JubelBarriosGR_1248810843

Time to get back to watching some football, and what better way than a bit of Friday night Bundesliga.

Dortmund travelled the short distance to the BayArena to take on the league leaders, I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the Dortmund club.

LEVERKUSEN: Adler – Schwaab, Friedrich, Hyypia, Castro – Barnetta, Bender, Vidal, Kroos – Derdiyok, Kiessling
DORTMUND: Weidenfeller – Owomoyela, Subotic, Hummels, Dede – Kuba, Bender, Sahin, Valdez – Zidan, Barrios

A few players a knew already but quite a few I was seeing for the first time, the Bender brothers were pointed out by ESPN before the game so was interested to see them, and I had never heard of Barrios before, and alot of names I know but not seen play, so was very interested.

Overall it was a good game, the first half far more enjoyable and both teams playing an attractive style of football, just after Lars Bender had a great chance to open the scoring for Leverkusen it was Dortmund who took the lead, Vidal lost the ball in the midfield, some good work from Valdez his cross was headed expertly past Adler by Argentine striker Lucas Barrios, Leverkusen should have been level when Derdiyok had a clear header from Kroos’ cross but he headed wide, it was a very open first half both teams showing attacking intent, Dortmund looking a better team than their middle table position shows, however Leverkusen again nearly pegged them back just before half-time, Toni Kross again with the free kick, it was met by Sami Hyypia but his header whistled just past the post, how Liverpool could do with someone of Sami’s aerial ability right now at set-pieces.

The second half didn’t start with the same attacking intensity as the first and for 20 minutes there was nothing worth mentioning, then Leverkusen won a corner after a contentious free kick, Barnetta swung the ball in and Manuel Friedrich rose highest and and powered a great header past Weidenfeller, it looked like now Dortmund would have to fight if they wanted a point from this game, Friedrich and Barnetta going close 5 minutes after the goal, the game seemed to fizzle out though, no more clear cut chances, and both teams in the end deserved to go away with something, Dortmund the better team in the first half but Leverkusen much the better in the second.

I liked the partnership of Kiessling and Derdiyok upfront for Leverkusen seems a very busy pairing, both players have some pace and like to run, then you have the height and aerial ability of Kiessling, and then Derdiyok brings pace and ability, with both players being quite young this could be deadly in a few years.
Vidal had a quiet game, Barnetta was lively down the flank, always been a fan of his, technically sound player, decent pass, good passer of the ball, was good to see Toni Kroos, alot of potential needs games and is getting them at Leverkusen, didn’t do alot from open play but his dead ball were always causing problems.
Hyypia was solid as he has always been and is showing why it was a mistake by Rafa Benitez to let him go for free, commanding in defence, deadly in the air, could easily still play in the premiership, his partnership with Friedrich is full of maturity and experience.

I was happy to see Dortmund playing some good football, and they have some nice players, Hummels and Subotic look a good pairing at the back and will continue to grow together, Dede is in with the bricks at Dortmund, 12 years service, doesn’t happen at all any more, the midfield looks a little young to me, Sahim, Bender and Kuba have an average age of 21, I wonder how much they could progress with an experienced player in there to help them.
Zidan was very quiet upfront forgot he was playing at one point, Valdez impressed, a flop when he first signed but did very well out on the left battled back hard when Dortmund didn’t have the ball and a great cross for Barrios’s goal.
Lucas Barrios I think will be a name to remember, having not heard of him at half time, I search Wikipedia for some details and for Colo Colo he had 49 goals in 53 games, that is very impressive, 2 in 6 for his new club, if he can settle quickly he could be a player to watch, his header for the goal was superb, and he was always busy and trying to make something happen.

Last players I wanted to mention was Lars and Sven the Bender brothers, both look very decent young players, playing at the heart of the midfield they had a good battle and honours were shared in the Bender household, definitely two players to keep an eye on, and who would count against a pair of Benders in the German midfield in the years to come ;)

MATCH RATING 7.5/10

M.O.M – Lucas Barrios – Dortmund

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FIFA and UEFA really make me mad sometimes.

The playoffs were decided recently for the remaining places left to qualify for South Africa 2010.

Greece v Ukraine
Portugal v Bosnia-Herzigovina
Russia v Slovenia
,
and of course
Republic of Ireland v France.

