By Eike Zwicker
The new season has been just a couple of weeks on and some teams surprised the entire league, for example Mainz 05 (photo). On the other hand are some clubs who were named as secret favorites, but struggled hard in their first games.
- 1. 1899 Hoffenheim
A lot of “experts” predicted in the pre season that this would be a tough year for Ralf Ragnick and his team. In the last season they failed to continue with their offensive attacking soccer, as a result of that they had a lot of up’s and down’s and finished the season at place 11. In the current season the team of Maecenas Dietmar Hopp is undefeated and won every game, even against title candidates like Werder Bremen or Schalke 04.
- 2. Mainz 05
Since Thomas Tuchel has taken the position as head coach of Mainz 05 everything went into the right way for the club. He reminds me on the young and dynamic Jürgen Klopp in his early years as a coach of Mainz 05. Tuchel formed a young determined team, who will never give up any game. Mainz won all three games in a row, which is remarkable, especially after a 0:3 deficit against Wolfsburg.
- 3. Hannover 96
Nearly every soccer magazine and internet page named this club as relegation battler number one in the following season. Moreover, they lost after a bad performance in the DFB cup, against a member of the 4th league. It seemed to be that Hannover 96 is on the way in league two! But the team started very well in the new season. First they won a tough game against Frankfurt, then a marvelous performance against Schalke 04 and finally a draw against the big favorite Bayer Leverkusen. Nobody expected that Hannover has seven points after three games, now it is important to continue with good performance to be far away from the relegation zone.
1. Schalke 04
What went wrong for the high ambitious team of Gelsenkirchen? Coach Felix Magath changed nearly his entire four-man backfield defense. Maybe he forgot that his team had the best defensive line in the past season, but his new healer Christoph Metzelder failed to convince in his first games. But it would be too easy to shift the blame just to Metzelder. However, Schalke has zero points after three games and Magath a lot of homework to do.
2. VFL Wolfsburg
Another high ambitious club with a lot of important changes during the summer failed to earn points. Steve McClaren is the new coach of Wolfsburg and at the same time the first English coach of the Bundesliga. After a tight defeat against current champion Bayern Munich, additionally they could not defend a three-goal lead against Mainz and lost unnecessarily 3:4. The peak of bad performances was on past Saturday when they lost well-deserved against Dortmund.
3. VFB Stuttgart
The summer of Stuttgart was characterized by a lot of trouble. Suddenly, manager Horst Heldt announced to left the club towards Schalke 04 and his “old friend” Felix Magath. Then the club had to get over the loss of Sami Khedira, who signed a long-term contract with Real Madrid. Maybe as a result of that, they started weak in the current season with two losses against “small” teams like Mainz and Freiburg. Now coach Gross is in charge to form a strong and powerful selection of eleven players, to avoid a difficult season for him and his team.