Busy days lie behind us. Busy, and somehow disappointing. Well, we managed to qualify for the Quarter Final of the Champions League against Real Madrid, which is a great success. Nevertheless, we are facing some problems. How will we achieve better results in the next matches? The last two in a row were lost (1:2 against Gladbach and St. Petersburg) and furthermore the atmosphere in the Westfalenstadion was quite bad although our players did not humiliate themselves on the field. Almost every time the ball was lost you could hear denunciatory moan from the stands (apart from the yellow wall - of course!). Players, coaches (in reference to Klopp’s reprimand against Gladbach) and supporters should keep calm and concentrate again, because there is actually no need panic yet!
Day 26 of the current season: A look at the very top of the table is unnecessary, Bayern is gone. In contrast, looking down is inevitable as Schalke is only one small point behind us on place 3. In addition, there are only 6 points distance to the 5th spot which would exclude the direct or indirect qualification for the next Champions League season. Therefore, attention is demanded to stay in position to reach the goal of qualifying for the highest European Competition again. Borussia’s motivation is obvious, but what about Hannover? What do they want to achieve til the 34th day? Standing on rank 11, 11 points behind an European qualification spot, the focus should mainly be set on not falling down to the relegation area (“only” 7 points to place 16) as the chances of climbing up 4 positions are not quite realistic regarding the statistics: 1 out of 5 matches in the last weeks was a victory of Hannover, namely the lasts encounter against Hertha BSC Berlin. In this game, 96 succeeded with a clear 3:0, 2 goals prepared by former BVB-player Leonardo Bittencourt. Because of this positive outcome, Hannover won confidence and is willing to present itself in the best light as possible during the last phase of the competition. The next step for finishing the season satisfactory for all participants (players, supporters, coach etc.) would therefore be the defeat of the old and probably new number two champion of the League.
While Hannover has to say goodbye to Steven Cherundulo, who ended his career after ongoing injury-problems, and moreover cannot count on the yellow-blocked Andreasen and the still injured Diouf, Borussia added another important personality to its medical record: Marcel Schmelzer hurt at the adductors and is missing in Hannover on Saturday. But the never ending list of injured is no new surprising problem for the BVB and therefore we can be sure that the team is prepared to overcome this hurdle. Nevertheless, things don’t get easier like this. The last performances showed a confused, inattentive and partly uncreative Borussia. It seemed as if the players and the coach could not resist the pressure. But which pressure? The only one I can imagine is the expectation of the public, because there is no real possibility of the threat of ending the season unsuccessfully. We have qualified for the quarter final in the Champions League, the semi-final in the cup and furthermore are in very good position to stay among the top three of the League until the end. We all should be aware of these facts when demanding better performances and results from our players. They have had lots of games in a short period of time and it is no surprise that they cannot always bring their full potential onto the field.
So taking all speculations and factors into consideration, it can be assumed that we should stop worrying about how the result will influence our position in the league. This is unnecessary pressure which does not support our players in being victorious. In times like these, when our greatest problem is the list of injured players and not the struggle to prove anything to anybody as we already know about our abilities and qualities.
Moreover, we should once again start to enjoy each match of our club. It is not always about winning or about playing fantastic football. No, it is about feeling the extraordinary atmosphere in the stadium, about cheering until the end, no matter what happens. We can be sure that our team on the field does everything that is possible to make us proud, and we should do the same by stopping to criticize each small mistake. So now once again, so that everybody gets it: Keep calm!
Hannover 96: Zieler – Sakai, Hoffmann, C. Schulz, Pocognoli – Schmiedebach, Sané – Stindl, Huszti, Bittencourt – Rudnevs
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller – Großkreutz, Sokratis, Hummels, Piszczek – Kehl, Sahin – Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus – Lewandowski
Stadium: HDI Arena, Hannover
Kick-off: 22.3.2014, 3:30 PM CET
Matchday Bets - Day 26
You vs. the editors: Steven Palmer (England) vs. veramariko
Freiburg - Bremen: 2-0 / 1-1
Hannover - BVB: 2-3 / 1-2
Mainz - Bayern: 0-4 / 0-0
Wolfsburg - Augsburg: 3-1 / 0-2
Stuttgart - HSV: 1-1 / 3-1
Sch**** - Braunschweig: 2-0 / 0-1
Gladbach - Berlin: 2-1 / 3-0
Nürnberg - Frankfurt: 0-2 / 1-0
Leverkusen - Hoffenheim: 3-0 / 2-1