The Final Friday/Abstiegskampf

It is going to be very long weekend, that’s the disadvantage of playing on a Friday, now you have to spend the rest of the weekend watching and waiting. I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night worrying about tonight’s game and I suspect the rest of the weekend will go much the same way. Only it won’t be one long night ahead of me but two because whilst Hannover play Bremen tomorrow and Stuttgart play Mainz later the same day, Paderborn do not play till Sunday.

I should not have written that, I should never have written that Hamburg would be allowed to ruin my Friday. Because that’s exactly what happened, they got a goal and a point that they did not deserve. Someone online the other day said that the Bundesliga is not for those with weak nerves, oh how right they were. How nerve-shredding it is to go one up in the twenty-fifth minute and the spending the next sixty-five minutes in a perpetual state of fear, knowing that at no point can you think we’re safe now. Not even when the 90th minute has passed can you breathe and think it’s over now, made that mistake before against Hannover, won’t be doing that again any time soon.

Last night I dreamed that Jogi was at the game, that Freiburg scored and despite being in the crowd, he celebrated in the manner he does down on the touchline. It wasn’t entirely wrong, they did score and in doing so provided a reason to celebrate, just a shame they didn’t give him and us a reason to celebrate again sixty-five minutes later. Though I have to say, at this point I wouldn’t be celebrating too much, more breathing a sigh of relief. Right now that would be enough, just knowing that they are safe. As things stand at the moment, I don’t have that and won’t have that for the next two weeks, it will be undecided right until the final day.

Bayern may have the title all sown up but there is still plenty to play for everyone else, there’s still the battle for second place with Gladbach gunning for Wolfsburg and whilst the battle for Champions League places has been definitively settled, the fight for the Europa League spots continues. Leaving of course the relegation battle which is going to go right down to the wire, right down to the very last game. The last day is not going to be fun at all, two games in which four of the teams in the bottom will fight it out for survival. Freiburg visiting Hannover and Paderborn playing host to Stuttgart. Even though I complained about it, I suppose it’s a blessing in one way that all the games on the final two days are played on the same day and at the same time for it means there will be no waiting. You’ll know straight away who is safe and who is not. Normally when I’m watching one match I don’t like to check how the others are going, partly because it’s distracting and partly in case I want to watch them later. I won’t be able to avoid doing that on the next two Saturdays, no way can I wait to find out how the other games turned out.

Time and time again they have taken the lead and then thrown it away late in the game thanks to a careless mistake or a moment of last minute indiscipline, here it wasn’t the case, they really couldn’t have done anything about it. Somehow it hurts more knowing that the goal couldn’t have really been prevented, that it wasn’t a mistake on anyone’s part.It wasn’t Bürki’s fault, in fact he may have been fouled by Kacar. That’s irrelevant now, there’s no point in obsessing over whether or not that was the case.

Last week I was I have to admit a little disappointed in them, they’ve obviously lost many times this season and have thrown many a lead away but there was something particularly annoying about losing to Paderborn. This week I’m not disappointed in them just a little disheartened if that’s the right word, to watch them play so well and with such intensity, to see them clearly be the better side, to be the side that clearly wanted it more and to still not come away with the three points.

A point is better than nothing, it means survival is still theoretically possible, though it does depend on other results going the right way. For example it’s imperative that Paderborn lose to Wolfsburg on Sunday. It’s equally important that Hannover lose to Bremen, whilst I’d place good money on the former I would not place any bets on the latter. Hannover have a new coach and did well to get a draw against Wolfsburg last week so their game could go either way as could events in Stuttgart. Seeing as how Freiburg played tonight I’ll most likely watch Frankfurt’s game, they play host to Hoffenheim. That game has no significance for Freiburg, I should really be watching the Hannover game but I can’t bear to watch another team fighting for survival, I’d rather take the opportunity to watch Frankfurt instead. Besides that it’ll be fun, one of Jogi’s teams against Hansi’s Hoffenheimers.

After conceding that goal, Hamburg now hold a record no team wants to be the holder of, they are the first team in the Bundesliga to concede 2,500 goals. Given that defensively speaking they’ve been one of the worst teams in the bottom third of the table, that comes as no surprise. They are breaking all the wrong kinds of records this season and if they were to get relegated they would break another because they are the only team who are one of the founding members of the Bundesliga to have never been relegated. There’s another record that they’ve been scarily close to as well this season, that of the least goals ever scored in a season. That record is held by the infamous SC Tasmania 1900 Berlin who in their one season in the top flight scored just fifteen goals, only seven less than Hamburg’s current tally. The story of Tasmania Berlin has to be one of the strangest Bundesliga stories ever. They only got to be in the top flight because of Hertha BSC’s relegation due to their breaking of the player salary rules. Unbelievable as it sounds the Berlin Wall was the reason for their promotion. The authorities decided that there had to be a team from Berlin in the top flight, for political and symbolic purposes. That season was also when the Bundesliga was expanded to eighteen teams, in order to provide space for the two promoted teams.

Speaking of the league table, this is how things look until tomorrow’s games are played:

screenshot-www bundesliga com 2015-05-08 23-08-08Admir Mehmedi is the man who got the goal for Freiburg, only his third of the season, an excellent goal it was too. It’s funny that he’s one of my favourite players and that he plays for Freiburg, the reason for that being the fact that he scored his first international goal for Switzerland in their 5-3 victory over Germany in 2012. A result which resulted in a more than a little criticism for Jogi Löw and was something of a surprise given that Switzerland had not beaten their neighbors since 1956. I don’t have a copy of that game yet, the reason being the only person who has the whole game has it in Spanish, I’m still holding out for a German copy before I give in and get it from them. Partly for completion sake, partly because of the score line and because of Mehmedi but also because it was the game in which Marc-Andre Ter Stegen made his international debut.

It’s cool that I got Mehmedi’s Bundesliga sticker just last night, a nice little prophecy that was. Getting his sticker wasn’t the only good thing this week, today I reached ten thousand views, something that is even better because when I saw this, I had seven views from Brazil. How perfect is that, seven goals, seven views and Brazil, you couldn’t ask for a better trifecta of number perfection.

It’s a real shame that they didn’t win, it really was a super sweet one touch goal from Mehmedi. It’s also a shame that he hasn’t scored more often this season, he has the talent to do so. The following videos and pictures would be a lot more joyful were I celebrating their victory obviously, they still bring a little bit of joy, victory or not. First up is a GIF of Roman Bürki celebrating, then a video of  a super save of his followed by a video of the goal. And to finish pictures of Mehmedi and some of the team celebrating:

Roman Bürki celebrates - HSV v SC Freiburg

Back-up link.

Admir Mehmedi & Jonathan Schmid - HSV v SCF SCF celebrate Mehmedi goal against HSV Admir Mehmedi - goal celebration - HSV v SCF

 

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