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Five Observations from Matchday 5 in the Bundesliga

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There’s no way Schalke isn’t going to fire Domenico Tedesco, right? Borussia Dortmund slaughtered Nürnberg. Oh yeah! Werder Bremen looks pretty good!

FREIBURG IM BREISGAU, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 25: Domenico Tedesco, Manager of FC Schalke 04 reacts after Florian Niederlechner of Freiburg (not pictured) scored their side's first goal during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 at Schwarzwald-Stadion on September 25, 2018 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
FREIBURG IM BREISGAU, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 25: Domenico Tedesco, Manager of FC Schalke 04 reacts after Florian Niederlechner of Freiburg (not pictured) scored their side’s first goal during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and FC Schalke 04 at Schwarzwald-Stadion on September 25, 2018 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
(Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Schalke have to fire Domenico Tedesco, right?

Schalke isn’t a club with Bayern Munich-like expectations, but they aren’t a club with Freiburg-like expectations either. Domenico Tedesco has started this season with five losses in the first five games. How can they keep him around?

Yes, they finished a surprising second last season. No, it’s not Tedesco’s fault that the club didn’t invest any money to replace Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer. Yes, there are still 29 games remaining in the season. No, Tedesco can’t go out there and create chances for his team. Still... zero points after five games?

Is there an immediate solution to what ails Schalke? Definitely not. Firing Tedesco could make things worse in the short term if the players are loyal to him. This is quite the mess that the club finds itself in at the moment. One has to wonder if Saturday’s match against Mainz is a make-or-break match for Tedesco in Gelsenkirchen.

Werder Bremen look good in rout of Hertha Berlin.

Say what you will about early season games, but Werder Bremen look really good right now. Their 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin was impressive in a clash between two early top three clubs. Has Florian Kohfeldt found some magic elixir that will make Werder live up to the promise they should have as one of Germany’s regular heavyweights?

Maybe. Maybe not. It’s tough to tell, because it’s so early. But seeing clubs like Werder and Hertha battling it out toward the top of the table is what the Bundesliga would definitely want to see. Does anyone believe they can keep this up though?

It doesn’t hurt that they were able to sign an excellent midfielder like Nuri Sahin just before the transfer window closed, and he’s now fitting seamlessly into their team. We saw his skill over the years at Borussia Dortmund, before he was crowded out of that side. If he’s able to translate this performance into a solid season, we may very well be looking at a Werder Bremen side that’s challenging for a place in Europe and maybe even the Champions League.

Whoa, Borussia Dortmund looked really good.

It’s not every day that a club not named Bayern Munich put seven goals past an opponent, but that’s what Borussia Dortmund did against Nürnberg midweek. In fact, it was enough goals to jump them to the top of the “goal differential” and “goals scored” tables.

Dortmund look to me to be chugging along, and a large part of that success goes to Christian Pulisic. Their opening goal by Jacob Bruun Larsen was a spectacular finish, but Pulisic’s run through the midfield and chip with the outside of his boot over/through the Nürnberg back line was a sight to behold. The kid is good. Real good.

There’s a caveat to all of these discussions about Bundesliga teams being “good.” It’s the “yeah, but” rule. Yes, Dortmund looked really good against Nürnberg, but that’s not necessarily going to be good enough for them to even give Bayern Munich a race of any sort for the title.

Hopefully, there’s some action, but we’ll see.

What’s going on in Stuttgart?

Stuttgart’s loss to RB Leipzig means that they now have two points after the first five matches. For a club that many thought would be challenging for a spot in Europe next season, this isn’t an ideal way to begin their campaign. Their two points came from draws against Freiburg and Fortuna Düsseldorf — two clubs that many expected to be in the relegation fight by season’s end.

Tayfun Korkut’s side is trying to run their offense through Mario Gomez, and the big German striker is getting no help from anyone else. With only three goals to their name so far this season, Stuttgart’s attack isn’t threatening enough to keep opposition midfields honest during their matches, leaving Stuttgart’s defense overwhelmed at times.

Perhaps, former Bayern Munich centerback Holger Badstuber will find his way into a starting lineup in an effort to improve the club’s defense. Who says you can’t start two left-footed center-backs with Badstuber and Benjamin Pavard?

Bayer Leverkusen righting the ship with two straight wins.

Don’t look now, but Bayer Leverkusen are moving up the table. After starting the Bundesliga season with three straight losses, Leverkusen have won their last two matches against Mainz and Fortuna Düsseldorf.

They’ll have real battle on their hands this weekend when they face Borussia Dortmund. With BVB coming off that massive win against Nürnberg, they’ll be looking to strike first against Leverkusen’s shaky defense to put them on the back foot early.

If Leverkusen can figure out how to shore up their defense somewhat, they could once again be a threat to move up the table.

Matchday 5 Results

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