Opinion: Bundesliga sheds boring tag | Opinion | DW | 07.12.2019
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Opinion

Opinion: Bundesliga sheds boring tag

In recent seasons, the Bundesliga has struggled to deliver a title-race as Bayern Munich have run away with the title year after year. The 2019-2020 season is already quite different, and that is worth celebrating.

Christmas has come early for German football fans. With just three games left before the winter break, the top seven teams in the league are in the running for the title race. Just seven points separate them! And this in a league that has suffered from a lack of competitiveness in recent seasons.

So far, the 2019-20 Bundesliga season has been entertaining, dramatic and exciting. That is not to say it hasn't been that in the recent past, but the difference this year is that it's happening at the top of the table. The most avid fan will be interested in Werder Bremen's struggles or Union Berlin's story, but a title race is a much easier sell.

Few would have predicted that Gladbach, under new head coach Marco Rose, would be seven points clear of Bayern in early December. Thanks to a last-minute penalty from the club's newly-signed Algerian leftback Ramy Bensebaini after Javi Martinez's poorly-timed tackle saw him sent off, that's exactly where Gladach are — top of the Bundesliga.

And this year, the league leaders are not where the story stops. Leipzig have been taken to even loftier heights under Julian Nagelsmann, Borussia Dortmund are as unpredictable as ever, delivering more twists and turns in a season than Game of Thrones. Schalke have employed a former Dortmund youth head coach in David Wagner and the early signs are good, but if Forrest Gump's famous "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get" mantra was ever to apply to a football team it would still be the Royal Blues.

Deutsche Welle Englisch Fußball Jonathan Harding

DW's Jonathan Harding

Then there's Freiburg, who under the wise guidance of Christian Streich continue to upset the odds and the opposition, putting themselves in the mix. Even if their rise is unlikely to last all season, it adds another layer of excitement to this Bundesliga campaign.

And all of this without even really considering the defending champions. Bayern Munich have sacked their head coach, found the best possible assistant to be interim and after a strong start have suddenly been short of the one thing that forever seemed on their side: luck.

The combination of all of this is a completely bombastic and unpredictable Bundesliga season. There will inevitably be questions about the drop in quality that has played a role in the increased competitiveness in the league, but that would be to willingly look for a negative at a time when the positive deserves its moment in the sun.

This league, one striking the balance between being a stage for stars and developing talents, is so much fun to watch.

And all of this, without the 50+1 rule being abolished. Not bad for a boring Bundesliga.