1) The 1st Bundesliga
a. Review of the Matches
Results of the 24th Matchday
Bayer Leverkusen – FC Bayern Munich 2:0 (0:0)
Hannover 96 – FC Augsburg 2:2 (1:1)
SC Freiburg – FC Schalke 04 2:1 (1:0)
Hamburger SV – VfB Stuttgart 0:4 (0:2)
- FC Kaiserslautern – VfL Wolfsburg 0:0
Hertha BSC – Werder Bremen 1:0 (0:0)
Borussia Dortmund – FSV Mainz 05 2:1 (1:0)
- FC Nuremberg – Borussia Mönchengladbach 1:0 (0:0)
TSG Hoffenheim – 1. FC Köln 1:1 (1:0)
A few observations:
1) Paolo Guerrero
After some back and forth in consideration, we shall now comment on this after all. So much has been said about this foul action that it was to be expected that there would be nothing additional to say. Nevertheless, the inclination was there from the beginning to do it after all – and now it is being implemented in this way.
On first viewing the pictures, even the observer writing here thought that it wasn’t that bad, that the goalkeeper perhaps wanted to get the maximum out of it. Of course, there was then immediately the replay and one (I) had to revoke the judgement: it was a foul, it was even a bad foul, ok, the first impression was deceptive. The red card was not only to be accepted, no, it was obligatory. All well and good (or less so).
The next day in the Doppelpass, they started with this scene. Presumably because it was so bad that for once the celebrating studio guests could represent complete uniformity in their assessment. Even if presenter Thomas Helmer, as moderate as ever, was willing to concede other opinions and views: here it was too clear. The demand, so to speak in unison: maximum penalty.
Thomas Helmer had to add a fact that he almost didn’t dare mention: Guerrero’s sprint to the touchline, before clearing the keeper, was the fastest sprint of an HSV player in the entire match, at 31.3 km/h. That doesn’t make the scene any nicer, of course. Of course, that doesn’t make the scene any nicer, on the contrary.
When coach Fink (in line with other HSV officials) actually tried to take up the cudgels for his attacker both after the game and after the verdict (with a maximum of 8 games, but accepted by HSV) by classifying the penalty as too harsh, even though the foul play had previously been described as not as bad as it was everywhere, the Bild newspaper (and certainly other media) had created a welcome new enemy image: is the man crazy? (That was more or less the tenor).
So it is time to set a few things right:
First of all, one criterion should at least be taken into account: was the opponent injured or not? This aspect was indeed taken into account, but only with a single statement: the fact that there was no injury is considered (apparently assured) to be pure coincidence. Why only? These kickers are on the training pitch every day, they fight tough duels week in, week out, they use their own bones and get hit by opponents, sometimes worse on their own side, sometimes worse on the opponent’s side. The view has long and repeatedly been expressed here (with ample persuasion and equally ample evidence) that the attackers are the ones who have to take a lot more and are allowed to dish out almost nothing (without being caught out, after which the index finger is first raised even higher and then stretched even more clearly in their direction). But nevertheless the realisation remains: one already knows when it is dangerous for an injury and when it ends rather harmlessly. Here, then, a necessary but not taken into account fact: the goalkeeper was not injured in the action and was able to continue playing immediately. It MUST be taken into account.
Now there is this urgent criterion, which is also hardly mentioned: since the ball only threatened to pass the sideline – thus the entire action meant neither the slightest danger for this nor for that goal — the use of the striker is of course considered even more reprehensible, even if just unspoken. One simply senses that, that is probably the opinion, and from that point of view it is not worth mentioning. However, one cannot unreservedly agree there, if one realises a few things: there have been numerous actions recently, some of which have caused serious injuries. One scene, also commented on here, was when Sebastian Prödl from Bremen tried to head a bouncing ball over the goal line in the opponent’s penalty area, but an opponent’s leg pulled up and hit the defender (who had just taken over attacking duties), who was really not small, in the middle of the face, whereupon he collapsed, covered in blood. The playful consequence: no goal, no penalty, no punishment, except that the bad boy, who had the hypocritical, reprehensible intention of scoring a goal just like that, had to leave the field and went to hospital with a nasty injury.
If this scene were now transferred to the sidelines, then the one with the upturned leg – i.e. the one representing Guerrero – would probably have been shot on the spot or, if not that, then at least brought before a civil court and given a few years in prison. So obviously completely different laws apply in the penalty area. I’m sure the defender got a few pats on the back after the game instead, as he had prevented the goal against with this heroic and at the same time acrobatic action, he kindly sent some flowers to the injured opponent in hospital and apologised (reluctantly, but that’s the way the media wants it), and bygones. No demand for a week’s suspension, no demand for a penalty kick, no charge of grievous bodily harm, nothing, impunity and home with three points in his pocket. You can paint your guilty conscience. Victory is victory, and without a complainant, no penalty, instead only praise in one’s own team. How do these two actions fit together?
Exactly: not at all. One was really intentional bodily harm, because it “succeeded”. The fact that it was done near the goal (and that always comes first!) means that absolution has already been granted. “Yes, should I pull my foot away so that we concede a goal?” No, the foot must be pulled up to head height, no matter how many really sensitive body parts are there. But at the touchline? You’re not even allowed to go there. Because you can’t do anything “good” (like prevent a goal or, wouldn’t you know it, score one?!) anyway.
Here you are very much mistaken. The fact is that it is always welcome to create enemy images. Here, a brilliant opportunity presented itself – and it is being used to good effect by the media, which otherwise discovers nothing exciting about the game of football (exclusively a German problem, mind you). It is the senselessness of the action that makes for this unambiguous assessment. There is no comparison with other, much worse scenes, purely in terms of the action, not in terms of the sense. In this respect, one can only agree with coach Fink: this penalty is clearly excessive.
If you still need a small side detail: the attackers have to take a permanent hit, as already mentioned. Once they take a deep breath, the defender sinks to the ground and there is only one verdict: striker’s foul. It is an inconceivable injustice that befalls these players, especially since, for example, if they go after a ball into which the goalkeeper throws himself regardless of his own losses, and almost inevitably touch it, just because of going after it, not only will the goalkeeper be rolling on the ground for minutes (especially if he is leading), no, the striker will have to apologise a thousand times, No, but at the same time he is pushed around by all the surrounding defenders and has to listen to the most savage abuse for his absolutely dangerous, rude intervention, which was only based on the attempt to reach the ball before the goalkeeper, which would even have been possible if the latter had not kamikazed.
How these players manage to stay calm for so long and not just explode or even run amok is really admirable. It is a permanent injustice perpetrated on them, inherent in this game and its applied rules, that can simply lead to a lapse. When the frustration of an uncatchable deficit is added to this, it becomes understandable at some point.
Mind you, this is not a discussion about the red card, nor about the less than exemplary action, which is in any case to be condemned. We are only discussing proportionality, which is not the case here. There are actions which, if you were to see them without the location of the action – a suggestion repeatedly made: touch up lines, goals, teammates, opponents and show ONLY the naked scene; this would show many things in a completely different light — are much worse, and in part are not punished at all. Something is not right – and coach Fink drew attention to this fact, earning the full support of the writers here in any case.
Another little thing: the strikers always have to take a back seat anyway and are not allowed to do anything except get fouled, and if it happens, just don’t fall down, because that would be tantamount to an attempt to cheat. However, the scene that one really sees very unpleasantly often nowadays is classified as completely missed: a defender could reach a ball going towards the sideline. But the ball was last touched by an attacker, so that the ball would be awarded to the defence if it went out of bounds. Now the defender does not actually try to play this ball, but only puts his body between the ball and the opponent and intends to accompany this ball with relish out of bounds. The opponent now tries to get hold of this ball by all means. He does not succeed because the defender is not only the more robust, but also has the right of way of the one in possession of the ball, which, according to the rules, allows him to block. He simply blocks the opponent. If it does happen – which you do see from time to time – that the attacker ticks the ball away before it reaches the touchline and keeps it in play, possibly even forcing a goal, the defender simply drops (they always do that when no other means helps), and he gets a free kick, and usually the attacker also gets a yellow card for being so rude again (what’s the point of that? Just take the ball away? No, that’s really not the way to do it!)
Even if it all comes down to the same thing: maximum defender protection versus minimum attacker chance, there would at least be a chance here to intervene quite loosely and comfortably in terms of the rules. The proposed nuance of a change: you are only in possession of the ball if you have also played the ball. The consequence here would be quite simple: the ball would no longer be sent out of bounds. If he did, the defender could only claim protection from ball possession if he had also played the ball. So if it went out of bounds, it would be a corner or throw-in for the opponent. If he does not play it, but locks the attacker away, it would be SPARE WITHOUT THE BALL, and thus a free kick. Either way it would be a successful change. On the one hand fair, on the other promoting the spirit of the game, scoring goals, giving attackers a chance.
In the scene described with Guerrero, it looks like he already knows when he sprints to the ball that he could never reach it anyway. The keeper would always have his body in between and so he would have no right to go there at all. This further small injustice, perceived only emotionally and remaining inarticulate (until you read and understand this), may have made another small contribution to the freak-out that it remains, despite all the gentle words.
