Category Archives: Gonzalo Castro

Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 8, Bayer Leverkusen vs VfL Wolfsburg 3:1

Bayer Leverkusen got back to winning ways in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.

The win takes them into a pack of teams chasing the top three and leaves the Wolves struggling on the back of their fifth defeat of the season.

Gonzalo Castro gave Leverkusen the lead in the 14th minute, but Mario Mandzukic levelled for the visitors on the hour mark.

Eren Derdiyok restored the home team’s advantage five minutes later and Stefan Kiessling rounded off the win five minutes from time.

The three points will be particularly welcome for Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt, who had moved into the firing line after heavy defeats to Cologne and Bayern Munich in their last two league matches.

Leverkusen could have gone ahead in the 13th minute when Kiessling met Sidney Sam’s cross with his head from point-blank range, but Diego Benaglio somehow managed to keep the ball out.

There was nothing Wolfsburg’s Swiss goalkeeper could do a minute later, though, as Castro took the ball round him and scored from a tight angle after Derdiyok and Kiessling crafted the opening.

Fresh from his goal in the Champions League in midweek, Michael Ballack almost got his name on the scoresheet again, but his shot hit the post in the 38th minute.

Benaglio then denied the former Germany captain with a fine save just before the interval.

Leverkusen were punished for not adding to their early goal when the Wolves drew level in the 52nd minute. Marcel Schafer crossed to the far post from the goal line and Mandzukic leapt to head in from close range.

Their joy at equalising was short-lived, however, with the lively Derdiyok restoring Leverkusen’s lead in spectacular fashion in the 65th minute.

He met Hanno Balitsch’s cross with an acrobatic overhead kick that left Benaglio no chance.

Kiessling then ended Wolfsburg’s faint hopes of finding an equaliser, keeping his cool to beat Benaglio in a one-on-one situation after being put through by Simon Rolfes.

Source: Espnstar.com

Short comment by Patrick1904:

A convincing team effort yesterday by the Werkself, it seems like that the focus on communication this week between players and coach has paid off. The rare public criticism of Bayer 04’s management towards a player/team performance, in this case Wolfgang Holzhäuser vs Renato Augusto: “His performances have been poor lately, we expect more of him”, have clearly shaken things around if you look at the first goal celebration and Castro’s defense after the game: “He is a sensitive player, the celebration was planned beforehand”.

Together with the first time use this season of a 4-4-2 and some needed modifications to the line-up itself (Rolfes and Renato deserved a place on the bench), the Werkself celebrated an offensive festival at the BayArena. It was fun to watch and for me the second best performance this season next to the game against Dortmund.

However Wolfsburg with it’s usual crazy summer transfer activities is at this moment of the season, not a real test of strength. The same goes for Genk last Wednesday.

The next games against Mönchengladbach, Valencia and Schalke will surely allow us to judge better.

Line-up: Leverkusen (bottom) vs Wolfsburg (top)

Substitutions Leverkusen
67 min. Rolfes for L. Bender
72 min. Schwaab for Derdiyok
88 min. M. Friedrich for Ballack

Substitutions Wolfsburg
46 min. Hasebe for Jönsson
46 min. Helmes for Lakic
69 min. Koo for Josué

Yellow Cards: Derdiyok (Leverkusen); Josué and Russ (both Wolfsburg)

Goals:
1:0 Castro (14 min.)
1:1 Mandzukic (59 min.)
2:1 Derdiyok (65 min.)
3:1 Kießling (85 min.)

Statistics Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg
Posession: 52 % vs 48 %
Shots: 19 vs 8
Fouls: 16 vs 22
Corners: 6 vs 4
Offsides: 5 vs 4
Distance covered (km): 118 vs 111

Videos uploaded by third party with no link to Mundilev.tk. We assume no responsibility for it!

or here>> Rutube.ru

Leno has replaced Adler not only in the line-up

Stupid rule: Derdiyok receives yellow for taking his shirt off celebrating the bicycle kick goal

Cheer up Reinartz! You played some unusual good long balls

More photos @ 1904-online.de

Loved Gonzalo Castro in midfield, that’s where he really belongs in my opinion. Ballack has clearly an upwards trend, the big question is: When will he play an entire match? And score his first Bundesliga goal since the transfer back to Bayer 04? Will it happen before the winter-break?

Why is Derdiyok focused more on quality than quantity of goals? Goals against Bremen/Schalke in low-scoring 2010/11 for example.

