2011-12: Dortmund Double!


Bundesliga

This was clearly an impressive year for Dortmund, taking the title in style after a slow start. With impressive attacking football on display, they were clearly the best team. Their victory is probably also good for German football in general, as they are now rising to challenge Bayern, although they still have a way to go financially. Bayern MŸnchen was in fact quite decent, impressive at times. And of course they can still claim victory by winning the Champions League (and to a lesser extent by defeating Dortmund in the DFB-Cup final). Schalke had a fine season, probably playing to their potential. TheyÕre still lacking some steel to challenge Dortmund and Bayern. But they appear to be on the right path. Gladbach had a wonderful season, but you wonder whether they can repeat next season. Leverkusen and Stuttgart had OK finishes, but looked crap at times.One might have expected them to challenge, but they were nowhere near that level. Werder Bremen has really fallen off and one has to wonder whether theyÕre on theyÕre way back to mediocrity.

For the bottom teams, Augsburg was the most impressive, as everybody considered them automatic relegation fodder, but they fought and punched above their weight to stay up. Both Mainz and Freiburg were also candidates, but showed grit and determination. Kaiserslautern was found to be too weak, and Kšln was a disaster, despite Likas PodolskiÕs best efforts. Hertha once again proved their management incompetant, as they fired coach Markus Babbel prematurely and almost got themselves relegated. (Still could happen if they lose against DŸsselfdorf. Losing would be good for the game, perhaps the relegation would force some needed changes in Berlin). However, if they save themselves it will be because Kšln was such a mess, not because of anything they (or Rehagel) did. Another dishonrable mention goes to Hamburger SV, which should be a power, but had their worst Bundesliga season ever.

2.Liga

Some interesting things happened in the 2.Liga. Eintracht Frankfurt was solid and earned immediate re-promotion to the Bundesliga. No real surprise there. Greuther FŸrth has toyed with the idea for years, but always choked. This season they put everything together and deservedly go up. DŸsseldorf was the pace setter for much of the season, but then fell off. They could still succeed if they upend Hertha in the playoffs. Fortuna has recovered from years in the wilderness, so this is definitely a positive trend. St.Pauli was strong all season, but lacked that little extra to put themselves over the top. Paderborn had perhaps their best season ever, and was in contention until the final day.

The rest of the news in the 2.Liga was mostly negative. Traditionals like 1860, Bochum and MSV Duisburg largely sucked. Karlsruhe and Aachen totally collapsed and got stuck in relegation. (KSC at least will be favoured to survive the playoff against Regensburg). The ex-GDR clubs were very disappointing. Hansa got relegated, and Cottbus and Aue were nervous until the final day. Aue was clearly punching above their weight last season, so at least their collapse was no surprise. However Energie might have harbored some thoughts of at least challenging, as theyÕve gone up a couple of times. Instead they largely sucked. At least Union Berlin was decent, and Dynamo DresdenÕs mid-table finish was positive. With Kšln and Kaiserslautern coming down, at least a couple of attractive dates are on the schedule for next season, albeit balanced by Sandhausen and Aalen.

3.Liga

The third division turned out to be the most competitive of all. Notice that virtually every team had double-digit drawn matches, and promoted sides had double-digit losses. Sandhausen and Aalen surprised the pundits and gained relegation. Neither team was overly impressive, but they ground out results when they needed. Regensburg withstood a fierce battle to hold onto the promotion playoff spot. Disappointment for traditional sides like OsnabrŸck, Offenbach and SaarbrŸcken, who never really got into the race. Bielefeld never got started, but at least recovered from a horrible start to prevent disaster. Oberhausen cointinued their collapse getting relegated for second straight year. Jena was crap and deservedly went down. Normally I donÕt care about the ŌBĶ sides, but Werder Bremen II reflects the chaos from the Bundesliga side. ItÕs the first time in some 40 years that they wonÕt be represented in the 3rd divisionÉHowever the outlook for the league is quite nice: Aachen, Rostock and potentially Karlsruhe are very attractive draws for next season, Stuttgarter Kickers should create some interest as well. And one of Halle, Kiel or RB Leipzig should be coming up as well, all with decent attendance.