We don’t want to see such a scene, that’s true. But even worse are defender’s legs in the face of the opponents, this should definitely be kept in mind. How much nicer would it be to see a healthy attacker celebrating a goal instead?
2) A game with English commentary
On Tuesday Arsenal played at home against AC Milan. The chances after the 0:4 were, like those of Leverkusen, virtually at zero. Nevertheless, they tried, which is of course a given. They even almost tried with success, because until the break they managed a small sensation by making up 3 of the 4 goals. This actually seemed impossible, as Milan has a very experienced and at the same time really strong playing squad, which is even back on top in Serie A.
Well, in the second half they really played out their experience, which was even more noticeable in view of the fact that they had been badly beaten in the first half and were now not only badly beaten 3-0, but that a further defeat and elimination would have been a humiliation of inestimable proportions. This can very well have a brutally crippling effect.
I (!!) imagine the coach giving his speech at half-time, and he did so during the game. He probably spoke very calmly, contrary to what is expected in German dressing rooms (i.e. with shouting), in the interests of success (but also out of other conviction). I’m sure he reminded the kickers that although not everything had gone optimally so far, they were now one goal up and only had to defend this for one more half. This would probably give them a far more than desirable starting position before the entire pairing. Add to that the fact that the opponent would have to go much more pumped, as they, Milan, would be as good as certain to go on if they scored themselves, whereas a goal from the opponent would still not give them the ko by a long way.
Fortified with this feeling, Milan really put in an impressive performance in half 2. They were very calm on the ball, kept coming forward dangerously and were closer to 1:3 than Arsenal were to 4:0, even if Robin van Persie probably had the best chance.
The Englishman, whose voice was fortunately heard (for once in such games), said of the scene: “You think, he might have buried it.” You think he might have buried it. Yes, you can indeed think that, but on the other hand there is a keeper and the situation came about rather by chance when a rebound fell at his feet right in front of the goal. If you imagine the German commentator, there is only one possibility (without having heard it: “He MUST make that one.” There he has only the option, make it or be hanged. What else could the little word “must” mean? Or would he perhaps, for the sake of avoiding the death penalty imposed, simply have to leave the square directly and hang up his shoes, on honour and conscience and for life?
In general, it was a pleasure to hear the English commentary. When you turn it on, as soon as you hear the first word, you have the feeling that you’re missing something if you don’t watch it now. If you listen to the German, on the other hand, you have trouble keeping your eyes open. Anyone who hasn’t tried it yet is summarily deprived of the right to have a say. You really MUST have heard this once – without having your ears pulled out if you haven’t. The understanding of the language is absolutely subordinate, not necessary. One hears a word, with that pregnant tone, with the vibration that does not rob anticipation or tension one bit, on the contrary, it builds it up, which neither appears to be played nor somehow foreshadowing. It expresses what can actually turn anyone into a football fan: something great is happening here, here the best of the best are among themselves, here is modern circus, in sporting competition, at the very highest level, which leaves all possibilities of an outcome open, but in which a goal, for which you have to wait a long time now and then, nevertheless brings great redemption – or plunges the nation into mourning. This is the game to watch. The game of football in general and this game in particular.
Should there actually be any lengthiness, the listener is by no means made aware of it – as is usual with us, with the incomprehensible request that one could really do better with one’s time as a spectator than watch this goof-up. No, instead, exciting stories continue to be told, and prior knowledge is provided, which in our country would be rubbed in one’s face exactly when the tension on the field is at the boiling point – something that anyone with half an ounce of expertise can easily sense, simply has to sense.
The English speakers are ready to enter the action at any time, in fact one has to say that they hardly ever leave it (with the tiny exception above) – and thus draw the viewer into the action. That’s the way it has to be, that’s journalism’s honour, that’s what it has to be for everyone who does it, the reason for choosing the profession. For us, it is a permanent chattering, in a soporific tone of voice and hardly ever oriented towards the game, rather only in the sense that generalisations are sought, which can have nothing more to do with it than that one continues to find it boring, but at best is supposed to become a witness to a higher understanding, which is imposed on one by the announcer, and with which one can do anything but conform. Nothing, zero is what you get, except that you are in a bad mood, unless you pull the rip cord in time, which nowadays is on the remote control and presents itself in the form of a switch-off or switch-over button. The least you can do is to turn the sound off, for really die-hard fans (who actually make use of this option). Otherwise, it could just be that they want to create aggression with the gobbledygook as well, which will hopefully soon be discharged over the channel – in order to be distracted from the football action.
3) A match with German commentary
On Wednesday, Bayer Leverkusen had to play FC Barcelona. Now everyone agreed that the game was decided after the 1:3 in the first leg. There is no chance, no, there is not. The second half was very uplifting (in the first leg) and ensured that they could leave the pitch with their heads held high. There was even a draw in it, which alone would have been a huge success. The 1:3 shortly before the end gave them the rest, in the sense of chances to advance.
Now we should – and we would have the chance to do so, which is quite unique and favourable – simply commentate on football. And beautiful football at that. Leverkusen went there to sell themselves well. They also, as befits a good German (of which there are quite few in the starting line-up, admittedly), tried to take their hearts in both hands and play forward. This is what they did throughout the game.
The nonsense we had to put up with here – from Kai Dittmann or whatever blabbermouth it was — was really beyond the pale. Only and permanent smart-alecky talk, which spoils any joy in the pure event anyway, but in addition is apparently supposed to put him on the same level as these giants, who would by far not even assign him to lift the pedestal on which they are enthroned. Rather, he might perhaps consider it the greatest honour of all to go to the rockfall to prepare the material there. No, such embarrassing nonsense, packaged in a story that doesn’t make the slightest sense from beginning to end, that just hurts. In any case, when the good Lord was handing out the stupidity, he must have shouted “here” the loudest.
As much as there is a chance of making a mistake in the oh-so-complicated European Cup calculation, it is made in this country. One would even be prepared (as a writer) to bet on the fact that ONLY in Germany are such mistakes made, recurrently for that matter. You couldn’t afford to do that anywhere else. THIS spokesman would really have to take his hat off and switch to knocking stones, if he could find employment there.
Well, the words weren’t exactly understood, so it’s possible that the man is being wronged for the moment, but it sounded like he said that Leverkusen would have to score at least three goals if they wanted to progress. So far, jut, bon. If Barcelona then scored one, it would only change the fact that they would have to go into extra time instead of being straight through. Also d’accord (at most actually superfluous). But then he said that if they scored four goals or more, two would be enough. What might have been meant by that is hard to guess. The huge air bubble in his brain will not be able to dissolve it (question: how do you get Sprechers brain to the size of a pea? Very simple: blow it up.), presumably he didn’t think anything of it, as usual (how could he?), although the mouth is really very loose and he makes a heavy impression with a huge torrent of words that he can pour over you in seconds and, no matter how inane it is, you flap your ears a little. The only painful thing about it is the permanent gloating, the tone of voice in it and the attitude of doing it knowingly, from on high, but never mind.
From four goals, two are enough. Yes, that’s right, for sure. Er, for whom? Half an hour later he was really smarter, this time no doubt again because of an outraged call from a housewife, who, unlike him, had accepted this rule after a brief explanation from her husband (in the event of a tie in the sum of goals after both games, the higher number of goals scored away from home decides). He explained, super embarrassingly (eh the whole thing) but after the 2:0 for Barca : “Now listen carefully, what I’m about to say, I’m totally serious: if Leverkusen scored four goals from now on and Barca none, then Leverkusen would be through.” Since he wanted to sell this wisdom without joking, you have to assume that, whether he understood it or not, he was as proud as an oskar to be able to announce it.
Well, from the very beginning it was completely silly to talk about Leverkusen’s chances. One could then begin to fabulate if the game and the course of play might possibly offer the hint of an approach for equal chances. This was perhaps the case for three minutes when Leverkusen, with the tactic of going on the front, forechecking, for better or worse, actually won the ball twice, after which there could have been a scoring chance. After that, Barcelona dominated the game as they always do because they are the best in the world. They are not only the best at the moment, but they are the best ever. The fact that the BILD wrote on Thursday that Lio Messi has long since reached the dimensions of a Pele or Maradonna does not do Messi justice. He plays in a league that has yet to be founded. There has never been anything like it, this is unique football cinema, it really makes everyone, whether friend or (actually) foe, just stand there with their mouths open, raised from their seats, and applaud as soon as you have collected your lower jaw again, which should be at about ground level. Five goals in one game and one more beautiful than the other.
Here you were witness to the greatest football show ever seen, here the opponent and the result don’t matter, here you should leave Leverkusen and everyone else on the pitch alone and just rave, because you can’t help it anyway, except to give yourself permission beforehand – which you’re not actually entitled to even talk about being allowed to judge. With your mouth open, you just marvel and stop talking.
