Category Archives: Vidal

Game Report: Bundesliga, Fixture 7, Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen 3:0

by Patrick1904

It was clear after 20 minutes that Leverkusen would go another year (22) without winning in Munich: Ribery outdrives Youngster Da Costa on the left wing, low cross to unmarked Müller BAM 1:0 (5 min.); Van Buyten hits a powerful free-kick through Leverkusen’s “wall” BAM 2:0 (19 min.)

Our offensive attempts can be best summarized in Kiessling’s innocent shot on goal 11 minutes into the game. Bayer 04’s midfield was more involved in containing ball controlling Bayern then supporting Kiessling in his attempts towards goal. Luckily the Bavarians geared down after their comfortable lead to save energies for their Champions League game next week and only Robben late in the second half used a counter-attack to establish the 3:0 end result.

A complete tactical analysis can be found here:

What did Robin Dutt say after the match? Please fasten your seat-belts!

“The team had big plans for this game. However we received a crushing blow in the initial minutes. Despite this, I need to compliment my players, because they fought well defensively and avoided being slaughtered here today.”

I think it’s time to let other fans speak as you already know my thoughts going into this season.  Here some extracts out of the two major Leverkusen supporter forums which should give you a good idea, how only in a few months everything has been turned upside down:

User Jannes on

“Slowly we are noticing that after Vidal’s and Hyypiä’s exit the squad is just average. Heynckes made public in the press more than a year ago, that the management denied him necessary reinforcements. This made the coach and at the end also Vidal leave. A lot of Bayer fans were just blind to see, including myself,that Jupp wasn’t the bad guy at the end of last season for leaving to Bayern Munich.”

User Viererkette on

“If not now, a radical change of mind takes place in our entire management, we will be heading for horeful times. How should a team, that tomorrow probably find itself in the last third of the table and without a leader return to the first four places? Ballack is ignored, Vidal sold and for Hyypiä no decent substitute was bought. What kind of management is this? And this is not all, let’s see how the Teldafax story will end (possible return of sponsorship payments due to insolvency).

If we mess up Wednesday’s game, we got a real crisis at our doorsteps. The hard work of the last years is threatened to end up with no returns.

In London our technical gifted players showed that they can eat grass and fight aggressively. Only this kind of football will help us in the next weeks. Otherwise a revival of the season 2002/03 (saved from relegation in last fixture) is likely.

Good night!”

User Maulwurf on

“Sorry but it seems a lot here have lost the sense of reality! Could be that many thought we would fight the 1st place, just like Dutt promised. But me and many others agreed that with these centre-backs it would a difficult task. We had a bad start with 3 unnecessary losses (Dresden, Mainz and Cologne), however the realistic Champions League spots are still reachable.

From now on we gotta make the points! With a win against Genk, Wolfsburg and Gladbach the situation will be completely different!

User Shady04 on

It’s time to clean up certain parts of the team, especially Rolfes. It’s not acceptable, that every coach experiences the same problems here with him (criticised Dutt’s tactics on Friday). Heynckes controlled a lot of aspects better, but many fans did not like the way we played.

Dutt has made mistakes, no question. But he is not the problem, it’s the structure and mentality of the team (or parts of it).

User schmidty

“What can a coach do so wrong, that the team abandons him in such a way today?”

Reply User Ansteff

“If you have a look at all the out of place declarations in Interviews/press conferences, you can imagine that he behaves similar internally (Castro will only play in defensive midfield, Ballack and Rolfes cannot be on the pitch at the same time…). Together with the tendency of profiling himself (I’m a derby coach), it’s all very similar at the moment to Labbadia in his best times.

I don’t think he is a bad coach. I do believe that he can help us in the long term. The question is whether too much has gone broken in the first weeks and he can still manage to make a unit out of this team and convince the lads of his tactical ideas. It has to happen quickly, before everything turns very negative.

