Serge Gnabry does not want to return to Bayern Munich.

Serge Gnabry

Serge Gnabry is back in the spotlight after his superlative performance in Hoffenheim’s defeat of RB Leipzig last week(4-0). He scored two goals, and one of the goals was from 44 meters.

Gnabry has everything to be thankful for. After recovering from numerous injuries that were on the verge of blighting his career, he has found playing for Hoffenheim a relief.

However, the 22-year-old German-Ivorian is on loan to Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich until the end of 2017/2018 season. And according to an article in Sport 1, Gnabry does not relish going back to Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
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Kevin Akpoguma returns to action after horror injury.

Kevin Akpoguma

Kevin Akpoguma celebrated his comeback to the beautiful game, in a test match between TSG Hoffenheim against FC Bologna in the 74th minute recently.

Akpoguma’s comeback is the climax of hardwork, miracle, and hope that he could play football again.

Because he sustained an injury 15 weeks ago, while on loan for Fortuna Dusseldorf last season. His first cervical vertebra was broken. And there were fears that it could lead to paralysis.

Luckily, he was able to survive the injury and has been training with his team for three weeks now.

In the match against Bologna, he was match rusty. He is expected to recover gradually to his old form.

Ralf Rangnick exits 1899 Hoffenheim.

Ralf Rangnick is no longer the manager of 1899 Hoffenheim. According to Bild am Sonntag, Ralf Rangnick resigned over the immediate transfer of Luiz Gustavo to Bayern Munich.

Ralf Rangnick is a man of principle. The diminutive man popularly called the professor,has been at loggerheads with Dietmar Hopp, his boss,for quite some time. Both of them have differences in opinion on how to run the club.

Ralf Rangnick’s goal was to build the team towards a comfortable position in the Bundesliga leading to qualification for international tournaments. While Dietmar Hopp thinks Hoffenheim is a provincial Bundesliga club that could qualify for international competition if everything works smoothly.Recently, they seem not to agree on anything.

Luiz Gustavo winter transfer to Bayern Munich was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Rangnick wanted the transfer to take place after the end of the season, but Hopp surprisingly met with Bayern Munich and the agent of Luiz Gustavo without informing Rangnick in December.

Bayern Munich announced the immediate signing of Luiz Gustavo recently for 15 million euros with a contract till 2015. Ragnick felt slighted and turned his back on Hoffenheim due to irreconcilable differences.

Rangnick helped Hoffenheim get promoted from the obscure third division to the Bundesliga within a short period of time.

The project Hoffenheim under the financial guidance of Dietmar Hopp will continue without Ralf Rangnick. It is still unknown who will lead Hoffenheim when the league resumes after the winter break.

Update:Marco Pezzaiuoli is the new manager of Hoffenheim.

Wrong call in Hoffenheim renew debate for modernization of football

The highlight of the Bundesliga match between TSG Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich in Hoffenheim was the scene that occurred in the 10th minute. Josip Simunic’s potent header had crossed the line but FIFA referee, Babak Rafati and his assistants allowed the game to continue.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw with goals from Ivica Olic and Chinedu Obasi. But the reverberation from the referee’s wrong call still lingers on.

The coaches of both teams, Louis van Gaal of Bayern Munich and Ralf Rangnick of Hoffenheim are of the opinion that modern technology should assist referees in their job. Even Babak Rafati, agree that it would be a welcomed relief.

In other sport like Ice Hockey, Tennis or American football, video is part of the integral officiating process. However, in football, there are mixed views for technology like goal camera, football chip or none at all.

The last time video evidence was used in the just concluded CONFED cup in South Africa raised eyebrow. The match between Brazil and Egypt in the CONFED cup could have ended differently if the ‘human factor’ as propagated by UEFA president, Michelle Platini, was used instead of video.

The match in Bloemfontein was 3-3 for both sides. During extra time, the referee, Howard Webb, awarded a conner kick for Brazil but changed his decision. Suddenly, he gave Egyptian, Ahmed Al Muhammadi, a red card and a penalty for Brazil. Kaka converted the penalty and Brazil won the match.

It is alleged that the fourth official saw through video that Ahmed Al Muhammadi obstruct a goal bound header with his arm in the cross line. Ahmed Al Muhammadi acted like the ball hit his face to confuse Howard Webb. Egypt filed a protest after the match but justice was served.

Officially, FIFA does not support video or the much acclaimed chip in football. UEFA, on the other hand is going an extra mile, in an experiment to increase the number of officials to six. In other words, two extra officials at the goal posts. While some argue, that we should leave football the way it is because the game is all about emotion.

The pros and cons of modernizing football is a reminder of how technology is at loggerheads with a conservative sport like football. There should be a global consensus through FIFA to effect change that could lead to fair officiating.

Demba Ba needs to reinvent himself at Hoffenheim.

Demba Ba recently, faced a transfer saga that might hunt his football career at his present club, Hoffenheim. The drama began after Demba Ba through his agent, Karim Akilil, went to the Press to force his  transfer from Hoffenheim to VFB Stuttgart. A deal was almost struck until VFB Stuttgart decided to look else where for a striker that will suit their requirement. During the negotiation, there was a war of words between Demba Ba and Hoffenheim management. The fall out from the crisis, put Demba in a bad light.Hoffenheim fans are angry at Demba’s conduct.

Demba Ba scored 14 goals last season and he was one of the favourite players at Hoffenheim. Presently, he has a lot of work to do, to win the trust and support of his fellow team mates and fans. Already, he has apologized for his actions in the club’s official web site.

He needs to reinvent himself by scoring goals this coming season to silence critics and foes alike. I wish him the best.