Bundesliga wrap: Could Hunterlaar derail Arsenal’s Draxler bid?
Bundesliga wrap: Barrie White examines Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar's goal-scoring return and what it could mean for Arsenal
The Hunter is back
Half Man Half Biscuit once sang ‘Even Men With Steel Hearts (Love to See a Dog on the Pitch)’. While there wasn’t a man’s best friend in Hamburg, it would take the hardest of hearts not to enjoy Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar’s Schalke comeback. It took the Dutch international 34 minutes to score his third goal of the season – all against Hamburg – after five months out. His return will give Jens Keller a timely boost – the Royal Blues boss is under pressure, as Schalke chase a return to the Champions League through their league place, as well as a tough last-16 encounter with Real Madrid. Though unlikely if much of the British media is to be believed, the Dutchman’s return – according to German writer Raphael Honigstein – may throw a spanner in the works in Julian Draxler’s proposed move to Arsenal. The young German may decide to wait for a summer move and see Schalke through to a top-four finish ahead of the World Cup.
Who was Moyes there for?
Former Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Swindon Town forward Jan Aage Fjortoft has found himself a very popular man recently. The Norwegian is a cult hero at Eintracht Frankfurt, and because of this, now finds himself a regular pundit on Sky Germany’s evening kick-off show. But it is on Twitter where his popularity lies, and more specifically, his constant source of transfer talk concerning potential Premier League shoppers in the Bundesliga. He has been updating many Arsenal fans concerning Draxler’s move, and has been vocal about how David Moyes will try and raid the Bundesliga to go alongside his flagship signing of Juan Mata. The rumour mill cranked into gear on Friday as Moyes was shown at Borussia Park to take in Monchengladbach against Bayern Munich, with Toni Kroos, Dante, even for the left out Mario Mandzukic. Moyes will make a big-money purchase from Germany and it may even be on Friday, and Dortmund’s Marco Reus mustn’t be ruled out, thought United would have to pay a heavy price. Fjortoft loves reminding people that Reus’s release clause doesn’t kick in for another 11 months.
Putting it mildly, this once and still great European name are in trouble. They sit third from bottom, in the relegation play-off place, and are only kept off the bottom by Nuremburg, who won their first game of the season on Saturday, and Eintracht Braunschweig, who are just out of their depth. The Hamburg faithful emptied the Imtech Arena on 55 minutes in Sunday’s defeat to Schalke after two quick-fire goals, including an awful mistake from stand-in keeper Jaroslav Drobny. Two more injuries, including in-form striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga, means Bert van Marwijk’s threadbare squad will be stretched further. Added to off-field worries concerning finance, Hamburg are staring down the barrel of their first ever relegation.
New start, new results
Tayfun Korkut, the Turkish coach picked to replace the sacked Mirko Slomka at Hannover, had what most people call a ‘dream debut’. In fact, if you looked up ‘dream debut’ in the dictionary, it would be Korkut stood in his Hannover coat. A 3-1 away win at Champions League chasing Wolfsburg – with their brand spanking new Kevin de Bruyne in their line-up – and a debut goal from Artjovs Rudnevs had Hannover fans pinching themselves. But the story of the day goes to Nuremburg. The Bavarians have only lost six times this season, yet found themselves second bottom. They had drawn 11 and not won – while hitting the woodwork 16 times. STATS!! But if you’re going to break your duck, do it in style. Gertjan Verbeek’s men smashed four without reply against Hoffenheim, but more importantly, the Dutchman was able to shave his beard off after promising not to take a razor to his face until that first win was on the board. He was presented with a razor straight after the final whistle, and club member was given the tricky task. The monkey is off their back though.
Results: Borussia M’Gladbach 0-2 Bayern Munich, Freiburg 3-2 Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund 2-2 FC Augsburg, Wolfsburg 1-3 Hannover, Stuttgart 1-2 Mainz, Nuremburg 4-0 Hoffenheim, Eintrach Frankfurt 1-0 Hertha Berlin, Werder Bremen 0-0 Braunschweig, Hamburg 0-3 Schalke.
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