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Five reasons to be excited about the 2018/19 Bundesliga season

Saturday, July 14, 2018

How about getting your teeth into Borussia Dortmund new-look and talent-charged under Lucien Favre - and their home opener against RB Leipzig while Borussia Mönchengladbach play host to Bayer Leverkusen in a Rhine derby? Happy yet? Yes, thought so. Lucien Favre is charged with bringing the good times back to Borussia Dortmund. © imago / Revierfoto 2) Second season success syndromeIt is always hard to follow up success with yet more, but there is no reason to suggest the men who embroidered the colourful narrative of the 2017/18 season will not weave their magic once again. Step forward James Rodriguez. The Colombia international was stunningly reborn at Bayern last term, and in the second 12 months of his two-year loan from Real Madrid, he will seek to be just as impressively influential.Watch: James Rodriguez's stunning debut season in the Bundesliga Tedesco's maiden season at the Veltins Arena was an unqualified success, one that he will want to back up in the same way his former classmate, Julian Nagelsmann, has done at Hoffenheim. With Mark Uth, fresh from his breakthrough Bundesliga season, in the Royal Blues ranks, you would not bet against that happening.Werder Bremen were one of the largest surprise packages of last season with new coach Florian Kohfeldt earning plaudits in his first major role and goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka keeping enough clean sheets to spawn numerous puns about blank Czechs. More should be expected.3) Dugout differencesThere is nothing better than the bright sunshine, luscious pitches and overpowering whiff of optimism that a new season brings. The ambitions of clubs and fans differ, and some have more reason than most to be optimistic. Yes, we're looking at you Bayern! Niko Kovac now holds the reins at the Allianz Arena, but his remit will be the same as Jupp Heynckes' before him: dominate domestically. Kovac's pedigree as a former Bayern player means he is fully aware of expectations, while his past as a coach, notably at Eintracht Frankfurt, suggests he has the nous to meet them. Niko Kovac's final act as Eintracht Frankfurt coach was to lift the DFB Cup - at the expense of Bayern Munich! © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts Favre's track recor...https://www.bundesliga.com/en/news/Bundesliga/james-rodriguez-kovac-favre-josh-sargent-5-reasons-to-be-excited-about-2018-19-509740.jsp

Dortmund crave out 3-2 win over Cologne in German Bundesliga - Xinhua

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cologne stay on the last place of the Bundesliga standings.The following fixtures are scheduled for Saturday: Hertha Berlin host Hoffenheim, Freiburg see Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke face Werder Bremen, Mainz encounter front runners Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg clash with newly promoted Stuttgart and Monchengladbach take on Leipzig. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-02/03/c_136945777.htm

