Friday! Trequartista is back! In this weekly feature editor Axel Falk roams free thoughout events kin world football and this week it's about Werder Bremen. So before you go out for drinks or settle down to watch Bundesliga, pick up your electronical device of choice and enlighten yourself by reading Trequartista!
One thing which happens every season has happened again, it's inevitable, impossible to prevent, but nobody really wants to prevent it from happening. I am of course talking about Werder Bremen's annual revival at the end of every season. The Bremers seem to be able to summon some kind of force at the end, allowing them to escape the drop zone every year, leaving other teams therein instead. This season it was closer than before, it did look horrible for them, but by sticking with Skripnik and his tactics, they've shown that showing loyalty and belief helps even the most unfathomably difficult of causes.
Every year a new player stands out and this year it has been a mix of players. Last season's star Zlatko Junuzovic has been quiet and has allowed Fin Bartels and Levin Öztunali to dictate the attacking side of their play, the part that has worked the best. These two have teamed up with the veteran Claudio Pizarro to form a deadly trio. With the Werder defence looking flawed as always, the attack has had to step up and that have they certainly done. Pizarro has kept them up long enough for other players to return to form. Fin Bartels began last season well, but hasn't been at his best during the first part of this one. However, with a few goals he has now shown Skripnik that that place in midfield is his and nobody else's. However, lately, another player has outshone him, a young superprospect with a famous family tree; Levin Öztunali.
You only need to see pictures of Bremen to understand its brilliant style and architecture. Since a long time ago, Bremen has been a so called "Hansastadt" and it can be seen anywhere you go in the city. The city centre is fantastic and is located right besides the iconic area called Schnoor. Enter Schnoor and you are instantly thrown back to the medieval age, when Bremen was a flourishing city on the Weser river. Now, the flourishing city has transformed itself into a big German city, with a classical football team in the top tier, but the charming feel is still there. If you exit Schnoor and walk along the river for a while you will soon see a grand building and if you enter it you'll be amazed by its amazing size. Weserstadion is truly bigger than you may think and when the team plays, the fans on the so called #greenwhitewonderwall make your ears burst. Bremen has a feel about it, its charm shines through everywhere you go and it can't be escaped, but why would you want that? This charm makes Bremen into one of the most attractive cities in germany and it has made Werder Bremen into one of the most popular teams in Germany. But, if you travel north by train, and also travel back 20 years in time, you will find the exact birthplace of Bremen's big prospect Levin Öztunali.
Levin Öztunali was born in Hamburg 1996 to a Turkish father and a German mother. How is this relevant? His mother's surname was, and is, Seeler. Who is that then? Uwe Seeler, who is Levin Öztunali's grandfather, was a Hamburg legend and a World Cup finalist who scored 404 goals in 476 appearances for HSV between 1963 and 1972. Levin Öztunali therefore has a remarkable family tree to live up to and it looks to me like he will. Öztunali played for Hamburger SV between 2006 and 2013 before switching to Bayer Leverkusen where he has played 15 games in Bundesliga thus far. In January 2015 he was sent on loan to the struggling Werder Bremen. His first year was rough and he didn't play too much. This year, however, he has flourished as one of the biggest surprises of Bremen's season, tied with fellow youngster Florian Grillitsch. In 38 appearances for Bremen he has scored two goals, one of those coming against VFB Stuttgart in the last game.
Öztunali's game depends on his space. he isn't the quickest, but in tight quarters he relishes and can find passes and dribbles you just wouldn't believe. Even though he isn't slow, he isn't lightning quick, but certainly makes up for it with his quality on the ball. With his vision and ball control, Werder have actually found ways to dominate games recently. can you believe it? Werder Bremen dominating games. A sentence I had never thought I would ever get the opportunity to write...
With Max Meyer, Marc Stendera and Julian Brandt coming through, his quality has been overlooked by many, but it is truly brilliant and it will most probably keep Bremen in the top tier, right where they belong.
Have a nice weekend!
editor and maybe a bit too fond of the city Bremen.
NB: Can you imagine the fantastic opportunities for a joker like myself if Ingolstadt were to acquire Florian Klein from Stuttgart as they then would have both Groß and Klein. Big and small. Hilarious, right? Right?
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