Of all the things I’ve been looking forward to this season the new sticker album would come close to topping the list and for two simple reasons, Freiburg being back in the top flight and finally getting a sticker of Nils Petersen as a Freiburg player. I’ve waited two years for the latter and it was worth the wait. As luck would have it I got one of his stickers in the first lot of packets I opened from the blisterpack, the shiny version of him too. In total I got six Freiburg players from the first lot of stickers, including getting Alexander Schwolow in the first page of the album which made me most unhappy. I wanted to get him from a packet and now I feel cheated of that. As well as Nils and Alex I also got who is shaping up to be my favourite player this season, Turkish defender Caglar Söyüncü. And Vincenzo Grifo, Marc-Oliver Kempf and Aleksandar Ignjovski. From the packets however it wasn’t a Freiburg player who was the first of my favourites to appear, that honour goes to Jonas Hector of 1.FC Köln. Now that I don’t mind, he may not be a Freiburg man but I like him a great deal and I was just as happy get Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski.
I do however have one major complaint with the album, just like the Champions League one it has no sticker of Matthias Ginter or Erik Durm, he was in there last season but isn’t now. It’s one of two reasons why I have no pictures of the Dortmund page. The other reason is the same one there’s no picture of the Bayern page either, with Freiburg being back in the top flight it’s not necessary. They’re in there and instead VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 suffer the ignomy of having just a sticker for their badge and kits at the back of the album:
Posted in Bundesliga, Fußball, Germany, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg, Stickers
Tagged Aleksandr Ignjovski, Alexander Schwolow, Çağlar Söyüncü, Bayern Munich, Bundesliga 2016/17 stickers, Jonas Hector, Marc-Oliver Kempf, Nils Petersen, Robert Lewandowski, SC Freiburg, Thomas Müller, Vincenzo Grifo
I wasn’t sure I could enjoy any part of this evening’s games, indeed it took a little while before I could focus on what I was watching. I still felt a little guilty about being so easily distracted but I guess that’s normal. Whilst Tuesday’s round of games were a little disappointing and maybe didn’t offer sufficient distraction Wednesday was very different. I’m certainly glad I chose not to watch the news before the game (a mistake I made the previous night), had I done so it may have ruined what came after. Both games which were of most interest delivered not only on their promise of distraction and entertainment but in giving me exactly what I wanted. Three points a piece for Bayern and Freiburg from their respective games, and Leipzig being given no chance of resuming their brief stay at the top of the table. They I’m very happy to say are not the winter champions. It pains me to say they were last season, with them having a three point lead on Freiburg in the 2.Bundesliga table but they couldn’t repeat the feat in the top flight. I didn’t get my Christmas wish last year but I have now, it may seem unambitious in comparison to what Leipzig are aiming for but I don’t care. Freiburg are in the top half of the table and will stay there for another month. They are very far off from the position they were in two years ago, back then they were in the relegation zone and it’s where they spent the winter break. It’s nowhere near where they are now:
In their final game before the Christmas break in 2014 they played Hannover and drew 2-2, conceding a late goal which thanks to a technical fault I didn’t get to see. Matter of fact I still haven’t seen that goal, I guess some things you don’t need to see. There is one good thing from that game, the two players who scored the goals, Mike Frantz and Marc-Oliver Kempf are still part of the squad. This time round they faced Ingolstadt who are doing their best to do what Freiburg were doing two years ago, avoiding relegation. As the title suggests it was Florian Niederlechner who scored the winning goal, actually he scored both of them. It didn’t snow but that doesn’t matter, I like calling him a snow king. Nils didn’t start again which is always disappointing, even more so is that he didn’t get to add to his tally when he did come on. In his absence it fell to Niederlechner to take the penalty, and in scoring those two goals he got his first Bundesliga brace. It wasn’t an easy game and they worked hard for those three points, Schwolow like he did in the previous two games at his best to keep the score as it was towards the end. One final thing I have to mention about Hannover, neither they nor Stuttgart get the honour of being winter champions either. Both of them being overtaken in the table by Eintracht Braunschweig. Something which makes me happy for two reasons, firstly Braunschweig are my promotion pick for the season and secondly I don’t want them getting something Freiburg didn’t get.
