VfB Stuttgart 1893

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  1. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    Team Info
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    Team: VfB Stuttgart - "Die Roten" "Die Schwaben"​
    Manager: Frenchie1916 (Matt French)​
    Stadium - Mercedes-Benz Arena (60,441)​

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  2. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    STUTTGART -- VfB Stuttgart, a club rich in tradition, look to return to form with the advent of a fresh season upon them. The team first announced the hiring of a new manager in Frenchie1916, who, though new to the TFS league, expressed high hopes for the coming season.

    "We have one goal in mind, and that is promotion," Frenchie said. "Anything less will be seen as a failure by my players, my trainers, my coaching staff, myself, and especially our mascot, Fritzle."

    Stuttgart were the victims of automatic relegation to the Serie C when they lost their manager at the end of the last season, and by their late pick in the draft. However, the talent on the team, led by German national team centre back Serdar Tasci and striker Cacau, as well as Russian-capped striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki and Italian LB Cristian Molinaro, has given Frenchie plenty to work with.

    "I've been given the tools," Frenchie said. "What I do with them is now entirely up to me."

    As this Schwaben city eagerly awaits its first test, the fans of Die Roten, in a single voice from more than 600,000 souls, collectively sing Einen Stern, der über Stuttgart steht!
     
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  3. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    VfB Stuttgart 1893

     
  4. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    SUNDERLAND - Asamoah Gyan made a stunning one-day return trip to the Stadium of Light to help his former club put a thrashing on Die Roten from Stuttgart, aided in no small part to very shaky play from the Germans' goaltender. Gyan, who took a brief vacation from his loan to the football backwater of the United Arab Emirates, struck early, potting the ball in the third minute, rendering the Stuttgart backline bewitched, bothered and bewildered. It was a theme that would continue throughout the match.

    The early goal clearly rattled the normally stalwart Stuttgart keeper, Sven Ulreich, who managed to roll two balls into the path of lurking French midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, who easily scored both into open and empty nets.

    "Pferdemist," responded Ulreich, sitting at his locker an hour after the final whistle had blown. "Ich habe wie Pferdemist gespielt. Und Gyan?? Wirklich? Sollte er nicht in die Sahara sein?" ("Horse [manure]. I played like horse [manure]. And Gyan?? Really? Shouldn't he be in the Sahara?")

    New manager Frenchie was more resolute than his dejected and decimated keeper.

    "It's done. The game is over and we deserved the result we got," he said. "We couldn't get a decent shot on net, our strikers and midfielders held the ball for one touch too long, losing it right outside the box. We'll learn from it, and move on. We still have a very tough week ahead of us with a trip to Glasgow to play Celtic before our home opener against a dangerous Genoa side."

    Frenchie added that he knows his German side needs at least four points from the next two matches if Die Schwaben have any hope of promotion this season.

    "Fall too far behind early in a season this short, and you're erledigt - cooked."

    Time will tell if his squad takes the warning to heart.
     
  5. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    Stuttgart Suffers Second Straight Loss; Team Looks for Answers to Scoring Drought

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    STUTTGART - The fans of die Roten are already beginning to fear what the rest of the season holds after their beloved side dropped their home opener in a nail-biter to a Genoese squad that clung to a 1-0 victory with both hands. Once again, mistakes in the German backfield doomed Stuttgart to its second defeat in a row in a game that manager Frenchie believes was eminently winnable.

    "The fact is we really dominated this game," Frenchie said after the match. "We had great possession, good passing and quality movement in space. We had good looks at the net, crosses and outward swings from the corner that found our guys beautifully. Scheiße, we even had a Free Kick on a penalty from 22 meters that we put over the bar. I can't tell you how many quality shots we had that went wide... Six? Seven?

    "The stupid pass we gave up in our own box that they netted didn't kill us," Frenchie added. "What killed us was not being able to put the ball in the damned net at the Genoa end of the pitch."

    Striker Cacau said he took sole responsibility on the latter point.[​IMG]

    "I put one header right into the keeper's chest, sent two more headers wide and then two shots went wanting wide on either side," the Brazilian-born forward said. "My first trip tomorrow will be to the optometrist to make sure everything's OK there. My second will be to the training ground. This kind of poor shooting cannot happen again."

    With 20 percent of its season behind it, oddsmakers are almost ready to take Stuttgart off the board as a promotion possibility, knowing stiff competition still awaits in the coming weeks. But the team has caught one lucky break: a few days' rest before its next matchup in Glasgow against Celtic.

    They're going to need it.
     
  6. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    VfB Stuttgart Earns First Victory; Pandemonium in Schwaben

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    STUTTGART -- Faced with a speedy and determined Italian opponent in Parma F.C. last night, Die Roten dug deep for its first victory of the season, earning a hard-fought 2-0 win against i Crociati. The boys from Stuttgart started off slow as Parma took immediate control, dominating the first half in both shots and possession, but were unable to find the back of the net. It looked like Stuttgart was going to suffer a third loss running, as all attempts at offense fizzled early and the Stuttgart defense was kept on its heels.

    But keeper Sven Ulreich rallied his team in the locker room, promising to stand strong.

    "I knew these guys were discouraged," Ulreich said. "After last week, I couldn't blame them. We'd all played poorly. But I told them that I would play for them if they would do the same for me."

