Exiled in Berlin

A slow but ever increasing slide towards 'exile' status has taken over recently, apologies to my one follower on here for the many missed deadlines. Last season I managed one post and one match (West Ham away), which actually provide a nice symmetry as the post came just after our home match against the Hammers.

The turbulent and increasingly senseless, brash and self-congratulatory world of the Premier League has spun even further out of control. In some ways the landscape has been altered beyond recognition (consider the then supremacy of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal to virtually all other teams), but then in others it remains drearily constant: the managerial merry-go-round, the regurgitative coverage and ticket prices completely out of line with world that exists beyond matchday.

I don't live near Villa Park anymore, I don't expect to go to any games this season, and I don't even live in England anymore. I've decided to reopen this blog to provide (if thats an appropriate word) my insight on German football. The Bundesliga is a refreshing antidote to the Premier League, especially as a supporter: tickets are cheap and stadiums grand, standing is accommodated, the atmosphere unthreatening (fans openly mix in the stands) but at the same time impressive (ok I'm still not completely convinced by the megaphone-men, but they do get things going) and the football is actually quite good.

On this last point English fans often point to the slow-paced, tactical matches abroad as synonymous with a boring waste of ninety minutes: where are the open-spaces? Where are the positionally inept midfielders low on short passing but great at high-octane, lung busting near misses? What, no tackling? Well the Bundesliga has the highest goals to game ratio in Europe and, apart from Bayern being a near constant in the top-two, is a competitive and even league. I like it, and am growing to love it.

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