Although the regular 2010-2011 season concluded Saturday, there is no absence of news concerning our favorite league. Christoph Daum has decided to pull the plug on his Eintracht Frankfurt coaching gig, while Thursday Borussia Monchengladbach and VfL Bochum will play the first leg of their playoff series. The stakes are high as the winner of the two legs will play in the top-tier next season. And the player transfer carousel is just getting into full swing, too.
On the last Bundesliga Fanatic podcast, we speculated whether or not Coach Christoph Daum would continue leading Eintracht Frankfurt next season in 2. Bundesliga. No need to speculate any further, as Daum has high-tailed it away from Frankfurt. ESPN Soccernet reported that Daum, 57, resigned after a winless seven games with the Eagles. As he stated, ”Frankfurt should start their Bundesliga comeback with another coach,” Daum said at a hastily-arranged press conference. ”There was no future for me, even though the club and the team are dear to my heart.” Apparently not too dear.
Bundesliga Playoffs Kickoff Thursday
VfL Bochum will visit Borussia Monchengladbach’s Borussia Park Thursday for the first leg of their playoff clash, kicking off at 2:30 pm ET. Bochum has been a bogey team for the Foals, with Gladbach only able to manage 8 draws in their last 15 matchups with Bochum. Gladbach last defeated Bochum in 1998, so those expecting a walk through the park for the Foals may encounter a far different scenario.
Both clubs had a slow start but sizzled in the second half, with Bochum capturing the 2. Bundesliga third berth while Lucien Favre guided Gladbach to the playoff spot, amazing for a team that hugged the bottom all season and garnered only 10 points in the Hinrunde. Gladbach come into Thursday’s match in great health and form, while Friedheim Funkel’s Bochum boys will be without Kevin Vogt and quite possibly also veteran midfielder Mimoun Azaouagh. The second leg of the series will be played on May 25 at the Ruhrstadion. Bochum scored three goals in each of its last three games, all victories, while Gladbach have three wins and a draw in their last four matches, including victories over titlists Borussia Dortmund and Europa League-bound Hannover 96. Doesn’t look like the playoff games will be televised or streamed in the U.S., so Americans will have to search the net for a live stream of the contests.
The transfer of Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to Bayern Munich seems all but officially confirmed, with Schalke perhaps waiting until after Saturday’s DFB Pokal Cup final against MSV Duisburg to confirm the news. (ESPN 3 will stream the Cup final beginning at 2:00 pm ET Saturday). Neuer himself would not confirm the transfer.
“Our board have reached an agreement with Schalke in negotiations and it is just a psychological question of whether they want to announce it before the cup final or afterwards,” Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness told Sky television. The transfer fee for Neuer is believed to be 15 million euros, with some apparent performance-related fees also added to the deal.
Meanwhile, VfB Stuttgart’s Sven Shipplock gave a final interview for the team’s website here before he heads to 1899 Hoffenheim. Schipplock, 22, spent three and a half seasons with Stuttgart, getting one start and eleven substitute appearances for the Swabians Stuttgart this last season and, scoring a goal against St. Pauli. He will be united with St.
Pauli’s Coach, Holger Stanislawski, who is taking the reins for Dietmar Hopp’s club. Stuttgart recently added Guinea midfielder
Ibrahima Traore, who helped FC Augsburg to promotion this past season. The 23 year-old native of France joined Augsburg in July, 2009.
Mainz fans will be happy to note that the club have permanently signed on-loan players Christian Fuchs and Marcel Risse from VfL Bochum and Bayer 04 Leverksuen, respectively. Fuchs, who had an outstanding season for Thomas Tuchel’s Mainz side, signed a four year-contract while Risse inked a three -year deal.
Prolific German national team goal-scorer Miroslav Klose has seen his negotiations for a new contract with Bayern stall, and the 32 year-old may be headed out of the Bundesliga. Goal.com reports that AC Milan are looking at signing Klose as a backup to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Spanish side Valencia are also supposedly after the iconic international. Klose joined Bayern in the summer of 2007, but only played in 20 league matches for the Bavarians, starting nine and scoring once. With the emergence of Mario Gomez as the Bundesliga’s leading scorer and the addition of 2. Bundesliga top scorer Nils Petersen, who notched 25 goals for Energie Cottbus, Klose doesn’t look to get much playing time with Die Bayern next season.