Match Preview: Bundesliga, Fixture 5, FC Augsburg vs Bayer Leverkusen

by Patrick1904

Friday, 9/9/2011 @20:30 (GMT+2)

With most fans already looking ahead to Tuesday’s clash against Chelsea, the Werkself is expected to sum 3 points against a team that 99,99% of football experts see without a chance to maintain the division.

Press Conference (Thursday)

Opening statement Robin Dutt: What game do I expect on Friday?  It will be different to the last three.  After the initial defeats against Dresden and Mainz, I had to focus our training session mainly on defensive behaviour given that we were playing 3 quality teams next: Bremen, Stuttgart and Dortmund.  We know of our offensive strength and that we always good for a goal.  So it worked out well at the end.  Against Augsburg, Bayer 04 takes the role of favourite and should have the ball at most times as they are expected to take a defensive approach.  A quick transition from defense into attack will be necessary to find the spaces in their defense.  This is going to require concentration and discipline from my team.

Question: Augsburg has hardly any strikers available: Nando and Oehrl are injured, Thurk suspended by the club.  Only Mölders seems to be the option for the coach, do you expect a very destructive side?

Dutt: Yes Nando picked up an injury in a test game after scoring 2 goals, that’s a tough loss for them.  Though Mölders has been dangerous as only forward in their line-up, especially in counter-attacks.  I don’t expect a completely defensive opponent, but they will surely be cautious going forward.  Augsburg had a bad start, we can therefore also expect some changes and surprises.

Question: Is this Friday game a problem for you or could you work well with the team this week as not many players were absent?

Dutt: Especially Simon Rolfes, André Schürrle and Eren Derdiyok have played a lot of minutes with their national sides.  The players that stayed here, did a great job in the training sessions.  At the moment we have the correct mixture: Fun and at the same time concentration whenever we hit the training pitch.

Question: Leverkusen is going to be very busy with a lot of matches in the next weeks.  Are you looking forward to the participation in the Champions League?

Dutt: We are trying to put that aside until the referee blows the final whistle tomorrow.  Of course given the short time between Augsburg and Chelsea, I have used this break to watch also a few matches of our Champions League rival.  Me and the team are looking forward to measure ourselves against the best sides in Europe.  But at the end, I don’t see much difference in playing against Bayern Munich or now against Chelsea, they are both top teams internationally speaking.  We will go out with the objective to win as in every other game.

Question: Do you a see risk that some of the players are already thinking ahead and underestimating Augsburg?

Dutt: We had little line-up changes in the last weeks.  If it becomes apparent, I am sure to have players who are very keen on playing against Augsburg.  Maintaining the concentration in both competitions is especially important in the upcoming weeks.

Intervention of Gonzalo Castro

“It was a productive week and a half, our training session were filled with intensity.  I think we are well prepared and should travel with the sufficient confidence to Augsburg to grab the 3 points.”

Question: How much confidence has the team gained out of the game against Dortmund, where Bayer 04 clearly dominated the first half?

Castro: A lot!  I think in the first 60 minutes till the red card we contained them very well, Dortmund did not create much danger.  We should have scored two goals but unfortunately they didn’t go down.  After the red card, everything changed. Under the line, it was a great performance which showed that we are able to compete successfully against the best.

Question: It looks like that the right-back position in the German team is still not very defined.  Do you still have the dream of returning to the Nationalmannschaft?

Castro: Of course I maintain this dream, but I think we should be realistic. Bayer 04 comes first, we have now a lot of important matches in the Bundesliga and Champions League. My whole concentration is channeled at that, anything else arrives with strong performances at the club.

Line-up

With Kadlec suspended for three games and Oczipka doing his first rounds on the training pitch this week following his injury, Castro will take the role of left-back.

Ballack is expected to receive the honor to start against Chelsea, to oil the engine playing in Augsburg would help.

Line-up Augsburg (from Kicker):
Jentzsch-Callsen Bracker,Sankoh,de Roeck,Davids-Hosogai,Sinkala-Bah,Baier,Bellinghausen-Mölders

Comments are welcomed 😉

Friendly: TSV Rosenheim vs Bayer Leverkusen 0:2

The Werkself had a difficult time against this amateur team from Bavaria, only after half-time did the goals arrive. The fatigue from physical demanding training sessions and the sunny weather lead to a rather poor display.

———————–Giefer———————

Schwaab—Friedrich—Reinartz—Oczipka

——————Castro———-Bender—————–

———–Sam———-Balitsch——–Barnetta———

———————–-Kießling———————–

Substitutions:
Toprak for Oczipka (46 min.)
Derdiyok for Sam (46 min.)
Ballack for Balitsch (46 min.)
Barnetta for Bellarabi (46 min.)
Mentizis for Schwaab (64 min.)

Goals:
0:1 Bender (56 min.)
0:2 Kießling (75 min.)

Video Highlights: Facebook.com

Robin Dutt seems to prefer Gonzalo Castro in defensive midfield instead as a side-back or left midfielder.  In the two friendlies so far, he has only played in this position.

While the Swiss internationals Barnetta and Derdiyok already joined the team at the beginning of this week, the remaining internationals will meet up with their teammates today in the training camp in Zillertal (Austria).

Review of individual performances and new transfers

Club boss Wolfgang Holzhäuser said this week in an interview on Bayer04-TV that the first stage of the squad planning for the next season has finalized. Additional transfers could happen if injuries occur or the new coach Robin Dutt sees in the preseason a need to improve a certain position.

However, according to the German Press we have no further room for investments into our squad.  The guaranteed sum of around 20 million euros for playing the group-stage of the Champions League is already used up.  The transfer of Schürrle (8-10 million euros), the stadium upgrade (costs: around 80 million euros, financed by a 0% interest loan from the Bayer AG), contract extensions and generous investments in new players at times where the Werkself did not play internationally could mean that we will not see further spectacular signings this summer apart from André Schürrle.  

Transfer Balance
negative= Expenditure in Transfers > Income from Transfers
positive=
Income from Transfers > Expenditure in Transfers

currently Season 2011/12: -10.200.000 €
Season 2010/11: +850.000 € (Winter-Sale of Helmes turned balance positive)
Season 2009/10: -4.950.000 €
Season 2008/09: -7.050.000 €
Season 2007/08: -7.180.000 €
Season 2006/07: +8.270.000 €
Season 2005/06: +1.565.000 €
Season 2004/05: +11.986.000 €
<<W.Holzhäuser substitutes R.Calmund as CEO with the objective to reduce the accumulated debt during our great years>>
Season 2003/04: -1.200.000
Season 2002/03: -13.450.000 € (relegation was avoided in the last fixture)
Season 2001/02: -2.150.000 € (3x 2.place)

More details>> Transfermarkt.de 

Find below a personal review on the individual season performances of the current squad and new signings; players that will continue on loan or be sold; or have left us this year.

Legend

Red= player leaving us
Green= new signing
Blue= future uncertain

Rating= from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).  

RB= right-back
CB= centre-back
LB= left-back
DM= defensive midfield
RM= right midfield
LM= left midfield
OM= offensive midfield (central)
ST= striker

CURRENT SQUAD AND NEW SIGNINGS

GOALKEEPERS

René Adler: Overall steady from beginning to end with not many point losing mistakes.  Spectacular saves from him have been rare this season compared to other years.  Should extend his contract (running till 2012) in the next 2-3 weeks. *7*

Fabian Giefer: Did a good job when René Adler was out in two Bundesliga and two Europa League games. Good prospects for the future! *6*

Benedikt Fernandez: Played for the reserve team, will move to a 2.Bundesliga team. (contract expires) *no rating*

Tomasz Bobel: No match practice, will leave us too (contract expires). *no rating*

We will need to sign a third goalkeeper or promote one from the youth team.

DEFENSE

Gonzalo Castro (RB,LB,LM): Seems to perform at a higher level in midfield, where ball losses and poor positioning are less noticeable. His three goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga, show his offensive potential. *7*

Daniel Schwaab (RB,CB): Was stronger this season in the centre-back position than as right-back. His change of position arose due to Hyypiä’s declining physical form. Great at initiating attacks from defense (can run forward with the ball and play a difficult pass). A quality which Stefan Reinartz and Manuel Friedrich lack. *7*

Stefan Reinartz (CB,DM): Not dynamic enough for the centre-back position, although he improved in the second part of the season. However, quick and agile strikers will continue to have it easy against him. Better off in defensive midfield. *4*

Manuel Friedrich (CB): Had a good stretch of games before the winter break. A shoulder injury made him miss most of the second part of the season. Given his age (32 in August) little room for physical improvement (slow). *5*

Sami Hyypiä (CB): It was an honor to have such a great player in our team. His second season at Bayer 04 was marked by an injury before the winter-break followed by a declining physical form during the rest of the season. Sami decided to renounce his last year of contract as he did not feel confident on playing another season at the level he would like to.  The Finnish player will use next season to obtain his coaching license.  He will work as an assistant to Finland’s national coach Mika-Matti Paatelainen and undergo trainee-ships at different clubs including Bayer 04. In 2012/13 he will join the Werkself as assistant coach for at least two years. *6*

