Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘ Hannover 96 ’

World Cup 2014: The Dark Horses

worldcup2014

Yesterday, we had a good look at the four teams most likely to win the upcoming World Cup. What we have yet to touch on is one of the most lively debates before any international tournament. Who will be the team who emerges from nowhere to thrill the crowds and cause a few upsets along the way? Is there a team from lower down the international pecking order who can surprise us all and go all the way? Usually there is at least one team who overachieves in these competitions, and calling them right is often the difference between winning and losing the fantasy football wars, so here we will look at four teams who could potentially go from dark horses to World Cup champions in the space of a few weeks in June. Continue reading

Advertisements

Trapattoni Misses Out On Hannover Job

trap

Giovanni Trapattoni was recently turned down for the Hannover 96 manager’s job, according to chairman Martin Kind.

The former Republic of Ireland boss was one of a host of names to apply for the post, but the Bundesliga outfit have since appointed Tayfun Korkut as Mirko Slomka’s replacement. Continue reading

Fan Ownership The Way Forward As Waterford Back From The Brink

wufcWaterford United have today seen a winding up order against them striked out after the club’s owners and former manager Stephen Henderson agreed a deal in the High Court.

After weeks of negotiating both parties reached an amicable agreement at the eleventh hour. Continue reading

Bundesliga Sits Atop European Football Throne

bundesli

The Bundesliga league season has culminated in spectacular fashion with final day drama sealing the unlikely relegation of a club who thought they were safe. The standard of German football on the whole has improved since a beleaguered national side surprisingly made their way to the 2002 World Cup Final only to be humbled by the mighty Brazil. But German football has bounced back and is now stronger than ever as Europe gets set to witness the first ever all German Champions League Final this Saturday when Borussia Dortmund battle Bayern Munich at Wembley.

Ahead of the big showdown we take a look through the rest of the Bundesliga, a league brimming with big clubs, exciting talents and more goals than any other league in Europe. Continue reading

Battle Of The Rovers While Pats Resume League Action

The League of Ireland resumes this week with the league’s final European representative St Patricks Athletic bowing out of Europe after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Hannover 96. The Saints gave a good account of themselves despite losing 5-0 on aggregate and will be now looking to resume their title tilt and push Sligo Rovers all the way. But while the Saints have had a league sabbatical, reigning champions Shamrock Rovers now seem well equipped to challenge the Bit O’Red while Drogheda United lost some distance last time out.

Shamrock Rovers –v- Sligo Rovers      7:45

First versus Third this week as Shamrock Rovers take on title chasing Sligo Rovers in the big game this week at Tallaght Stadium.

After a shaky couple of weeks Shamrock Rovers are starting put together a run of form that could see them really challenge for the league. Goals from Gary Twigg and Gary McCabe were enough to give them all three points against UCD last week. They face a tougher prospect this time around taking on a team that could easily replace them as champions by the end of the season.

Giving that their main goal threat Danny North has been ruled out for the season, it was very surprising and highly encouraging for Ian Baraclough to see other players step up to the mark in what was a must win game last week against Drogheda United. Goals from Mark Quigley, Seamus Conneely, Romauld Boco and Joseph Ndo gave Sligo all three points. Baraclough will be expecting more of the same this week, knowing a win puts them nine points clear of their opponents, and becomes a question of when rather than if Sligo Rovers get their hands on the league trophy.

Bray Wanderers –v- Dundalk             7:45 

After draws for both sides last week Bray Wanderers and Dundalk will be looking for all three points in a bottom of the table clash at Carlisle Grounds.

A 0-0 draw away at Bohemians was a good result for Bray Wanderers last week. Currently sitting third from bottom, three points ahead of their opponents this week, Bray will be looking to extend that gap to six and avoid being dragged into a close hard fought relegation battle.