Before the qualification groups started there was no mention of there being a seeded playoff system, just that the top 8 second place teams would go into the playoffs, but after the scare of some good teams not making it, FIFA/UEFA decided it should be seeded.

My question is WHY?

Every team in qualifying was seeded to begin with and given enough games to qualify properly in their own right, so if you failed to get an automatic place, and finish second you should not then get help again with being given a so called weaker team in a 2 leg playoff game.

If there was a league table of 2nd placed teams it would look like this

Russia 22pts
Ukraine 21pts
France 21pts
Greece 20pts
Slovenia 20pts
Portugal 19pts
Bosnia 19pts
Ireland 18pts

Slovenia finished with more points than Portugal and the same points as Greece so what right do they have of being seeded in front of the Slovenians.

We could have had,  France v Portugal,  seeing one big team going out or Slovenia v Bosnia, giving hope to these 2 smaller naions would have a great chance of a place in South Africa.

FIFA would hate this though, continually making the rich nations rich, and the poor nations poor, I personally hope a big team or two go out nothing against the big teams just like a shock now and again, and without FIFA’s bureauracy we might see some more.

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Writing this during Argentina and Uruguay’s vital world cup qualifier in Montevideo, for me what should be Diego Maradona’s last game in charge, regardless if his team make the World Cup in South Africa or not.

 

diego

Diego should not be allowed to take charge, He is the man to blame for their poor qualification performance, would you trust him to pick the best 23 players?

During his year in charge he has used 78 players, and has never played the same team twice, as it stands Juan Roman Riquelme is their top scorer but has not featured in any squad under Maradona, to me this says alot about the selection process.

In the last game against Peru, he called up Enzo Perez of Estudiantes to act as cover for Javier Mascherano who had an ankle problem, what did Diego do, he started Mascherano and Perez together, in a formation which he plays 4 midfielders, only 5 midfielders were names in the squad, so shouldn’t Perez or another midfielder been in from the start, one of the other 5 midfielders was Pablo Aimar getting his first cap in 2 years, and just when you thought the surprises were over, he started Gonzalo Higuain a player pundits had begged to be included for the whole year, finally with their backs against the wall he gets the nod, and scores on his debut, surely Diego couldn’t take the credit for that, every man and his dog would have picked Gonzalo way before the 2nd last match

So tonight with the first half over it’s 0-0 very even game, of course changes were made again, 36 year old Schiavi starts in defence with usual centre back Otamendi playing right back, Veron comes back in for Aimar (who actually had a good game) and Jonas Gutierrez moves from right back to right midfield, Part of me wants them to go out, maybe learn a lesson, but what is a World Cup without Argentina.

Last thought for this, here’s an eleven selected with players not in Maradona’s plans;

GK – Juan Pablo Carrizo (Zaragoza)

RB – Javier Zanetti (Inter)
CB – Roberto Ayala (Zaragoza)
CB – Walter Samuel (Inter)
LB – Juan Forlin (Espanyol)

DM – Fernando Gago (Real Madrid)
CM – Esteban Cambiasso (Inter)
CM – Maxi Rodriguez (Atletico Madrid)

CF – Lisandro Lopez (Lyon)
CF – Gonzalo Bergessio (St-Etienne)
CF – Diego Milito (Inter)

I’d like to think that 11 would be good enough with proper coaching to beat Uruguay, so with the abundance of talent at the mercy of Diego Maradona, surely it is a crime against football that this team is struggling to qualify.

Ok now back to the match.

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Hi Everyone

Thanks for following this over from the previous site, hopefully this site will become more popular over here.

It saddens me to open up with such a sad post.

CDAVIES

Yesterday morning at 03:15am in Washington DC, US and Sochaux striker Charlie Davies was involved in a serious car accident, one woman died, it is not known if Charlie was the passenger or driving the SUV involved.

There was no other vehicle involved, the car Charlie was in hit a barrier, and the damage to the car was catastrophic.
Once at a hospital, Charlie needed non-life threatening surgery, however at this time it is not known if Charlie will ever be able to play again.

Anyone who had read my previous blogs knows I have been following Charlies progress, and had recently made himself a starter for Sochaux and was impressing for his national team.
My thoughts are with Charlie and all the families involved, and I hope no other tradegies come from this accident.

Any more news I hear on this one, I will post in here.

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