Ömer Toprak (CB): New signing for Leverkusen coming from Freiburg. We have been following this centre-back the last three years.  A severe karting accident at the beginning of 2009 stopped his progression, he was out for over six months.  It took quite a while till he reached the level before the incident, 2010 was surely not his year.   In 2011 he had four decent games over the full distance, but once the news got out that he would move to Leverkusen, his performances dropped again.  Ömer finished the season with a red card, that did not allow him to play the season finale against Bayer 04. *4*

Michal Kadlec (LB,LM): Improved in comparison to last season, but never regained the level of his first year with Bruno Labbadia. Linked with Liverpool in the last months. *7*

Bastian Oczipka (LB,LM): This Bayer youngster has been on loan for three years, first at Hansa Rostock and then St.Pauli. In both clubs he was part of the starting line-up and therefore added 82 league games on both loan spells. Bastian played a great Bundesliga season but suffered a bone injury in the 23rd fixture which put an end to it. He is considered as one of the uprising German talents on the left back position together with Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund) and Felix Bastians (Freiburg). With his return to Leverkusen, Kadlec will finally have the chance to receive a rest when needed.  As mentioned above he could also be the replacement for the Czech player in case of a transfer to Liverpool.  The initial report of Bild that Oczipka would be sold to Hoffenheim for 3 million Euros was false, the player confirmed his return last week in an interview. *7*

Domagoj Vida (RB,CB): Played only one Bundesliga and eight Europa League games. Solid on the defensive end, Domagoj should concentrate on improving his game going forward, especially passing and centers. Despite having some experience as centre-back in his previous team NK Osijek, Jupp Heynckes did not consider him for this position mainly because of his height (1,82 m), a factor he considers important. If Robin Dutt thinks the same will have to be seen. I expect him to break-through next season, considering that his first year was also marked by the adaptation to a new environment (did not speak any word of English or German when he arrived). *4*

Danny da Costa (RB,CB,RM): The youth player gave a solid debut with the first team against Atletico Madrid. Physically strong and versatile, I hope he gets more minutes next season despite sitting his Baccalaureate. If you look at the current squad: only Adler, Castro and Reinartz have made themselves with a regular place in the team coming from the youth section of Bayer 04. Too little, for a club that is praised nationwide for its excellent work in this area. *no rating*

MIDFIELD

Arturo Vidal (DM, RB): The Chilean played an extraordinary season with ten goals and nine assists in the league. It is no wonder that he has caught the attention of many big clubs (Bayern, Chelsea, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Inter/AC Milan…).  Known in the past for too many aggressive fouls and cards, Arturo has managed to finish the Bundesliga season with only four yellows and one yellow-red in 33 games. His contract expires in 2012 and he has so far rejected all contract extension offers. Both Holzhäuser and Völler said recently that he will play so or so next season with us. Is this just a way to increase the price tag or are we really going to hold onto him without seeing a buck next year if he continues to reject a contract extension and signs with another team? *10*

Sidney Sam (RM,LM): One of the best newcomers in the 1.Bundesliga.  Seven goals and three assists is a dream start for him in Germany’s highest division. Jupp Heynckes preferred him to play Robben style (strong left foot) on the right side, will Dutt too? *8*

Simon Rolfes (DM): Had a couple of good games (especially the one against Wolfsburg) when he came back from his injury but in the last matches of the season declined severely and was consequently taken out of the starting line-up. A large proportion of the Fans see him inadequate for the captain role, because he often fails to deliver in big games. They want to see Michael Ballack as captain. I personally doubt that Robin Dutt will have the “balls” to change the leadership in the team.  I would welcome it, but it’s a tough decision that can affect the atmosphere in the team!   *5*

Renato Augusto (RM,OM,LM): With six goals and six assists this was his best season at Leverkusen. Playing in a central position helped him to step-up his game. Renato has learned to minimize his ball losses by avoiding risky dribbling in situations that could lead to a counter-attack. His work against the ball has also improved *9*

Lars Bender (DM): Despite having strong competitors on his position (Rolfes, Vidal and Ballack) Lars played 26 Bundesliga games and fulfilled his role regularly. A player with great prospects for the future. *7*

Hanno Balitsch (RB,DM,CB): His signing was seen skeptical by many fans at the beginning but he quickly turned this around with his fighter nature on the pitch. Great versatile back-up player! *6*