Hamburg haunted again at Bayern Munich's house of horrors - HITC

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HSV that won 3-0 in Leipzig two weeks ago”. That’s not entirely true; Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who has been an inspiration since arriving on loan from Bayer Leverkusen and scored the opener in that match, was nursing a shoulder complaint here, and Johan Djourou wasn’t much of a replacement, in truth. The wisdom of leaning so heavily on a player who has suffered such a litany of injuries in recent years is open to question but regardless, Papadopoulos’ return in the next few matches will be vital, with this defeat returning HSV to the relegation play-off spot of third bottom.Gisdol had talked before the game of his desire to “get stuck in”, but there was little evidence of that. In his, and the squad’s, defence a flu bug had swept through the camp in the second half of last week, with Albin Ekdal, Aaron Hunt (who both started on the bench) and Michael Gregoritsch among those affected. A lack of energy could only partially explain just how bad this was; mostly, it all tallied with the sense of HSV holding something back, with the joint top scorer Bobby Wood left on the bench for the duration, after Gisdol warned “we have to be careful with him” before the match.The real challenges start now, with three successive home games – the DfB Pokal quarter-final against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday is followed by a league meeting with the same opponents, with the visit of Hertha Berlin sandwiched between them. Gisdol and his players will lock themselves away before then in an attempt to foster some sort of siege mentality, with no open training sessions before the midweek game.The concern, after Saturday, is that the old habits and mentalities are too deeply ingrained. After the penalty with which Lewandowski made it 2-0, HSV have now given away seven spot-kicks, a league high – and each one has been conceded by a different player. The malaise has run deep this season, and it will need a real shift in terms of collective responsibility to avoid a season’s end as ruinous as its start. Talking points• After losing the relegation six-pointer with Werder Bremen, it felt inevitable that Wolfsburg announced the firing of coach Valérien Ismaël on Sunday – though it was, the club said, “based upon the impressions and results from recent weeks and months” rather than just Friday’s result. The surprise replacement is Andries Jonker, the coach of Arsenal’s academy side. Jonker knows the club, having been Dieter Hecking’s assistant for two seasons between 2012 and 2014, after working with Louis van Gaal at Bayern. However, the affable Dutchman inherits a disjointed and demoralised squad, poles apart from the model of stability that Hecking and the erstwhile sporting director Klaus Allofs were building in his days there. By appointing him rather than a tried and tested relegation saviour like Bruno Labbadia, Die Wölfe are taking a big risk.• Roger Schmidt might be not be that far behind Ismaël, with Leverkusen completing a lousy week with a 2-0 home reverse by Mainz, four days after Atlético Madrid all but ousted Die Werkself from the Champions League, again at the BayArena. Linked with the Bayern job not so long ago, Schmidt seems less and less convinced that he can get the best out of a talented – and quite expensive – squad. “When we don’t reach our top level,” he mused after Saturday’s game, “teams make it very difficult for us.” That doesn’t bode well for a club hoping to compete on domestic and European fronts. With an eight-point gap to the Champions League places an...http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2017/02/28/hamburg-haunted-again-at-bayern-munichs-house-of-horrors/

Hamburg haunted yet again at Bayern Munich’s house of horrors

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HSV that won 3-0 in Leipzig two weeks ago”. That’s not entirely true; Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who has been an inspiration since arriving on loan from Bayer Leverkusen and scored the opener in that match, was nursing a shoulder complaint here, and Johan Djourou wasn’t much of a replacement, in truth. The wisdom of leaning so heavily on a player who has suffered such a litany of injuries in recent years is open to question but regardless, Papadopoulos’s return in the next few matches will be vital, with this defeat returning HSV to the relegation play-off spot of third bottom. Gisdol had talked before the game of his desire to “get stuck in”, but there was little evidence of that. In his, and the squad’s, defence a flu bug had swept through the camp in the second half of last week, with Albin Ekdal, Aaron Hunt (who both started on the bench) and Michael Gregoritsch among those affected. A lack of energy could only partially explain just how bad this was; mostly, it all tallied with the sense of HSV holding something back, with the joint top scorer Bobby Wood left on the bench for the duration, after Gisdol warned “we have to be careful with him” before the match.The real challenges start now, with three successive home games – the DfB Pokal quarter-final against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday is followed by a league meeting with the same opponents, with the visit of Hertha Berlin sandwiched between them. Gisdol and his players will lock themselves away before then in an attempt to foster some sort of siege mentality, with no open training sessions before the midweek game. The concern, after Saturday, is that the old habits and mentalities are too deeply ingrained. After the penalty with which Lewandowski made it 2-0, HSV have now given away seven spot-kicks, a league high – and each one has been conceded by a different player. The malaise has run deep this season, and it will need a real shift in terms of collective responsibility to avoid a season’s end as ruinous as its start.(Guardian service)...http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&tid=01CB28F56F63442E8D9B0588F006166F&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.irishtimes.com%2fsport%2fsoccer%2fhamburg-haunted-yet-again-at-bayern-munich-s-house-of-horrors-1.2991218&c=14949889404233849478&mkt=en-us