Regarding cleaning up the squad of bad characters, I do not believe that this troupe is difficult to manage. The 4th and 2nd place of the last two years show that they have quality. There is however a difference when directing SC Freiburg or a top team. Heynckes found the way to have success with this squad. Dutt so far not, let’s hope this changes quickly!

Walter Posner04 on

“The criticism towards coach and players is correct, but at the end the Bayern have achieved what they wanted. They got Heynckes back and consequently made Vidal leave. A functioning team was pulled apart. They can live with the fact that Vidal did not move to Munich, we however not. We still have some great players in the team but the mix is not perfect and the choice of coach seems to have been wrong.”

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

Substitutions Bayern
65 min. Luiz Gustavo for Gomez
78 min. Robben for Kroos
82 min. Alaba for Ribery

Substitutions Leverkusen
65 min. Bellarabi for da Costa
85 min. M. Friedrich for Toprak

Yellow Cards: van Buyten (Bayern); Kießling,Toprak,Reinartz,Sam (all Leverkusen)

1:0 T. Müller (5 min.)
2:0 van Buyten (19 min.)
3:0 Robben (90 min.)

Statistics Bayern vs Leverkusen
Posession: 61 % vs 39 %
Shots: 12 vs 4
Fouls: 11 vs 16
Corners: 4 vs 1
Offsides: 5 vs 0
Distance covered (km): 108 vs 114

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

or here>>

Ex-Bayer 04 assistant coach Peter Hermann talking to Rolfes and Kiessling prior to the match

Bayer Fans in Munich

Dutt *uck off, then everything will be good. The first banner of this sort so early in the season. The same group of people probably created the Facebook Page below requesting the dismissal of Robin Dutt

Facebook Page: Robin Dutt Raus.

More photos @


Arrivederci Vidal!

It’s official now! Juventus confirmed the signing of Arturo Vidal.

4 years did the Chilean sweat our shirt. Despite provoking his exit over the last months, we should try to remember Vidal in a positive way like other franchise players that also left us for bigger clubs at a similar point of their career:

  • Vidal: 144 official games with Bayer 04
  • Zé Roberto: 144 official games with Bayer 04
  • Ballack: 109 official games with Bayer 04 (till 2002)
  • Emerson: 103 official games with Bayer 04
  • Ponte: 101 official games with Bayer 04

More importantly for the first time in Leverkusen’s history a move to rival Bayern Munich was  given a categorical “No”.  Looking at reader comments in the German media, there is a lot of admiration expressed by fans of other clubs in how our management handled the situation.

Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo: 10 goals & 11 assists in Bundesliga season 2010/11

However not all can be praise for Rudi Völler and Wolfgang Holzhäuser!  There are still unanswered questions why in winter of 2010, Vidal’s contract extension did not get through.  Back then it was actually announced as a done deal.  The player recently said in an interview: “I want to leave Leverkusen because they were not willing to renew my contract.”  Certainly money played a role, linked to Vidal’s wage demands and/or the purchase of 30% of the player rights owned by former club Colo Colo.

Back in November 2010, I already had prepared a post celebrating his contract extension

What are the figures of this sale?

Difficult to say, as there are two sets of numbers printed in the media:

  • TRANSFER FEE TOTAL 15 MILLION EUROS>> 10,5 million euros flow in 3 installments to Leverkusen; 4,5 million euros will travel to Colo Colo
  • TRANSFER FEE TOTAL 10,5 MILLION EUROS>> 10,5 million euros flow in 3 installments to Leverkusen, but 30% (3,15 Mio) will have to be shared with Colo Colo. Leaving Bayer 04 with 7,35 million euros.

I believe it’s the first set of figures.

In both cases there will be incentives of up to 2 million euros on Vidal’s performance at the italian club.  The Werkself paid 5,2 million euros in 2007/08 to acquire Vidal (70% of player rights)

Will the money be reinvested?

The needed quality centre-back should arrive now.  From all the transfer gossips, I see Dante from Mönchengladbach joining us.  A goalkeeper could be also added to the squad.  René Adler is making first steps in his recovery, following further examinations the club can assess whether this is actually needed.

