Hamburg Roll Past Hapless HoffenheimBy: ryan_s | December 8th, 2012
Hamburg briefly launched themselves into the last Europa League spot last night as two goals from everyone’s favorite Latvian Artjoms Rudnevs and another nice display by Rene Adler were enough to see off the pitiful and Wiese-less village folk. Like the true working dingus that I am, I was unable to watch the majority of the match, but Rudnevs first looped header goal was delicious, and it seemed like Son was actually getting quick passes off (perhaps feeling the heat of Beister taking his spot in the starting eleven?) and in general not just looking to shoot from distance constantly. But again, I was unable to watch the majority of the match.
But now HSV find themselves in a more than respectable place with one game left in the Hinrunde. That last game is away to Bayer Leverkusen, so the most we can hope for would be a point, if we’re going to be realistic. But even if it ends in a loss, ending the first half of the season with all of the injury problems we’ve had, and the fact that after the first three matches HSV had zero points and zero goals, within striking distance of a Europa League spot is pretty amazing. It hasn’t always been pretty and Hamburg are fortunate that some other teams are under-performing (Dortmund, Schalke), but there is plenty of hope for the second half of the year. VdV will be back and hopefully start rounding into form, Beister has only started to show his fabulous and dynamic talent, and Badelj seems to just get classier and classier. And all of the sudden Artjoms Rudnevs has had a very nice season! 6 goals and 3 assists is nothing to sneeze at, and is in fact two scorer points more than Paolo Guerrero had all of last season. If he continues to develop at even a reasonable pace, he’s going to look like an absolute bargain.
I’ll post more about this after the Leverkusen game in the half-year roundup, but Fink and Arnesen must be given some credit. Both have been much derided over the past year, and that is not unfounded. And it isn’t like HSV are playing amazingly under Fink yet by any means – 18 goals in 18 games isn’t exactly an offensive powerhouse. And… Adler has single-handedly saved us in some matches. BUT – to me, the team is beginning to pass and play like a legitimate upper-half of the table team. If Rudnevs, Beister, VdV and Badelj really click in (with some help from Ilicevic, etc) in the second half, the goals will come for frequently. And they already have begun to!
In terms of Son, I have made myself clear on my opinion of him – to be frank, I think he’s very talented, but I also believe he has been woefully overrated by his six goals. This is a man who has played attacking midfield for much of his career (even though he’s more of a poacher / striker type, I know) who has a grand total of zero assists. Rudnevs is our striker, and yet has three assists this season. He has fabulous shooting technique but he requires lot of time and space to accomplish it. He’s also a pretty decent defender, but I mean to be honest I don’t really care all that much about being a decent defender – we already have Sala and Skjelbred on the bench for that from a midfielder. If Liverpool are seriously interested in him for 10 million Euro, I take it in a heartbeat. I know he’s liked by a lot of people and he’s scored a number of awesome goals, but I think he brings down the performances of others. You simply can’t be as slow-witted in buildup play as he is. Now, if the offer is five million, I’m more than happy to be consistently frustrated but occasionally jubilant about him and keep him in the squad (obviously), but if in the Winterpause some idiot Premiere League team wants to dump a bunch of money at him, I let him go. Thoughts from the community???
Also, some thoughts on this blog. Part of the reason I haven’t been posting is that I have simply a lot less time now that I have a job. Part of it is a lack of motivation. But also a large part is the Offside – this place is a ghost town. Not a single other Bundesliga team remains here – and I emailed the Offside people about moving to where the other (bigger) teams moved (SB Nation) but nothing has ever come out of it. So now here we are, putting a lot of effort into a website that makes revenue off of not doing anything for us and doesn’t even provide me with analytics so that I can see if people are reading even if there are weeks where nobody comments. I’m considering moving this blog somewhere else, in otherwords, and potentially creating a much more in depth site where there can be different formats for posts, such as posts specifically for players. Any thoughts, ideas, wants for collaboration, etc.?
Anyway, sorry I haven’t posted in a while. Nur der HSV!
Oh and HSV are currently in Brazil. What?