Mania. The world of Vollgas fussball is trapped in some kind of mania. This whole season has been special, as we had predicted, but it has overwhelmed even the most ludicrous of expectations in its glamour. Both in Bundesliga, 2. Bundesliga and 3. Liga expectations have been crushed into oblivion by the force of newly promoted teams and unknown surprises. As this season is something extraordinary, our will to express our emotions regarding the happenings of the bisherige Hinrunde has made me anxious. Here's something to relieve me of this extreme pressure:
5. Würzburger Kickers.
Unknown team, unknown club from an often forgotten part of footballing Germany, Franconia. This club from the deepest parts of Bierland has started their first season in 2. Bundesliga in a breathtaking manner and have earned themselves point after point against even the hardest of opponents. Kickers are probably the biggest surprise of 2. Bundesliga in 2016/2017 and will most likely stay up if they go on like this. Their key player Daghfous has amassed seven points through one goal and six assists and his partner in crime, Soriano has helped him with the assists. Würzburg is a team for the future and a club you should start to recognize.
4. RB Leipzig.
Rasenballsport Leipzig aren't placed first on this list due to the obvious, their financial status. Any newly promoted club with an economy like that will most likely stay up. Look at Hoffenheim for example. And I still don't think they will even reach Champion's League. Remember Hoffenheim? How they were Herbstmeister in their first season in the top flight only to end in seventh? Now, Leipzig is a different force in a different German football climate, but there are still quite a few comparisons to be made. Nonetheless, with a manager like that and a team like that, I wouldn't be too surprised if they managed to reach Europe. Forsberg is a fantastic player and even though I'm certainly no fan of the blabbing Naby Keita, his ability is undoubtedly amazing.
3. Eintracht Frankfurt.
Yes, I am of course biased, but I do genuinely think Eintracht's resurgence is a bigger feat than Leipzig's story. A club with limited cash, with a doomed group of players and without any real depth in the squad have now faced almost exclusively top teams at home and have 3 Siege and 2 Unentschieden. That's something special. How Frankfurt with that squad are now placed seventh after 10 games with only eight goals allowed is a miracle, but down to the magic of both Niko Kovac and Robert Kovac, it has been made possible. Now, Frankfurt are at the top and if they win against Bremen, then they are actually still in the title race after 11 games. Compare that to last season. Kovac is a hero. Europe is our goal.
FC Heidenheim is a neat club with a fantastic manager. I wrote about them in a Hipster's Choice because I consider this club to be something extraordinary. Their coach Frank Schmidt has transformed this small club into an attacking as well as defending monstrosity. Marc Scnatterer annual contribution to the club´s tally has helped and FCH are now placed in fourth after 13 games, something most wouldn't have guessed. They share the second place on this list with Dynamo Dresden, another newly promoted side with claws. Dynamo's season has been special and Sterne des Ostens has amassed 19 points after 12 games, a fantastic feat.
1. Sportfreunde Lotte.
Not only the best name of a club in the three leagues, but also the most surprising club since Darmstadt. Lotte is probably the smallest club in the three professional leagues and are now placed at the top of the table in 3. Liga after being promoted from their Regionalliga in 15/16. Lotte's members are small in numbers, but they're loyal and needed by the club. Players Andre Dej and Kevin Freiberger have been the most reliable pointscorers of this season and have helped them climb as well as beating both Bremen and Leverkusen in Der Pokal. But we all know 3. Liga is a real Lotte-ry. Yes, I did it again.
editor, Frankfurter (yes, the sausage) and a strong advocate of the brilliance of Stefan Kiessling's Kochbuch.