VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH
After three successive wins for Wolfsburg, it was inevitable that the winning streak will come to an end and it duly dead at Monchen Gladbach yesterday. We scored through Thomas Kahlenberg midway through the first period and Gladbach replied with a goal from former Hertha Berlin midfielder Marx in the second period.
The game wasn’t the most entertaining ever but Gladbach threatened early on with Benaglio tipping a shot around the post. Even though I couldn’t watch the game, basing my judgement on the highlights and reading the match report, it is not difficult to reach such a conclusion. I don’t recall any instant through which Dzeko or Grafite threatened yesterday. Even Diego’s only contribution, in addition of initiating the move we scored from, was a shot that was deflected wide by a desperate defensive block. Gladbach smelled blood after they got their equalizer and we lost Benaglio to injury and they came close to snatch a winner a couple of times late in the second half.
M´gladbach vs Wolfsburg 1-1
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Over a course of a season, it is expected that we have one of those days where we find ourselves in a winning position away from home but can’t preserve such a lead and come home only with a draw. But hey, I will take that draw especially when you look around and see the mire a club like Schalke is going through. Even Bayern Munich are struggling to score these days. It is not about finding excuses but it is early days in the season and there are plenty of winnable points out there.
One last thing, Kahlenberg is the first player to score a goal this season for the Wolves without being name Dzeko, Grafite or Diego.
Take it easy!
Last night was a good time to be a Wolfsburger… as we nicked another priceless three points on the road despite having to withstand wave after wave of northern raids. Even though we enjoyed very little possession of the ball (29 %) to be precise, we were pretty economical with our use of the ball whenever we had it.
The opening minutes of the first period posed serious threat by Hamburg with Choupo-Moting particularly proactive and there was a couple of dangerous free-kicks by Petric that were well-saved by Benaglio. Yet on a rare foray by Pekarik on the right flank, Dzeko managed to poke it home inside Rost’s near post. Hamburg responded strongly and regained control as Westermann threatened with a hooked shot from a corner and the equalizer arrived soon afterwards through Choupo-Moting’s header with Schaefer and Kjaer the main culprits. Schaefer was easily skinned on the left by Pitroipa and Kjaer could be accused of ball watching as Choupo-Moting planted his header into the goal. McClaren really needs to sort out the individual mistakes that riddles our game this season.
The second half was a similar affair as Hamburg poured forward and we were hanging on waiting for the right time to break.
Heiko Westermann crashed a header against the post before a fast break culminating with Schaefer squaring the ball to Grafite to score our second. Minutes later, our Brazilian made the points by dispatching our third on the night. A really good win considering the run of play and our precious position at this moment in which the team showed greater resilience and will to win.
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It is no coincidence that the turn around in our form came after restoring Grafite to side with all subsequent tactical adjustment needed. The players look more at ease in a familiar 4-4-2 formation that brought the best out of them two years ago.
On a different note, Dzeko spoke of his disappointment due to the collapse of his move to Juventus this summer. While he is a truly professional player on the pitch whose form did not show any ill-effects because of his regular wantaway rants, this can really affect the unity of the dressing room. Having your captain constantly venting his frustration because he is still around hardly send the right vibes for his teammates and the whole club.
An update on Ziani’s injury situation, it seems like he will be out for up to three month as his groin requires an operation.
That’s it for today folks.. I’d like to know about your perceptions regarding last night’s game….till next time!
At very long last, the Wolves record their first win of the season, and we also bagged our first clean sheet too which is a very welcome bonus. As expected McClaren ditched the sophisticated 4-2-3-1 formation and opted for the tried and tested 4-4-2 with Grafite a welcome addition to the lineup. Khalenberg replaced the injured Ziani in a creative midfield role and Hasebe replacing Cicero. Given how desperate we were for the points and the standing of the opponent, it seemed logical for McClaren to start with two strikers upfront. We were pretty much in control for much of the game with Dzeko threatening on a couple of occasions with headers.
The opener duly came after the break with Diego showing lots of guile and bravery to score with a spectacular overhead kick following Pekarik’s deflected cross. Soon afterwards, he was at the receiving end of a nasty kick to his lower back which duly forced him to be substituted. We secured the points with a second from Dzeko who rolled the ball into an empty net following some calamity goalkeeping from Fromlowitz.
In his post match reaction the Manger sounded really relieved:
“They were three very important points today. We were expecting a difficult game but the players dealt with the situation very well. We need to continue working on our performances though, then next time it will be more than just the result that looks good”
While it is really great to register that elusive first win, we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground for the upcoming games to compensate for our earlier blip. Elsewhere, Mainz continued their surprising start to the season by winning at Werder Bremen and Schalke were unable to replicate our results for once this season as they capitulated at home to their fierce Ruhr rivals Dortmund. It will be interesting to see how our former coach Magath will react to that acute situation. Football is a funny game indeed.
So another weekend full of interesting games beckon.. We get the chance this week to resurrect our awful season start against our local rivals, Hannover 96 who interestingly has quite a solid start to the season winning two games and drawing one and it is all the more surprising when you look at the caliber of the opponents they faced; Leverkusen, Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt. So it is not a bad idea to be wary of the threat of Mirko Slomka’s side.
