High-quality football was played all around Europe in the season just concluded.  It was a season that saw the mighty Barcelona become the first team in history to lift a second European treble, when the Scudetti fell agonizingly short, nonetheless with heads held high, as Juventus brought back Italian football to its former European glory.  Several fresh footballing philosophies were practiced on the pitch and a host of other young, dynamic, bold managers earned the due recognition in the European football circuit. However, years later when a particular season is being referred to in retrospect, the primary talking point more often than not is some of the most memorable games the season had to offer.  There are a number of parameters to judge a game of football.  While we all love to see exciting, scintillating pieces of action on the field, there are several other considerations too that one must not neglect while judging the quality of a game.  Managerial […]

Bayern face Schalke in their second game of the Ruckrunde and after a terrible defeat at the hands of Wolfsburg, they’ll want to return to winning ways. The defeat to Wolfsburg was Bayern’s first defeat this season and it highlighted what the absence of key players can do to even a side with squad depth as big as Bayern’s. Schalke on the other hand won against Hannover 96, but the game had more negatives than positives. Lineups and Tactics Bayern Munich Pep Guardiola went with a four at the back system against Wolfsburg compared to the three at the back that he had often deployed before the winter break. The 4-1-4-1 system gave Wolfsburg good counter-attacking opportunities as Xabi Alonso was the only player shielding the back four. While Alonso is a good deep playmaker, he was often beaten for pace by Wolfsburg pacey frontmen. Against Schalke, we could see Guardiola reverting to a back three again with Mehdi Benatia, […]

Winter Break Activity Of The Top Bundesliga Clubs

With Bundesliga about to resume in a week’s time, German clubs have been making good use of the longest winter break among Europe’s top leagues. To plan for the second half of the season, clubs have been setting up their winter camps all over the world. This precious time has given clubs time to address the injury issues, draw new strategies for the second half action, bring in new players in the transfer window play friendlies with the local clubs in the respective countries and also to savour the long break. To some it has been fruitful and to some it was a mixed set of events. Lets take a look how the winter break has gone for the top clubs of Bundesliga.   Bayern Munich:  The league leaders have gone to Doha,Qatar for the third consecutive year for the winter training camp.  While Pep Guardiola would be happy to strike names off his injury list as David Alaba and […]

FC Schalke have sacked Jens Keller from his position as the head coach following a poor start to their Bundesliga campaign. The Gelsenkirchen club currently sit in 11th position in the league table after an indifferent start to the new season which includes creditable draws against champions Bayern Munich and Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge. They also recorded an impressive win against Borussia Dortmund in the Ruhr Derby but suffered an embarrassing defeat against Dynamo Dresden in the DFB Pokal. The defeat against Hoffenheim last Saturday proved to be the final game in charge for Keller who took the role of the manager two years ago. There had been speculations regarding his position after the loss against Hoffenheim on the weekend and now those stories have been confirmed as the Schalke board have officially sacked the German after extending his contract last year in May. Schalke have recorded just two wins out of ten matches this season and have only […]