For those poor souls whose primary source of post-Christmas entertainment is the machinations of the Bundesliga, January was set to be bleak.
Rarely has the Ruhr been seen as a haven of creativity and artistry. Only on the football field can Germany’s industrial strongholds ever enchant the watching world with aesthetic excellence. But boy how they can.
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Joachim Löw is currently enduring his most difficult period of his six years as coach of the German national team.
The shirts of Germany’s top flight players will this weekend be adorned with a unanimous slogan: “Geh deinen Weg” (“Go your own way”) as part of the weekly Integrations-Spieltag (Integration Matchday). The message of integration is primarily in support of young members of the immigrant community but following an interview with an anonymous gay footballer in the German magazine “Fluter”, it is the homophobia debate which has begun to take centre stage.
Hooliganism is a liberally used word, but the behaviour of a number of fans at a number of clubs continually threatens to undermine the privileges which German fans and German fans alone currently enjoy.
One of the main orchestrators behind the recent resurrection and makeover of the German national team, Sammer has taken over from Christian Nerlinger.
The blunt exposure of Germany’s defensive problems in their last two friendlies has certainly served as something of a wake up call.
There is some concern in Germany that Bayern do not become guilty of underestimating Chelsea ahead of this month’s Champions League Final. Those in West London should be equally wary of making the same mistake.
For most in Germany, the idea that Marin could become a key player in Chelsea’s much needed revival is as laughable as the idea that England could win Euro 2012.
His arrival at Schalke was greeted, both in Spain and Germany, with at best scepticism and at worst derision.
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter