By Heiko Lütkehus
The shameful performance against current title holders Inter Milan confirmed the critics’ opinion. It is obvious that the team managed by Thomas Schaaf is unable to keep up with their opponents in the Champions League as well as in the German Bundesliga. Currently the squad tries to regain its composure to avoid worse results in the upcoming weeks, but honestly there is not much to raise hope. Several problems led to the status quo:
1. Motivation problems
Experienced players just like Mikael Silvestre as well as newcomers like Aaron Hunt both create the impression of being self-contended rather than showing commitment on the field. In a club where the principle of discretion reigns supreme, nobody really seems to react on the crisis. The management keeps on steadily repeating that the players possess the qualities to meet the challenges in the different competitions. Unfortunately, most of these players are struggling to prove this assumption. It is hard to believe that some of the most talented players of the Bundesliga could really fail to show the appropriate attitude, though the events so far didn’t leave many doubts.
2. Injured key players
At the moment, the team is totally unable to replace the injured key players. Claudio Pizarro still suffers from a torn muscle fiber, team captain Torsten Frings and right winger Clemens Fritz will also need some weeks to recover and centre back Naldo won’t be on the field again until the second half of the campaign. The absentee list leaves the club officials in a desperate situation, because the substitutes such as the Danish midfielder Daniel Jensen or the Austrian centre back Sebastian Prödl don’t show the constant quality to help the team. As long as the team is forced to go without the mentioned key players, Werder Bremen will be stuck in mediocrity.
3. Weak defense
Up to now there are 24 goals conceded in 11 matches. The pre-season performances already promised to bring a year of defense problems because Werder lost a friendly game against Fulham with 1-5. Eight weeks later, the missing fine tuning in the defense caused five defeats in 11 matches. Especially the confused impression that the squad has left against former relegation battlers Mainz 05 and Hannover 96 caused a growing destabilization in the entire team. Facing the difficult matches against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, against Bayern Munich in the German national trophy and against Dutch giants Twente Enschede, the club officials really need to take action. Otherwise, the international reputation of Werder Bremen will steadily suffer from the hilarious results and as a result the management would face even worse times.