Do you like Messi or Ronaldo when you score the first goal, quite cheekily and even to a certain extent – yourself an ardent Messi fan for years and in an argument with friends and acquaintances about the world’s number 1 already years ago, clearly taking a stand, without the slightest reservation: it is Lionel Messi, with whom, by the way, the observation was made that the ball is a part of his body and that he is faster WITH the ball than without it – for a moment thought it possible that he didn’t really want to hit the ball SO much, but this error, which must be the case, becomes clear when you see all the other hits: there is nothing accidental about it, every ball is supposed to go exactly where it goes. Here you take off your hat, stand guard and thank God that you were allowed to be there, or whatever it is called.
Incidentally, all the Leverkusen players interviewed (as well as the coach) expressed this – albeit in the version to be interpreted first. Because all of them again, as after the first leg, had that unsuppressible smile on their faces, which you could never have put on after a really painful 1:7, not even played. That expression meant exactly this: “If I ever have grandchildren, I guarantee they’ll be glued to my lips at the story and ask back: ‘What, grandpa, YOU were on the pitch at that game? No, I don’t think so.’ They’ll ask me about it over and over again and probably tell it to their own grandchildren.” One’s own result was totally unimportant, even one’s own performance, which was not measurable at all. You were there. It’s like a knighthood. Even on the pitch, next to this ball genius, artist, magician, the best of the best ever.
How many embarrassments Mr. Dittman allowed himself, by the way, would go beyond the scope at this point. In any case, he did not succeed in telling a meaningful story. After all, the permanent criticism of Bayer would not have made sense if he had not recognised and mentioned this outstanding performance by Messi (of course, the team as a whole, without which he could not do anything either). At the same time, however, he recognised that Barca, for their part, were not even really serious and if they had wanted to, his “feeling” (with which one only hopes never to get in touch!) told him, they would have made 10, he was quite sure of that. So: he constantly asked Leverkusen to close the shop at the back (which could have denied the spectators that wonderful goal to make it 1:7 – or not) in order to stem the tide of goals conceded, but at the same time assured them that if they had wanted to, the opposition would easily have scored 10 or more?
Uh, Mr. Dittman, what did you have in logic? On the downwardly open Richter scale, surely one…?
4) Fan riots
Just a few words about this: in Thursday’s Bild there is a report on Leverkusen’s game in Barcelona. Directly below it is one that pillories the jeering, aggressive hooligans on Christian Träsch’s doorstep, and at the same time discusses the problem of fan riots, since there have recently been several incidents of aggression directed at players, but also the attack on the Gladbach fan bus by Cologne hooligans opened up a new dimension.
Here is just a brief connection that the author surely only invented: in the report of the Leverkusen game, the outstanding Messi is indeed mentioned, with a photo and pictures of all five goals. In this respect, Bild has probably also recognised that this was a kind of event of the century, because such attention for an opponent can only be expected under such circumstances. At the same time, however, the article is entitled “Embarrassment for Leverkusen”. This term, of course, is totally misnomer anyway. In addition, however, there is the monstrosity here of simply, without a single qualification, giving all Leverkusen players a 6 in the match report.
This is not only logically a huge problem (of course not recognised by those writing there), because if they all had a 6 (this, translated from school days, is complete refusal to perform), then presumably any other street footballer would also have scored five goals, wouldn’t he? This complete 6 to the team completely destroys the performance of the opponent, at the same time, of course, it does absolutely no justice to the whole thing.
Surely one should realise – blessed with common sense – that there is a connection between completely misguided reporting and completely misguided fan reactions, in which such nonsense – whether believed or not – can quite obviously stir up aggression, perhaps even uncontrolled aggression because it is inarticulate?
If you believe it as a (Leverkusen) fan, then you would have a good reason to burn down a few huts of the players who don’t actually deserve their own jersey, in the figurative sense? If you don’t believe, then your displeasure is directed against something, but not against the media, because the problem is not recognised.
No, one nonsense builds on the other. If you complain about fan attacks, then you should first think about where they might come from and anyway, there can be no harm in thinking about your own reporting. All Leverkusen a 6 was the biggest nonsense about the whole game. This is the Bild’s fault. But it seems a bit of the zeitgeist to look for superlatives in all places. Also and especially (in this country) more and more in negative terms.
b. The table situation
Sp S U N Pkt T GT Diff
1 Borussia Dortmund 24 17 4 3 55 52 – 16 +36
2 FC Bayern Munich 24 15 3 6 48 51 – 16 +35
3 Borussia Mönchengladbach 24 14 5 5 47 37 – 15 +22
4 FC Schalke 04 24 14 2 8 44 51 – 32 +19
5 Bayer Leverkusen 24 11 7 6 40 36 – 29 +7
6 Werder Bremen 24 10 6 8 36 37 – 38 -1
7 Hannover 96 24 8 11 5 35 30 – 32 -2
8 VfB Stuttgart 24 9 5 10 32 41 – 33 +8
9 1.FC Nürnberg 24 9 4 11 31 23 – 32 -9
10 TSG Hoffenheim 24 7 9 8 30 27 – 28 -1
11 VfL Wolfsburg 24 8 4 12 28 28 – 44 -16
12 FSV Mainz 05 24 6 9 9 27 35 – 38 -3
13 Hamburger SV 24 6 9 9 27 28 – 42 -14
14 1.FC Köln 24 7 4 13 25 31 – 46 -15
15 Hertha BSC 24 5 8 11 23 26 – 40 -14
16 FC Augsburg 24 4 10 22 25 – 39 -14
17 SC Freiburg 24 5 6 13 21 30 – 52 -22
18 1.FC Kaiserslautern 24 3 10 11 19 16 – 32 -16
604 604 0
Total number of games 216
Goals ø 2.80
Last week the Bayern crisis was over, as one had to read, now it is back again, as one learned from the same sources. Of course, this is totally silly and attention has been drawn to this here. The “crisis” is initially reflected in the table in the form that Bayern have continued to score 2 points per game. This is a performance that in “normal” seasons ensures a more than clear say in the title of “German Champion”. This year it is somewhat different because of Dortmund’s high-flyers, who (strangely enough) were not expected to have such an outstanding season a second time.
I (!!!) personally saw the “pre-season game” in the League Cup against Schalke live and did not notice any decline in the willingness or ability to perform. The computer even (who remembers?) had Dortmund razor-sharp ahead before the season. This did not affect the championship chances, as Bayern had the slightly worse quotient due to the more (expected) goals scored (with likewise more expected goals conceded), but could score slightly more points due to the fewer draws expected with more goals (all in the expectation) and were thus very slight favourites.
In contrast to the reader’s own pat on the back, which I’m sure is now expected, the assessment looks much more like this: actually, Bayern played the better football for long stretches. Personally, I was a little surprised that Dortmund initially lacked the ease with which Bayern brought home victory after victory, mostly in stately heights. Well, Kloppo has been an extremely highly regarded coach for a long time – and you don’t have to be an expert to recognise this, especially as he already impresses with his empathy values alone – and he certainly succeeded in always preparing the team well for the next task (and not, as the media wanted to put it in his mouth and still do, talking about some long-term seasonal goals). Through hard work and regular results, the team even managed to regain some of the virtues they thought they had lost.
However, anyone who wants to deny that the away game in Munich came just at the right time, just at the moment when Bayern started to think a little bit about ease, because they had already lost in Mainz, and on top of that, that this game was clearly determined by Bayern, not only that, but that Dortmund – completely different from the victory there last season, when they really met the Munich team on equal terms – locked themselves in at the back, like every other team this season, and scored the really undeserved winning goal from a counterattack. Of course, this performance was praised (with some justification), yet it was quite obvious: this was an underdog victory, which, how could it be otherwise, came as a surprise, but, according to the clear analysis of the game, was not deserved in the sense that they had played the opponent to the wall or at least acted completely on a par. No, it required a portion of luck, which football (except-Bayern)-Germany certainly granted them at that moment.
However, it should not be forgotten. Bayern made an effort to shake off this defeat easily, but with the high expectations there, it is just always the case that many voices have their say. As Mario Gomez told the Bild-Zeitung, they certainly lost some games because they were always programmed to win and, in doing so, partially exposed the defence. They did not completely succeed, whereby I as the author always take sides here for the interpretations “coincidence” and gladly also luck or bad luck. Not only did Bayern not have the necessary luck in Leverkusen, but they were also unlucky (Jürgen Wegmann, the cobra, was right after all) to lose a clearly superior and really excellent game instead of drawing it. So Heynckes did not just protect his team, but rather, as coaches almost always do, simply told the truth, that they had played one of the best away games.
Incidentally, Bayern’s goal ratio of 51-16 in 24 games, which is still above their long-term average and, according to Division, is already well above 2 (even above 3), but also, according to the old tried-and-tested formula, score 2 goals per game, concede (at most) one, which means you are always ahead (and usually even win titles) clearly surpassed the 0.66 goals conceded per game, which is reminiscent of the best season with Olli Kahn, when he achieved this value but was aiming for a record (and only just missed it).
It is nevertheless striking that Dortmund have now actually outscored Bayern by one goal.
