German football magazine 11 Freunde awards Max Eberl as manager of the year
The influential and informative German football magazine, 11 Freunde, organised an award recently. There were 40 nominees in 7 categories. In the category of manager of the year, Max Eberl of Borussia Moenchengladbach won despite nominees like Michael Zorc (Borussia Dortmund), Oliver Ruhnert (1. FC Union Berlin), Jochen Saier (SC Freiburg), Rudi Völler (Bayer Leverkusen) and Joerg Schmadtke (VfL Wolfsburg). Joerg Schmadtke showered praises on Eberl,”Max can convey things in a very likeable but consistent way. That’s one of his great strengths.”
- Alphonso Davies- newcomer of the season
- Leon Goretzka-Person of the season
- Joshua Kimmich-Player of the season
- Deniz Aytekin-Referee of the season
- Daniel Batz-Cup moment of the season
- Hansi Flick-Trainer of the season
The RB Leipzig project
RB Leipzig received so much press attention for obvious reasons. They played in the semi-final of the champions league under a dynamic and innovative coach in Julian Nagelsmann. Apart from the football success story that Leipzig represents in the heart of east Germany, the club still faces suspicion and disdain from many fans in the Bundesliga.
Because Leipzig did not grow organically like other Bundesliga clubs with an all-embracing fan base. There is a disconnect between the fans and club management as alluded in a New York Times article. Therefore, the opinion piece that tries to tie RB Leipzig’s success to Leipzig is ill-conceived. RB Leipzig is in the east by design, but based on its structure, it can thrive anywhere in Germany.
They’ve cleverly circumvented the 50+1 rule of the Bundesliga, which states that majority shares should not be owned by investors. Amid the conundrum that Leipzig represents as a polarizing figure both in east and west Germany, many fans wonder about its purpose and meaning in a broader sense. Is its allegiance to a corporate pro business modus operandi or a grass root fan base that tackles the socioeconomic issues in Leipzig and environs?
Football in Germany is sacrosanct. It is a religion for some. I am not surprised why the name RB Leipzig stoke flames of anger and apprehension for some fans. Based on the status quo of Leipzig, it is difficult to sell the idea that they solely represent the fans and not Red Bull.
Leipzig gained good publicity during and after the semi-final exit in the champions league. Will Leipzig use the momentum and goodwill of the fans for a long lasting relationship that is not tenuous?
Holger Badstuber degraded to amateur in Stuttgart
Holger Badstuber was a promising player with ambition until many injuries affected his form. Many argue that he has never recovered his form again. He is regarded as pechvogel (Unlucky) in German.
The latest bad news for Badstuber is the announcement by Stuttgart that he needs to play in the amateur team. Stuttgart’s sport director, Sven Mislintat, explained, “looking at the coming season and beyond, we’ve made personnel changes in our squad and to focus more on other players in the defensive area.” Stuttgart has new signings in the defensive area like Konstantinos Mavropanos (FC Arsenal) and Waldemar Anton (Hannover 96)
Stuttgart’s intent as conveyed by Mislintat is understandable, “We have informed Holger of this decision, which is solely because of sporting reasons, in an open discussion.” It is a continuum between transparency and honesty.
Badstuber was six times Bundesliga champions with Bayern Munich and 2013 champions league winner.
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