Speaking of getting something Freiburg didn’t Bayern did that and then some, putting three goals past Leipzig and not just beating them but taking them apart. I know it’s wrong to enjoy someone else’s misfortune (not least when it’s Freiburg who face Bayern next) but I make an exception when it comes to Leipzig. As always Neuer celebrated the goal as he usually does, the GIF isn’t quite as good as the other celebatory ones of him but I had to make it:
Same as I had to add some pictures of Florian and one of Nils to complete the set:
It’s funny in a way, I’m totally focused on football after being unable to stop thinking about bad stuff and now the football is over. I’ll have to find something else to occupy myself with until the 20th January. It’s not as bad as it sounds though, it’s only 29 days without football. To be more precise without German football. The time will most likely fly by, if these past few weeks are anything to go by I won’t even notice it, let alone remember.
I don’t know how much of that I’ll remember but for the next few days there’s one thing I can’t forget, the last few days of the advent calendars. Day 21 saw defender Marc-Oliver Kempf make his appearance which is excellent timing on his part, seeing as how I was just talking about the Hannover game in which he scored the first goal. Though to be honest there’s not a bad time for him to make his appearance, he’s the kind of person I’d always be happy to see. In the Dortmund calendar was midfielder Felix Passlack whose last appearance for Dortmund was in the crazy 8-4 win against Legia Warsaw, in fact he scored the seventh goal. And because it’s Marc-Oliver’s day I think the GIF of him and Grifo dancing should make a reappearance, it’s so good it should be used twice:
Posted in Bundesliga, Fußball, Germany, Manuel Neuer, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg
Tagged Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga, FC Ingolstadt, Felix Passlack, Florian Niederlechner, Marc-Oliver Kempf, Nils Petersen, RB Leipzig, SC Freiburg
Freiburg’s game against Schalke may not have been nearly as exciting as Dortmund’s last night but that doesn’t matter, the point they earned against Schalke means more than any point Dortmund ever get. It’s alwasy disappointing to have to settle for a draw after taking the lead but it was a fair result. They didn’t lose which is the most important thing because it means for the first time this season they are undefeated in three games. Florian Niederlechner is the man who scored the goal but it’s not him I’ve been thinking about today. Actually the player I’m thinking of didn’t get to make an appearance today, he’ll have to wait until Wednesday to add to his tally. Nils Petersen didn’t play but they talked about him on the pre-match show, to be more specific they were discussing his joker status. He’s in third place of the Joker-Könige table and if he scores four more from the bench he’ll top the list. But it’s not what they said which I’ve been thinking about all day, it’s what they did, making him up to look like the joker from Batman:
I have no Jogi videos from today but that doesn’t mean there’s no pictures, there are two from his interview in Bild. It’s not however the pictures which please me so much, that’s reserved for the question Jogi was asked about who he thinks is the Bundesliga coach of the year. The first name he mentioned was none other than Christian Streich, qualifying his comments by saying he’s not just saying what he is because he’s from Freiburg and he knows him well. The gist of his comments was that Freiburg have done well after being relegated, losing so many of their best players yet still being promoted right away as 2.Bundesliga champions. And after all that they are of course sitting right in the middle of the Bundesliga table. He also points out they did all that whilst making very few additions to their squad and continue to develop young players well. The pictures:
And of course the advent calendars, in Freiburg’s was midfielder Mike Frantz and in the Dortmund one left-back Marcel Schmelzer. It tickled me at first and I couldn’t figure out why, nor could I figure out why I was thinking of the song Stuck in the Middle with You. Turns out Petersen is key, more specifically his joker status. Schmelzer is a left back and Frantz often plays on the right-hand side of midfield. Which is why the line “Clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right” is stuck in my head. Not that I’m saying Schmelzer is a clown, not at all. Because of course Frantz isn’t the joker of the piece either, though he did score a very important goal against Paderborn last season. It proved to be a goal every bit important as all those that came before it, most of them being scored by Petersen of course. And it was Petersen who scored the next goal just two minutes later, the goal which confirmed Freiburg’s status as 2.Bundesliga champions and sealing their return to the top flight.
