Tuesday, 30 October 2012

SC Paderborn 07 v FC St. Pauli

A song celebrating the arrival of half time? Gah.

SC Paderborn 07 1-1 FC St. Pauli
Benteler Stadion, Paderborn
2. Bundesliga
Sunday 21 October 2012
Attendance: 15,000

It’s hot, I'm on a packed train, the toilet's broke, I'm hungover, I'm with (award winning) @theballisround, (genre defining) @dannylast, and (big) @bigdeaksy and we're all surrounded by a bunch of drunk people who look like they’ve been diverted from their trip to a Levellers concert to a protest about saving an obscure piece of boring scrub land from something fun. Yep, We're on a train full of St. Pauli fans going to an away match. We're all delighted to be here. If you need me to explain about St. Pauli and their fans you’re probably on the wrong blog. 

The St. Pauli fans are met with bright sunshine and a forceful welcome by the local Polizei in Paderborn, a town which is as much middle class as it is in the middle of nowhere. A bunch of lefties with piercings and freaky haircuts in the town is always going to cause a bit of a kerfuffle so they're shoved off towards a crowded train platform, circled by police horses and recorded with video cameras whilst being viewed with intense suspicion. Meanwhile we're herded out into the sunshine before all being wedged into a fat mans funking armpit to claim one of the last remaining spaces on the funbus destination Paderborn FC. 

Small. Far away.

For a town already in the middle of nowhere Paderborn's (Nicholas) Benteler stadium manages to be at the epicentre. This could be the edge of the world. If you don’t believe me tune into the “Arena Cam” of Nicholas Benteler for an hour or eleven. Nothing will happen. Even on a match day. 
From the outside the stadium looks hmm “generic” and inside well, it’s all a bit weird. Every terrace is raised up, with food stalls and toilets underneath, and any view of the pitch is blocked off. Underneath the away terrace some St. Pauli fans were pepper sprayed by the Polizei while, underneath the Paderborn one, I paid Euro 3,50 for a measly portion of chips. We all have our little gripes with Paderborn. 

 A picture of the Ultra Sankt Pauli flag I'll go on to mention shortly. Ah, I've ruined the surprise now.

A picture of the Shickeria flag I might go on to mention shortly. I will.

The St. Pauli terrace soon fills up with fans rubbing their eyes while other parts of the ground fill up with Pauli fans blinking into the autumnal sunlight. Fans compete for space for their flags. A large one bearing the word “Ultras” soon disappears underneath a plethora of smaller ones, including one from Bayern Munich’s Shickeria. Finally any piece of cloth within a 30sq metre area is lost as shirt, seemingly belonging to the worlds fattest, tallest man, is wafted over the side of the stand. 

Have you got this in XXXXXXXXXXL? You have, I'll take it. 

The Paderborn fans are ready for the match too. Just before kick off an old boy sits next to me, carefully unfolds a sheet with the lyrics to the Paderborn club song and mumbles his way through that. Yes, every German club has it own song warble. Normally its rocky. Football fans like rock. Football fans in Paderborn like drivel, they like wailing harmonies, they like atrocious guitar 80's guitar solos, they love bits where the song goes “ooohhhh, ooohhhh, they like lyrics written by typewriter walloping song gibbons (“Paderborn, Paderborn my town, I love you”). Gah.

At kick off St. Pauli fans unfurl a banner about the protection of fan culture whilst remaining silent with their arms crossed, as if handcuffed. They then break into a song about police brutality whilst waving flags of the club crest, a ferocious looking skull and cross bones. Paderborn fans wave flags of the club crest, a run of the mill circle that has carelessly been coloured way outsidethe lines by a slapdash graphic designer.

After that Danny, Deacs and I barely watched the match. Meanwhile Stuart followed the game in his usual intense manner, via Twitter. (#injokes) The St. Pauli fans didn’t stop waving their arms and singing for the ninety minutes. No one needs a song sheet. Everyone knows every word and every intricate hand movement that accompanies every song. 

 Fritz's seat in row 15 proved to be a massive disappointment.

 Token match shot.

Now, I know not every team has to be as different at St. Pauli but a song celebrating the arrival of half time song is a low Paderborn. I was that angry when I heard it I almost choked on my pepper spray. 

"Half time
It is so long
Half time
I'm ready
First half goodbye
You are in the past
Half time
It is so long
Half time
The match increases
Second half hello
I'm ready for you."

