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

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.

League Takes Centre Stage Amidst European Hannover

The League of Ireland takes centre stage tonight as Ireland’s only team remaining in Europe lies on the brink of elimination.

St Patricks Athletic suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hand of Hannover 96 last night to leave their European dreams in tatters.

Die Roten, a squad who finished 7th in the Bundesliga last year and reached the Europa League quarter finals, showed their quality in the opening minutes when Leon Andreasen’s strike from 25 yards gave Brendan Clarke no chance and put the visitors the ahead.

Hannover took a 1-0 lead into half-time but it was the Saints who looked more likely to score early in the second half as they took the game to the away team. Christy Fagan spurned two great opportunities to pull a goal back.

Hannover extended their lead against the run of play when a mistimed tackle from Greg Bolger conceded a free kick which Christian Pander duly converted on 67 minutes.

Didier Konan Ya got the third for the visitors to leave the Saints with a mountain to climb if they are to reach the Europa League playoffs.

Pats deserved a goal for their efforts but scant reward. This classy Hannover 96 outfit never reached their full potential as they are still in pre season but if they decide to take it up a notch next week then the Saints will struggle further.

Bohemian FC –v- Bray Wanderers          7:45 

Fifth placed Bohemians take on Bray Wanderers fresh from a two week break in a must win game for Bray at Dalymount Park.

Two goals from Evan McMillan were enough to give Bohemians a 2-1 win over relegation battling Dundalk last time ot. Those three points lifted Bohs to fifth and keeps up their chances of challenging for a European place. Bohs have lacked consistency this season, but two wins from two and another three points here could start a good run of form.

Bray Wanderers haven’t played since the 0-0 draw at home to Shamrock Rovers. With a two break to regroup, Keith Long and his team will be focused on moving themselves further up the table and avoiding getting drawn into a relegation battle with Dundalk and UCD. Three points against Bohs should be the aim, one point the minimum requirement.

Prediction: Home win 

Dundalk –v- Cork City                             7:45 

After a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Bohemians, Dundalk’s mini run of form ended last week. A home tie against mid table Cork City could be a potentially tricky tie.

A solitary goal from Michael Rafter was not enough to give Dundalk a positive result against Bohemians. Still languishing second from bottom on 14 points and in dire financial trouble Dundalk have had a hard time this season. Despite last week’s setback the players have rallied and gained some favourable results in recent times, and are capable of getting another one here.

A 0-0 draw last week against Shelbourne kept Cork City languishing mid-table in eight place. However if Cork experience a bad run of form it could see them drop closer to the relegation zone, so a win against a potential relegation rival is a must here.

Prediction: Away win

 

UCD –v- Shamrock Rovers                      7:45 

After a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Drogheda United, UCD are all but confirmed to spend life in the first division next season. This week they take on Shamrock Rovers fresh from a confidence boosting away win at Derry City

Though it’s not mathematically certain, with only two wins all season the likely outcome sees UCD being relegated to the first division. 11 defeats in 18 games would suggest that UCD are in for a rough second half of the season. If they can take advantage of the shaky form that Shamrock Rovers have had as of late and come away with a win then it may start a resurgence.

Thanks to a goal from Ronan Finn, Shamrock Rovers got their first league win against Derry City since June 21st. Another win here could possibly give them a new lease of life and allow them to push themselves further up the table.

Prediction: Away win

 

Sligo Rovers –v- Drogheda United           7:45 

The big game in the Airtricity League is the top of the table clash between league leaders Sligo Rovers and second placed Drogheda United at the Showgrounds.

After the cancellation of last week’s game against St Patrick’s Athletic, Sligo Rovers have had over a week to prepare for their biggest game of the season. Win and they go four points clear with a game in hand, lose and they slip from first place for the first time this season. Sligo suffered a big blow last week with the news that star player Danny North is out for the remainder of the season. Time will tell if they can cope without him but it’s a big blow.

A solitary goal from Declan O’Brien was enough to give Drogheda United all three points against UCD last week. Knowing a win this week will lift them to the top of the table, Mick Cooke will have his side extremely motivated. Drogheda are the in-form side in the league at the moment, six wins in a row leading up to this game, if they make it seven, then they’re in pole position to win the league.