Posted in Bundesliga, Fußball, Germany, Jogi Löw, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg
Tagged Borussia Dortmund, Joachim "Jogi" Löw, Marcel Schmelzer, Mike Frantz, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg
Posted in Autism, Fußball, Germany, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg
Tagged Amir Abrashi, Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Borussia Dortmund, Christian Günter, Gonzalo Castro, Nils Petersen, Robert Lewandowski, SC Freiburg, Thomas Müller
Like yesterday’s post I don’t really know where to start, but I promised myself I would at least give this a shot. Even if I just post pictures of whatever player’s day it is and write a few words this is something I want to stick to. Though I will admit I’m not feeling particularly motivated right now. It’s difficult to wake up in a good mood when the first thing you hear is someone screaming at another person because they can’t get their own way, certainly not the best way to start the day. Not that it was really daytime, closer to evening in fact. I hope today is the day I can break that pattern, with just one day to go before Freiburg play Leverkusen it kind of has to be. I can’t change what other people do but I can at least try to make sure the rest of my day goes better. With the aim of getting in the mood for El Classico on Saturday afternoon I’ve found an old match to watch from 2012. I don’t understand much Spanish but that doesn’t really matter, some things go beyond words. It’s nice enough to listen to anyway.
Speaking of nice the calendars most definitely didn’t disappoint, though the joke on the Freiburg one is a little painful. It says 24 goals until Christmas, painful because that’s exactly how many goals they’ve conceded in the league going into MD13. Their last season in the Bundesliga before being relegated in 2015 their problem was the number of draws, racking up 13 of them. Now it’s the other way around, they are the only team in the league to have not drawn a game with 5 wins and 7 losses. Of course Leverkusen are struggling too at the moment so who knows. Anyhow the calendars:
It’s just the two calendars this year, no DFB one which means no cards unfortunately. All I have is a little picture of a Freiburg player and a Dortmund chocolate wrapper. Behind door number one in the Freiburg calendar was fittingly enough Nils Petersen who needs no introduction. I hope it’s a good omen for Saturday, he has four goals so far this season. His first goal was on MD2 against Gladbach, a penalty in the 88th minute. His second was the winner against HSV, the third against Augsburg and the fourth a potentially rallying goal late in the game against Mainz. Since the picture from the calendar is too small to take a picture of I thought I’d include some from his games this season plus a video of his goals so far. Before that however is the matter of who was behind door number 1 in the Dortmund calendar. The 24 coincidence was painful and so is the identity of the player in Dortmund calendar, it’s none other than USA international Christian Pulisic. He’s just 18 years old but he’s already broken a host of records, including being the youngest non-German to score a Bundesliga goal and being the youngest American international player to play in a World Cup qualifier. I have nothing against him, the opposite in fact. It’s just the fact he’s American, one of Klinsi’s players, at least he used to be. Still at least I have Petersen, that’s all that counts.