    And a different team emerged from the locker room for the second half. Ulreich stopped two point-blank shots that looked sure to crush the Swabian spirits; his performance seemed to inspire his team to turn the game in their favor. Stuttgart actually took the majority of the possession for the second half of the game and managed to crack the scoreless tie open with a Cacau header into the left corner in the 72nd minute from a beautiful cross from newly installed striker Ibrahima Traore. It was Traore's first game as a starter for The Reds.

    "We needed some pace up front that we weren't getting in our first two games," said manager Frenchie. "Traore was the perfect answer. He has the speed and agility that we need in a second striker, or he can peel off to the wing and set up a nice cross as he did twice tonight. I feel very good for this young man, who had two lovely assists in his first game."

    Traore's second assist came on a cross from nearly an identical spot to Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki, who was a late game substitute for the tired Cacau. Okazaki's header found the opposite corner in the 90th minute, sealing the Stuttgart victory and earning the team its first three points of the season.

    "We needed to get this win under our belts," Frenchie said. "Now we can look to the future. We have some winnable games ahead and some difficult ones. We still have a very good chance to being at the top of the table when all is said and done. We can't afford any more slip-ups."
     
  7. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    Stuttgart Settles for Draw as Jetlag Thwarts Golden Opportunity

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    GLASGOW – Playing under less-than-ideal conditions, VfB Stuttgart had to settle for a draw against Celtic F.C. in a game that manager Frenchie summed up in one word: winnable.

    “We dominated this game, and that’s a fact. We had better runs, better looks at goal, better shots and better chances,” Frenchie summated. “Kuzmanovic’s goal was a beauty and Traore very nearly opened his account, but it rattled just off the inside of the woodwork and skirted the entire length of the goal line before being sent safely into touch.”

    The problems began as soon as the ref blew his whistle to signal the start of play, and it became readily apparent that the pace was going to be agonizingly slow. The players had a very difficult time adjusting and never seemed to be able to find a rhythm – missing open passes, lunging at open air and shooting the ball well wide.

    “It honestly looked like they were being controlled by a Strippenzieher – a puppet master,” Frenchie said. “My boys looked jerky, like their bodies were acting about a second slower than their minds wanted them to. It’s very unfortunate, because we were in good form today.”

    Celtic managed to knot the score in the 74th minute when Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich was unable to handle a rebound from Celtic striker Anthony Stokes’ shot, allowing winger Kris Commons to head the loose ball home.

    “Kris is a girl’s name. That’s all I have to say,” replied Ulreich, in response to queries about the missed opportunity for his second straight clean sheet.

    Stuttgart still has a busy week ahead, with league matches against Galatasaray (home) and Palmeiras (away), and its first Coppa tilt against the dangerous and imposing Spartak Moscow in the Russian capital.
     
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  8. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    SCORING WOES CONTINUE FOR STUTTGART; ULREICH SUPERB IN NET

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    SÃO PAULO – VfB Stuttgart’s goal-scoring woes continued as the Reds had to settle for a scoreless draw against a Palmeiras side that should have capitalized on several German mistakes.

    The early candidate for the team’s most valuable player is undoubtedly keeper Sven Ulreich, whose saved penalty kept Stuttgart from suffering what surely would have been a demoralizing defeat.

    Palmeiras actually had two first-half chances to capitalize on the overly aggressive German defense, as first Delpierre and then Tasci fouled Brazilians in the box. Ulreich was once again steely-eyed, as he correctly anticipated the first penalty, which went sailing wide by inches. The second, only 15 minutes later, would have found its mark high to Ulreich’s left, but the lanky German was once again prescient in his duties and batted the well-struck effort aside.

    “All I can do to help my team win is to keep the ball out of the net,” Ulreich said. “I can’t score goals, but I can stop them. I did my part tonight. I really thought we were going to take this one. Once again, we dominated possession by 10 percent and, while they may have had one or two more shots on target, with the exception of their penalties, we definitely had the better chances tonight.”

    Stuttgart’s offense is definitely picking up pace, as the Swabians fired at Palmeiras all-star goaltender Marcos 15 times on the night, but only five of the shots were on target..

    “Until we turn things around, I don’t need to keep repeating myself,” said manager Frenchie. “We need to find the back of the net. Fifteen shots is encouraging, but only a third of those on frame? We need to double that accuracy. Sending the ball six inches wide or six meters wide will give us the same result. And against a goaltender who’s won a World Cup… We need better.”
     
  9. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    FIRST DEUTSCHER DERBY WOEFUL FOR DIE SCHWABEN

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    STUTTGART – In its first meeting of a fellow German side, the boys from Stuttgart were simply unequal to the task. Facing a Hamburg team that was clearly more confident, Stuttgart spent much of the game on its heels and, for the first time this season, let frustration get the better of them.

    “We were an undisciplined group of schoolboys,” said Frenchie. “We blocked the shot right back to the shooter for the first and third goal. That is unacceptable. We got two yellow cards – our first of the season. That is unacceptable. We got panicked, frustrated and played stupidly. That is unacceptable.”

    Once again, playing on a theme that will surely plague Die Roten for the rest of the season, shooting accuracy proved to be as elusive as Mario Balotelli’s humility.

    “The first half was a disgrace,” said team captain Matthieu Delpierre. "We couldn’t get our feet under us. We started the second period with a minor flurry and some good looks at goal, but even those came from range. If we can’t begin to create space and opportunities in the box, we’re doomed.”

    Stuttgart knows it has a tough test in its second Deutcher Derby later this week when it faces off against die Ziegefickern aus Köln.
     
  10. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    TRAORE OPENS ACCOUNT IN PRESTIGIOUS COPPA VICTORY

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    STUTTGART – In a rematch of a 1-0 defeat just days prior, Die Roten came out swinging against Genoa, earning a 1-0 victory, keeping its Coppa hopes of advancing alive. Young star Ibrahima Traore, who has shown a deftness at the aerial pass, opened his account with his first goal of the season late in the first half that would prove to be the game winner.

    Traore took a beautiful through ball from fellow striker Cacau and launched a laser at Genoa keeper Sébastien Frey, who was unable to handle the rebound. A miscommunication between Frey and his defender led to the ball reappearing on Traore’s boot with a yawning empty net in front of him.

    “It fell on my plate like a medium rare steak,” Traore said after the match. “All I had to do was slot it home.”

    Stuttgart had several other chances to up the score, the best coming on a lovely through ball to attacking midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanović, who let fly a low screamer at the corner from 10 yards. Frey was up to the task and made his best save of the game, just tipping the ball wide of his post.

    “This game gives me hope,” said manager Frenchie. “We still have half of the season ahead of us and a complete unknown in our last Coppa match against Palermo. We have a goals against deficit that is worrying, but there’s little we can do about that now. We need to win our last Coppa match and then hope for a little help from our group.”
     
  11. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    STUTTGART FALL TO KÖLNISCHE BLITZKRIEG

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    KölnDie Roten once again looked utterly outplayed as they were decimated by the high-powered offense of Köln F.C., who put up five unanswered goals against the visitors from the south.

    The scoring started early with a Lukas Podolski free kick from just outside the box. Stuttgart was caught unawares when the Cologne side brought in a second kicker and scrambled to cover what they thought was going to be a pass to the middle. Instead, Podolski laced a shot over the static wall into the upper corner just minutes into the contest.

    “We’re clearly not playing up to par,” said Frenchie after the game. “We have only one win to show for the first half of the season. We still have a game-in-hand, but even that is against a dangerous Galaratasay side. Meanwhile, Köln and Sunderland and Olympiakos are burning up the top of the table. I’d say our chances of promotion at this point are nil. We are now playing for a respectable showing – hopefully fourth on the table – and for advancement in the Coppa.”

    Stuttgart managed only four shots against the clearly superior Köln team, although three of them were on frame. Small consolation for the Swabian team that has struggled all season to find a consistent attack.

    This week marks the end of the first leg of the season with another very difficult game against Olympiakos, which has scored 20 goals and allowed only eight, and their first return leg against Sunderland, who put up five against Stuttgart in Week 1.

    “I am, quite frankly, not optimistic about the week ahead of us,” Frenchie said. “We’ll put our best team on the field and try to shut them down. Maybe we’ll get lucky. At this point, I have to look very seriously at tinkering with my lineup. Obviously my boys aren’t clicking right now and it’s moving day.”
     
  12. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    STUTTGART ADVANCE TO COPPA ROUND OF 16
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    STUTTGART – In what some football analysts are calling one of the most improbable results in recent memories, the boys of Die Roten managed to pull off a lovely upset over Serie B foe Palermo in a tensely fought 1-0 match.

    Manager Frenchie rolled out his promised “new look” Stuttgart side for the first time this year, and the move paid immediate dividends. Moving traditional winger Traore back to his home slot on the left side and bringing in Austrian Striker Martin Harnik to pair alongside German national Cacau, Stuttgart saw several opportunities at goal.



    But one turned out to be all that was necessary.

    On a luscious centering ball from right wing Timo Gebhart, Harnik struck a beautiful bicycle at net that Palermo keeper Alexandros Tzorvas struggled to steer aside. Cacau collected the rebound and netted the ball in the dying minutes of the first half to give Stuttgart a one-goal lead.

    “We knew we had to win this one,” Cacau said. “We got smoked in our first game, so we were facing a daunting goals-against. A nil-nil or 1-1 tie would have seen us out of the tourney.”

    Cacau very nearly returned the favor 20 minutes into the second half on a beautiful cross that found a diving Harnik, but Tzorvas was equal to the task.

    Stuttgart’s defense was more than solid, as they held the Italians to two shots and none on frame. Their smothering play in the middle of the pitch, combined with beautiful overlapping runs to keep the wings covered and prevent the Italians from getting good crosses, kept the Germans’ sheet clean and earned Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz his first Man of the Match of the season.

    VfB Stuttgart will take second place in Pool D and earn a game against the winner of controversial Group C in FC Köln, or as they are affectionately known in Stuttgart, die Ziegefickern.
     
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  13. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    HAS STUTTGART TURNAROUND BEGUN? DRAWS AGAINST TOP TEAMS GIVE GERMANS LIFE

    STUTTGART – A newly resurgent VfB Stuttgart took to the pitch this weekend for a series of four of its most-contested games of the season against opponents that have been playing some of the best football in Serie C. Die Roten began the weekend still high on their unexpected advancement into the Round 16 of the Coppa Tradizione, facing the dominant Sunderland squad.

    In its first game of the season, The Black Cats had put up four unanswered on Stuttgart, and had since risen to No. 2 on the Serie C table.

    But Stuttgart manager Frenchie’s new-look side proved to be trickier than Sunderland had remembered from Week One.

    “Well, we didn’t give the ball away in our box – twice – and that certainly helped the cause,” Frenchie said of what would end up being an exciting 0-0 draw.

    Sunderland certainly had its chances to knock Die Schwaben further down the table, first on a corner that was headed beautifully toward the lower corner of the net, but stopped by Stuttgart midfielder Tamas Hajnal, who was dutifully marking the post, and later, with scant minutes left, when Sunderland ace Sessegnon lashed a shot across the box that bounced solidly off the woodwork.

    “Frankly, we were very happy to come away with a point from this game,” Frenchie said. “This is a talented squad that can hurt you at any time. To steal a point here is huge for us.”

    ***

    Stuttgart managed to repeat the feat again, earning a draw against Olympiakos, who sits fourth in Serie C. Stuttgart actually dominated much of this game, fighting for its first shot on target just four minutes in.

    “Honestly, I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I just fired it hard,” said striker Cacau, who was unused to having such a clear lane into the net so early. "I was premature and the keeper deflected it away nicely. But it also set the tone for our boys that we were going to take this one to them.”


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    Striker Martin Harnik opened his Serie account in the 38th minute, but the goal was very nearly overshadowed minutes later when Stuttgart gave up a penalty in the box. Fortunately for die Roten, the ball was struck over the bar. But Stuttgart let down its defenses soon after, and for the last two minutes of the first half scrambled to keep form. Olympiakos took advantage, lacing a shot into the lower corner corner just before the half.

    “In the end, I’m not terribly disappointed with this game,” Frenchie said. “We should have won it, as we had the lead and we put 10 of our 13 shots on frame – a huge improvement for us. But again, to take a point from a top 4 team when you’re not sure you’re going to come away with any at all is always nice.”
     
  14. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    HOME-AND-HOME SERIES AGAINST TURKS LEAVES STUTTGART WANTING

    ISTANBUL and STUTTGART -- The dénouement of Stuttgart’s busy weekend came with a home-and-home series against the dangerous Galatasaray, who has been hovering mid-table most of the year. The first game saw the Germans travel to Turkey, where they dominated the hosts, winning a comfortable 2-0 victory.

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    Midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanović lashed a beautiful free kick from about 25 yards into the upper corner to open the scoring in the 41st minute. Early in the second half, Stuttgart had a chance to put another on a beautiful cross that striker Cacau sent screaming inches wide of the post.

    But the Germans went ahead by two in the 60th minute on a header from Tamas Hajnal that left the Turks wailing in frustration, certain that the Hungarian had crept offside. But the linesman’s flag stayed down and Stuttgart looked to be in control.




    Once again, however, sloppy defending very nearly cost the Germans as their French star defender Matthieu Delpierre committed a foul in the box, setting up a penalty with 20 minutes left in the game. Keeper Sven Ulreich was once again up to the task, however, and blocked the shot with a deft dive to his right. Ulreich is now 4-0 on PKs this season.

    Galatasaray went into full attack for the last 20 minutes, but had difficulty maintaining the ball, creating more space and more chances for the Germans, but they were unable to capitalize.

    “This is a great win for us,” Frenchie said. “Since our Coppa victory, we have not lost a game. We held the second team in Serie C goalless, and won a hard-fought victory on the road in the face of some rabid Turkish fans. After this weekend, we’ll be sitting near the middle of the table. More importantly, though, my boys have some confidence now. They’re strong on defense and are creating chances up front. Even if we won’t advance this year, I’d love to fight my way up to the top four of the table and put a little scare into some of the teams up there.”

    ***

    The second leg saw both teams travel back to Schwaben for a make-up of a Week 5 game. The constant play and travel had obviously caught up to the Stuttgart hosts, however, as they came out flat and never seemed to pose a serious threat to their Turkish guests.

    Galatasaray came out firing, sending a rocket into the crossbar just 14 minutes into the game.

    “We knew then that we weren’t facing the same team we’d just beaten a few days earlier,” keeper Sven Ulreich said. “At that point we were just trying to hold on.”

    Galatasaray scored two minutes later on a corner that Czech defender Tomáš Ujfaluši headed past a stationary Ulreich. Stuttgart never mounted a solid attack, managing only two shots on target out of six attempts. By contrast, Galatasaray fired at the German keeper 17 times, 6 of which were on the mark.

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    “I’m really not sure what happened here,” said Frenchie. “For four games in a row, our defense was unbelievably solid, allowing only one goal. Suddenly, we’re leaving gaps, men unmarked and allowing dangerous shots from inside 20 yards. Hopefully our back line will watch the game film, learn from their mistakes and move on.”

    The Turks put up three unanswered against their German hosts, including a meaningless kick in the groin in the 90th minute.

    Right back Khalid Boulahrouz received the team’s third yellow card of the season on a very questionable call from the Korean officiating crew. The Dutchman never left his feet and the contact looked largely incidental, and he was shown the card despite vocal German protests.

    “Our next four are winnable, no question,” Frenchie said. “I can definitely see us sitting with 20 or 22 points before we run into the back-to-back matches against our German rivals. If we can finish this season with more than 23 points, I’ll take it. If we can finish with 25 or more, I’ll be very happy with our second half, and ready to take on the powers of Serie C next season.”
     
  15. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    STUTTGART, CELTIC PLAY TO 0-0 SNOOZER; ULREICH GOES 5-0 ON PKs

    STUTTGART – Coming off of a disappointing loss to Turkish rival Galatasaray, VfB Stuttgart failed to right its rudderless ship by playing a scoreless draw against Celtic F.C. The Germans again failed to mount a sustained offense, managing only two shots on target out of seven taken.

    The Scots looked much stronger than the did during their first match against Stuttgart, peppering the German keeper Sven Ulreich with 15 shots, nearly half of which were on frame.

    The game remained relatively tame with much of the play remaining in the center third of the pitch until the 89th minute when German National team defender Serdar Tasci was flagged with an inadvised foul on the edge of the area. Celtic were given an opportunity to steal the game late, but once again, Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich earned his salary.

    “It was a bullshit foul,” said Taci after the match. “The ball was five meters away and I just tripped. I fell into the man and the assistant on the side started waving his flag like mad. I couldn’t believe they awarded a penalty. Luckily, Sven pulled my ass out of the fire.”

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    Scottish midfielder Kris Commons was chosen to take the penalty and opted to try and fool Ulreich with a stutter-step. His attempt at net was weak and straight at Ulreich, however, and the lanky German never had to move from his center position to make the save.

    “We took a point, but we should have taken three,” said Frenchie. “We can’t keep letting these games slip away from us. We’re very lucky that we escaped from this one, so I’m not going to beat my guys up too much. But we’ve got to do better against the bottom half of the table in Serie C.”
     
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  16. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    STUTTGART’S COPPA DREAM COMES CRASHING DOWN

    COLOGNE – On a cold, rainy November night, the German underdogs from Stuttgart saw their dream rise into the Coppa Tradizionale tournament come to an end at the hands of their German archrivals in F.C. Koln.

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    Stuttgart played stellar defense for nearly the entirety of the game minutes, holding their northern adversaries to only three shots on target in the first half. A corner kick and a blasted header by Milivoje Vovakovic opened the scoring in the 19th minute, but Stuttgart effectively closed down the high-flying Cologne offense for most of the rest of the game.

    The dagger for Die Roten came in the 64th minute when an errant crossing pass fell short onto the boot of a waiting Lukas Podolski, who unleashed a rocket into the upper corner.

    “We really could have sent this one to penalties, I feel,” Frenchie said. “Boulahrouz attempted to switch play to the other side of the pitch, and I don’t know if it was the rain or if hew just didn’t put enough mustard behind it, but it fell well short onto the boot of the one person you don’t want to feed the ball right in front of the net.”

    While Stuttgart only had a few shots on net, at least two required Koln keeper Michael Rensing to scramble and dive to steer the attempts aside.

    Two late, largely meaningless goals came in the 90th minute and injury time, one for each team.

    “We didn’t expect to win this one, but we certainly hoped,” Frenchie said. “We wish Koln and manager rschwep the best, and hope that he can show those Serie A managers a thing or two about football.”
     
  17. rschwep

    rschwep Always Rebuilding

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    Thank you, my friend. Tricky game against leaders of Serie A next. Will be a good measuring stick
     
  18. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    WITH SEASON DRAWING TO CLOSE, STUTTGART LOOKS FOR SILVER LINING

    STUTTGART – With one game remaining in its grueling schedule, the boys of Stuttgart are looking for a bright spot in what has to be seen as a dismal season. Die Roten managed to net only six goals in 16 league games, and another three in Coppa competition, an anemic display of offensive ineptitude by any standard.

    “I don’t know what the problem was with the team,” said manager Frenchie. “We just had a bitch of a time penetrating the back lines of too many teams. Too many of our goals came from crosses or shots from the edge of the box. When other team are shredding through defenses like tissue paper, our offense can’t find their car keys to get the damned engine started.”

    The lone bright spot for Die Schwaben in this inaugural season would have to be its back four and goalkeeper Sven Ulreich who, with one game remaining, has eight clean sheets in the league and another two in the Coppa.

    “Our defense was stifling, and I think many of our opponents would agree to that fact,” Frenchie continued. “We managed to hold the top two teams in the division, Koln and Sunderland, scoreless in the second leg of our matches, which is no small feat considering their offensive prowess. Unfortunately, no fewer than six of our games ended as 0-0 draws. We scraped out our points one at a time.”

    The team voted and declared Ulreich to be its most valuable player by unanimous consent. In addition to his combined 10 clean sheets, the German keeper earned Man of the Match honors five times and went a stunning 5-0 on penalties.

    “I truly am honored by the vote and the confidence my teammates place in me,” Ulreich said. “I wish we could have put more balls in the net to put us further up the table, but I’m very proud of the way our defenders and our defensive midfielders afforded themselves this season. We’ll work hard in the offseason to improve our offense and if we do so, will come back as a stronger team in the New Year.”

    Frenchie added that he would personally like to thank his fellow managers in Serie C ( bdub, BigSmooth33, DrunkenSoldier, StevenRhysCann, Superpilky, Geneseo98, County5, redwings8831, and rschwep) for their sportsmanship, flexibility in scheduling and the wonderful competition this league has provided, as well as League Commissioners RedAL925 and Friz for their leadership.

    “We have one game left against Olympiakos, who still has another six games to play and a lot of points he can take,” Frenchie said. “Our role now is that of spoiler, and that's what we intend to do. I do not plan on giving the Greeks any more than one point in their match against us, und so Gott will, we’ll steal three from him.”
     
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  19. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    Die Schwaben Finish Strong, Upset Olympiakos with Last-Minute Strike

    [​IMG]

    STUTTGART – After struggling to find the back of the net all season long, the boys of VfB Stuttgart finally found their scoring touch – on the last day of the season. Die Roten poured in four against an Olympiakos side most would consider to be superior to their German rivals, including an 89th-minute strike that helped seal the Greeks’ fate and keep them clear of the promotion zone for another season.

    “Well, this was definitely a change for us,” said Frenchie. “We increased our scoring for the season by 66 percent in one game.”

    Zdravko Kuzmanović opened the scoring in the 40th minute with a beautifully struck free kick from about 25 yards, lashing the ball into the upper corner. Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, only recently added to the starting lineup as a replacement for the struggling Martin Harnik, doubled the tally three minutes into the second half when he broke free and curled in a squeaker with his weak foot.

    Rafik Djebbour quickly took the Greek team on his back, however, scoring two of what would be a hat trick in rapid succession in the 58th and 60th minutes.

    Once again, Stuttgart jumped out to a lead as the German striking pair hooked up for a lovely combination as Cacau drew both the Olympiakos defenders and keeper to the left, while deftly crossing to an open Pogrebnyak on the right, who slammed the ball home for his second of the game in the 76th. Frenchie made two defensive substitutions, bringing on left winger Arthur Boka and center midfielder William Kvist in a holding role in an attempt to cement the lead.

    “Our problem was we tried to sit back on that lead, and Djebbour made us pay in the 80th minute. He sliced right through our defense,” Frenchie said. “That third goal of his really got our blood up.”

    With time winding down, Stuttgart built up play, leading to a dangerous break down the right side of the pitch. With Pogrebnyak charging, he was fouled by Olympiakos’ Ivan Marcano near the right edge of the area. The Russian took a lovely strike at the ball, very nearly finding his own hat trick, and forcing the Olympiakos keeper to tip the ball over the net and giving the Germans a corner with one minute left in regulation. The corner sailed in to Boka who passed to a waiting Kvist. From the top of the area, Kvist fired a low screamer through his defender’s legs that found the back of the net and gave Stuttgart its improbable final victory of the season.

    “We had nothing to lose in this game,” Frenchie said. “We wanted to play spoiler. Olympiakos had a lot on the line and stood a very real chance of advancing if he could string together some wins to finish out the season. It gave me a bit of pride to have played a role in how this played out, and I look forward to playing the Greeks again next season.”
     
  20. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    NEW SEASON BEGINS ON SOUR NOTE IN STUTTGART
    [​IMG]

    STUTTGART – Vowing to turn around a misdirected ship after his inaugural season as manager for VfB Stuttgart, Frenchie suffered two early ignominious defeats at the hands of Celtic and Parma before finding a win against English side Bolton.

    “We were overconfident in our first game against Celtic,” Frenchie said. “We’d played them four times to four draws and I was sure we would put at least one ball away, but this is a different Celtic side than we faced last season. These guys are a force to be reckoned with.”

    Celtic scored two scrambling, unpretty goals against the Germans, and for all of their possession, and 7 shots on frame, Stuttgart’s offense never really got going.

    “Passing the ball around isn’t going to get the job done. If we can’t find runs into space, I’m afraid this season will be a mirror image of last,” Frenchie said.

    The second game started better than the first, with Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak finding the back of the net on a beautiful cross-body shot early in the second half, but that’s where Stuttgart’s joy ended. The Italian side came back just 15 minutes later and slotted home their first goal to tie the score.

    “We went into a shell at that point. We passed the ball around without pace and we couldn’t find the right angles on attack or on defense.”
    Parma slipped the dagger home in the 83rd minute, slotting their second goal, and the eventual game winner.

    But all was not lost. Stuttgart’s next opponent, Bolton seemed ripe to fall. After finishing at the bottom of the table last season, Stuttgart came out looking like a refreshed squad, passing with accuracy and peppering the English net.

    With about 5 minutes left in the first half Bolton’s Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic brought down Stuttgart’s Cacau in the box, giving the Germans an opportunity from the spot. Tamas Hajnal calmly slammed the ball home to the keeper’s right, giving Stuttgart a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

    Cacau got in on the scoring 15 minutes into the second half, slotting a low screamer to give Die Roten a 2-0 lead. The game was suspended in the 63rd minute due to technical difficulties, but was immediately resumed. The final 27 minutes were uneventful, but Stuttgart did bring home its first win of the season.

