According to unconfirmed sources Master Yoda was thought to have been seen pal around with Herr Doll, one of the few survivors of the Eastern Empire, minutes before kick-off time and we are likely to be given credit for the story.
Particularly, because the other possibility is that our preview became known among miners of the Ruhr—area and words from the street sneaked into the dressing room right into the left ear of Dolly making him forget about diamonds and other gems. Miners have a soul for football anyway; Kevin Keegan or Josef Masopust can surely back me up on this one.
In one way or another, the starting line-up of Borussia was a 4-1-4-1 system, which hasn’t been seen so far, to give BVB both the initiative and the power to surprise (the proud sponsor of the UEFA will be delighted to read this — yet another brainwashed fan).
Meanwhile Bayern showed three changes to the side which sealed a dramatic win against Red Star Belgrade in midweek. Ernesto Sosa, sidelined for two months after ankle surgery, got back at Hamit Altintop’s expense; half-fit, but fully passable Lahm was replaced by Christian Lell and considering that ridicuously expensive bench warmer Podolski took no advantage of being in the squad in Belgrade – Luca Toni reverted.
The Buckley, Valdez, Tinga trio occupied the centre circle taking possession more often than not, BVB players saw stars (er… not exactly BM players I mean) and everybody wanted to show off against Bayern, especially because of former Borussia coach Hitzfeld. After a dispiriting first half, the home side had some clear-cut openings so the weary Bavarians were lucky to get away with a goalless draw in the end.
Without Mr. Frenchman they were roughly as creative as Hulk, Luca was daydreaming about far beaches and high jinks and Klose was only close this time. Dortmund is not out of the woods yet, however, they are getting better dodging incoming visitors (Rostock, HSV) and stopped conceding three golas per match.
Hitzfeld seemed satisfied after the game claiming he was very happy with the point since ‘The game in Belgrade cost us an incredible amount of energy, so we were only operating at about 70 percent of our potential’ and Martin Demichelis went further on with ‘I could tell my team-mates had exhausted their reserves of energy in the UEFA Cup.’
By the end of the press conference we got more tired of the snivelling than players from the Serbian tour as if it had been more than a simple away game against a rather average opponent. We popped up the question of ‘Ãœbermanschaft’ Bayern playing life and death derbies in the CL but were shushed and warned that we were not welcome in the open bar any more.
As a protest we were about to leave when Thomas Doll stormed in citing sonorous phrases about grave injustice and went on thundering about gilt-edged chances. Fortunately, he spared us the results like this are not sufficient for a top team speech, which would have been a bit of a hypocrisy. Still, I can’t resist to add: we are not obliged to believe BVB is a top team, are we?
Having overcome 2. Bundesliga leader Mönchengladbach 3-1 in the DFB Cup (Luca 2, sub Klose 1), the Reds are facing yoyo team Franfurt on Saturday, who is to be found among top five worst offences while BM have conceded only four and scored the most goals thus we are expecting a seriously one-sided game. Funkel doesn’t like to watch his squad to lose so he usually puts nine men behind the ball with the only Amanatidis left in front. If they can score from one of their rare chances it’s fine, if no, well, it’s just as good.
They seem to have recovered from the shock they suffered when visiting Bavaria last time with a goalless draw against KSC, but they need to ask for a second opinion to make us think they are not as bad as we may remember. However, recently chicken Frankfurt should show their true colours by turning into Eagles to grab a point from the Arena. Should they focus on defence, and D-fence only, we can not see it happening. Key players like Streit, Meier and Takahara must play the ball forward to avoid being trapped in the penalty area, which would come with the inevitable consequence of bagging five again.
Truth to be told about the home side, the only problem they may have is that the bar was raised three notches – by themselves. Victory has become the bare minimum, now they have to win with style, break every record at hand and score, score and score. High expectations and excessive pressure with living legends leading the club won’t make things any easier. Does this team have the guts?