the EU, it means I can stay here!

 

German residence, though. Not German nationality. No way.

 

***

 

Anyway, enough about me, let’s get back to football, with the disclaimer that – due to the heat (as well as other personal distractions – see above) – I’m not really following what’s going on too much.

 

Having said that, I did watch the German Supercup final between Dortmund and Bayern. The Supercup is basically our Charity Shield, with Dortmund (as league runners-up) playing Bayern, not Stuttgart, who were runners-up in an entertaining cup final last season.

 

The game was played in Dortmund, and Jürgen Klopp’s team ran out worthy 4-2 winners. Naturally, Bayern fans have dismissed this as ‘only a friendly’, whereas Dortmund fans (and players) have taken this as further encouragement that Bayern can be beaten, if encouragement were needed.

 

This is shaping up to be a great season over here – Dortmund are (modern football alert) understandably concentrating on their Champions League campaign, as they did last year, as they should easily finish in the top three in the league while on autopilot to guarantee qualification for the season after next also.

 

Bayern, on the other hand, as always, are expected to win everything. Which, last year they did. Now, with Guardiola on board, the pressure is even greater.

 

However, it looks like they’ll have to do it without Robert ‘The Body’ Lewandowski (a dressing room nickname, not me exploring my sexuality…). Despite his agent fluttering his eyelashes at Bayern for the past year or so, and recent comments from the player himself about his situation, Dortmund are holding the player to their contract. Good for them!

 

Lewa has one year left on his contract, which he will (presumably) let run down, but it is good to see a club sticking to its guns, even if it will cost them money. It also seems Bayern have been pretty sly about the whole thing, as it’s been reported that they – in fact – have never made an offer to Dortmund, instead trying to manipulate the process through the player’s agent.

 

Mind, it’s not like Bayern are struggling to find players. Assuming that, under Guardiola, the front six are interchangeable, he can choose from Mandzukic, Ribery, Robben, Shaqiri, Pizarro, Gustavo, Müller, Schweinsteiger, Kroos and Martinez, as well as new additions Götze (The German Messi, apparently) and Thiago Alcantara (who Man U were sniffing around). Twelve into six clearly doesn’t go, and they’ve also been playing Lahm in midfield recently. They’ve already let promising midfielder Can go to Leverkusen, but it’s going to be hard predicting who will play in midfield and up front for the champions (aside from Pizarro, who will be on the bench, and Gustavo, who looks to be on his way).

 

I appreciate that competition for places is healthy but, those egos together, in a World Cup year, could make for stormy viewing.

 

***

 

I’ve kept quiet on the Toon, as it seems like not much is happening. Perhaps this ‘line’ that we’re constantly trying to get players over is like the Maginot Line (history buffs, that’s one for you!). Hopefully, our new Director of F****all has been reading up on 20th century European military history on his holiday to find a solution.

 

If he hasn’t, and I guess this is likely, I’m happy to explain it to him. The French built this huge fortified line to protect against an invasion from the East. The Germans seen it and thought, we’ll never ‘get over’ that line. So what did they do?

 

They went through Holland and Belgium on the way to France.

 

See, even much praised or feared ‘lines’ aren’t  always the obstacle they first seem.

 

Germany took France in six weeks, despite the Maginot Line.

 

Joe Kinnear has four weeks to get a few players over the Newcastle transfer line.

 

Should be easy, shouldn’t it?

 

Neil Cranswick

 

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