Coming from behind and getting a 1-1 draw thanks to a goal from Gary Shanahan was a good result for Dundalk. Many of their games in recent weeks have ended in draws and caretaker manager Darius Kierans will be looking for his side to turn those draws into victories. It’s a must win game for Dundalk, lose and they will fall six points behind.

Prediction: Draw 

Drogheda United –v- Bohemian FC   7:45 

After a heavy defeat to Sligo Rovers, Drogheda United will look to bounce back to winning ways as they play host to Bohemians at Hunky Dory’s Park.

Last week was certainly not in the script for Drogheda United. A team on a multiple week winning streak against a side missing their main goal threat going down 4-1 was a huge surprise. Drogheda are still in for a chance at the league but need to bounce back quickly and a home game against Bohemians is the place to do it.

Bohs could only manage a 0-0 draw against Bray Wanderers last week and will be looking to take advantage of the potential drop in confidence of their opponents. Currently sitting fifth and still in with a shout of a European place next season Bohs will need to be firing on all cylinders to get a positive result at Hunky Dory’s Park.

Prediction: Home win 

Shelbourne –v- UCD                             7:45 

After a two week break Shelbourne take on a UCD side desperate for a win at Tolka Park.

Currently in sixth position and with a chance at a European Place Shelbourne will be looking for all three points as they take on bottom placed UCD.  Having not played since the 2-1 defeat to Drogheda United on July 20th, Shelbourne have had plenty of time to prepare and manager Alan Matthews and his side will be confident of getting a result that will keep them in touching distance of the front pack.

A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Shamrock Rovers has all but cemented UCD’s relegation this season. While not mathematically certain, their form and run of results would suggest no way out for Martin Russell and his side. A win here might give them a fighting chance but the odds are not looking good.

Prediction: Home win 

Cork City –v- St Patrick’s Athletic      7:45 

Coming of the back of a 1-1 draw against Dundalk, Cork City will be facing a tough prospect against a St Patricks Athletic side that haven’t played in the league since July 22nd.

A solitary goal from Ian Turner was not enough to give Cork City all three points against Dundalk last week. Currently sitting in a relatively comfortable eight position Cork will be looking to take advantage of the inconsistent form of St Patricks Athletic and come out with at least a draw.

St Patricks Athletic have not played since their 1-1 draw with UCD on July 22nd. The two games scheduled since, against Sligo Rovers and Derry City have been postponed in order to help the Saints compete in Europe. The draw specialists this season, Pat’s will need to turn those draws into wins if they are to have any chance of winning the league.

Prediction: Away win 

 

LOI V Bundesliga: A Steep Learning Curve

The League of Ireland has once again fallen victim to the underrated force of the Bundesliga after Hannover 96 all but ended St Patricks Athletic’s European dream after securing a three nil away win in Dublin.

The first leg tie saw goals from Leon Andreasen, Christian Pander and Didier Ya Konan break Saints hearts and all but end the tie as the contest. The Saints travel to Germany on Thursday for the second leg which is nothing but a formality but it could have been so different had Liam Buckley’s men claimed a well deserved goal.

The Inchicore side will travel to Hannover with pride at stake and will bow out of Europe with their heads held high after a great Europa League run saw them knock out IBV of Iceland and Siroki Brijeg of Bosnia before coming up against the might of the Germans, something they weren’t phased by.

Indeed it’s not the first time Ireland’s most consistent European club has felt the gulf in quality between the League of Ireland and the Bundesliga, a league which is arguably the toughest in the world. Hertha Berlin knocked Pats out of the Europa League in 2008 despite the Saints claiming a credible nil all draw at the RDS, which could have easily swung in the Saints favour.

Fast forward to 2012 and Die Roten proved a more brute force than their Bundesliga rivals. Hannover haven’t had any great European history but in recent years they have shown their form and prowess. The 2010/11 season saw an amazing fourth place finish for the men from Lower Saxony and ensured they ended their 19th year absence from competing on the European stage. Few could have predicted that finish for Mirko Slomka’s side yet the best was yet to come from the German side, who marched all the way to the Europa League quarter finals only to lose out to eventual winners Atletico Madrid.

