Alongside The Independent, Kit Holden observes German Football for various online portals, including The Bundesliga Fanatic, Deutsche Welle and Total Football Magazine. In 2012, he spent a short time at the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, and he is also a regular guest on World Football Daily.
For a long time now, it has been one of Dortmund’s worst kept secrets: Mario Götze belongs to an elite group of young European players who are coveted by almost every single one the continent’s major clubs.
What a difference three games make. Only two or three weeks ago, Bayern Munich were said to be in the middle of a crisis. Three games and twenty goals later, and normality is near to being restored in Munich.
“Still bitter” was the phrase used by “kicker” to describe the latest diplomatic furore surrounding Michael Ballack. A simple, but thoroughly apt headline to describe the sad decline of a man who was once the poster boy of German football.
With rumours emerging in both German and English tabloids today of the impending return to England of Arjen Robben, it is perhaps a good time to remind ourselves that “Bild” exclusives must generally be taken with a pinch of salt.
After the decision to ban Dynamo Dresden from next year’s German Cup was reversed by the DFB last week, the Bundesliga might have been hoping for a few weeks in which the word “hooliganism” did not take centre stage.
It is not often these days that one sees emergency aid go from Greece to Germany. But with Otto Rehhagel’s messianic arrival as the new coach of Hertha BSC, it seems that, for once, finance and football are worlds apart.
Perhaps, in a few decades time, some German writer will transform Michael Skibbe’s excruciatingly brief tenure as manager of Hertha BSC into a bestselling novel, as David Peace so memorably did with Brian Clough and The Damned United. Or perhaps not.
Higher attendances, less debt, and more exciting competition. The arguments of those who relentlessly promote the Bundesliga Way of Life are fast becoming clichéd. Perhaps, though, the cynics should lend a reluctant ear.