Mehr Emotion! Bayern Munich criticised after 2-0 win over Hannover
Despite a 2-0 win over Hannover at the weekend, Bayern Munich continue to place themselves under the most intense pressure. Sporting director Matthias Sammer criticised the side for playing 'without emotion' after they failed to open the scoring in the first half.
"We are playing lethargically at times, playing football without any emotion and just going through the motions," he said. "When you are struggling in the first half, then you've got to help each other out in the tackles and bring a bit more emotion into play.
"Instead, we are too relaxed and just watch - we've won five titles in the last 15 months, Franck Ribery's been named best player in Europe and he'll probably also win the Ballon d'Or. It's not that we are not working, just we're not showing any emotions at all."
A sign of just how much Bayern are expected to win the Bundesliga this season, his comments were slammed by Bayern president Uli Hoeness who argued that Borussia Dortmund would be laughing at the Bavarian giants who are criticising themselves after a convincing victory. Dortmund currently sit two points clear of their rivals at the top of the table after continuing their 100 per cent run with a 6-2 thrashing of Hamburg.
Benitez continues to impress back in Serie A
As Napoli went into the match with Atalanta on Saturday Pepe Reina was singing the praises of Rafa Benitez. The manager's spending spree over the summer, to make up for the loss of Edinson Cavani, has so far bared fruit and after claiming another win at the weekend the side are now top of the Serie A table with nine points from three games.
It's hard to believe that a Napoli side without Cavani could be full of so much hope for the season ahead but with the manager filling the squad with positivity, and a host of new players on board, the Italian outfit are looking certain to mount a serious challenge for the Scudetto.
"Napoli remind me of Benitez's Liverpool," Reina said of the Spaniard's influence on the side.
"Despite the fact that we were not the strongest team technically, we were able to achieve great results due to hard work.
"I have found a similar Rafa to that of eight years ago," he continued. "He has the same determination to do well and counts on the group and on hard work as the basis of success."
Bale/Ronaldo take over Spanish papers
The Spanish press didn't know which way to look as Real Madrid pumped out all the big stories for the weekend. As Gareth Bale made his competitive debut for the side, Cristiano Ronaldo made the stunning admission after much transfer speculation that he had signed a new deal with the side.
Ronaldo claimed that talk of a move back to Manchester United was never true, that the English giants are in his past and he had reached a gentleman's agreement with Madrid at the start of the summer to stay. With this wrapped up, the club have established themselves as the owners of the two most expensive players for years to come. If only they could show such dominance on the pitch they'd be set.
A draw with Villarreal was the last result La Liga fans were expecting with their Welshman appearing on the pitch in a Madrid shirt for the first time. Bale scored, though the Spanish press are reacting to his first performance for the club with caution, with some going so far as to say his positioning was wrong despite having found the back of the net. Ronaldo contributed a goal but Cani and Giovani Dos Santos helped Villarreal claim a well deserved 2-2 draw that left Madridistas disappointed.
It was certainly a huge achievement for the Yellow Submarine to take a point from the match after only just gaining promotion back to the top flight, but it leaves Madrid down in fourth place, two points behind bitter rivals Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, while sitting level on points with Villarreal.
Falcao continues to bare fruit for Monaco
The rumours may be persisting in Madrid that Radamel Falcao is Florentino Perez's final piece to his uber-expensive puzzle but the striker certainly looks happy at Monaco as he continues where he left off for Atletico Madrid.
The Colombian scored the side's only goal in their 1-0 win over Lorient and despite Paris Saint Germain picking up from their disappointing start to the season in which they played out two draws in a row, the principality proudlyy sit at the top of the Lige 1 table with 13 points from five matches.
With upcoming Champions League matches for PSG, Monaco have a chance to take advantage of their own lack of European football to concentrate on keeping that top position and should Claudio Ranieri's men do so successfully, it would appear that the challenge of keeping the title is about to get even tougher for Laurent Blanc.
Hyypia Laments Loss of English Passion As Leverkusen Notch Another Win
When Luis Gustavo began his career with Wolfsburg the midfielder was touted for big things with the side, but then they came up against Bayer Leverkusen and his own frailties were exposed and he was handed a red card before the end of the game.
Leverkusen, who finished 3rd last season and strengthened over the summer with young striking prospect Heung Min-Son, are hoping they are genuine contenders for the Bundesliga trophy if their first five games are anything to go by. Hyypia himself has been touted for a possible English managerial job, but the former Liverpool star appeared to put such rumours to rest when he claimed that the Premier League had lost it's passion.
'Maybe the game has developed in a wrong direction that way, that when a player goes somewhere and cost £37million and he's earning £200,000 a week he is happy just to get the money," he said. "Maybe the focus of playing football is the second most important thing.
"Somehow the passion was missing. I saw a few games and wondered if they were trying hard enough. That is what I noticed."
The Bundesliga's current positioning as one of the world's top leagues is certainly one that Leverkusen will look to defend when they face Manchester United in the Champions League. After Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich both made the final last season, the performances of Leverkusen and fellow German side Schalke in these group stages of the tournament will be an interesting sight into whether German football is continuing to take over as the new league of choice.
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