Furthermore, the promised movement has started in the bottom of the table. The “must-win” teams are suddenly scoring in series, while one can assume that some of the teams ranked very high up are not really able to get the best out of themselves until the very end. This, too, is comparable to a panic reaction (to which reference has already been made once in match histories when trailing). The one who absolutely has to catch up (in a match or in the standings) has the strength of one who is panicking, while the one who is ahead (in the standings and in the match) is actually only longing for the end and can no longer reach the performance limit for that. This difference in motivation means that the standings will probably become even more crowded towards the end of the season.
However, it is almost certain that in the end, despite the panic, three teams will be in the last three places.
c. The title question
Explanation: these figures are the result of a computer simulation, which is based on the current playing strengths of the teams given below. The games are simulated individually on the basis of goal expectations (also given in the rest of the text) and the final table is used to determine the winner.
Team Number of German champions in 5000 simulations Championships in percent Fair odds as reciprocal of probabilities
1 Borussia Dortmund 4399 87.98% 1.14
2 FC Bayern Munich 530 10.60% 9.43
3 Borussia Mönchengladbach 56 1.12% 89.29
4 FC Schalke 04 15 0.30% 333.33
Here is an almost perfect reflection of the common views that Matchday 24 represented some kind of preliminary decision in the title fight. However, as elaborated on Sky 90, Bayern will not be talking about, on the contrary, now “officially” writing off the title, but, as Matthias Sammer noted, will secretly continue to hope. The computer would give this hope a “rightly”, especially as Sammer pointed out the fact that the direct duel still exists. Even if it takes place in Dortmund, the Bavarians are not likely to start there with shaking knees, but will be confident of a win – just like the public – after which, with a secret and actually forbidden calculation, there would only be 4 points left, which, after their own win against the opponent’s draw, would already, even if occurring on the penultimate matchday, restore the striking distance.
Change of chances compared to the previous week due to the results of the 24th matchday
Team Win/loss absolute compared to previous matchday Win/loss percentage
1 Borussia Dortmund 784 15.68%
16 FC Schalke 04 -31 -0.62%
17 Borussia Mönchengladbach -78 -1.56%
18 FC Bayern Munich -675 -13.50%
Still, huge gains for some, losses for all others. Results like this make it possible, even if Dortmund hopefully consider for themselves, apart from the exhilarating performance against Mainz (this, incidentally, by BOTH teams), the claimed luck of striking back immediately after Mainz equalised. Well, under the given circumstances, even a draw would have made for a brightening of the odds.
d. The title chances in the development
It could hardly be clearer. Can the development really no longer be stopped? Dortmund had already reached a pitiful 5% (approx.). Long, long ago.
e. Comparison of title chances with the betting exchange betfair
Back Lay Probability (Back)
FC Bayern Munich 4.2 4.5 23.81%
Borussia Dortmund 1.31 1.35 76.34%
FC Schalke 04 170 500 0.59%
Borussia Mönchengladbach 55 70 1.82%
The fact remains: the market does not reflect the development of opportunities as roughly as the computer does. Does it already take into account the possible “panic action” of Bayern, which could give them a victory in the lion’s den of Dortmund like a lucky punch of a stricken boxer?
The changes in betfair’s odds estimates
FC Bayern Munich -13.50%
Borussia Dortmund 19.84%
FC Schalke 04 -0.84%
Borussia Monchengladbach -2.94%
The change in the odds this time, however, is comparable to that of the computer, so that this time at least one should not speak of a computer overreaction. However, there is some scepticism as to whether (ample) trading is taking place at all at present.
(The order according to the original assessments of the ranking).
The development at betfair in the graph
Again, the similar picture: the lines are clearly moving apart.
f. The direct Champions League qualification over 2nd place
The probability distribution for 2nd place after the 24th matchday
Team Number of 2nd places in 5000 simulations 2nd places in per cent
1 FC Bayern Munich 3394 67.88%
2 Borussia Mönchengladbach 738 14.76%
3 Borussia Dortmund 530 10.60%
4 FC Schalke 04 293 5.86%
5 Bayer Leverkusen 45 0.90%
Very clear manifestation of Bayern at this position. Dortmund has now already ceded 2nd place to Gladbach. At least: Leverkusen after this win and defeats of the competition on this position again in the lottery drum, although they represent there not even one of 100 balls.
The changes compared to the previous week:
Team win/loss absolute compared to previous matchday Win/loss percentage
1 FC Bayern Munich 642 12.84%
2 Bayer Leverkusen 41 0.82%
14 Hannover 96 -1 -0.02%
15 Werder Bremen -1 -0.02%
16 Borussia Mönchengladbach -37 -0.74%
17 FC Schalke 04 -76 -1.52%
18 Borussia Dortmund -568 -11.36%
Bayern’s gain was predominantly Dortmund’s, but their rivals also lost, so their defeat at the strongest of the three opponents (yes, all three played away, at Leverkusen, Freiburg and Nuremberg) actually continues to have a positive effect.
g. The relegation question
The distribution of relegation percentages
Note: There would also be a detailed breakdown across the individual places. Here, places 17 and 18 count as fully relegated (i.e. in total as 1, for relegated in each case, otherwise the term is “direct relegation”), and a further third of relegated teams are added due to the relegation, whereby the first division team is generally rated as 2/3 to 1/3 favourite compared to the second division team. This makes the total number of relegated teams equal to 233.33%. In individual cases, of course, it would be different in reality. So if, for example, Frankfurt were to finish 3rd in League 2 and Augsburg 16th in League 1, one could perhaps speak of a balanced pairing.
Team Direct relegation (17th or 18th place) Relegation by relegation Total
1 1.FC Kaiserslautern 69.96% 5.07% 75.03%
2 SC Freiburg 45.54% 6.72% 52.26%
3 FC Augsburg 43.12% 7.36% 50.48%
4 Hertha BSC 21.14% 5.50% 26.64%
5 1.FC Köln 15.60% 5.10% 20.70%
6 Hamburger SV 2.12% 1.30% 3.42%
7 VfL Wolfsburg 1.76% 1.35% 3.11%
8 FSV Mainz 05 0.46% 0.54% 1.00%
9 1.FC Nuremberg 0.14% 0.21% 0.35%
10 TSG Hoffenheim 0.14% 0.13% 0.27%
11 VfB Stuttgart 0.02% 0.03% 0.05%
12 Hannover 96 0.00% 0.01% 0.01%
200.00% 33.33% 233.33%
Certainly the tension in this question is particularly high for two reasons: there are (more than) two people affected, compared to the title, and the phenomenon that “panic” is making itself felt here (this has been the case in all Bundesliga eras). There are often miraculous results at the end of the season.
Nevertheless, there are currently “only” five very serious contenders. Whether HSV and/or Wolfsburg will still make serious inroads? Or even another?
The change in chances due to the results of the 24th matchday with regard to relegation
Team Change in chances
1 SC Freiburg 14.33%
2 Hertha BSC 9.71%
3 1.FC Nuremberg 0.94%
4 VfB Stuttgart 0.08%
11 Hannover 96 -0.01%
12 TSG Hoffenheim -0.09%
13 FSV Mainz 05 -0.45%
14 VfL Wolfsburg -1.18%
15 Hamburger SV -2.67%
16 1.FC Köln -4.39%
17 FC Augsburg -4.78%
18 1.FC Kaiserslautern -11.50%
The gains for Freiburg and Hertha, of course, are quite clear. Why is Freiburg ahead? Well, this is due to their higher chances before the games, of which they gave away correspondingly more.
Suffering from the excellent results of the competition: FC Kaiserslautern, who with a 0:0 in their home game were not bad, but still a relatively poor result. Augsburg, despite a respectable result (the performance was even more brilliant), even lost chances. Another testimony to the unfairness of the three-point rule?
h. The relegation question in development
Yellow, yellow, who was in yellow again? Not Eddie Mercks, no, no. It’s the Lauterians, who are probably not exactly proud of that yellow jersey.
i. The points expectations and the deviations
Explanation: for each match, the computer has calculated the chances for 1, X and 2. On the basis of these, a point expectation is mathematically calculated for each team per match according to the formula probability of victory * 3 points + probability of draw * 1 point. The deviations given below compare the points actually achieved with those expected by the computer.
In total, the deviation does not have to be 0 for all teams, as the number of expected draws does not have to be congruent with those that have occurred (nor can it even be), but an imbalance is forced by the three-point rule. Too many points scored means that there were too few draws.
Team Name Points scored Deviation Deviation absolute
1 Borussia Mönchengladbach 34.48 47 12.52 12.52
2 Borussia Dortmund 48.53 55 6.47 6.47
3 FC Schalke 04 38.08 44 5.92 5.92
4 1.FC Nürnberg 27.50 31 3.50 3.50
5 Bayer Leverkusen 38.03 40 1.97 1.97
6 Hannover 96 33.53 35 1.47 1.47
7 Werder Bremen 36.29 36 -0.29 0.29
8 FC Augsburg 22.98 22 -0.98 0.98
9 1.FC Köln 26.87 25 -1.87 1.87
10 TSG Hoffenheim 31.94 30 -1.94 1.94
11 Hamburger SV 28.96 27 -1.96 1.96
12 VfB Stuttgart 34.14 32 -2.14 2.14
13 FSV Mainz 05 30.32 27 -3.32 3.32
14 FC Bayern Munich 52.49 48 -4.49 4.49
15 VfL Wolfsburg 32.53 28 -4.53 4.53
16 SC Freiburg 25.64 21 -4.64 4.64
17 Hertha BSC 29.90 23 -6.90 6.90
18 1.FC Kaiserslautern 26.04 19 -7.04 7.04
ø Deviation 4.00
Dortmund are already in 2nd place, which shows how strong the competition is for Bayern. After all, it should be equally likely for all teams to finish at the top of this table. It is only not the case if there are misjudgements. However, these are very unlikely to be the case with Dortmund, as they are much more likely to be supported by the market.