This season offers another venture in the Europa League for Slomka’s side, who beat Pats 3-0 without really hitting their top gear. While 3-0 was incredibly flattering to the Germans, Pats deserve tremendous credible for their valiant second half showing. The League of Ireland is a world away from the Bundesliga both on and off the pitch but the determination and heart of St Patricks Athletic has shown that if lady luck was on their side it would have been a different story. In the end the clinical finishing of Hannover killed off the tie, although Brendan Clarke should have done better to save Pander’s free kick while there was a suspicion of offside about Ya Konan’s finish.

St Patricks Athletic have long been regarded as one of Ireland’s top clubs and their consistency on the European stage is far greater than any other club despite Shamrock Rovers tremendous feat of reaching the Europa League group stages last year.

Pats have an incredible home record in the Europa League but when they reach the crunch stage the very fact that they have to move their home tie from Richmond Park seems to be something of a mental hindrance. The Saints have enjoyed many great nights in Inchicore and have saw off some good sides such as Elfsborg, Krylya Sovetov and Siroki Brijeg. Such victories have brought the might of clubs such as Hertha Berlin, Steaua Bucharest, Karpaty Lviv and Hannover 96 to Dublin. European football is a tremendous learning curve and a whole different game to the domestic league.

If Pats can learn anything from their illustrious opponents of which Hannover are no doubt the finest then we may well see Ireland’s European club crack the Europa League year after year.

But until then Saints fans must remain content in the knowledge that fantastic European nights come at the expense of domestic success, as has been proven year upon year.

Remembering Enke

It was the day that stunned German football and dramatically changed the foundations of Hannover 96 for life.

Almost three years have passed since Hannover goalkeeper Robert Enke was tragically found dead after committing suicide on a railway track near the German city. The friendly lighthearted man that was known to his team mates was secretly struggling with depression, something he had battled for six years prior to his death. After been treated by a psychiatrist it was initially thought the ex Barcelona keeper had overcome his problems however he suffered a relapse after the death of his daughter Lara in 2006. Police uncovered a suicide note but never revealed any details. It was a tragic end to a short life and a sad end to a career which was about to take off.

The five year Hannover veteran was the heir apparent to Oliver Kahn’s position in the German national team after his inspirational form for Die Roten which saw him voted as best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga by his peers. He died with eight caps to his name and two days after his final appearance for Hannover.

It was the reaction of the club which firmly cemented its status as the people’s club. Upon the news breaking fans flocked to the AWD Arena to lay flowers, light candles and sign a book of condolences. The wider football world stood in unity with their German counterparts as tributes were paid around the globe while the German national team cancelled an upcoming friendly with Chile.

Five days after his death 40,000 packed out the AWD Arena for Enke’s funeral. Enke’s coffin, covered in white roses, was carried by six of his Hannover 96 teammates. He was then buried next to his daughter’s grave. As a further mark of respect for their former team mate, the players of Hannover 96 displayed the number one in a circle on the breast of their jerseys, as approved by the DFL as a subtle tribute, for the rest of the season. The mark of a great club is found in how they cope in the face of adversity and Hannover have endeared themselves to the world with their heartwarming actions.

Together with the German FA and the League Association, Hannover have made a commitment to establish the Robert Enke Foundation to deal with the mental health of players.

The city of Hannover has also paid tribute to their adopted son, renaming the street where the club is located in his memory.

The memory of Robert Enke lives on, forever etched in the hearts of Hannover and football fans alike.

Ruhe in Frieden

*For the full story of Enke’s life read the widely acclaimed “A Life Too Short: The Tragedy Of Robert Enke” by Ronald Reng.

 

*This article featured in The Saint, the official matchday programme of St Patricks Athletic, when they hosted Hannover 96 in Tallaght Stadium on August 2nd.

Advertisements
Advertisements