Michael Ballack (DM/OM): Chased by injuries in 2010, he has given the team some stability in the last stretch of games. Hopefully we will see next season the real Ballack giving the team a lot of goals and assists! *6*

Kevin Kampl (DM): The twenty year-old Slovenian youth player did not get a chance to play with the professional team. Future uncertain! *no rating*

Burak Kaplan (RM,LM): Was loaned out to Greuther Fürth (2.Bundesliga) in the winter-break. Despite being technically gifted, he is not making the next step given his difficult character. Jupp Heynckes more than once criticized his attitude in the training sessions. Only played four games in the Europa League in which he did not convince. At Greuther Fürth he scored three goals (all by set-piece) but his loaning spell ended with a disciplinary suspension by coach Michael Büskens which made him return to Bayer 04 earlier than expected. Will be loaned out again or sold. *2*

Tranquillo Barnetta (RM,LM): Not a great year for last-season assist leader of the Werkself. Only two goals and two assists in 24 league games are poor stats for the Swiss national player. An injury made him miss most of the second part of the season. Every year there are rumours that he might leave us, looking at the signings of Schürrle and Bellarabi his future at Bayer 04 is again uncertain. *3*

André Schürrle (LM,RM,ST): Mainz’s success this season is mainly due to his impressive year (15 goals / 5 assists). The signing will cost us 8 to 10 million euros depending on our results. *10*

Karim Bellarabi (RM,ST): This German-Moroccan 21 year-old talent of Eintracht Braunschweig was chased by a few Bundesliga clubs this season including Dortmund and Hoffenheim. Personally I never have seen him play but from what I heard he is a very quick right midfielder/striker. This season he scored in the 3.Liga eight goals and gave sixteen assists in 35 games.  He comes on a free transfer. There has been no talk about loaning him out, so he is set to be another speedy alternative on the wings next to Sidney Sam and André Schürrle. *7*

ATTACK

Eren Derdiyok (ST): Some of his six goals in the league were a real beauty, but he will want to forget this season as quickly as possible. Especially his barren run between fixture 8 and 23 (872 minutes) in which he did not score a single Bundesliga goal. Needs to improve his pressing on the rival defense and make more out of his chances.  Last week linked to FC Sevilla, I don’t think he will switch Champions League for Europa League *4*

Stefan Kießling (ST,RM): Best Werkself striker this season with seven goals and three assists. However Stefan could not confirm the great performance of last season. The long injury and formation change surely played a part but the blond striker also missed quite a lot of open chances on goal in the last games of the season which could have increased his account significantly. *5*

Nicolai Jörgensen (ST,LM,RM): While Domagoj Vida showed that he has potential, Nicolai in his nine Bundesliga and seven Europa League game did not display signs of quality. A season on loan could do him well. *2*

PLAYERS THAT WILL CONTINUE ON LOAN OR BE SOLD

Zvonko Pamic (RM,OM): He was signed last summer for 500.000 EUR from HNK Rijeka and directly loaned out to Freiburg. Despite playing a good Under-19 European Championship (3 goals and 1 assist) Robin Dutt only gave him a few minutes in two Bundesliga games. He will be loaned another year to MSV Duisburg (2.Bundesliga). *no rating*

Jens Hegeler (DM, RM,CB): Together with Bastian Oczipka the best performing Bayer 04 player on loan this season and partly responsible for Nuremberg’s success this year. He returned last summer to Leverkusen after a 1 ½ year loan spell at FC Augsburg (2.Bundesliga) and asked to be loaned out again considering that he will have it hard to obtain match practise with the signing of Michael Ballack.  Jens played all 34 Bundesliga games at Nuremberg scoring three goals and giving three assists. Although more a defensive midfielder, he has played several games on the right wing. His loan spell finishes in 2012, if Leverkusen decides to sell him Nuremberg has a preference purchase right. *7*

Lucas (CB): This 19 year-old talent is a ghost, as hardly any information is available on him.  More than a year ago Leverkusen’s scouts discovered Lucas in Brazil and decided to sign the tall center-back from Associação Portuguesa de Desportos (Sao Paulo).  Last summer, he was supposed to take part in the season preparation of the professional team and play in some friendlies. It did not happen.  In January 2011 he was sent on loan for 1 1/2 years to Kaiserslautern, where he did not play a single game nor sat on the bench this season.  The club from the Betzenberg was granted a purchase option.  *no rating*