The presence of Lautern and Hertha in the last two places should also have nothing to do with their table situation. On the other hand, it is of course much more likely to find a team at the bottom of the real table here as well.
So much for Bayer Leverkusen and a bad season: after the win against Bayern they are in 5th place and in the plus. Nuremberg has also worked its way up the table. Incidentally, this is also thanks to Alexander Esswein, who has been very noticeable (and good) since the beginning of the season. It wouldn’t surprise (anyone) if one day you saw him wearing the jersey with the eagle…
Augsburg on 8, which is about “a fair reflection” of their season performance. It is, in fact, decent, even if, by all accounts, a win in Hannover would have been deserved, although a draw is of course still a very good result (even if inadequately rewarded with a point; this is not just because it should be a win, but because it is unfair due to the three-point rule).
The foreign comparison for the average point deviation
Note: the theory is that the German Bundesliga is the most exciting of Europe’s top leagues. This finding is rather intuitively derived, but so far “accepted” both in this country and abroad. Of course, the higher goal average is an indication of this, as well as the(perceived) lower predictability when it comes to the title, relegation, but also other issues. Balance is a criterion and possibly the main reason for this.
The measure used here for the deviation in average points expectation provides measurable information about this, but it was probably a “problem” specific to the 2010/2011 inaugural season (the fan thanked) that the Bundesliga produced a particularly large number of surprises. This was reflected in the figures. Now the phenomenon can be observed further. Is the Bundesliga also exciting in this respect? More exciting than elsewhere?(At the same time, a large deviation in this category could simply mean that computers or feeders are bad at their trade)
Rank Country League 1 ø Point deviation Change from previous week Number of games
1 Germany, 2.BL 7.00 0.76 215
2 England 1 5.10 0.59 269
3 France 1 4.69 0.27 259
4 Germany, 1.BL 4.00 -0.08 216
5 Italy 1 3.82 0.25 256
6 Spain 1 3.28 0.06 250
The results in Germany in particular – winning at the back, losing at the front – have ensured a “favourable” development towards, expectations. Now the 1st division is even only in 4th place. The 2nd division, on the other hand, continues to provide the big surprises. In the Zeitliga season it is not only the case that there are a few outliers upwards and downwards, no, the table picture is also extremely distorted here. At the front you need more than 2 points per game to be in a promotion spot, at the back you need far less than a point to be in a non-relegation spot. This is an exception, especially in the 2nd division, which is known for its balance.
j. Goal expectations and their deviations
Explanation: Almost the same applies to goals as to points. The expected goals scored and the expected goals conceded are compared with reality. Too few goals scored count negatively just as too many goals conceded count negatively, the reverse counts positively in each case. Here, the sum of the deviations must be 0, because all expected and not scored goals were not conceded somewhere. However, the goal average may show a deviation.
Team Name Goal expectation Goals scored Goals conceded expected Goals conceded Total deviation
1 Borussia Mönchengladbach 32.75 37 31.18 15 20.43
2 Borussia Dortmund 43.16 52 19.63 16 12.47
3 FC Schalke 04 37.60 51 29.88 32 11.29
4 VfB Stuttgart 37.49 41 35.93 33 6.44
5 FC Bayern München 53.21 51 20.87 16 2.65
6 FSV Mainz 05 32.12 35 36.80 38 1.68
7 TSG Hoffenheim 31.55 27 33.57 28 1.02
8 FC Augsburg 22.07 25 36.87 39 0.80
9 1.FC Nürnberg 27.41 23 36.23 32 -0.18
10 Bayer Leverkusen 38.17 36 30.89 29 -0.27
11 Hannover 96 32.82 30 32.08 32 -2.75
12 1.FC Köln 32.00 31 43.50 46 -3.50
13 1.FC Kaiserslautern 26.24 16 37.19 32 -5.05
14 Werder Bremen 39.38 37 34.76 38 -5.62
15 Hamburger SV 31.44 28 38.45 42 -6.99
16 Hertha BSC 31.10 26 36.47 40 -8.63
17 SC Freiburg 29.02 30 41.35 52 -9.67
18 VfL Wolfsburg 33.50 28 35.39 44 -14.11
611.03 604 611.03 604 0.00
Goals ø expected: Goals ø scored: ø Deviation 6.31 2.83 2.80
Schalke remain in 3rd, which almost amazes you for the moment. Stuttgart already in 4th place, which is almost more surprising. Well, the goal difference is much more favourable than the points scored. Bayern are also clearly in the top half, which at least here also visibly gives them the credentials of an actually good season. Likewise, Mainz, after a few good results, is already in 6th place and in the plus zone, which even Augsburg occupies.
Nuremberg’s negative values begin, but theirs is almost not worth mentioning, just like Leverkusen. Wolfsburg continue to be at the very back, even by some distance, which on the one hand speaks for somewhat higher expectations on the part of the computer, and on the other hand expresses their distribution of goals, which is favourable for them: win close, lose clear, so to speak. Whether this really has anything to do with luck? Certainly to some extent it does. Because: in a close win, like the one against Freiburg two or three weeks ago, not only was the equalising goal close – one action and it’s 3:3, with a double loss of points – but it would also be more than deserved, as coach Magath acknowledged after the game.
Also HSV, with a 0:4, almost in the relegation zone in this table. Even Werder is having a rather optically good season. Who doesn’t remember – when asked whether they are lucky or right to be so high up – the numerous narrow victories, often achieved in the closing stages? “Outstanding” (in terms of luck) among them the one against Hertha, when even with 11 against 9 they should have lost rather than won.
The international comparison for the average goal difference
(Note: crazy results do not necessarily have to be reflected in the tendency. So a 5:3 or even a 7:0 may provide large deviations here, in terms of goals, but not at all in terms of points, since, for example, the favourite would have won in each case. So there is an alternative method of comparing with other countries: are there the most “surprises” in the Bundesliga in this respect too)?
Rank Country League 1 ø Goal difference Change from previous week Number of games
1 Germany, 2.BL 10.80 1.28 215
2 England 1 6.79 0.56 269
3 Germany, 1.BL 6.31 -0.14 216
4 Italy 1 5.36 0.31 256
5 France 1 4.81 0.39 259
6 Spain 1 4.58 -0.37 250
As with the points, the same picture: the 1st division has slipped together a bit in terms of deviations from expectations, giving away 2nd place. Otherwise Spain also declining.
k. The playing strength ranking
Note: Playing strength is measured in goals expected against the average team (which does not exist in practice). There is offensive strength, which is measured in expected goals scored, and defensive strength, which is measured in expected goals conceded. The quotient of these two values is the measure of playing strength. The more expected goals scored, the higher the value; the fewer expected goals conceded, the higher the value.
Team For Against Quotient For/Counter Change in Quotient Shift
1 Borussia Dortmund 1.98 0.76 2.61 -0.05 +0
2 FC Bayern Munich 1.97 0.86 2.29 -0.15 +0
3 FC Schalke 04 1.75 1.22 1.43 -0.06 +0
4 Borussia Mönchengladbach 1.48 1.04 1.42 -0.04 +0
5 Bayer Leverkusen 1.63 1.21 1.35 +0.08 +0
6 VfB Stuttgart 1.65 1.57 1.05 +0.07 +3
7 FSV Mainz 05 1.47 1.45 1.01 +0.01 +1
8 Hannover 96 1.36 1.37 0.99 -0.02 -1
9 Werder Bremen 1.51 1.52 0.99 -0.02 -3
10 TSG Hoffenheim 1.20 1.33 0.91 -0.02 +0
11 Hamburger SV 1.23 1.54 0.80 -0.07 +0
12 1.FC Nürnberg 1.07 1.35 0.80 +0.02 +1
13 VfL Wolfsburg 1.24 1.57 0.79 -0.00 -1
14 Hertha BSC 1.17 1.63 0.72 +0.01 +0
15 1.FC Köln 1.26 1.78 0.71 +0.01 +0
16 FC Augsburg 1.05 1.56 0.67 +0.02 +0
17 SC Freiburg 1.20 1.85 0.65 +0.03 +0
18 1.FC Kaiserslautern 0.87 1.47 0.59 -0.01 +0
25.10 25.09 +0
Goals ø expected 2.81
Some movement, mainly thanks to Stuttgart’s 4-0 win, which saw them storm up to 6th place. Mainz also moved up a place (and are now 1.01 above average, as was also the case before the season). Werder lost at most, as they lost 0:1 in Berlin, while Mainz not only left the pitch with their heads held high with a 1:2 in Dortmund, but even made up ground with +0.01 (playing strength).