America Cup: Vidal scores winning goal in Chile’s opener against Mexico

Chile provided a little of the passion the Copa America had been missing as they fought their way past Mexico 2-1 to go two points clear in Group C, Arturo Vidal bagging the winner with a fine header.

Mexico’s coach Luis Fernando Tena praised the Chileans after a stylish performance Monday.

“They have great players, they are a solid and strong team. They know each other well and this team can go a long way at the Copa.

“It’s a fair result – they were better than us,” said Tena.

With Peru having held fancied Uruguay to a 1-1 draw earlier – the fourth stalemate in the first five games of the competition – the way was clear for the Chileans to strut their stuff against a raw Mexican side after “El Tri” elected to rest any of their senior squad having just lifted the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Despite their inexperience the Mexicans, regular special guests at the South American event, started strongly and Nestor Araujo gave them a 40th-minute lead at the Del Bicentenario stadium before a 25,000 crowd in temperatures just above freezing.

Tottenham’s Giovani Dos Santos teed up the chance and Araujo needed no second bidding.

But Chile, likewise seeking their first Copa title, roared back to win with second half efforts in quick succession from Esteban Paredes and Bayer Leverkusen’s Vidal.

Vidal’s match-winner, dispatching a corner from Matias Fernandez, was just reward for a stylish Chile showing which saw Claudio Borghi’s take a giant step towards the last eight.

Araujo put the Mexicans ahead against the run of play but once Paredes had found a way through in the 67th minute Chile gave the impression a weight had been lifted from their shoulders and they pressed hard for the win which Vidal wrapped up just six minutes later.

“We believe in ourselves,” said Borghi,” while Vidal said that “the opening match is always a real humdinger so it’s great to get off to a winning start.”

Humberto Suazo missed two early chances for the Chileans, who should never have been behind but they almost paid a heavy price for his profligacy, while starlet Alexis Sanchez was somewhat overshadowed by Vidal’s spectacular winner.

Dos Santos reflected that the Mexicans had simply not been able to keep Chile at bay in the second half.

“We needed to have more of the ball. It’s a shame – but we knew it would be difficult.”

Chile will now look to cement their good start when they meet Uruguay on Friday in Mendoza while Mexico will try to make up lost ground against the Peruvians, also in Mendoza.

Source: AFP

Video uploaded by third party with no link to We assume no responsibility for it!

Sponsor situation / Arturo Vidal / First televised friendly / Bundesliga Schedule Fixture 1-7

The tender for the main and jersey sponsorship finalizes on Tuesday.  So far around 30-40 companies have submitted offers to succeed TelDaFax over the next 3 seasons.

According to a rumour spread by an auto-declared insider, the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group is favourite to win this tender.  Supposedly 7,5 million euros/per season are being offered, 1,5 million more than TelDaFax was paying us previously.  It’s unclear whether this would involve making publicity for both car brands of the group: Hyundai and Kia.  It’s all just speculation, don’t take it for granted. 😉

On a side note, a smaller sponsor: the Zillertal GmbH, who promotes the area where the Werkself is currently preparing the new season, has announced that they will not renew their sponsorship contract which was valued at 150.000 EUR/per season.

To what respects Arturo Vidal, the offers are increasing every day and the list of clubs interested is getting longer and longer (at the moment: Bayern Munich, Napoli, Juventus and Arsenal).  Our management continues to manifest that Bayern Munich has no chance in acquiring the Chilean this summer.  This attitude apart from driving offers to higher levels, has lead that other clubs outside of Germany show interest in the player.  The outcome will shape our future:

