The Bundesliga has begun. Three matches in to the 2009/10 season and already we can see the league shaping up to be a good one.
At the start of the season, I said that the only predictable thing about the Bundesliga is that it will be unpredictable. At the moment the top two are Bayer Leverkusen (who I will admit I nearly wrote off completely) and Hamburg, both of whom have taken 7 points from 3 matches. Level on points with the top two are Schalke – rejuvenated under last season’s title-winning manager (with Wolfsburg) Felix Magath, followed on 6 points by Wolfsburg. A thrilling match last Sunday saw Hamburg beat Wolfsburg 4-2, with the impressive Eljero Elia getting among the goals. Obafemi Martins came off the bench to inspire what could have been a comeback, but Hamburg’s 4 goals were too much for die Woelfe in the end.
The teams occupying the next two spots are a bit of a surprise, with FSV Mainz and Eintracht Frankfurt – two teams expected to be battling for relegation – riding high in 5th and 6th positions respectively.
Werder have started reasonably well, with one win, one draw and one loss from their matches, leaving them tied on points with a number of teams, including VfB Stuttgart.
In contrast, Hoffenheim have started very badly indeed. Not one win so far and poor performances (with the exception of their draw against Bayern) see them hovering around the relegation zone. The statistic of goals scored (just 1) points to a problem with Ibesivic and company up front.
The big story so far, however, has to be Bayern. Under Louis Van Gaal Bayern have had an abysmal start to the season. Two draws and one loss see them in 14th position, with many fans already blaming the new boss. The Dutch manager has tried to bring some change to Bayern, insisting on a new ‘diamond’ midfield. This has been met with serious opposition from some players, not least wantaway Franck Ribery. Ribery says he wants to play in his natural position on the wing, but Van Gaal envisages a new role for Ribery ‘in the hole’ behind the front two. Whatever the outcome, Van Gaal, Ribery and Bayern will want to get their collective act together if they are to reclaim the Bundesliga.