Spyin' Kop: Bayer Leverkusen preview

Posted by Armin on March 9, 2005, 09:37:43 AM

With a place in the last 8 of European footballs' flagship competition tonight may be the most important game Liverpool have played since, well the last time we played Bayer Leverkusen away.  Lets not revisit that match, I'll leave that to our respondents.

As High school German is a distant memory consisting mainly of praising schnitzels and explaining that my leg is broken this weeks questions were beginning to take on a slightly  surreal quality until I decided that we'd all heard more than enough of broken legs.  Ahab like I sought the aid of forum member 'Mobydick' aka Martin and he came through with both a translation and some relevant questions to boot. 

Of course the problem with asking questions in excellent German is that the recipient assumes you can verstehen it... So thanks are also due to forum member Christoph for providing a translation back into English.  Vielen Danke to both of them.

We have two viewpoints from Bayer Leverkusen supporters.  Michael and someone from fanclub-kunterbunt.de who forgot to give his name.  With a url like tbat however there was only one name I could use so I'll refer to our mystery respondent as....

wait for it....

Fritz (naturlich!)

So on with the questions:

RAWK: How do you think Bayer’s season is going so far?

Michael: The season so far could be much better. We had great moments and rubbish games so far. At the beginning we were on the top - just before christmas nearly at the bottom. Now were back again. Maybe next year we play at the UEFA-Cup.

Fritz: It's an average season for us, we didn't start badly into the second half of the season but dropped silly points against Bayern Munic and Stuttgart.

RAWK: Have your expectations changed since the start of the year?

Michael: UEFA-Cup was my thinking of this season. I'm glad we are miles away from the relegation.

Fritz: At the begin of the year we were in with a chance to win the title but now we should concentrate to qualify for the Uefa Cup or the Champions League.

RAWK: Where do you think Bayer’s main problems have been this season?

Michael: Our defense is rubbish sometimes. Some injuries caused more problems.  Our main problem is the defence because of the injuries to R. Junior, Juan and Jens Nowotny.  Ponte is to inconsistent in midfield as well.

Fritz: Defence, Midfield, Attack or maybe Injuries?

RAWK: Who do you think is (are) your most important player(s)?

Michael: Our best player is the team. We don't have superstars!

Fritz: Berbatov, Schneider, Juan, Nowotny, Ramelow, Placente

RAWK: Which of players is (are) out of form?

Michael: The team also is out of form - mostly on away matches.

Fritz: Krynoweck, Voronin, Franca, Ponte

RAWK: What are your expectations for the game against Liverpool?

Michael: I expect a win over Liverpool. We are mostly very strong at home. But ..., we have (i mentioned) a terrible defense. We need to score more than 3 goals.

Fritz: A victory which will send us through to the next round.

RAWK: What did you make of the atmosphere at Anfield?

Michael: The atmosphere at Anfield was fantastic. Very noisy and very friendly - full of passion. I have 2 favorite grounds in the world: Celtic Park and Anfield Road.

Fritz: I haven't been able to go because i had work commitments but the atmosphere sounded great on TV.

RAWK: What can  we expect for the atmosphere in Germany?

Michael: Our atmosphere could be much better. In games V cologne and b. munich it's very good, but games like Wolfsburg are quite silent (like Arsenal). Our songs are more the italian style - full of forza and olé. I prefer your songs!

Fritz: I would think so, the last game between us had a great atmosphere as well.

RAWK: Bayer has a number of injuries and players missing. Who do you think will be taking the places of Paul Freier, Robson Ponte and if still injured, Juan?

Michael: I don't know who's playing.

Fritz: I think Bierofka or Schneider will play instead of Freier, Donovan will come in for Ponte and Callsen Bracker will play instead of Juan.

RAWK: Do you have any young up and coming players in the squad that we might not know about?

Michael: 17 years old Castro had his first Bundesliga match last weekend. We lost at Hamburg.

Fritz: Gonzalo Castro (17), Sacha Dum (18) and Callsen Bracker

RAWK: What is your favourite memory or moment when playing English teams?

Michael: I've seen Liverpool playing V Alaves. That was one of my favorite games. My #1 game was Leverkusen V Liverpool (4:2). My first Liverpool game was the League Cup Final 1987. Sorry about that. I met Charlie Nicholas in a Glasgow Pub a year ago.

Fritz: The 4:2 against Liverpool and to kick Man United out of the Champions League.

RAWK: Which Liverpool player do you fear the most?

Michael: Rise's and Hamann's free kicks we have to care about. Milan Baros is a brilliant player.

Fritz: Steven Gerrard and John Arne Riise because they are great personalities on the field.

RAWK: “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is a song long and, traditionally associated
with Liverpool. Does Bayer have a “Club song or chant” that we need to listen out for?

Michael: You'll never walk is the most famous football song. 2nd favorite: The fields of Athenrye. Leverkusen has his own club song, but it's not good like these. We have to work on it.

Fritz: Bayer 04, wir stehen zu dir, und Fussballgott (Armin's translation - Footballgod, must be a song about Fowler),

RAWK: Do you think either Bayer or Liverpool are good enough to win the
Champions League?

Fritz: Both teams could win it but the competition is tough (especially Chelsea and Barca)

Michael: Don't know, P.S. Good luck V Everton!

Danke schon to Michael and Fritz as well as Christoph and Martin.  Lets hope that come the draw for the quarter finals this column is feverishly searching for Italian, French or even Cockney translators. 

Auf Wiedersehen :wave

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