Opinion: No more excuses for Cologne and Werder Bremen | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 22.10.2017
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Opinion: No more excuses for Cologne and Werder Bremen

For two Bundesliga sides, it's really time to start worrying. After 18 attempts between them, Cologne and Werder Bremen are still to win a game. DW's Jonathan Harding thinks Sunday's game made it easy to see why.

If either side's season could be best described in a moment, then it was Sehro Guirassy (pictured, right) firing the ball away from goal with the net gaping in the final three minutes.

Cologne and Werder Bremen just cannot execute at the moment, even when the simplest way to score is presented to them. Both clubs entered the game without a win to their name, and the same was true at the end of their goalless draw. A quarter of the Bundesliga season is gone. It's time to start worrying.

Both sides lack confidence. Both sides can't take chances. Both sides are struggling to get the basics right. If ever there was a game to win ugly and forget all of the above, it was this. The fact neither could begs a number of questions.

Deutsche Welle Englisch Fußball Jonathan Harding (DW/P.Henriksen)

DW's Jonathan Harding

How have Cologne become so poor since last season's heroic run that ended in European football? The loss of Anthony Modeste and his goals is one thing, but Cologne's once strong defensive record has also disappeared - 17 conceded in nine this season. And the longer a poor run goes on, the harder it is to find that belief. Milos Jojic hesitated on the edge of the box with a chance to shoot, and Guirassy overcomplicated a chance that seemed best served with a touch and a shot.

The same questions can be asked of Werder Bremen. How has virtually the same side that nearly made Europe last season dropped off so quickly? Is the loss of Max Kruse the only reason Werder Bremen can't score goals?

Both head coaches do have some responsibility in that, but so do the players. If Augsburg and Hannover are overperforming, then Cologne and Werder Bremen are underperforming. But after nine games it seems legitimate to ask, how good are Cologne and Werder Bremen? On this showing, not very.

Even if Guirassy had scored, Cologne's glaring issues would still have remained. Off the back of a win, there would have been the chance of turning the corner and resolving those issues. Without the win, the run until the winter break is going to be incredibly tough.

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