Wow. It’s been a miserable time to be watching Werder Bremen. Every time we think it can’t get any worse… it does. One thing that I can count on is seeing the Werder fans singing, week in and week out, despite the terrible performances. But even they have their limits – as they confronted the team bus after the 4-0 defeat to rivals Hamburg.
Can Werder actually go on a two-win streak for the first time since October? Can Werder repeat their 4-2 success against Cologne that gained them three vital points earlier this season? Will Podolski score a goal against us even though he can’t seem to score against anyone else?
We travel away to Cologne without the injured Tim Borowski and Daniel Jensen. Our captain and surprise winning goal-scorer last week Torsten Frings was passed fit after a scare on Wednesday and should be available to play. A frightening prospect is Silvestre at CB with Big Per due to Prödl picking up his fifth yellow card last weekend and thus a one-match suspension. I was surprised to see Marko Marin benched against Hoffenheim in favor of young Felix Kroos, and due to the win, Schaaf may decide to stick with this selection and leave our little elf warming his backside.
The transfer window is still open, and there is still another question, possibly the biggest enigma of the football universe: Will those in charge at Werder ever, EVER actually buy a proper left-back?
… and who is willing to climb aboard this sinking Green-White ship?
Hugo Almeida, the only one on our team who seemed to be scoring goals regularly, has officially left us for Besiktas. This leaves an enormous gap in our goalscoring ability – something that hasn’t been great recently anyway. Pizarro hasn’t gotten back in the groove since returning from his injury, Arnautovic doesn’t score consistently enough, and don’t get me started on Wagner.
To compensate for the loss of Almeida, Werder have signed Swedish striker Denni Avdic from Elfsborg in his home league. He’s already in Turkey at the winter training camp with the rest of the Werder boys. Let’s hope he can settle in to the Bundesliga quickly and hit the back of the net.
The only defender news (despite this continually being the biggest problem in our team) I can find is that we’re keeping tabs on central defender Curtis Davies from Premier League club Aston Villa. We’ll need a few more options than just that, though, as rumors are Naldo will miss the full season and the club seem resigned to losing Per Mertesacker (to either Arsenal or Liverpool – oh dear no).
Steve McClaren over at Wolfsburg for some reason wants Arnautovic to replace Edin Dzeko, but the Austrian has claimed he is happy at Werder. Meanwhile, Daniel Jensen has expressed his desire to move on once his contract ends (if not sooner) because Werder have not opened up any negotiations to extend his stay with the Green-Whites.
The team is currently in Turkey at their winter training camp. They played a friendly yesterday against top Turkish side Trabzonspor. The match ended 1-1 with Pizarro grabbing our only goal – hopefully that’s a good sign that he’ll be our reliable goal-scorer soon!
Yes, indeed, Werder have apparently seen fit to sell our top scorer this season to Turkish club Besiktas due to disagreements over his salary demands. He’s scored nine goals in the league and 11 for us in 21 total appearances this season. Almeida came to Werder on loan in 2006 and signed the next season, scoring 41 goals in his time with the Green-Whites and cementing his place as a fan-favorite, despite often starting on the bench the past couple seasons. I, for one, am very sad to see him go.
Here’s wishing everyone a happy Christmas or any other holiday you celebrate, and if you don’t celebrate anything – hope you have a good day anyway, and let’s hope 2011 will be an upturn in fortunes for the Werder boys! We have no European or Pokal matches to focus on, so let’s improve our league performance please!
The team bus was involved in an accident before training yesterday, which surely isn’t a good sign. We’re also in terrible form and completely lacking in confidence. This is likely our second to last match in Europe this season – but at least we’ll be able to focus on the league after being knocked out of both the German Cup and the European competitions, right? Right?
Tonight the boys in green and white are taking on Tottenham Hotspur in London. Spurs will be feeling pretty good after their impressive win over Inter on the last Champions League matchday as well as their comeback victory against London rivals Arsenal last weekend. Werder, meanwhile, are leaking goals left and right and lost to fellow Bundesliga underachievers Schalke by a rather embarrassing scoreline last weekend. “Embarrassing” is probably the right term to describe our European campaign to this point as well. We’ve been hit by injuries, we miss Naldo, our defense is the usual mess, but this time our offense is not scoring the goals to make up for our leaky defense. It’s a disaster.
Pizarro is still unavailable for tonight’s match, and Silvestre, Wesley and Arnautovic are also injured. Frings is suspended because of a red card and Pasanen is a doubt due to illness.