    “Our next three are tough: Galatasaray is dangerous, and both Fiorentina and Derby County are unknowns, but, based on early results, they know what they’re doing. I’m hopeful to come away from those games with a handful of points.”

    Frenchie cautioned the league to watch out for a new look Stuttgart going forward.

    “Let’s just say I’ve changed it all up – the 4-1-2-1-2 wasn’t working for my guys. I’ve changed formations, I’ve changed personnel, and we’re going to come out swinging.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  21. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    STUTTGART STUNS WITH MANAGERIAL RE-SIGNING

    STUTTGART - After two less-than-productive seasons at Stuttgart that have found the once-proud German side wallowing in the bottom half of the Serie C table, the national press were surprised to learn the Swabian club had extended for a third year the contract of manager Frenchie.

    Die Roten saw incremental gains this year, increasing its goals-scored output by 50 percent, and showing real creative flair with its midfield and wing passing play, according to team ownership.

    "We're not Chelsea. This team is not a plaything and we don't look to change the leadership every time we have a bad game," the team said in a press release issued March 15. "Despite finishing with two fewer points this season than last, we feel the team actually played better, and would have finished higher in the table were it not for the influx of offensive juggernaut vipermansa and the Great Wall of Fiorentina in the defensive-minded hokie79. We are confident in the leadership of Frenchie - for now - and have every expectation of finishing in the top half of the table in the forthcoming season."

    Frenchie said he was honored and humbled by the opportunity to remain with the storied club and promised to do all he could to return the Reds to their proper place in the table.

    "I'm looking forward to working closer with our new striker Vedad Ibisevic and to see what he can do in tandem with out offensive anchor in Cacau," Frenchie said. "We've worked some kinks out of our formation and believe we have a balanced system that will allow for steady pressure up front - letting our strikers run through the box while our midfielders can lash from range. Additionally, our back four, combined with our stopper, Sven Ulreich, have combined for 12 clean sheets over the past two seasons. I expect more of the same this season. Und so Gott will, perhaps even promotion."

    Frenchie knows he is likely on a short leash, and a third underperforming finish could well see his contract with VfB Stuttgart, a team he has come to love dearly, terminated before the summer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  22. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    Lack of Scoring Haunts My Dreams - Frenchie
    Stuttgart - Another season opener, another chance squandered. For the third season in a row, Stuttgart failed to capitalize on any chance of charging out of the gate and seizing points early with last night's taut - but ultimately impotent - 0-0 draw against English rivals Bolton. Once again, the German side dominated possession, but failed to get the ball into meaningful space in front of the box to get any useful shots on frame.
    "Domination in possession is only about 30 percent of the game we need to master, and we do just fine there. Another 30 percent is defense, and we're very strong there, as our past record has shown. Where we lack is the all-important third leg of this stool and that's scoring, or even finding quality shots on net," Frenchie said after the game. "We had a few good crosses that resulted in headers high or wide, and a few shots that lacked the pace or positioning to give the Bolton keeper any real difficulty. I'm as frustrated as my boys are. This can't continue."
    Bolton surged back in the second half and forced keeper Sven Ulreich to make two beautiful saves to preserve his first clean sheet of the season and earn his first Man of the Match on the fledgling season. The first, and most dangerous, saw the German keeper tip the ball just wide enough that it grazed the left post on its way into touch. The second was a low screamer to his right that Ulreich managed to steer aside in the dying minutes of the game.
    "We have the personnel we need to win. I really think we have the formation to score. Now it's up to me. I'm dreaming about these games and thinking about them day and night," Frenchie said, head in hands. "I really feel like we're close, and this has to be the season that we lock things into place. It just has to be."
    The fans feel much the same way. Their patience is not infinite and already the sharpening of pitchforks can be heard throughout the Swabian foothills.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
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  23. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    Early Deficit Too Much for Reds to Overcome

    [​IMG]

    Stuttgart -- Die Schwaben were forced from the getgo to claw from behind after falling to Athletic Bilbao in the third minute on a woefully unmarked corner. But claw back they did - twice. But it was not to be the Germans' night, as a relatively late strike from Ander Herrera sealed the home team's fate before a capacity crowd.

    However, showing remarkable poise and a deft touch around the net that had heretofore been missing from their attack, Stuttgart came from behind to level the score twice - both on passes into the box from newly acquired Bosnian Vedad Ibisevic - who found his striking partner and team captain Cacau for the Germans' first score of the game.

    "Koozy had lobbed a ball into the corner and I ran with all I had to track it down," Ibisevic said after the game. "Their defender had beaten me to it, but I picked his pocket clean, scooted into the box and slid it in to Cacau. It was nice to get on the scoresheet with my new club. I just wish we could have gotten an better end result."

    The Spanish side showed relentless offensive pressure, striking at the German net time and again - gaining the lead just six minutes later. But Die Roten just wouldn't lay down, and they once again brought the affair level when Ibisevic found dual-roleplayer Martin Harnik, who can work admirably as either an attacking midfielder or striker, with a cross from the right side that the Austrian slammed home

    Once again, however, staying power was lacking, and less than 10 minutes later, a scramble in front of the net that included a shot off the post and a deflection found the ball in the back of Sven Ulreich's net for the final time.