Nils Petersen goals – 2016-17 (MD1-13)
Whether Grifo scored a goal today or not he would have been the first thing to come to mind when I saw this prompt. This is the definition of the word I got from the dictionary – Someone or something that is graceful moves in a smooth and controlled way which is attractive to watch. It fits him perfectly, he really is a dream to watch and today was no exception. In an overly physical game against Eintracht Frankfurt he was not only the most entertaining player to watch but the best one too. That goal was his first ever Bundesliga goal and I could not be happier for him. Not only did he score the decisive goal but it was special in another way too, he just helped create a club record. For the first time ever Freiburg have won nine home games in a row. In fact they’ve won all three of their home games so far, along with beating Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 they beat Gladbach 3-1 and HSV 1-0. There was one amusing moment after the final whistle which I can’t not mention. Christian Streich may not have moved particularly gracefully when he went off in search of Nils Petersen to celebrate with him but that doesn’t matter. You can see how happy he is and that’s all that counts. He’s definitely the kind of person who goes his own way, who marches to his own beat. But then that’s precisely why I’m so fond of him:
I just wish I could move like Grifo does, he skips around defenders like they aren’t even there. Unfortunately I have more in common with Thomas Mūller in that regard. Clumsy and awkward is more how I move. Though of course Müller is graceful in his own strange little way, he doesn’t look it most of the time but he really is. He’s effective anyway, even if he looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. The DFB summed up his style perfectly in a tweet, describing him as a “swan on ice skates.” On the subject of Bayern I have to include this GIF, it’s only loosely connected to the topic at hand but I couldn’t resist. It’s an odd day when you see Manuel Neuer make a mistake or show some poor decision making. I have no clue what he was doing, none whatsoever. Oliver Baumann is usually the one who provides me with my funny goalkeeper moments of the week but this time it’s Neuer’s turn:
There is of course another way in which a person can be graceful, in the sense of being polite and pleasant towards other people, in particular in awkward or difficult situations. It’s not always easy to remain polite and keep one’s cool when you feel like someone is deliberately trying to get a reaction from you, as has been the case today. But I’m doing my very best to do just that, to keep calm and not give them the reaction they want. Getting angry would be letting them win and I’ve gotten angry far too many times this week already. Whether it’s randoms on the internet or people in real life I’m determined not to get angry and end up ranting and raving. Getting angry isn’t constructive and I just end up feeling more annoyed with myself afterwards.
I talked about a similar matter with someone a few weeks ago, about arguing with people online and attempting to educate ignorant people. Combating ignorance is always a good thing but not when it drives you crazy in the process. Their point was you’re angry, ok so what are you going to do about it. Other than arguing with people whose views you’re never going to change. I didn’t agree with them at the time but now I can see their point. I get all worked up over things I can’t even change. It’s like they’ve won twice, they’re spreading igorance about autism and disability and they’ve gotten you angry and all bent out of shape about it. So angry that you can’t even think straight, let alone form a coherent argument. So angry that you’re still ranting about it days after it happened. At some point you need to step back and say I’m not getting involved with this. Which I know is easier said than done. Letting go of things is never easy but I need to learn how to do that, in a lot of different ways.
I have to say it’s very ironic, autistic people are often accused of not caring or thinking of what other people feel and think. It feels like I do nothing but that, maybe not in the way I’m meant to but I most definitely do care about what other people think. In fact I think I spend too much time thinking about such things. Right now I’m not wasting any time on doing so. I’m doing what I need and nothing more, I’m not worried about what anyone else thinks or if I’m being strange again. A so called normal person watches their favourite film for like the twentieth time or more it’s just because they really love the film and it’s their favourite. An autistic person does it and they’re “engaging in repetitive and obsessive behaviours.” I think sometimes when it comes to autism people spend so much time seeing it as something seperate from people they forget that autistic people are just that, people. A human being with thoughts and feelings just like them. You read the way some parents talk about their kids and it’s like they think they needed to be taught to be a person. As if somehow they weren’t before. They only see them as a person now they can make eye contact and engage socially the way they want them to. Someone is not less of a person if they can’t learn how to do that but it feels like that’s what such people are implying. And that’s in danger of becoming a rant, which I’m not meant to do.
Rather than getting angry all over again I’m going to resume watching Inglourious Basterds. Watching it wasn’t on my schedule, I didn’t know it was on till a few moments before it started. But I’m doing so anyway and look at that, I’m being flexible about something. If you believe everything you read about autism I’m not supposed to be able to do that. But then if you believe everything you hear or read about autistic people we’re not meant to be capable of being friendly, happy or affectionate either. Nor are we meant to have a sense of humour. I actually read someone asking how someone else’s child could possibly have autism because they were happy, smiling and said hello to them. Just what they think autistic people are like I don’t know. That encounter by itself is an excellent argument for why I shouldn’t waste my time or energy interacting with such people. When that’s the level of ignorance you’re dealing with it’s just not worh it.
Posted in Autism, Bundesliga, Fußball, Germany, Manuel Neuer, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg
Tagged Anger, Autism/Asperger's Syndrome, Christian Streich, Manuel Neuer, Nils Petersen, SC Freiburg, Thomas Müller