German City Braces For Protests as Erdogan Opens Mega Mosque

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kurdish demonstrators marched with banners that showed likenesses of Erdogan shooting a journalist and devouring a peace dove.Erdogan's visit on Saturday takes him to North Rhine-Westphalia state, which is home to significant numbers of ethnic Turks, many who moved to Germany as so-called "guest workers" from the 1960s. The giant Cologne Central Mosque opened its doors in 2017 after eight years of construction and budget overruns. It can house more than a thousand worshippers.The size of the building, designed to resemble a flower bud opening, and its two towering minarets has disgruntled some locals, triggering occasional protests.The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib) that commissioned the glass and cement structure is itself not without controversy.The group runs hundreds of mosques across Germany with imams paid by the Turkish state.Known for its close ties to Ankara, it has increasingly come under scrutiny with some of members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany. ...https://www.news18.com/news/world/german-city-braces-for-protests-as-erdogan-opens-mega-mosque-1893241.html

Stillness and shock in Hambach Forest after journalist dies

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hambach Forest. Despite efforts to revive him, the 27-year-old German citizen died after being flown out by helicopter. Following the accident, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister, Herbert Reul, announced that police activities in the forest would be suspended for now. "We cannot just proceed as normal at least I can't," Reul said at a press conference Wednesday night. Whether the eviction will continue is not yet known. The journalist is understood to have fallen from the bridge leading off this treehouse Read more: Hambach Forest: Battleground for climate action 'Pure sunshine' Activists and members of the public have gathered in Beechtown, one of the treehouse villages. People lay flowers on a makeshift altar, hug each other, sit on the leaf-covered forest floor and converse in whispers. Activists and citizens took time to mourn and honor the dead journalist in Hambach Forest A yellow banner hangs between two trees: "We love you and we won't forget," it reads in red letters, just a few meters from where the journalist died. Meyn had been present at the protest in the forest for months. He was working on a documentary about the occupation, he told me when I met him last week in Hambach Forest. A fellow freelance journalist with no direct assignment, but clearly strongly motivated to document what was happening on the ground. Equipped with a 360-degree camera placed on his bicycle helmet, and a big smile. To those he met, he came across as a friendly, chatty guy. Indeed, he was a friend to many activists and...https://www.dw.com/en/stillness-and-shock-in-hambach-forest-after-journalist-dies/a-45579629

German energy firm RWE investigates cyber attack

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

IT specialists to look into the matter. In the meanwhile, police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have continued with their clearance operations at a highly symbolic site for activists in the Hambach. Security authorities ordered protestors on Tuesday to remove flowers and candles commemorating a 27-year-old journalist who recently fell to his death in the forest, so that a nearby treehouse could be dismantled. The Hambach forest forms part of a property owned by German energy giant RWE which comprises the world's largest open pit brown coal mine. The company plans to cut down 100 out of a remaining 200 hectares of woodland from October 2018, a development which is vehemently resisted by activists who have moved into the threatened area and built treehouses and makeshift barriers there. A member of an activist group, known as "Operation Undergrowth" told the German press agency (dpa) earlier that some forest occupiers had by now already lived in Hambach for six years. The police operation, which was temporarily stalled following the fatal accident of the journalist, is one of the largest to be recorded in North Rhine-Westphalia to date and is supported by reinforcements from other German states. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/25/c_137492052.htm

Protests planned as Erdogan opens mega mosque in Cologne

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Kurdish demonstrators marched with banners that showed likenesses of Erdogan shooting a journalist and devouring a peace dove. Mosque controversy Erdogans visit on Saturday takes him to North Rhine-Westphalia state, which is home to significant numbers of ethnic Turks, many who moved to Germany as so-called guest workers from the 1960s. Several anti-Erdogan demos are planned in Cologne on Saturday, including one under the banner Erdogan Not Welcome. They are expected to gather a few kilometres (miles) away from the neighbourhood of the mosque. The giant Cologne Central Mosque opened its doors in 2017 after eight years of construction and budget overruns. It can house more than a thousand worshippers. The sheer size of the building, designed to resemble a flower bud opening, and its two towering minarets has disgruntled some locals, triggering occasional protests. The Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib) that commissioned the glass and cement structure is itself not without controversy. The group runs hundreds of mosques across Germany, and its imams are paid by the Turkish state. Known for its close ties to Ankara, it has increasingly come under scrutiny with some of its members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany. German media recently reported that the domestic intelligence service was considering putting Ditib under surveillance. (AFP) ...https://hawthorncaller.com/protests-planned-as-erdogan-opens-mega-mosque-in-cologne/