Wrap your lugholes around this. No do. You want to listen to it don't you. You wont thank me. But do.  Man alive Paderborn. What were you thinking?

Three minutes into the second half (I'm ready for you - gah!) Daniel Ginczek scores to give new Pauli manager and Germany's third best Michael Stipe impersonator Michael Frontzeck a great start to his first game in charge and send the fans bonkers barmy. A few seconds later Stuart informs us about the goal after reading about it in less than 140 characters on his mobile. Amongst the Pauli fans everybody hurts (sorry) as Paderborn equalise with a move slicker than Frontzeck’s shiny bonce, through former player Deniz Naki. There was probably a goal celebration song, by this point I'd tightly sewn my ears up. 

Have you got this in a M?

The mystery of the gargantuan shirt is solved after the game. Naki applauds the away fans and the Pauli fans applaud him. The huge shirt, with “Naki 23” on the back is lobbed down and this touching gesture very nearly sees Naki smothered alive. He applauds the fans, they applaud him and it's an impressive end to a great days support. No matter the political leanings, the appearance, the hair colour or percentage of body mass covered in piercings these are just great football fans and a superb spectacle to watch.

Now, someone get this shitting Paderborn half time song out of my head before I double Van Gogh myself.

For a sensible take on the day read @TeddyFCUM 's take on things over here, Stuart Fuller managed to seperate himself from Twitter long enough to write this and Danny Last managed to focus long enough to take these snaps. Big Deacs has subsequently contributed sod all.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Werder Bremen Ultras Stickers

 Werder Bremen Ultras Stickers

Like these? You'll like this Facebook group.  

A self explanatory romp through the lamposts and bins of Bremen.




Thursday, 11 October 2012

Borussia Monchengladbach v Eintracht Frankfurt

Borussia hit the Keynotes.

Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Stadion im Borussia-Park
Sunday 7 October 2012
Attendance: 51,193

It’s a long old bus journey from the centre of Monchengladbach to the out of town Borussia Park stadium. Almost to a man the Borussia’s fans embark swiftly from the bus, wearing multiple scarves and agonised looks, sprint into the woods around the ground and emerge casually shortly afterwards happily pulling their flies up with one hand and merrily chugging back some warm beer with the other. After navigating the urine drenched woodland they then have to break through the never ending procession of police horses circling the ground before they can access more cold beers at the stadium.

Before I start lets just take a quick look round this bonkers barmy chap. Drum covered in stickers - tick. Ripped T Shirt exposing possible old Liverpool shirt - tick.

Borussia Monchengladbach trousers - Tick. Coat covered in patches with massive Borussia logo - Tick.

Stuffed foal toy on shoulder - Tick. Protruding beer gut - Tick.

The Borussia fans haven’t had much to cheer so far this season. The star players from last season, Marco Reus, Roman Neustädter and Dante, have left, they’ve been turfed out of the Champions League by Dynamo Kiev, they lost at home to Fenerbache in the Europa League on Thursday and have no wins in the last five games. Today’s guests are Eintracht Frankfurt, who were promoted from the 2. Liga last season, are currently 2nd in the table and have won five of their first six games. *gulp*

"Excuse me mate, have you seen the guy with the Borussia Monchengladbach trousers on? Which way....that way, ok cheers!"

The main bulk of the Borussia fans stand on the NordKurve. For 14.50Euros, including your TFH (train fare home) that where I’m heading. As expected the home end contains a tremendous array of Kutte jackets (not MSV Duisburg good though), but sadly a disappointingly low number of mullets, a ridiculously high number of Liverpool scarves, a painting of the Liverpool club crest in green, a waxwork model of Djimi Trarore and a Candy washing machine with a waterlogged Glenn Hysen on a spin cycle trapped inside it. One, ok two, of those things are made up. They do like Liverpool though. A lot.

Backs up what I said above. Not pictured: Glenn Hysen in a washing machine.

Aston Villa? Really?

“NordKurve, bist du bereit? (North stand are you ready?)”, “jaaaaa”....”Ostkurve, bist du bereit”...and so on, around the ground. The PA announcer tries his best to artificially increase the atmosphere, but with about 30 massive flags being waved around, 3 drummers and a booming speaker system rigged up to a man with a megaphone he’s not really needed here. Favourite flag of the day? “Project Chaos”. That’s one project that doesn’t need a mission statement to make its intentions clear. It’s all very self explanatory and for that we should be thankful.

At this point the Borussia fans were flagging a bit. 

At kick off the sun is low and the conditions as hazy as a student nurses memory the morning after the Freshers Ball. The atmosphere is muted, the Borussia fans are nervous. The Eintracht fans are initially louder and when the Borussia fans do get going Eintracht fans give it the classic “Hurrah, hurrah, das ganzes Dorf is da! (Hurrah, hurrah, the whole village is there”). A particular favourite of mine.

Christ on a tepee. What were you thinking?

Jackets sponsored by Moe's Tavern from the fictional TV show The Simpsons I can go for but Indian headresses....*shakes headdress disapprovingly*

After a quiet first 8 minutes the NordKurve attempt to wake up the slumbering SüdKurve with some classic call and response chanting. A particular favourite of mine.

NordKurve: VFL!!!

SüdKurve: (a lot quieter) VFL!!

NordKurve: VFL!!

Eintracht fans: Hure VFL!! (VFL whores)

(at the same time and now almost inaudible)

SüedKurve: VFL!!

NordKurve: VFL!!

Eintracht fans: Hure VFL!!

Meanwhile on the pitch Venezuelan midfield maestro Juan Arango has picked up the ball 35 yards out and walloped the ball in off the cross bar. The chanting immediately stops and there is a stunned silence all around the crowd. A silence then merrily broken by the Borussia fans singing their own goal celebration ditty. For those of you wanting to sing along at home I have prepared some visuals in the style of late 80’s – early 90’s post TV-AM music quiz show Keynotes for you to sing along to.

15 minutes later big summer signing Luuk (two u's) de Jong kappoww’s the ball in to make it two nil. The goal is announced over the tannoy; I say announced the fans have to do most of the work as the PA announcer starts to take liberties.
PA “Announcer”: Torschutzer LUUK!! (Goalscorer Luuk...)

Crowd: DE JONG!

PA “Announcer”: Neue Spielstand Borussia... (new scoreline Borussia..)

Crowd: Zwei!!

PA “Announcer”: Eintracht..

Crowd: Null!!

PA “Announcer”: Was sagen wir? (What do we say?)

Crowd: Danke Luuk!!

Luuk de Jong celebrates his goal by taking off his backpack and using his extra long arms to try and flick an aeroplane out of the sky.

Yep, the crowd thanks there multi million Euro striker for doing his job. I ache for the day someone comes into my workplace, bellows “What do we say?” and the whole offices stands as one and replies “Danke Kenny!” and waves scarves with my face on as I push my trolley round the office dishing out mid afternoon teas. I also desperately long for the day when some else finishes off my sentences because I

Token match shot.

Then the Borussia fans get nervous. The team barely get out of their half for the rest of the match. 60 long anxiety (and beer) filled minutes. Eintracht keep attacking, it’s the only thing they’re focused on. You could say they have an ein track mind. Hey! Hey? No. Oh ok. The superbly named Canadian international Olivier Occean (two c's) volleys the ball just over, we causes a nervous Borussia fan behind me to react thus: 


It finishes 2-0, Eintracht run out of ideas and in the end it’s a bit of a Sunday afternoon stroll for Borussia. Thankfully one that avoids the woods.

Was sagen wir?

Friday, 5 October 2012

SV Oberbilk Düsseldorf 09 v Rot Weiss Lintorf

Viva La Revolution

SV Oberbilk Düsseldorf 09 2-6 Rot Weiss Lintorf
Seeheimer Weg, Düsseldorf
Diebels Cup (Kreispokal Düsseldorf)
Wednesday 3rd October 2012
Attendance 40

Everyone knows that Germany was re-united as one because of the intervention of David Hasselhoff. I’m sure we all recall where we were on 9th November 1989 as we watched grainy footage of The Hoff ramming a flaming, out of control Trabbi through the Berlin wall, sending thousands of mulleted Ossi’s scurrying into the west, before playing a triumphant one man band show atop the rubble and planting a smacker right on Mikhail Gorbachev’s love bite whilst Nena released 99 red balloons into the free world air.

The Hoff granted us our freedom from our oppressive DDR overlords so we should embrace it. It also meant today was a bank holiday and there was only one obvious way to mark 22 years of beautiful German reunification and that was, obviously, some two bit (current exchange rate - two Euro cent) local cup match at 3pm on a miserable Wednesday afternoon. In your face Lenin!

As far as I can work out the SV Oberbilk club logo is of a highly embarrassed fashion conscious/cross dressing dragon with a series of terrible split ends, wearing an ill fitting crown, with badly painted toenails who has just eaten an raspberry Mr. Freeze in celebration of successfully unmooring a boat. If that’s the look the designer was going for then he/she has really nailed it.

Now, put your coat on, pick up your groundhopper carrier bag, and join me as I take you for a wander round the ground. A wander because we are free. Free because The Hoff fought those dastardly evil commies for us. 

Sod the red carpet, SV Oberbilk 09 obviously knew AiT was coming and have rolled out the left over strip of astroturf (I've never smoked astroturf) to welcome me from the bar and into the ground.
Ha, ha, ha, ha look lads, look! It's a sign saying don’t play football......in a football stadium. Ha! Quick, get a photo!! Haaaaa! No way!!!! Pass me that ball. *volleys ball through window*

I snigger past the trailer that offers no purpose other than comparing marriage to being a prison and offering an outlet for a frustrated painter stuck in a loveless union. Why this is here is anyone’s guess.
I, and this blog, are often being accused of being childish and not focusing enough on the actual football matches. Well that is something I LOUDLY protested against as I went head first down the slide in the playground INSIDE THE GROUND!! Weeeeeeeee!!!! Lalalala I DONTUNDERSTANDTACTICS! CANIGOONTHESLIDEGAGAINPLEASECANICANICANIPLEEEEEEEEAAASSSSSSEEEE??

For more updates on playgrounds in grounds see this nonsense on Admira Prague, the undisputable Stalin of playgrounds in grounds. 

Something I've never accused of is having a big steamy dump in the middle of a terrace. Now, my German isn't great but I'm pretty sure this sign says “Shit where you like chaps, we've got a team of Lego men out the back who will come and clean it up. Defecate your best.”

It’s guffawing time as I walk past the Rot Weiss Lintorf subs looking supremely bored in their main stand/dugout/bus stop.

Houses with views into grounds is always a winner. (Horses with views into grounds - also good) Oberbilk goes even further with a house that, not only backs onto ground, but has a gate that leads straight into the ground. Honestly, if I’d wanted to (I did want to) I could have let myself in to use their toilet facilities (apparently my German understanding was wildly inaccurate. Awkward) and stolen their patio furniture on the way back into the ground if I'd wanted. (I did want to)

Ah the great terraces of football. “In the second half Liverpool will be kicking towards their passionate fans in the famous Kop end”. “For those listening on the radio Aston Villa are being roared on by those in the Holte End as we kick off”. Pah. Whatever. “In the first half SV Oberbilk Düsseldorf 09 are attacking the hand drawn and badly painted Tweetie Pie Garage Door End.”

Laughter/pity are the emotions as the SV Oberbilk management team are relegated to standing on the terrace, barking orders at their players, as a group of teenage girls bully them out of their main stand/dugout/bus stop.

I very nearly pissed my sides, when I realised the volunteer linesman was wearing a manbag precariously teetering on one shoulder as he runs the line. Surely the cross body approach would have been more secure here? Thankfully this languid approach to officiating means the words “run” “the” and “line” were not needed at all two sentences back. That bags not leaving that shoulder anytime soon. 

For more on our new topic AiT mocks the volunteer linesman see here and don’t forget here.

I decide to stop for a rest, I’ve earnt it, on one of the three sun loungers placed in the ground. In an unrelated story just days before I turned up the Muller von Beckenbaur family, who live at the badly painted Tweetie Pie Garage Door End, made an emotional appeal for the return of their treasured three sun loungers.

I’m not an idiot. I cower down and tiptoe past the feared ultras of SV Oberbilk's Nordkurve; I can hear them mumbling something about threatening the referee with an ice pick for another erroneous decision.

Once retired to a safer part of the ground look back at the ultras, only to realise they have changed into THREE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Things like that use to happen in Communist times I’ve heard.

Finally I re-enter the bar for an Alt bier. Turns out most of crowd are in here anyway, watching through the window at the numpty taking pictures of deckchairs and probably making notes on my movements. Old Stasi habits die hard it seems.

Token match and train combo shot.

And that concludes our walk round SV Oberbilk’s ground. Rot Weiss Lintorf won 2-6 (six) and a ball got stuck in a tree. Rot Weiss Lintorf will play North Korea in the next round.