Terry Duffelen
Tue 7 October 2008

Bundesbag Week 7: The First Casualty

Borussia Monchengladbach coach Jos Luhukay was under some severe pressure prior to the big derby game against Koln. The two teams met for the first time this season after having been promoted together last season. Luhakay may have eyed this fixture as a must win. The board definitely did and more. The result finished 2-1 to Koln and resulted in the 'Gladbach board handing the man who got them promoted in one season his cards. Expectations are high in Monchengladbach and given the problems they have had finding a foothold in the Bundesliga in recent years it is perhaps not surprising that an early change was made. Christian Ziege takes charge, albeit temporarily.

As much as Koln coach Christophe Daum celebrated victory there may have been an element of there but for the grace of God... when he heard the news of Lukahay's sacking. Having said that, you suspect that Koln is a different kind of club to 'Gladbach. Even so, Daum must know that his job is under pressure if Koln slip into the bottom three.

Speaking of managers under pressure, let's talk about Bayern's Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsi's revolution is facing an incredibly stern test. A reasonable start to the Champions League has been completely overshadowed by a pretty awful start to the Bundesliga season. With each passing week seems to come a new set back. Last weekend the Champions hosted Bochum, eager to make amends for their 1-0 defeat at Hannover which was supposed to be a positive reaction to their 5-2 reverse the week before to Bremen. It looked like their troubles were set to one side slightly after Van Buyten and a brace from Ze Roberto put the Bavarians 3-1 ahead. However, a last gasp collapse allowed Dabrowski and Grote in for the away side. 3-3 was the final score and there is a gloom over the Allianz with Bayern still in single-figure points after seven games. Shame.

Sat where Bayern usually sit historically are Hamburg. Martin Jol’s team are on one hand sticking it to Bayern and on the other making Daniel Levy look really stupid. They made hard work of it on Sunday, though, scoring a late winner against an Energie Cottbus team who are starting their season in characteristically slow fashion.

Elsewhere, Demba Ba continues to enrage the rest of the league for Hoffenheim as they offended Frankfurt 2-1. Leverkusen had a rare moment of goallessness and lost 1-0 to Hertha Berlin. Dortmund drew 1-1 with Hannover, Bielefeld suffered to a strong counter attacking performance at home to Karlsruhe (2-1) on Friday and Wolfsburg blew an away win at Schalke thanks to a last gasp equaliser from Kevin Kuranyi to make it 2-2.

Moving nicely into third place is Stuttgart. They arrived there thanks to a resounding (gerd) mullering of Werder Bremen. The problem with Thomas Schaaf’s team is that unless they can score five goals per game they will get beaten. So it proved as they ran out 4-1 losers. Stuttgart never really got going last season after a terrible start and injury problems. However, unfettered by European football, Armin Vey’s team are in good shape for a successful season. That’s just about as close to a prediction as you’ll get from me.

That’s it. Results and tables here.

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