I continue to hope that we can put in a competent performance, but nowadays usually find these hopes dashed. But I’ll still be cheering on the Green-Whites.
Congratulations to our super striker Claudio Pizarro, who scored the fourth goal in our 4-1 win over Gladbach and thus became the Bundesliga’s all-time top foreign goalscorer! The Peruvian had been tied with Giovane Elber on 133 goals since before his injury and it was looking like he was cursed not to score – but he pulled through today! He has now scored 134 goals combined while at Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich.
Congrats to the Pizza man, who I am very glad to have back in our team! Please don’t get injured again anytime soon, though.
Hello, strangers! In case you’ve missed it, the Green-Whites have been hampered by a rather large injury crisis that has contributed to our miserable start to the season. Mertesacker (Zorro mask and all) and Pizarro returned to a triumphant (even if we didn’t dominate) Nord-Derby win, then we lost the Pizza man again to injury and fell to a crashing, embarrassing defeat against Inter Milan in the Champions League, and finally we levelled things out in a 2-2 draw with Leverkusen before the international break began. We currently sit 13th (!!) in the Bundesliga table – I am only consoled by the fact that Bayern are directly above us in the table and Schalke are almost bringing up the rear.
So concludes my brief summary of the time I’ve been away. The international break is over – most of the international boys survived without further injury except Daniel Jensen, but Papa Schaaf seems to think he should be okay at least for the bench tomorrow. Of course, Papa Schaaf also told us we’d be seeing Wesley when the Brazilian hadn’t even had a work permit yet so – we’ll see. At least the break provided some extra time for our variety of injured players to recover, so we might be able to even fill up our bench tomorrow.
Officially: Fritz, Borowski and Frings are back. So that’s good. Well, Fritz is good to have back. He’s better than any other option we have at right-back. I’m worried about Pizarro – he may feature tomorrow but probably not start. We seem to really lack a spark when he’s out. Not that Almeida isn’t a good striker, and Arnautovic has started hitting the target for his international side, but I just feel better with Pizarro on the pitch. He was out there when we beat Hamburg. He didn’t score, but he was there. Then he was out again against Inter and Leverkusen. I just miss the Pizza man. I also miss Naldo. Bargfrede had also picked up an injury but should be recovered for tomorrow.
Tomorrow we take on Freiburg. They are fifth in the league at the moment with 4 wins and 3 losses. Insanity. If we don’t win tomorrow, I think Frings will blow his top and Wiese will punch somebody (Aaron Hunt? Or perhaps Allofs for docking his paycheck? Those highlights don’t pay for themselves!). Bring it on!
I wasn’t able to watch this match but sounds like I didn’t miss anything. The basic gist I’m getting from Werder fans is that this team is playing without heart or desire. Werder got off to a terrible start when Clemens Fritz put the ball into his own net. Werder had some hope when Frings scored a penalty, but it all went to hell in the second half as Hannover emerged emphatic winners.
I refuse to believe this is at all due to Özil’s departure as people are probably saying. Yes, he was an important player for us but he was not our entire team. We should be able to cope without him. We do not have awful individual players. What’s gone wrong? Where’s the heart?
I’m having nightmarish flashbacks to the 2008/09 season, when we were miserable in the league and finished the season in 10th place.
I do not know why Thomas Schaaf, in the past two matches, has decided to put Silvestre on the left and Pasanen in the middle when it seemed to be fine last weekend against Bayern with Silvestre partnering Prödl and Pasanen at left-back. Neither are ideal, but at least we held the champions to a draw with that formation. Silvestre, though, was particularly bad today. I’m dreaming of the day we get Naldo back. I might even throw a party when it happens.
I do not know why Thomas Schaaf continues to put Borowski on the pitch. Especially as a starter! We needed Bargfrede or even Wesley to help us keep a bit of possession. These days all Borowski seems to be good for is a few bad tackles. He could have made me eat my words of criticism when he was through on goal in the second half, but he shot tamely right into the Mainz keeper’s lap.
After being impressed with Arnautovic to start with, he has been pretty useless in the past two matches. In midweek he lost the ball so many times that the Werder fans really started to get on his case, which only served to piss him off even more. Almeida tries, but he is not getting the service from midfield to do too much with the ball. Every time I see Frings on the ball, he seems to be moving it backwards. It’s all just so frustrating.
Oh well. At least we lost to the league leaders? What a thing to say! Mainz, league leaders. They have deserved it too, though. It’s all uphill from here…. right? Right?
If you feel like either suffering further or having a good laugh at our defense, here is the video of the goals: