Big boys in deep trouble
WERDER BREMEN, Schalke and SV Hamburg are three of the biggest Bundesliga clubs on paper but after a disastrous start to the campaign they find themselves propping up the rest of the division ahead of this weekend matches.
Bottom pair Bremen and Schalke have lost all four games so far while Hamburg have only a single point to their name.
It is Hamburg’s challenge which seems toughest tomorrow and beleaguered coach Bruno Labbadia will be looking for an improved performance, if not result, when his team host rampant league leaders Bayern Munich.
“We had made our plans and of course the disappointment is huge,” Labbadia said after Tuesday’s defeat at Freiburg.
That is not an issue affecting opponents Bayern, who purred to a 3-0 victory over the previously perfect Hertha Berlin yesterday.
“That was the best performance of the season so far,” delighted coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
Underachieving Schalke have lost every league game, most recently yesterday’s 3-1 home reverse to Cologne. They now go to Hoffenheim on Sunday looking to turn things round.
“We’re very disappointed and obviously had a different start to the season in mind,” coach Markus Weinzierl said.
“Now it’s up to me to pick the boys up ... Matches in the Bundesliga are decided by small details. It’s obvious that we are all unhappy.”
Bremen have already fired their first coach of the season, Viktor Skripnik, and stand-in Alexander Nouri came within minutes of beating Mainz yesterday only to lose 2-1 to late goals.
Nouri was sent to the stand in that defeat but will continue to lead the side at home to Wolfsburg in tomorrow’s late game. – dpa
Ivan Rakitic (2nd left) heads to score for Barcelona’s during yesterday’s La Liga match against Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium.