Matchday 24 Review: Decision time looms for Baumgart, Bochum march on, Kroos brotherly love

Steffen Baumgart was angry on Friday night. That is nothing new. “I’m always angry when we lose,” he told the media, reflecting on a 3-2 defeat for his SC Paderborn 07 side against SV Darmstadt 98.

His team lives by the sword and dies by the sword, but this one particularly stung having led 2-1 early in the second half. “We had everything under control. The victory was on the plate and we gave it away,” he continued. “I’ve never seen a game in which we have lost order and structure so much.”

The team had fallen off the rails so much after Chris Führich’s impressive strike to put them ahead that Darmstadt could have won by a far greater margin in the end. Either side of Marvin Mehlem’s equaliser, Tim Skarke and Serdar Dursun had both been denied goals in dubious decisions from the officials.

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Paderborn didn’t heed their lesson, and not long after allowed Dursun to score what turned out to be a stunning winner – although perhaps not as stunning as the overhead kick he attempted in the first half, which hit the post. He was still even given the time and space to miss another superb chance before the game was up.

There has been a lot of focus on Darmstadt and their coach Markus Anfang recently, with this being just their third win of the calendar year, however off the radar there may be a storm beginning to build at Paderborn.

After dropping out of the Bundesliga, they find themselves stuck in eleventh in the table, a position Baumgart has been far from happy with, and they have now won just one in the last seven with tough games against in-form St. Pauli and Karlsruhe before the upcoming international break.

The extreme cycle of promotions and relegations appears to have finally ended as they coast towards a mid-table finish, even if Baumgart feels they are being dragged into the relegation battle. Nevertheless, his future is increasingly coming under the microscope with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

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The 49-year-old, who had taken over a Paderborn side on the brink of relegation to the Regionalliga in 2017, has earned plenty of admiration for the work he has done and was heavily linked to take over at Schalke, either now or at the end of the season, before they appointed ex-Darmstadt coach Dimitrios Grammozis in the week.

Speaking last Monday, Baumgart did little to dampen the rumours. “There hasn’t been any contact with Schalke,” he said, before adding, “we’ll see if there are talks.” To many, those sounded like the words of someone who was more than interested in a fresh opportunity.

That ship has surely sailed – then again, this is Schalke – but with his side falling short this season, it’s easy to imagine Baumgart seeing a natural end to his time at the Benteler Arena.

With refinement this Paderborn could challenge again under him next season, and it would be a real shame for neutrals as well as Paderborn fans if Baumgart left, but the question is whether his heart is still in it. He’ll never change his style and his passion in his job remains undoubted, but he might decide it’s time to take both somewhere else.


VfL Bochum are showing no signs of wilting in the promotion battle. Despite playing without a recognised striker in Saturday’s big game at SpVgg Greuther Fürth, goals from Anthony Losilla and Robert Žulj (who scored from the spot against his old club) were enough for victory in a 2-1 win. Manuel Riemann had been fooled at the other end by a deceptively good strike from Anton Stach, but he was in defiant mood about his aims for the season after the game – “I want to go up.” It’s looking very good that he, and his side, will.

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Fortuna Düsseldorf are not giving up on promotion yet. Boss Uwe Rösler said his team would go out to attack 1. FC Nürnberg when the two sides met on Sunday, and he was true to their word. They couldn’t make the most of an aggressive start, whilst Kenan Karaman headed a superb chance into the post. They made amends in the second half, with the unlikely pair of Andre Hoffmann and Marcel Sobottka scoring either side of a Dennis Borkowski equaliser. An unfortunate own goal from Oliver Sorg in stoppage time sealed it.

▪ Toni Kroos knows a thing or two about dramatic late free-kick goals, and so does Felix. The younger Kroos brother aimed a perfect free-kick over the wall and into the top corner in stoppage time against SV Sandhausen to take his Eintracht Braunschweig side out of the bottom three. “I already have the feeling that I can take free-kicks and I also knew that at that moment it can be decisive in the last few minutes,” he said afterwards. “I hit it perfectly.” Older brother was certainly impressed.

SSV Jahn Regensburg’s two games against VfL Osnabrück and Fürth have been postponed with 11 having now tested positive for COVID-19. That can only be a good thing for Osnabrück as it allows new coach Markus Feldhoff, previously assistant manager under Jürgen Klinsmann and Alexander Nouri at Hertha, more than a full week to knock what has looked a rabble of a team back into shape before his first game in charge. Braunschweig’s win pushed them into the bottom three but he is aiming to steer them to fifteenth and safety as a minimum.


SC Paderborn 07 2-3 SV Darmstadt 98
Würzburger Kickers 1-2 1. FC Heidenheim
FC Erzgebirge Aue 1-1 Hannover 96
SpVgg Greuther Fürth 1-2 VfL Bochum
Karlsruher SC 0-0 FC St. Pauli
Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0 SV Sandhausen
Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-1 1. FC Nürnberg
VfL Osnabrück P-P SSV Jahn Regensburg
Hamburger SV vs Holstein Kiel (Monday)

Published by jamesrees1989

Football writer. 2. Bundesliga geek. Ex-Football Radar, VAVEL, Read Bundesliga. Tweets at @germanpyramid and @OxonFootball.

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