  • A sale to Bayern Munich: Will once again undermine that we are no more than a talent factory on which the Bundesliga giant feeds on.  Rudi Völler and Wolfgang Holzhäuser will lose credibility after months saying that he will not be sold to the Bavarians.
  • A sale to a foreign club: The management of Bayer 04 would keep it’s word and not grant Vidal’s wish to join his mentor Jupp Heynckes in Munich.  “Arturo, you can either take this financially attractive offer or fulfil your contract here.  We are not interested in strengthening Bayern this summer.”  The Werkelf would move away from its image of player’s haven.  In the past, the idea of most aspiring stars has been to grow in Leverkusen and then move to their dream club with relative ease and for a rather low amount.
  • Making Vidal fulfil his contract: A contract extension seems very unlikely.  Keeping the Chilean for another year and letting him go for free next summer, would show that Bayer 04 has big plans for this season and is not dependant on selling players whenever they reach a high market value.  Would it be wise? Difficult to say, on one hand we are more likely to repeat or play an even better season with Vidal on board, this will flush enough money to compensate for rejecting the idea of selling him.  On the other hand, looking at the available amount of alternatives for the defensive midfielder position, we could cash in nicely and try to improve the quality balance of our squad with the purchase of a decent centre-back.

Rumours are also going around of an alleged Bayern insider, who has been often but not always right in the past, that Vidal is moving to Munich for 15 +4 million euros in incentives.  I don’t think that this issue will be resolved before the end of the America Cup.

On Sunday Bayer will play it’s first televised friendly of this pre-season.  There should be a stream available to watch this match against Red Bull Salzburg.  More information in the chat tomorrow at kick-off (17:00, GMT+2)

The DFL has scheduled the first seven fixtures:

Fixture 1: Sunday 07/08/2011 @ 15:30: FSV Mainz 05 – Bayer04
Fixture 2: Sunday 14/08/2011 @ 17:30: Bayer04 – Werder Bremen
Fixture 3: Saturday 20/08/2011 @ 15:30: VfB Stuttgart – Bayer04
Fixture 4: Saturday 27/08/2011 @ 18:30: Bayer04 – Borussia Dortmund
Fixture 5: Friday 09/09/2011 @ 20:30: FC Augsburg – Bayer04
Fixture 6: Saturday 17/09/2011 @ 15:30: Bayer04 – 1. FC Cologne
Fixture 7: Saturday 24/09/2011 @18:30: Bayern Munich – Bayer04

Not an easy start into the season!!  In the Calendar you will find a full overview on what is happening over the next two months.

Click here to see all Bundesliga Fixtures.

Arturo please don’t go!

Cristal, a Chilean beer has produced this TV spot for Chile’s participation in the America Cup.  It shows players leaving their club to join the national team.  Vidal takes a main role in the TV commercial!

Video uploaded by third party with no link to We assume no responsibility for it!

Poll result: Who is Leverkusen’s player of the season 2010/11?

Note: Readers could vote up to three players

Arturo Vidal 30.56% (22 votes)
Sidney Sam 23.61% (17 votes)
Renato Augusto 16.67% (12 votes)
Michal Kadlec 4.17% (3 votes)
Daniel Schwaab 4.17% (3 votes)
Hanno Balitsch 4.17% (3 votes)
Lars Bender 4.17% (3 votes)
Eren Derdiyok 2.78% (2 votes)
René Adler 2.78% (2 votes)
Sami Hyypiä 2.78% (2 votes)
Simon Rolfes 2.78% (2 votes)
Stefan Kiessling 1.39% (1 votes)
Gonzalo Castro 0% (0 votes)
Fabian Giefer 0% (0 votes)
Manuel Friedrich 0% (0 votes)
Stefan Reinartz 0% (0 votes)
Domagoj Vida 0% (0 votes)
Michael Ballack 0% (0 votes)
Tranquillo Barnetta 0% (0 votes)
Nicolai Jørgensen 0% (0 votes)
Patrick Helmes 0% (0 votes)

Total Votes: 72

No real surprise that Arturo Vidal is Mundilev’s Bayer 04 player of the season 🙂  Whether he can repeat this, is still in the stars.  He is pushing hard for a transfer this summer.  Leverkusen Fans are not very happy about his latest statements in the press.  More on that as usual in the forum!

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
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

More details>> 

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.


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



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.


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*


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*


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*


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*


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*


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 😉