FCK now almost clearly on 18, which is not because they are so bad, but rather because it has to hit you. This season, all the teams have actually demonstrated Bundesliga format, only the provoked fluctuation ensures that this or that one nevertheless has to come down. But whether a model like that in American sport would be fairer AND more exciting is an open question that one is inclined to answer intuitively with “no”. There, there are usually no relegations. The professional teams prove their profitability – and thus usually stay together, in one and the same league.
On the other hand, a model like the one in Holland could be conceivable, in which almost all teams have to enter a relegation round (there is probably a fixed relegation, but even that could be considered). The consequence could be that the teams that have the higher qualification actually prevail. After all, it’s just a thought…
l. The frequency of tendency changes
Note: a “change of tendency” is considered to be a goal that equalises a lead or scores a lead. The 1:0 is not counted, because without this goal it would not even begin to have anything to do with tension in the goal sequence. Every now and then, a statistical comparison is made here with other countries. This shows that there are more changes of tendency in Germany than elsewhere, which on the one hand points to perceived tension in the Bundesliga – which is possibly envied abroad – and on the other hand points to possible tactical deficiencies, which, following an old tradition, make one advise to urgently go for a second goal after a 1:0 – and not to dull and insipidly, as is usual abroad, rock this goal over time. International comparisons provide more information about the effectiveness or weakness of German behaviour.
Of course, it is and will remain desirable that “something happens”, that games ripple back and forth, that teams that take an early lead nevertheless still lose later, that teams come back from two or three goals down in dramatic comebacks, equalise or even still win. The claim here: it actually happens too rarely in football. It would be desirable to allow more goals so that there is more drama in this point as well. More goals guarantee more changes of tendency, but it is possible that there is an upper limit. So: in ice hockey there are more goals and thus more changes of tendency, no question. But are there more in handball, for example, than in ice hockey? Probably not. Because: if there are a lot of goals, one team can be in the lead by five, six, seven without ever thinking of a comeback by the losing team.
For comparison, here are the statistics from last season. You can at least compare them a little bit to see if the tendency is similar this season.
Country Matches Compensation HF AF Total per match
1st Bundesliga 306 158 60 49 267 0.873
England 380 198 66 46 310 0.816
2nd Bundesliga 306 145 56 41 242 0.791
Italy 380 169 58 48 275 0.724
France 380 175 49 40 264 0.695
Spain 380 146 48 46 240 0.632
Total 2132 991 337 270 1598 0.750
Balance of the trend changes from last week:
Instead of listing the changes of tendency, from now on a small table with the changes of tendency from the past weekend will be included here.
Country Matches Equalisation Home Leading Goal Away Leading Goal Total per Match
1 1st Bundesliga 9 4 2 0 6 0.667
2 France 10 3 0 0 3 1,778
3 2nd Bundesliga 10 3 0 0 3 0,300
4 Italy 10 4 0 1 5 0.500
5 Spain 10 6 3 1 10 1,000
6 England 10 6 1 2 9 0.900
Total balance 59 26 6 4 36 0.610
Once again, a below-average match day in total. Due to the fact that the teams play more tense in the second half of the season, i.e. need points more urgently and therefore give them away even less often. Or even a tendency emanating from the referees, as they are increasingly inclined to close their minds to surprising twists and turns – and thus not give penalties or award goals that change the score, the tendency?
Trend changes in the major leagues in the 2011/2012 season
Country Matches Equalisation Home Leading Goals Away Leading Goals Total per match
1 2nd Bundesliga 215 109 43 27 179 0.833
2 1st Bundesliga 216 108 37 25 170 0.787
3 Spain 1 250 115 47 29 191 0.764
4 France 1 259 128 36 31 195 0.753
5 England 1 269 123 32 44 199 0.740
6 Italy 1 256 101 35 25 161 0.629
Total balance 1465 684 230 181 1095 0.747
Overall, though, this season is almost on a par with the previous one (0.747 vs. 0.750), so this speculation gets no further fuel. The German leagues remain ahead.
m. The mathematical review of the matchday 24 results.
Note: here the deviation of expected goals with goals scored is calculated for each match. To determine the total deviation, the values are added up in absolute terms (not visible here, this column). So: if one team deviates positively by 0.35 goals, the other negatively by -0.62, then the absolute total deviation is 0.35 + 0.62 = 0.97 goals. To determine the average deviation, all these values are added up and divided by the number of pairings – usually 9.
Goal expectation Home Away Total Deviation
Leverkusen FC Bayern 1.14 1.61 2.75 2 0 0.86 -1.61
Hannover Augsburg 1.81 0.82 2.63 2 2 0.19 1.18
Freiburg Schalke 04 1.11 1.78 2.90 2 1 0.89 -0.78
HSV Stuttgart 1.68 1.50 3.17 0 4 -1.68 2.50
Kaiserslautern Wolfsburg 1.25 1.17 2.42 0 0 -1.25 -1.17
Hertha Werder 1.48 1.55 3.04 1 0 -0.48 -1.55
Dortmund Mainz 2.32 0.69 3.01 2 1 -0.32 0.31
Nuremberg Gladbach 0.92 1.27 2.20 1 0 0.08 -1.27
Hoffenheim FC Cologne 1.80 1.05 2.86 1 1 -0.80 -0.05
13.52 11.45 24.97 11 9 -2.52 -2.45
Expected Goal Total Expected Goal Average Scored Goal Average 24.97 2.77 2.22
ø expected goal difference 1.86 ø goal difference 1.88
Few goals, close results, many draws (although just a little too many). The average expected goal deviation was thus once again undercut, which speaks in favour of this interpretation. There was a large deviation only in HSV – Stuttgart, on both sides. Nevertheless, this was the match with the expected flood of goals – and it turned out to be. The two lowest-scoring games were also “unders”: Nürnberg and Lautern, with a total of only one goal. Doesn’t the computer just make nonsense after all?
n. The determination
Note: The determination is calculated for each game as the sum of the squares of the individual probabilities. This measures how much one can commit to a favourite in a certain pairing. The higher the favourite position, the higher the sum of the squares, but also the more “certain” the occurrence of the (favourite) event. The mathematical question in itself is even more how far one can commit, since one cannot really determine this value. Events are predicted whose probabilities are unknown. Nevertheless, one can check the quality of the estimates made here in the long term by comparing expected/occurred. This is done week by week, but of course also overall.
The determination expected
Pairing 1 X 2
Leverkusen FC Bayern 27.00% 25.05% 47.96% 36.56%
Hannover Augsburg 60.56% 22.80% 16.63% 44.64%
Freiburg Schalke 04 23.61% 23.55% 52.84% 39.04%
HSV Stuttgart 42.00% 23.75% 34.25% 35.01%
Kaiserslautern Wolfsburg 38.08% 27.88% 34.03% 33.86%
Hertha Werder 36.26% 24.48% 39.25% 34.55%
Dortmund Mainz 73.81% 16.75% 9.44% 58.18%
Nuremberg Gladbach 26.87% 28.88% 44.25% 35.14%
Hoffenheim FC Cologne 54.79% 23.31% 21.90% 40.25%
3.83 2.16 3.01 3.57
average expected fixing: 39.69%
Always as a reminder, the expected values from the previous week’s text. So what has reality brought?
The determination arrived
Pairing 1 X 2 Tendency
Leverkusen FC Bayern 27.00% 25.05% 47.96% 1 27.00%
Hannover Augsburg 60.56% 22.80% 16.63% 0 22.80%
Freiburg Schalke 04 23.61% 23.55% 52.84% 1 23.61%
HSV Stuttgart 42.00% 23.75% 34.25% 2 34.25%
Kaiserslautern Wolfsburg 38.08% 27.88% 34.03% 0 27.88%
Hertha Werder 36.26% 24.48% 39.25% 1 36.26%
Dortmund Mainz 73.81% 16.75% 9.44% 1 73.81%
Nuremberg Gladbach 26.87% 28.88% 44.25% 1 26.87%
Hoffenheim FC Cologne 54.79% 23.31% 21.90% 0 23.31%
5 3 1 2.96
average commitment received: 32.87%
Once again a matchday on which any fixing was not profitable. It would have been better to say “I have no idea how the games will turn out” and set all three outcomes per game at 33.33% – and would have achieved this expectation (of 33.33%) for each game, thus of course also in the total.
This is not surprising, because apart from Dortmund’s victory, the favourite event did not occur in any other match. The question of whether there was therefore none (as one would express with the statement “I don’t know…”) cannot of course be answered definitively, only that the market saw similar favourites (and in at least two cases – see the bets below – even a higher one, resulting in underdog bets.
Apart from that, there had been slightly too many favourite events before this matchday, as can be seen in the statistics on the season below.