BUNDESLIGA

 1  Borussia Dortmund (M)	34    25    6 	 3     80:25  +55    81 
 2  Bayern MŸnchen	  	34    23    4 	 7     77:22  +55    73 
 3  FC Schalke 04 (P)	  	34    20    4 	10     74:44  +30    64
 4  Borussia M'gladbach	  	34    17    9 	 8     49:24  +25    60
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 5  Bayer Leverkusen	  	34    15    9 	10     52:44  +8     54
 6  VfB Stuttgart	  	34    15    8 	11     63:46  +17    53 
 7  Hannover 96	  	        34    12   12 	10     41:45  -4     48
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 8  VfL Wolfsburg	  	34    13    5 	16     47:60  -13    44 
 9  Werder Bremen	  	34    11    9 	14     49:58  -9     42 
10  1. FC NŸrnberg	  	34    12    6 	16     38:49  -11    42 
11  1899 Hoffenheim	  	34    10   11 	13     41:47  -6     41 
12  SC Freiburg	  	        34    10   10 	14     45:61  -16    40 
13  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	34     9   12 	13     47:51  -4     39 
14  FC Augsburg (N)	  	34     8   14 	12     36:49  -13    38 
15  Hamburger SV	  	34     8   12 	14     35:57  -22    36
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16  Hertha BSC Berlin (N) 	34     7   10 	17     38:64  -26    31
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17  1. FC Kšln	  	        34     8    6 	20     39:75  -36    30 
18  1. FC Kaiserslautern	34     4   11 	19     24:54  -30    23


2.LIGA

 1  SpVgg Greuther FŸrth	34    20   10 	 4     73:27  +46    70
 2  Eintracht Frankfurt (A)	34    20    8 	 6     76:33  +43    68
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 3  Fortuna DŸsseldorf	  	34    16   14 	 4     64:35  +29    62
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 4  FC St. Pauli (A)	  	34    18    8 	 8     59:34  +25    62
 5  SC Paderborn 07	  	34    17   10 	 7     51:42  +9     61
 6  1860 MŸnchen	  	34    17    6 	11     62:46  +16    57
 7  1. FC Union Berlin	  	34    14    6 	14     55:58  -3     48
 8  Eintracht Braunschweig (N)	34    10   15 	 9     37:35  +2     45
 9  Dynamo Dresden (N)	  	34    12    9 	13     50:52  -2     45
10  MSV Duisburg	  	34    10    9 	15     42:47  -5     39
11  VfL Bochum	  	        34    10    7 	17     41:55  -14    37
12  FC Ingolstadt 04	  	34     8   13 	13     43:58  -15    37
13  FSV Frankfurt	  	34     7   14 	13     43:59  -16    35
14  Energie Cottbus	  	34     8   11 	15     30:49  -19    35
15  Erzgebirge Aue	  	34     8   11 	15     31:55  -24    35
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16  Karlsruher SC	  	34     9    6 	19     34:60  -26    33
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17  Alemannia Aachen	  	34     6   13 	15     30:47  -17    31
18  Hansa Rostock (N)	  	34     5   12 	17     34:63  -29    27


3.LIGA

 1  SV Sandhausen	  	38    19    9 	10     57:42  +15    66 
 2  VfR Aalen	  	        38    18   10 	10     50:42  +8     64
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 3  Jahn Regensburg	  	38    16   13 	9      55:41  +14    61
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 4  1. FC Heidenheim	  	38    16   12 	10     48:36  +12    60 
 5  Rot-Wei§ Erfurt	  	38    15   14 	9      54:41  +13    59 
 6  Wacker Burghausen	  	38    13   18 	7      55:47  +8     57 
 7  VfL OsnabrŸck (A)	  	38    14   13 	11     46:35  +11    55 
 8  Kickers Offenbach	  	38    15   10 	13     49:41  +8     55 
 9  Chemnitzer FC (N)	  	38    15   10 	13     47:43  +4     55 
10  1. FC SaarbrŸcken	  	38    13   15 	10     61:51  +10    54 
11  VfB Stuttgart II	  	38    12   14 	12     44:47  -3     50 
12  Preu§en MŸnster (N)	  	38    12   14 	12     40:44  -4     50 
13  Arminia Bielefeld (A)	38    12   14 	12     51:57  -6     50 
14  SV Darmstadt 98 (N)	  	38    12   13 	13     51:47  +4     49 
15  SpVgg Unterhaching	  	38    12    8 	18     63:59  +4     44 
16  SV Wehen Wiesbaden	  	38    10   14 	14     40:48  -8     44 
17  SV Babelsberg 03	  	38    11   11 	16     44:59  -15    44
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18  Carl Zeiss Jena	  	38     9   12 	17     39:59  -20    39 
19  Rot-Wei§ Oberhausen (A)	38     8   14 	16     33:47  -14    38 
20  Werder Bremen II	  	38     4   10 	24     29:70  -41    22


(c) Abseits Guide to German Football