Finton’s Frolic: Who should Arsenal fans support upon the Bundesliga’s Return?
By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)
What up, pimps?
Welcome one and all to the eighth instalment of the Finton’s Frolic self-proclaimed spectacle to behold. This time around I will be discussing actual football, albeit it is admittedly not the Premier league but hey, it’s football and a good league at that as well. To any Arsenal fans reading this that do not know much about the top flight of the German football pyramid, I’m here to assist you on this fine evening, afternoon, or morning. So get on your Birkenstocks, grab a stein, and prepare to be a full-fledged supporter of a team of your choice in the ever-entertaining Bundesliga.
As a disclaimer, I have pretty much only created a case for top sides in the league for a couple of reasons. The first being, it may be difficult to find a stream for the lower ranked sides in the division, because like it is in any other league, the Bundesliga televise and stream who bring in the most viewing traffic; the big boys. Secondly, I figured if you are reading this it is more than likely that Arsenal is the club in which you support so do yourself a favour and stray away from the likes of Paderborn, Bremen, and Dusseldorf who sit rock bottom of the table. Your heart has been through enough stress so give it a rest. Here are 3 teams to keep an eye on that won't see your heart fail.
To begin with, the infamous BVB, aka Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund currently sit 2nd, just 4 points off first placed Bayern Munich in the race for the league title. Scoring an impressive 68 goals this season, they provide whomever watches them with an entertaining spectacle at the very least.
Along with scoring so many goals comes letting a decent amount trickle into the back of the net as well. Lucien Favre’s men have seen 33 goals against them in 25 league games, the most conceded out of any other side in the top 5. There are clearly some resemblances between them and Arsenal, so I have no doubt that the yellows are who many gooners will be staunchly behind come 16th May.
Finally, exciting young players such as 21-year-old Achraf Hakimi, 19-year-old Erling Haaland and of course 20-year-old Jadon Sancho all play for the side and have taken the entirety of Europe by storm with their phenomenal performances. The attractive and expansive system Dortmund play, compiled with the aforementioned young stars and many other quality players are reason enough for Arsenal fans to keep an eye on them for the remainder of the season.
Bayer Leverkusen are one of the most entertaining sides in Europe at the moment and currently sit 5th in the Bundesliga table. Players such as Kai Havertz and Leon Bailey help, but the side’s general style of play is massively enthralling as well. One memory that comes to mind is when they defeated the previous team mentioned, Dortmund, 4-3 at home with Lars Bender snatching the 82nd minute goal to steal his side the victory at home.
In the previous fixture between the two, Leverkusen had been annihilated humiliatingly 4-0 courtesy at San Idugnal park. They possess an element of unpredictability which may be troublesome on a gooners already damaged heart but they are without doubt good fun to spectate. Havertz, Bailey and the team's current top scorer, Kevin Volland, have all been linked with a switch to North London in the past as well, so keep an eye on those players and moreover, Bayer Leverkusen as a whole.
Though I had some doubt as to whether or not I should include Leipzig in the list, it would be totally unfair to snub them given how amazing they are to watch. I personally find myself wanting to watch them but also wanting the side to do poorly because I want a certain player of theirs.
As most are aware, Julian Nagelsman is at the helm, the most progressive coach in world football, and the beautiful style he brings is reason to watch Leipzig at every available opportunity. The most hated side in the league sit 3rd, just one point off of second placed Borussia Dortmund after being at the very top of the division for some time earlier this calendar year. Their rock solid defence has seen them only concede 26 times, making them the joint most secure side at the back along with league leaders Bayern.
The likes of Dayot Upamecano, who is predictably the player I want at Arsenal, has been heavily linked with a switch to Arsenal and Konrad Laimer in the midfield, who averages a resounding 5.59 tackles per 90 (possession adjusted), make it incredibly difficult to score against them. Despite Dortmund being ahead in the table, Leipzig are surely the team Bayern are most worried about catching them. They have only lost 3 games this season, while Bayern have actually lost one more than that. That amazingly minute amount of losses accentuates the consistency of Nagelsman’s men. So, to keep tabs on Upamecano and also to witness some good fotball, watch Leipzig take on Freiburg come the Bundesliga and moreover football’s return on May 16th.
There are other teams to keep an eye on, obviously, but for me these are the most accessible and entertaining ones to watch. I deliberately left out Bayern Munich because I do not personally classify their dominance of the division as particularly entertaining. They’ve scored 73 goals in just 25 games (a league high), giving them a ridiculous goals per 90 statistic of 2.92 goals per game. So if you want to see dominant displays, watch Die Roten.
One can also watch Borussia Monchengladbach who sit 4th, given their brilliant structure and conservative goal difference of just +19, compared to every other team in the top four who have over +30. Finally, Schalke, who are a massive side in the division and were the last team to win the title that was not Bayern, sit 6th and seem to be finally finding their old selves again.
All in all, the Bundesliga is an incredibly captivating league and it’s so nice to see football coming back. T-minus one week until top-level football returns and I for one cannot wait to lounge around in the new birkenstocks I bought and maybe even eat a sausage off of a wooden skewer. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed and with that, I bid thee the sincerest Auf Wiedersehen…! (Toodloo…!)