    Stuttgart scrambled for the final 18 minutes to find its third equalizer of the match, but it wasn't to be. Athletic Club's defense clamped down tight in front of the box, and the Spanish back line cleared ball after ball down the pitch, running off valuable seconds as the Germans watched their hopes of earning at least a second draw slip away.

    "I'm proud of my boys," Frenchie said after the match. "They showed heart tonight. They didn't lay down when they went down three minutes in. They didn't lay down when they went down a second time. We didn't have a whole lot of shots on frame tonight, but those we did have were on frame and were quality. Our passing was quality. Our tackling was quality. That last goal - post, pinballing around the six-yard box - was unfortunate. But Athletic is a good squad. They played a great match. We are ready for them next time, and are a much stronger team now for having played this match."

    Up next for our boys - new side FC Kopenhavn. Buckle up, Reds fans. It's going to be a wild ride.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  24. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    SOMETIMES IT'S BETTER TO BE LUCKY...
    Stuttgart - Die Roten sheepishly walked back to their dressing room Thursday, having like a thief in the night stolen a victory from Danish side FC Kobenhavn at the death on the unlikeliest of plays. In another tension-filled match that saw the two European squads battling back and forth remarkably evenly, the home German squad struck first in the 19th minute, but not without some help from the Danish defense
    Newcomer Bosnian Vedad Ibisevic took a lovely pass from winger Timo Gebhart and, from the top of the box, lashed a shot toward the lower right corner of the net. But halfway to the keeper, a Danish defender deflected the shot back to the diving goalkeeper's left, and the ball found a wide open goal mouth.
    "I don't ask how I score them, just that I do," Ibisevic said after the game. "My first goal in this new kit. It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to count."
    [​IMG]
    Once again, however, the Germans let their guard down, and the Danes struck twice in two minutes, once on a beautiful crossed header and the second time on a blasted shot that German keeper Sven Ulreich had no chance at stopping.
    "Yeah, we fell behind again," manager Frenchie said, chuckling slightly. "We have to find a way to stop doing that. It's probably much easier to win when you don't relinquish the lead. If we ever do that, I'll be sure to let you know..."
    The home squad equalized at the 65th minute with a scramble at the edge of the box. Team captain Cacau found the ball at his feet and a half-missed shot had just enough power to roll over the the line to tie the score.
    "We could tell the Danes didn't like that we'd drawn the match level," Frenchie said. "Suddenly they were pushing forward with tremendous pace, covering passing lanes like crazy and we had a very difficult time making it into their third of the pitch. They struck the post once, the crossbar once and sent a few balls just a whisker wide. We were lucky they didn't bury one - no doubt about it."
    With time winding down and the Danes pushing further and further into German territory, the keeper Ulreich decided to take matters into his own hands and cleared the ball as far as he could down the pitch. A cross-up between the two Danish defensive midfielders left Ibisevic streaking down the middle of the pitch with two defenders hot on his heels and nothing but the keeper - and glory - in front of him.
    "When I was still about 15 yards from the box, I saw the Danish keeper start to come out off his line," Ibisevic said. "When he was halfway to me, I just lifted a shot and prayed that it was high enough to get over him, strong enough to make it across the line, and straight enough to get in between the posts."
    Ibisevic's prayers seem to have been answered, and the 90th-minute goal proved to be the difference.
    "I don't really feel bad about the way we won, but it certainly could have been cleaner," Frenchie said. "One baby step at a time. We'll worry about winning pretty next time, OK?"
     
  25. Frenchie1916

    Frenchie1916 Just a clodhopper of footballer, running pell mell

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    From the Highest of Highs…

    STUTTGART – For the briefest of moments, Stuttgart sat atop the mountain, and the view was glorious. From high atop the table of Serie C, everything looked better, the air was clearer and the future looked only fraught with possibility.

    It started with the lucky last-minute win against FC Kobenhavn, and continued with a 4-0 deluge of goals against German rivals VfL Wolfsburg and LasVegasFC, where everything seemed to go the way of the home team. Rebounds fell onto strikers’ boots, crosses were perfect, attacking midfielders were in perfect supporting positions. Stuttgart just couldn’t miss.



    And Wolfsburg just couldn’t miss … the woodwork.

    Despite the seemingly lopsided scoreline, the visitors managed to lash the home team goal frame no fewer than four times over the course of the match.

    “It was one of those strange nights where everything I tried just worked,” Frenchie said. “And that never happens, as my past records can attest. Even when my first shots didn’t go in, there was inevitably somebody there to pounce on the rebound and drill it home. Our team definitely played above its ability tonight. I’m glad they did – for once.”

    And the winning ways kept up as the Germans next faced the über-speedy Flamengo and Go Devils, with its impossibly fast countering offense and the legendary footwork of Ronaldinho.

    The back-and-forth match looked more like as basketball game than a football match, as each team traded shots and possession, and marched into enemy territory. A first half foul and free kick was all it would take for the visiting German side to take the lead as attacking midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic laced the longest free kick goal of his career into the Brazilian net.



    But the home side was not done. Attack after attack pushed the ball just wide, giving both the German keeper and the manager heart palpitations.

    But in the end, Stuttgart held on to win 1-0, stood atop the table, and the future looked brighter than the sun…
     
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