Further note: No comparable model has yet been discovered in mathematics. Not even by a mathematician who had set himself the task of proving to the author that there was guaranteed to be nothing new.
o. League statistics
Note: such a statistic is regularly produced by computer. It is generally used for quality control of the individual figures, Each figure has its meaning and is explained in more detail. The goal average is not repeated here. The home advantage is calculated by dividing the goals scored by the home team by half of the total goals. In this way, you can see how many more goals the home teams score than they would score without home advantage. 1.116 is 11.6% more for the home team, 11.6% less for the away team.
Note: For arithmetic foxes, here is a brief explanation of the calculation method for the expected goal deviation: The computer gives each result from 0:0 to 20:20 a probability (it is actually sufficient up to 10:10, as the rest no longer has any significant probability). There would be a goal deviation for each result. So if you multiply the probability of, for example, a 3:4 by the deviation that would then occur (in the case of the match Mainz – Gladbach, with goal expectations of 1.77:1.25, this would be 3 – 1.77 = 1.23 for Mainz plus 4 – 1.25 = 2.75 for Gladbach, i.e. a total deviation of 3.98 goals) and carry out this procedure for each match result, you get the expected average goal deviation.
The statistics of the results so far Matches Hsiege Drais Asiege Htore Atore Heimvort
arrived 216 100 58 362 242 1,199
expected 216 99.91 49.74 66.33 346.4 264.5 1.134
abs deviation 0 0.09 8.26 -8.33 15.60 -22.50 0.06
rel. Deviation 0 0.09% 14.24% -14.36% 4.31% -9.30% 5.39%
Determination expected Determination received 40.50% 40.35% ø Goal deviation ø Goal deviation expected 1.85 1.87
However, the swing has been reversed by this match day. Whereas the week before there were still a little too many favourite events, with the expected determination exceeding the arrived determination, it is now the other way round, expected exceeding arrived. However, the deviations are so moderate that they are even, as you can see, interchangeable from matchday to matchday, which then again speaks in favour of good forecasts overall.
The underachievement of the expected goal deviation also speaks in favour of this. Otherwise, of course, it can be seen that a total of 8.26 draws have come too many. This will probably not even out by the end of the season. On the other hand, the parameter adjustment (in this case the value of the draw factor, which is always carried along and controls the expected percentages for the draws) ensures that a long-term tendency creeps in, undetected by the computer and thus causing worse predictions.
p. Review of the betting recommendations
But this question is always more explosive: which bets should/must have been made according to the computer? Where would it have messed with the betting market? And: if he messes with it, with the great mass intelligence, does he have good reasons for it? Could one possibly win, can one even prove long-term advantages? Up to now, such “dry swim” exercises have been made for oneself, if at all. Now, at least, it is documented.
Pairing 1 X 2
Leverkusen FC Bayern 4.90 3.90 1.84
Hannover Augsburg 1.79 3.80 5.40
Freiburg Schalke 04 4.10 3.80 1.97
HSV Stuttgart 2.10 3.70 3.80
Kaiserslautern Wolfsburg 2.36 3.45 3.30
Hertha Werder 2.60 3.60 2.86
Dortmund Mainz 1.32 5.90 12.50
Nuremberg Gladbach 3.10 3.45 2.56
Hoffenheim FC Cologne 1.68 4.00 5.80
Goals scored 3.24
Goals scored 2
Money score -0.30
Since the overall result was (once again) negative, there is no need to gloss over it. In any case, sides were taken for the Leverkusen victory, with the remark that the win resulted to a large extent from the computer repeatedly giving the advice to go against Bayern. This was done, and it was done with success.
Likewise, the other winning bet on Stuttgart was represented with some conviction. The 4-0 score speaks for itself.
However, if these two events are not enough to put us on the plus side, we should not try to conclude that all was well. The problems were clearly visible and there were hardly any good bets.
One could generalise that all the teams at the bottom of the table started to struggle, while the teams at the top of the table dangled their legs a little. The pairings all have a kinship: Hannover against Augsburg, Hertha against Werder, Freiburg against Schalke and even marginally those between Kaiserslautern and Wolfsburg as well as Nuremberg and Gladbach (the last two stand out a bit, as Nuremberg was already quite far away and Wolfsburg, as Lautern’s opponent, could still be drawn in, insofar as the motivations were somewhat different).
Freiburg had indicated it against Bayern, the crowd was there, the crowd was euphoric, that gave the team wings. Sure, they weren’t totally convinced of the bet either, but Schalke could hardly have been expected to do so badly? Well, sure, the championship dreams are pretty much over, as is the commitment in the Euro League, which ties up forces. But to just give away the game as it appeared? It was only the beginning quite normal, when they came to two quite good chances, after that it was ehr mau and the bet simply bad.
The same goes for Werder at Hertha. They may have had slightly more of the game, but there was a complete lack of determination (as much as you detest reporters’ phrases, in this game it really was like that) and a serious build-up after the 0:1. Did Werder begrudge Rehhagel and Hertha a sense of achievement? In front of the screen, that was the feeling. In any case, the bet was disastrously bad.
Just as Gladbach lacked the will to win in Nuremberg – you could also watch this game over 90 minutes. The game was just going along, without any chances on either side, but that would still not make you a favourite, on which you would have bet with the odds. Sure, it was bad luck that the game was lost, but this was not the Gladbach from the previous games. Whether they too were satisfied with what they had achieved or the prospect of overtaking Bayern paralysed their legs? In any case, in this game Alexander Esswein was the better Marco Reus. Another really bad bet.
The only thing that can be said about the quality of Wolfsburg’s victory in Lautern is that it was probably a fairly even game, insofar as the bet must have actually been very ok at the odds of 3.30.
Oh well, Hannover against Augsburg was a joke for these odds, despite Hannover taking the lead in the meantime. Augsburg was much closer to victory and was unlucky with the draw. The bet was terrible.
Very good, on the other hand, was the bet on Mainz, which is always easy to say given the odds of 12.5, since there is this gigantic payoff. In this case, however, it was really excellent, as Mainz are completely fearless and can really get any opponent into trouble. The most challenging of this act was of course away in Dortmund, but even there they managed to create an almost open game for long stretches. The equaliser in the 74th almost brought the victory within reach – and it was anything but a fluke. They kept coming forward dangerously and looked for their chances. The fact that Dortmund managed to take the lead again almost in return is, of course, very much in their favour on the one hand, but on the other hand it can also be confidently described as that portion of luck that is always necessary to win, which they of course earned with outstanding efficiency as well as luck can be earned. The bet was very good, that remains unaffected by it.
Certainly, the bet on Cologne at Hoffenheim was also justifiable for a rate of 5.80. After all, they were pretty close with a result of 1:1. Poldi also scored again, whose absence before caused a lack of quality in the bets on Cologne that were nevertheless placed.
It is also clear that one can live with a loss of 0.3 units, even if one does so unwillingly. In view of the lack of quality of a large number of the bets, the only question is whether one learns from the observations or would do everything the same way again?
Betting recommendation Statistics of the individual match days
Matchday No. Number of bets Number of hits expected hit deviation win/loss
1 7 5 2.84 +2.16 +7.96
2 7 3 2.77 +0.23 +1.75
3 2 0 1.00 -1.00 -2.00
4 3 1 1.14 -0.14 -0.28
5 6 2 2.54 -0.54 -2.33
6 8 3 2.29 +0.71 +8.10
7 8 4 3.55 +0.45 +0.00
8 5 1 1.28 -0.28 -2.16
9 7 3 2.36 +0.64 +5.60
10 7 1 1.92 -0.92 +2.20
11 8 2 2.79 -0.79 -3.39
12 7 1 2.07 -1.07 -2.00
13 6 4 2.77 +1.23 +5.37
14 7 2 2.63 -0.63 +4.68
15 6 1 2.18 -1.18 -4.65
16 6 2 2.13 -0.13 -0.53
17 7 3 3.13 -0.13 -0.54
18 7 3 2.57 +0.43 +2.34
19 4 1 1.51 -0.51 -1.70
20 6 2 2.32 -0.32 +0.63
21 8 2 3.02 -1.02 -3.73
22 8 4 2.85 +1.15 +2.19
23 5 1 2.19 -1.19 -3.24
24 9 2 3.24 -1.24 -0.30
Total number of bets Total number of hits Total balance G/V in% Total expected hits Total hit deviation
7 5 +7.96 113.71% 2.84 +2.16
14 8 +9.71 69.36% 5.61 +2.39
16 8 +7.71 48.19% 6.61 +1.39
19 9 +7.43 39.11% 7.74 +1.26
25 11 +5.10 20.40% 10.28 +0.72
33 14 +13.20 40.00% 12.57 +1.43
41 18 +13.20 32.20% 16.12 +1.88
46 19 +11.04 24.00% 17.40 +1.60
53 22 +16.64 31.40% 19.76 +2.24
60 23 +18.84 31.40% 21.68 +1.32
68 25 +15.45 22.72% 24.47 +0.53
75 26 +13.45 17.93% 26.54 -0.54
81 30 +18.82 23.23% 29.31 +0.69
88 32 +23.50 26.70% 31.38 +0.62
94 33 +18.85 20.05% 34.12 -1.12
100 35 +18.32 18.32% 36.25 -1.25
107 38 +17.78 16.62% 39.38 -1.38
114 41 +20.12 17.65% 41.95 -0.95
118 42 +18.42 15.61% 43.46 -1.46
124 44 +19.05 15.36% 45.78 -1.78
132 46 +15.32 11.61% 48.80 -2.80
140 50 +17.51 12.51% 51.65 -1.65
145 51 +14.27 9.84% 53.84 -2.84
154 53 +13.97 9.07% 57.08 -4.08
Of course, one would still accept the final whistle and be satisfied so far. On the other hand, the creeping decline is of course difficult to endure. It could suggest: “Of course you’re losing, everyone else is. At the beginning of the season you had a lucky streak, but it will end at some point. As understandable as such a consideration is, one works hard to prove it faulty.
q. The preview of the 25th matchday
Note: According to a specially developed algorithm – which can of course be explained and is highly logical – the computer calculates the goal expectations (and the individually maintained home advantage not shown here) into these goal expectations. These in turn are offset against the probabilities of occurrence, in the past by simulation, today long since by a function derived from the simulation results). These goal expectancy values have also long since proved to be competitive in goal number betting on the betting market.