Prediction: Draw

Scout Report: Five Hannover Players Pats Must Be Wary Of

St Patricks Athletic square off against Hannover 96 tonight in the Europa League. With a pulsating tie in store, Irish News Review takes a look at the five biggest threats that could potentially hamper St Patricks Athletic’s European dreams.

Mohammed Abdellaoue

The Norwegian international poses the greatest threat to Pats ambitions of Europa League success. The former Valerenga striker, who made his international debut against the Republic Of Ireland, has been a success since he joined Hannover in 2010, bagging 21 goals in 54 games to date. The Pats rearguard will have to be at their best to keep the clubs top scorer from last season at bay and ensure they don’t concede an away goal.

Dider Ya Konan

The former Ivorian footballer of the year is a significant player for Die Roten, with his performances last season catching the eye of Bayern Munich amongst others. The former Rosenborg star is extremely talented although his goal ratio isn’t the best. Konan has scored 29 goals in 80 games since making his move to Germany three years ago but his talent cannot be underestimated. Konan is the player who makes Mirko Slomka’s side tick and Liam Buckley will have briefed his side on the importance of stopping the Ivorian international.

Szabolcs Huszti

Huszti rejoined Hannover on July 23rd after a three year spell in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg. The former Hungarian international is a welcomed addition to Slomka’s side and will provide some much needed experience on the wings. His pace and ability pose a threat to any side and the Pats wingers will have to be solid in their defensive duties to keep Huszti quiet.

Ron Robert Zieler

German international keeper Zieler is the man tasked with keeping Supersaints striker Christy Fagan quiet. This challenge between the duo pits two ex Manchester United youths against each other. 23 year old Zieler joined Hannover in 2010 and quickly established himself as the club’s number one keeper. Sir Alex Ferguson showed great faith in the youngster’s ability by plucking him from FC Koln at the tender age of 16.

Steve Cherundolo

American international Cherundolo is something of a legend in Lower Saxony having spent his entire club career with Hannover 96 to date. The man affectionately known to Die Roten fans as “Dolo” should make his 350th appearance for the club in next week’s return leg in Germany. Club captain Cherundolo is one of the most underrated full backs in the Bundesliga and will pose a threat going forward.

Pats Ready For Hannover Battle

St Patricks Athletic will look to continue their Europa League journey tonight when they square off against Bundesliga giants Hannover 96 at Tallaght Stadium (Kick off 7.45pm).

Tonight’s high profile tie with the Bundesliga giants is the reward for Pats following their extra time victories over both ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar and Široki Brijeg – leaving the Saints as the League of Ireland’s sole representative left in European competition.

It is the second successive season that Pats have reached this stage, having been knocked out by Karpaty Lviv last season.

Hannover remain in the middle of their pre-season preparations ahead of the beginning of the 2012/13 Bundesliga season on August 23rd when they open up their campaign with a home tie with FC Schalke 04. They come to Dublin with an air of confidence and few can blame them as they are the clear favourites, however such is the nature of football that the favourites tag can often be seen as a hindrance.

Pats won’t fear their illustrious opponents and have tasted the strength of the Bundesliga in recent years. 2008 saw the Saints square off against Hertha Berlin, a tie they were rather unlucky in. The Saints lost 2-0 in the first leg but achieved a credible nil all draw in the return leg in Dublin, a game they easily could have won.

Speaking to stpatsfc.com, Saints’ manager Liam Buckley stated that while his side were under no illusions of the calibre of Hannover 96 and the huge challenge they would pose, it was one that everyone at the club were relishing and that his side would concentrate on their own performance rather than worrying about the opposition.

“We have to make sure we play our way. When we get the ball, we’ve got to be even more patient in terms of keeping possession – our supporters have been great in understanding that and supporting us this season.”

“We’ve a tough game Thursday night, but we’ll rely on what we’ve been working on for the past few months, and if we retain the ball, they’re not going to score. So we cannot afford to give the ball away cheaply which we have done at times this season – if we can avoid doing that, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

Buckley reported that the Saints will be without the services of Stephen O’Flynn after breaking a rib, the striker is expected to be out for up to a month. Dean Kelly is also on the casualty list with a groin injury, while Mark Rossiter is a long term absentee with a knee injury.

Buckley however is hoping to have new signing Vinny Faherty registered in time for tomorrow night’s clash.