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Contento Resumes Training; No Word on Schweinsteiger; Video Fun

A spot of bright news from the training ground yesterday, where Diego Contento was seen jogging and taking part in individual mobility drills. He hasn’t started full practice sessions with the squad yet, but if he’s able to jog and move laterally without too much pain, he has to be well on his way. says that he will be expected to make his comeback in the upcoming two weeks. I don’t know where they got that prediction, so who knows when we’ll actually see Contento back on the pitch in match action. But with a tough run of matches starting this weekend, and Jerome Boateng likely serving CB duty for the foreseeable future thanks to the van Buyten injury, we could definitely use some depth at fullback. I wouldn’t even mind giving Lahm a rest - he’s played practically every minute so far this season.

Unfortunately, I can’t find any news on the status of Bastian Schweinsteiger.  The club’s official site merely tells us that he was absent from practice (not exactly a huge news flash).  What I can’t discern is whether he’s been able to take off the protective boot, which was supposed to be worn for 1 week from the time he hurt his ankle.  Bastian’s twitter feed hasn’t been updated in months, and everyone appears to be keeping his status closely guarded.  Of course, I’m sure some news will come along an hour after I post this, rendering all of this obsolete and requiring an update.

Alaba has looked very lively at the CM position, and we have other options there, should we really need them (moving Kroos back, trying the Tymo-Goose pairing).  But as we get deeper into the Bundesliga season and the two cup competitions, we’re going to need Bastian back.  And we’re going to need him at full strength.  E-mail me at or send us a tweet at if you have any insider info on the situation.

Elsewhere - this commercial for bwin premiered recently.  I expect it to be making the rounds on Eurosport pretty soon:

The guy in the glasses is Karl Hopfner, Managing Director and also a member of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee.  Watching it, I have to wonder whether they even tried to make Uli wear a necktie, or if the bwin guys knew better than to ask him.

Back with the Freiburg preview tomorrow.  If you’re unconcerned about the blog meta-drama, feel free to stop reading now.

Programming Notes

So, I promised everyone an explanation on various recent fiascos (comment system, blog running slowly).  Let’s start from the beginning: almost a year ago, The Offside was purchased by an American company named SB Nation.  It’s a consortium of sports columnists and bloggers that all write their own pages/blogs/articles, but that are all brought together under one umbrella.  They have individual blogs for every major team in every major sport in the USA, as well as some international and niche teams and sports.  You can see them all here.

The idea was/is to bring some of the bigger and better Offside blogs onto this platform.  The process is taking a while, though, because SB Nation bought several properties around the same time, and the process for converting and transporting existing blogs onto their platform is complex and time-consuming (and is now having to be undertaken for many different individual sites/blogs).  But, in the mean time, the technical management of The Offside pages has become even more difficult, with the old management leaving at the time the sale was completed.  So, doing anything with this site- changing the comment system, adding new plug-ins, uploading new versions of software - is a time-consuming process that has to go through several layers.

I can’t just log onto my account and click “go back to Disqus.”  Even if I knew how to deal with installing dashboard plug-ins, my account doesn’t have the administrator’s permissions necessary to do any of that.  I think some people are overestimating both my technical acumen and the level of control I’m allowed to exert over this process.  When I started writing for The Offside, I was given a log-in ID, a password, and a good-luck pat on the back.  Any changes have to be routed through the head of soccer blogs for SB Nation, whose job has become 10 times more difficult and complex over the past year as their company has bought new properties and contracts from around the world, all with their own problems, complaints, and tech issues.

So, for whatever reason, we couldn’t find out how to give me comment moderating permissions through Disqus.  The new system is strange in some ways, and doesn’t allow the layered reply-to-this-guy look, and it also involves a lot of work for me as far as manually hacking out spammer and scammers.  But, in my view, anything is better than having people post garbage and just … having it sit there, and … not being able to do anything about it.

I wish I had a better answer here.  All I can do is just get online every day and keep writing.  But just stick with me for the next few weeks and I promise I’ll make it worth your while.  Thanks for reading.

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UPDATED - alright, since we're in a video mood, one more from the vault. Thanks to Mohammad Hassan for sharing it with us:

I like the over-head flip from Ribery, starting at about 1:43. Let's see him bust that out in a real match.

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