Hajime Hosogai (DM,LB): Regarded in Japan as one of the best players of the J-League, Hajime had a hard time to find a spot on the starting line-up of Augsburg.  Only at the end of the season did he play a few games over the full distance. His loan spell ends in the June 2012. *3*

Thanos Petsos (RB,DM): The greek Under-21 player was loaned out this summer to Kaiserlautern. Normally a right-back in the youth teams of Bayer 04, he made himself with a place in the first eleven as defensive midfielder from Fixture 12 onwards. He will continue for another season at Kaiserlautern. *5*

Richard Sukuta-Pasu (ST): In his second season at St.Pauli, Richie continued to struggle.  He only got play 155 minutes in the Bundesliga (1 goal + 1 assist). His loan spell at St.Pauli ends this summer and Kaiserlautern seems to be keen on purchasing the striker. *1*

Constant Djakpa (LB,LM): Not more than a back-up player at Hannover. It is not expected that the German club will make use of the purchase option.  Bayer 04 is likely to sell him.  According to English news reports, Newcastle United is interested in the player. *2*

PLAYERS THAT LEFT US THIS SEASON

Patrick Helmes (ST): Was sold in the winter-break after disagreements with coach Jupp Heynckes over his standing in the team. Unsatisfied with the amount of minutes he got to play, the 1-striker tactical formation and the demands of doing more defensive work on the pitch, he switched to Wolfsburg for an initial fee of 5 million and 3 million euros in installments. Under coach Steve McClaren and later Felix Magath he did not manage to make an impact. Patrick only scored one goal in seven matches and was more a substitute than a starter. Magath declared in an interview that he should improve his physical condition. Personally, I am not a fan of Helmes (passive player) and think that if he wants to be successful in the future he will have to work on his weaknesses, something he has was not prepared to do in Leverkusen (kept complaining). *4*

Marcel Risse (RM,LM): The winger has grown at Mainz despite not being a regular starter. In 25 league games he scored 2 goals and gave 5 assists. Risse was loaned out at the beginning of this season and Mainz used the purchase option of 800.000 Euros to acquire him. The amount was initially higher but was then reduced in the negotiations for the Schürrle Transfer. *6*

THOUGHTS ON NEXT SEASON’S SQUAD & TACTICS

I like very much the idea of improving our wings with speedy players; this seems to be the objective with the transfers of André Schürrle and Karim Bellarabi. Under Heynckes the wingers were told to go inside and look for a finish or pass. With Robin Dutt as coach we can expect a few more centers from the goal line. The 1-striker formation (4-2-3-1) is likely to continue.  At Freiburg our new coach used successfully Cissé (22 goals) as lonely striker. Whether Kiessling or Derdiyok can deliver in similar fashion is a big question. Has it do with the tactics we played under Heynckes (not enough centres? too defensive?) that they had such a poor record or are both not made to play lonely in attack?

In the last days I have been thinking that selling Vidal would be not totally wrong.  If we really have no more room for further investments in our rather weak central defense, would it not make sense to let him leave for 20 million euros (to a foreign club, not Bayern!)? We would receive 70% of the transfer fee (Colo Colo 30%), 14 million euros and could replace for example Manuel Friedrich with a quality centre-back like Höwedes, Dante, Mertesacker.  Another option would be moving Reinartz into midfield to avoid having five centre-backs for two positions.

Hyypiä has led very well our defense in the last two years, I have my doubts that between Schwaab, Reinartz, M.Friedrich and Toprak a new leader can emerge who will coordinate our defensive line in a similar way. Against medium/bottom table teams this can be enough, but to make another step forward and play an even better season I see this configuration insufficient.

Looking forward to your comments, there is a lot to talk about 😉

Injury update: Derdiyok & Gonzalo Castro

Eren Derdiyok will be out for 2 to 3 weeks due to a torn muscle fibre.  The club has not confirmed the duration of his injury but this is what all German newspaper expect.

10/11/2010, Bayer04.de: He could make it for the Bayern game.

Gonzalo Castro is ready to return against St.Pauli.  He should get at least some minutes.  This weekend against Kaiserlautern he already sat on the bench.

_________

New Transfer Gossip from Croatia!

Injury update: Renato Augusto & Gonzalo Castro

According to the German newspaper Bild and Express, Renato Augusto and Gonzalo Castro should be ready to join the Werkself in their matches in 2 to 3 weeks.

The Brazilian will return today to Germany and work on his recovery at the medical facility in the BayArena.

________

New Transfer Rumour in the forum!! It’s something big! Come in and discuss whether this is likely to happen.