The good news is that they have a mini-injury crisis in central defense as Emanuel Pogatetz, Karim Haggui and Sergio Pinto are all unavailable which is not bad news for Dzeko & co.
On our side, we welcome Sacha Riether back to the side with Karim Ziani the main absentee from today’s fixture.
According to the Wolves official website, today’s squad for the game includes:
Benaglio, Lenz, Hitz, Cicero, Dejagah, Dzeko, Grafite, Barzagli, Hasebe, Johnson, Josué, Kahlenberg, Kjær, Madlung, Mandzukic, Diego, Pekarik, Riether, Schäfer.
I think it is quite possible to witness a change in our tactical shape as McClaren is getting desperate to rejuvenate his faltering troops.
Another Bundesliga weekend, another Wolfsburg defeat…
It seems like we will be bracing ourselves for a relegation dogfight this season rather than mounting a serious title challenge. What really hurts me is the lack of fight we showed against Dortmund not the defeat itself… Jurgen Klopp’s men were more hungry and persistent in their pursuit of the 3 points on the day. Apart from Dzeko’s effort that rebounded off the crossbar, the wolves rarely threatened. It was all Dortmund from the off as they had several chances to take the lead through Barrios and Hummels in the first half. The first goal was a 30 yard shot from Nuri Sahin and the second goal came through Kagawa with our defense too static to intervene.
An awful start to the season (our worst start to be more precise) must have preyed on the minds of players alittle bit particularly after our second half capitulation against Mainz in the previous match. McClaren is adamant that he doesn’t have the luxury of time when it comes to turning things around as he says:
“I knew that it was going to be hard to start with, but it is harder than I thought. The pressure is mounting.”
On the poor form of some of the players, he added:
“The players are playing below their actual ability. It is hard to explain, and I don’t only mean Diego. Simon Kjaer is usually far more assured than he is and I know that Cicero is a lot better than this. We are in a critical situation.”
These are testing times at the VolksWagen and I wonder which McClaren we are going to see, the “wolly with a brolly” manager of England who failed to qualify for EURO 2008 or the assured manager of Middlesborough and FC Twente… Only time will tell but he must be wary that Herr Hoeness is not very patient when it comes to showing loyalty to struggling managers. A quick look on Hertha Berlin’s list of Ex-coaches tells its own story.
Till next time!
Opponent: Borussia Dortmund
Place: Signal Iduna Park
Time: 9:30 AM ET
Wolfsburg has had a difficult start to the season, losing 2-1 to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena followed by utter heartbreak as they blew a 3-0 lead and lost 3-4 to Mainz. They’ll need all of Steve McClaren’s considerable ability in seeking to beat Dortmund on their home pitch. The yellow and black will surely be up for the game after a convincing 3-1 victory against Stuttgart on Aug. 29. Though set for Europa League play next Thursday against Karpty Lviv, Jurgen Klopp will have to keep his squad focused on the task at hand if they want to get the result against Wolfsburg. The team feels they are better than what their record indicates and they’ll be anxious to show what they can do tomorrow.
Wolfsburg (Players to Watch): Edin Dzeko and Diego
Dortmund (Players to Watch): Lucas Barrios and Mats Hummels
What are Wolfsburg’s chances? Let us know what you think?
So we have been spending the most part of the week training our eyes on the nothingness of football’s “Inter-lull” due to the first round of EURO 2012 qualifiers. The only important news of note is the departure of Bosnian playmaker “Misimovic to Galatasaray on the final day of the transfer window. In a way, seeing him leaving is not a big shock to the fans as we already knew that signing Diego will surely limit his playing time/role within the team. As I mentioned before, it seems like McClaren/Hoeness prefer to bring their own players and may be they envisage the urge to kick start a new cycle with this team.
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Ok… Now I don’t know where to start… with me enduring a bad day as I was trying to finalize a task for my work that kept me up till 3 am or with the cruelest of false dawns that all Wolfsburg fans had to go through as they watched their euphoria about the signing of Diego getting cruelly extinguished by the absurd events of the second half against FSV Mainz.
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Werder Bremen fans have every reason not to be feeling good today as they watch their former star player making his return to the Bundesliga but in different colors. The deal to bring Diego to the VolksWagen Arena was concluded late on Thursday night with the player being presented in a press conference on Friday morning. He will be wearing No.28 for the coming season, the same name number he wore for the Bianconeri last season. It is not yet confirmed if we have all the documents in place for Diego to take part in today’s game against FSV Mainz but this won’t deter us from basking in the glory of getting our hands on a marquee signing of his caliber. Wilkommen Herr Diego!
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The revival of Diego’s on-off transfer from Juventus is making the headlines as the McClaren is set to secure his services for around 15million euros. The brazilian completed his medical on Wednesday and is expected to ink a four-year deal with the Club. I think that’s great news as it will bolster our attacking ranks with a playmaker of proven qualities in the Bundesliga.