It’s all been quiet on the Berlin front recently (that actually sounds like a war film – might as well get the war references out of the way early, eh?). Tuesday night, however, was anything but quiet, with the Bayern fans (both the travelling ones, and those based in Berlin) up until all hours celebrating their fantastic title win.
At the start of the season, I wondered how FC Hollywood (as they are known) would top their achievements of last season, namely winning the treble under a manager whose replacement (Pep Guardiola) was already announced during the second half of the season.
Well, they certainly seem to be on the right path. They’re already in the semis of the German Cup, they’re playing a very ‘un-Man Utd’ Man Utd in the Champions League quarter finals, and they wrapped-up the league title on Tuesday (week 27), a whole week before they did this last season. They’re scoring more goals than they did last season, conceding fewer and keeping possession longer. With six weeks left, they can (despite their surprising 3-3 draw at home to Hoffenheim yesterday) still hit 96 points for the season (five higher than the record they set last year).
Quite frankly, it’s frightening.
At a time when the Premier League is at its most open (at both ends of the season), the Bundesliga seems to be becoming less competitive, which can’t be a good thing.
One team who won’t be troubling a title or relegation battle this season is our own beloved Newcastle United. To be honest, I’ve missed the last two games.
We had a work drinks event on Tuesday in an Irish pub, but the big screen had Hertha Berlin playing against Bayern (or boys against men), with the Schalke – Dortmund derby and the Manchester derby on the smaller screens. Aside from looking at the score a few times, and the highlights after, I paid no attention to the Toon game.
Then, this Saturday, I was back in the wife’s village for her Nana’s 75th. The internet signal is not great, but I did get a few notifications through as the party wore on to say that things were getting progressively worse. In fact, after a morning spent in the hospital (on non-Toon related business) I only caught-up with the ‘highlights’ this afternoon (Sunday).
It was clear before those two games that the team – on the whole – as well as the management and ownership have given- up on the season. From what I saw (quickly) and heard about the last two games, that is still the case.
So, sat here at home, thoroughly pissed-off and demotivated, I’m toying with the idea of following suit and giving-up for the year. Fuck it, if everyone else has given-up on the season, why shouldn’t I? The team has made me this way.
I don’t think I’ll be able to see it through to the end of the year without watching again, but I’m gonna try.