What’s not to love about Werder Bremen?

September 30, 2008

Ozil scores the winner

Werder Bremen’s Weserstadion is not the most comfortable place to watch football, with its slightly rickety feel, but it must be one of the most exciting.

Saturday’s 5-4 victory over Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga made it 10 goals in the last two league games for Thomas Schaaf’s side, who have now shrugged off a bit of early-season lethargy to restate the case for being the most entertaining side in Germany, certainly, and quite possibly Europe as a whole.

What’s not to love about Werder Bremen? For a team with relatively modest resources (compared to Bayern Munich or the European bigwigs) they show a refreshing commitment to attacking football.

I’ve blogged before about Brazilian Diego, and he remains a class act, but the standout player of the last couple of games has been Mesut Ozil, the young Germany midfielder who proved too much of a handful for both Bayern Munich, when Werder beat them 5-2, and Hoffenheim.

That devil-may-care attitude towards attack often makes it a bit hairy for the defenders, of course, but that only adds to the fun. Naldo and Per Mertesacker must be the hardest working centre backs in the Bundesliga.

Even when Bremen fail they seem to do so gloriously, notably with a 10-2 aggregate defeat by Lyon in the second round in 2005 and the inexplicable mistake from Tim Wiese that denied them victory at the death against Juventus the following season.

On Wednesday they take on Inter Milan in the Champions League and will thus be reacquainted with Jose Mourinho, who is a bit of a fan.

When Mourinho took his Chelsea team to Bremen a couple of years ago he spoke before the game about the respect he had for Schaaf and his commitment to using the same diamond formation in midfield that he himself favoured, despite the risks involved. Bremen duly beat Chelsea 1-0, although it was the English side that went through.

Bremen failed to find the net in their first Champions League outing, a  goalless draw at home to Anorthosis Famagusta, so they need something from Wednesday’s trip. There’ll be a lot of neutrals willing them on, I expect.

PHOTO: Mesut Ozil scores the winner against Hoffenheim, Sept 27, 2008. REUTERS/Christian Charisius

6 comments

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More interesting than Bayern Munich anyway. It will be interesting to see if Klinsmann can turn things round quickly or not. I wonder if Spurs are waiting in the wings…

Posted by lauder | Report as abusive

With Werder seemed to be scoring for fun in the Bundesliga of late, I hope they can transform that on the European level.

Posted by diana | Report as abusive

Werder is certainly the most entertaining team in German Bundesliga and hopefully they can capitalize on Bayern Munich’s weakness and will be Deutscher Meister at the end of the season.

[...] have been on a bit of a run and would like to keep it up. They have a reputation for attacking football (and the goals to show for it). Keep your eye on Özil and Diego — [...]

I’ve got a feeling this is going to be their year. Interestingly, Bayer Leverkusen seem to be going for the same all-or-nothing style this season. From what I’ve seen their games have been great fun as well. Werder first, Bayer second, Schalke third and Bayern to win the Champions League…

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

[...] More love for the lovable Werder Bremen. (Reuters Soccer Blog) [...]

[...] Every football fan should adopt Werder Bremen as his or her second team. Light on trophies but heavy on entertainment. (Reuters Soccer Blog) [...]

[...] Every football fan should adopt Werder Bremen as his or her second team. Light on trophies but heavy on entertainment. (Reuters Soccer Blog) [...]

Decent result last night anyway. Only saw the highlights but seemed like a good game.

Posted by lauder | Report as abusive

[...] Every football fan should adopt Werder Bremen as his or her second team. Light on trophies but heavy on entertainment. (Reuters Soccer Blog) [...]

The Arsenal of Germany?

Posted by Hans Moman | Report as abusive