Young guns in Stuttgart
Today’s headline is not the title of a wild west movie or crime – thriller! It only describes the present success story of our Borussia! Jürgen Klopp’s youngsters developed an impressive row of wins during the last weeks. Much to most experts’ surprise Borussia peaks now at position 4 in the league after 1:0 home win against Hamburger SV last Saturday. And what will happen next? Will our success story continue? Will we play in the Europe- or even Champions League next year? Coach, management and players are absolutely right when they recommend all to cool down. Of course, dreaming is not illegal but let’s always think from one game to the next. And our next match will be on Sunday afternoon in Stuttgart.
In the Bundesliga VFB Stuttgart, last season at position 3 of the table, is definitely below expectations, many people had in the beginning of the season. Mario Gomez responsible for 24 goals in the last season switched to Bayern München and VFB hasn’t found the right successor for him. New Russian striker Pavel Progrebnjak doesn’t meet the expectations until now. Also the return of midfielder Aliaksandr Hleb on loan from FC Barcelona made not the desired impact. In the first half of this season Stuttgart was in direct contact to the relegation zone and it happened what always happened in football: Coach Markus Babbel was fired and together with new Swiss coach Christian Gross, VFB seems to be a resurgent team: No more defeats with new coach Gross and three wins in a row.. Many VFB supporters still have the opinion that manager Horst Heldt waited too long to substitute Markus Babbel. In the end heavy storms of protest led to the result that Babbel had to quit his job. For many experts or so called experts it’s some kind of wonder that VFB survived in the Champions league until now. Of course next match against top favorite FC Barcelona could be the final station for Stuttgart.
Two VFB players will attract special notice on Saturday evening. Goalkeeper Jens Lehmann will return on the green on Saturday after a three matches suspension. But it’s not only the ban after stamping the foot of Aristide Bance in the match against Mainz. There were a lot of incidents regarding Jens Lehmann that most people could only shake their heads. A conflict with a ball boy, leaving the green during the match to go for a slash or to take away a fan’s glasses are strange actions for such a high class keeper, probably in the last year of his career. Especially all fans of Mats Hummels will keep an eye on VfB’s defender Serdar Tasci. German national coach Jogi Löw currently prefers Tasci instead of Borussia’s Mats Hummels for the German national team. His decision is difficult to understand, not only for Borussia’s fans. Or is there a special connection between VFB Stuttgart and Jogi Löw as a former VFB player?!
Regarding Borussia two issues aside from the match against VFB Stuttgart are worth to mention:
Borussia extended the contract with chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke until 2014. Without a doubt a good decision! After turbulent years with big financial problems and a lot of stagnation on the pitch, Watzke is beside president Reinhard Rauball, coach Jürgen Klopp and manager Michael Zorc one of the most responsible persons for Borussia’s economical and sporting upturn. An upturning figure is also in the number of sold BVB shirts. More than 100.000 BVB shirts were sold since the start of 2009/2010 season. And it’s no surprise that the most popular BVB jersey is our yellow home shirt. Good news for Borussia and kit sponsor KAPPA!
No good news for Borussia’s line up: 20-years old Sven Bender, who played constantly a successful part in Borussia’s midfield will not be part of the team. Sven has been suffering from an inflammation of his knee. To find a substitute for him will be the most important task for Jürgen Klopp. Possible solution could be a change of Mats Hummels from defensive to midfield. Another more offensive option for Borussia’s midfield would be the return of Tamas Hajnal beside Nuri Sahin. Kuba had to stop training due to backstrain and he will be doubtful for the match in Stuttgart.
Due to the Africa cup we will not see again Mohamed Zidan on the green. After a 4:0 win against Algeria, his Egypt team is now qualified for the final match against Ghana. In addition to all these limitations Marc Hornschuh and Daniel Ginczek returned with groin problems from a training course of Germany’s U 19 team. During the past matches both were options for Borussia’s bench.
All in all from today’s point of view no easy job for Jürgen Klopp to prepare his team. But in spite of all these difficulties let us all not to be too pessimistic for Sunday!
Our young guns demonstrated their versatilities in 13 matches without a defeat and in a row of 6 wins. And there are chances enough that maybe both serials will not be interrupted in Stuttgart!