Goal expectation Home Away Total
Stuttgart Kaiserslautern 1.98 0.87 2.85
Wolfsburg Leverkusen 1.20 1.48 2.68
FC Cologne Hertha 1.67 1.31 2.98
Mainz Nuremberg 1.58 0.98 2.56
FC Bayern Hoffenheim 2.27 0.61 2.88
Gladbach Freiburg 2.38 0.88 3.26
Augsburg Dortmund 0.62 1.83 2.45
Werder Hannover 1.70 1.17 2.88
Schalke 04 HSV 2.09 0.93 3.03
15.50 10.06 25.57
Expected goal total Expected goal average 25.57 2.84
Now the computer even goes a bit higher again in the total goal expectation. Of course, this is due to the special pairings. It’s strange that Gladbach vs. Freiburg should be the pairing with the most goals, but the computer will have its reasons. Understandable, however, is the “over” tip for the Schalke – HSV match. Few goals especially in Augsburg?! Well, that’s much less convincing.
r. The Determination
Note: The determination is calculated as the sum of the squares of the individual probabilities. This measures how much one can commit to a favourite in a certain pairing. The higher a favourite position is, the higher the sum of the squares, but also the more “certain” the occurrence of the event. The mathematical question in itself is even more how far one can commit, since one cannot really determine this value. Events are predicted whose probabilities are unknown. Nevertheless, the quality can be checked in the long term by comparing expected/occurred events.
The determination expected
Pairing 1 X 2
Stuttgart Kaiserslautern 63.16% 21.18% 15.66% 46.83%
Wolfsburg Leverkusen 30.62% 26.10% 43.28% 34.92%
FC Cologne Hertha 45.61% 24.35% 30.04% 35.76%
Mainz Nuremberg 51.19% 25.56% 23.25% 38.14%
FC Bayern Hoffenheim 75.16% 16.56% 8.27% 59.92%
Gladbach Freiburg 70.65% 17.30% 12.04% 54.36%
Augsburg Dortmund 11.85% 21.68% 66.47% 50.28%
Werder Hannover 49.57% 24.30% 26.14% 37.30%
Schalke 04 HSV 63.92% 20.28% 15.80% 47.47%
4.62 1.97 2.41 4.05
Average expected determination: 45.00%
Again clearer favourites next weekend. However, only the games Bayern against Hoffenheim, Gladbach against Freiburg (convinced? No!), and Augsburg against Dortmund stand out in the expectation. Nevertheless, the expectation of 45% is not determined by rolling the dice, there are probably favourites everywhere.
The fair odds
Note: the fair odds are merely the inverse of the probabilities. However, this is how the games are offered on the betting market or traded on the betting exchanges (“betfair”). You can gladly compare what the computer guesses. The deviations will not be enormous, but theoretically every bet is a good bet (from the computer’s point of view) if the odds paid on the market are above the fair odds. “Good” is the bet insofar as it promises long-term profit. If you consistently make bets in this way, you should make a profit in the long run. Of course, there are no guarantees for this either.
Pairing 1 X 2
Stuttgart Kaiserslautern 1.58 4.72 6.38
Wolfsburg Leverkusen 3.27 3.83 2.31
FC Cologne Hertha 2.19 4.11 3.33
Mainz Nuremberg 1.95 3.91 4.30
FC Bayern Hoffenheim 1.33 6.04 12.08
Gladbach Freiburg 1.42 5.78 8.30
Augsburg Dortmund 8.44 4.61 1.50
Werder Hannover 2.02 4.12 3.83
Schalke 04 HSV 1.56 4.93 6.33
Comparison with the betting exchange betfair
(The betting recommendations)
Pairing 1 X 2 % Average
Stuttgart Kaiserslautern 1.75 3.95 5.10 102.07%
Wolfsburg Leverkusen 3.15 3.50 2.40 101.98%
FC Cologne Hertha 2.54 3.40 3.10 101.04%
Mainz Nuremberg 1.99 3.55 4.40 101.15%
FC Bayern Hoffenheim 1.28 5.80 14.50 102.26%
Gladbach Freiburg 1.56 4.20 6.40 103.54%
Augsburg Dortmund 9.40 4.90 1.41 101.97%
Werder Hannover 2.04 3.65 3.85 102.39%
Schalke 04 HSV 1.79 3.75 4.90 102.94%
Goal expectation 2.63
A short comment on the betting recommendations:
Well, one of the most clearly indicated is Stuttgart’s win against Lautern. Surely the just internalised and commented principle is still in the bones. On the other hand, how can we imagine that the Swabians, who have gained momentum, will voluntarily give away a few points at home in front of an expectant crowd? Europe is not out of reach yet, why not use the positive run? Of course, it is a “do or die” game for Lautern. Coach Kurz and manager Kuntz also made a confident impression. On the other hand, you can’t just shake off the insecurity like that, can you? No, nothing learned and pleaded for 8/10.
Cologne against Hertha is of course one of those pairings that will be so indicated for life. Cologne is blamed for being divas anyway, add to that the impending change of Podolski, with whom it is also hard to create positive headlines and atmosphere, furthermore Hertha with Rehhagel in an upward trend (consisting of ONE really not outstanding game), so the market is positioning itself quite clearly in the direction of Hertha. The stubborn computer doesn’t want to know about it. It says there are two teams on a par (who is supposed to have been better over the season? If so, then Cologne?), plus there is a home advantage, which is a little bigger this season, so: up with the money. In this case, perhaps a more cautious 5/10.
Hoffenheim is on an upward trend under Babbel, that is unmistakable. The performances have been much more stable lately, and even so the team looked consolidated (who didn’t see attacker Ryan Babel helping out in his own penalty area, with a skilful ball recovery, only to find himself back in the attacking centre the next moment?). Bayern have to start pre-planning (only this week) for the very important Basel game, and anyway, everything is talking about the big crisis. When could be a better time to play them than now, as always anyway? Of course, only with 1/10, if you like also 2/10.
Of course, the Gladbach vs Freiburg game tastes very little. Freiburg, of all people, have had these great games and have shown very little to Gladbach. On the other hand, a home game is never apt to give anything away, especially as they should in any case be securing themselves downwards (see the statistics above, in which Leverkusen even managed to finish 2nd a couple of times; how many more times did they finish 3rd or 4th? Let’s have a look: on rank 3 at 9.1%, on rank 4 at 21.94%; these are already impressive figures that Gladbach would have to fear). Well, it’s a must-win bet at 3/10, a very modest value for these odds.
Augsburg against Dortmund can be represented just as well as Hoffenheim in Munich. Who remembers the game Augsburg vs. Bayern, when Bayern were still far away from the first signs of crisis, and yet won this very game, universally acknowledged, only happily? In this game, it clearly does NOT count that Augsburg’s worry about staying in the league could paralyse their legs. Everyone is playing freely here, as there are only bonus points to be won. The fans will support their team unconditionally anyway after the recent great performances, plus not only the visible increase in playing class, but also that of self-confidence. Furthermore: who believes in a complete march through of Dortmund? At some point the streak will break. Maybe in Augsburg? So 2/10.
Scepticism, of course, about the Schalke-HSV game. Both are in a bit of a crisis, but Schalke still have Thursday’s game at Twente Enschede to play. For them, too, it’s a case of not giving anything away in the home game and, if at all possible, securing 4th place (if not climbing even higher). After all, HSV will now have to do without Guerrero, who is actually in good form, which gives the bet a courageous 5/10.
2) The 2nd Bundesliga
a. The table situation
b. The chances of promotion
Note: the simulation of League 2 runs exactly like that of League 1. 5000 runs were also made. Third place logically gives a 1/3 chance of promotion, although it might still depend on the pairing. Since the top favourites are ahead here, it could well be 50% that the second division third place team has against the first division third last.
c. Point expectations and discrepancies
d. Evaluation of the 5th second division matchday
e. Preview of the 7th Second League Matchday