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The start of a season see’s fans, managers and players conjoined by the same idea of a fresh start and newly held ambitions – usually influenced after what is seen as a fruitful recruitment drive and with the likes of Ciro Immobile, Xabi Alonso and Mehdi Benatia all joining the ranks of the Bundesliga, It is understandable why the attraction of the league is at a record high right now.
But with vast change comes instability, unorthodox results and performances to match. Case in point SC Paderborn – the newly promoted side were welcomed to life in the Bundesliga by being tipped to be relegated, but after a strong performance and an attacking display in their opener against Mainz which ended 2-2; it was anyone’s guess to see how far this team could go, until the week after they stomped over HSV to win 3-0 proving that they meant business and they were here to stay. Games against Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach have brought them back to reality somewhat, but it doesn’t get away from the fact that this team can compete in this league, especially after buying smartly, for example the signing of Elias Kachunga from Borussia Monchengladbach who has scored 3 goals in his 6 appearances for the club so far, after making his move permanent.
Bundesliga powerhouses Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke have had an indifferent start to their season, both teams showing inconsistencies within their performances and a lack of positive results which would please the fans early on. Both teams at Gameweek 6 took part in the derby of all German derbies to the avail of FC Schalke who came out on top with a 2-1 win that saw creativity from both sides, but the quality of finishing from Schalke ultimately put the game to bed. FC Schalke started slowly losing heavily to Borussia Monchengladbach, but after an inquest and a much needed confidence boost with a 3-0 win over Werder Bremen, it seems that they can jump start their season again and get into the kind of position that their quality merits.
Borussia Dortmund are struggling to get the balance right. After conceding Bundesliga’s fastest goal after 9 seconds on Gameweek 1 it was a massive test of character for the squad, especially with the amount of new additions that Jurgen Klopp has brought to the club after somewhat of an exodus over the past few transfer windows. One revitalizing moment for Dortmund was the transfer of Kagawa back to Dortmund from Manchester United, which in turn saw him contribute to the score line before half time in Gameweek 3. Although, with big losses against Mainz and Schalke, Jurgen Klopp’s new team needs to gel together and gel fast if they are to meet the expectations of the fans. It’s more of a case of patience for Dortmund fans, with the likes of Ciro Immobile getting to grips with German football and Kagawa having to regain his fitness and form that he lost when he moved to the Premier League.
Werder Bremen as of Gameweek 6 have found themselves in a tricky situation. After starting to season in no real disastrous fashion, it seemed as weeks went by Robin Dutt’s team weren’t able to find a win, drawing their first 3 games of the season. Two heavy losses on the trot against FC Augsburg and FC Schalke didn’t merit fans appreciation, but thanks to Ivica Olic goal, Bremen managed to scrape a win to nail their first win of the campaign. With this victory in sight, Bremen can surely hope to spearhead a burst of positive form that will help bring them out of the relegation zone.
Inevitably with all this disparity to usual procedures of Germany domestic league football, the Bayern Munich machine is roaring as ever and are top of the table on 14 points. The addition of Xabi Alonso by Pep Guardiola seems to be a master stroke with the absence of Javi Martinez with an ACL tear during the SuperCup game against Dortmund. The former Madridista has broken the record for the amount of touches in 1 game against Cologne and seems to fit seamlessly into the Guardiola system of play, ironically enough. He looks set to be a big part of the spine of Bayern’s team this season.
The strange nature of the Bundesliga where anyone can beat anyone is something that for the neutral is something to savour and dedicate time too, the competitive nature between 2nd and below now too with such well organised teams and brilliant tacticians coming through is something the Premier League is now lacking. With the 50+1 rule now in operation throughout the Bundesliga also, it forces teams to be more adventurous with their scouting networks, a direct result of this has seen the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Shinji Okazaki and Atsuto Uchida come to into first team action, along with many more Japanese nationals.
Whatever criticism Bundesliga has had in the past, it is growing in influence and stature and can’t be looked down upon anymore.
Written by James Clark
Follow James on Twitter @JamesMRClark
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