From May 16th, the German Bundesliga will become the centre of most people’s footballing universe.
For many, this will be something of a novelty; a chance to expand horizons and look beyond the overwhelming banality that is the Premier League – at least for a short while.
But there’s one thing new Bundesliga converts need to know – which is that there are a lot of things you don’t know that you need to know. Because, should you accidentally reveal your lack of Kenntnis, you risk a roasting from Football Twitter’s we-were-here-first brigade, who rarely take kindly to mainstream incursions into their territory.
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If you’re not careful, you could find yourself on the end of a lengthy fansplanation from @BundesligaDave1963 on why the Yellow Wall is sooo overrated and, really, the tifos at Union are far superior.
The safest thing to do is pretend you’ve always been a massive fan of the Bundesliga; it’s just that you never said anything about it before. So, with that in mind, we’re here to help. Here’s our guide to chatting Scheisse and successfully passing yourself off as a long-time Teutophile.
You hate RB Leipzig with unbridled passion, even if you’re not sure why
You’ll need to learn the following sentence by heart: “50+1 has its flaws but is ultimately a system that protects both supporters and the game itself, so it must be protected at all costs”.
Don’t worry about what it actually means. Just accept it as fact and make sure to loudly make everyone aware that you consider “Rasenballsport” Leipzig to be the enemy of 50+1 and therefore of the sport.
Leipzig “fans” are merely plastics tricked into selling cans of fizzy beverage on behalf of a global corporation. They have no souls and no conscience and, consequently, all other fans have an obligation to mock and chastise these ersatz charlatans. See also: Hoffenheim.
Bundesliga atmospheres are far superior to the Premier League
This isn’t really a difficult one, because (with a few exceptions) it’s completely accurate.
Most people with ears, eyes and a brain will probably already be aware that Bundesliga clubs have carefully cultivated a fan-centric matchday experience almost completely at odds with the Premier League’s “Stop at the gift shop on your way out, consumer” approach.
You’ll want to keep Tweeting things like, “oh wow England has so much to learn from the German game. Incredible tifo at Dortmund today.”
Still, for those who prefer their matches soundtracked to almost dead silence and occasional grumbling, the fact the Bundesliga returns behind closed doors means it’ll give a much more “EPL” feel to games.
You know what a Raumdeuter is and will apply it to any player you consider even remotely intelligent
Thomas Müller (don’t even consider omitting the umlaut) is the original “Raumdeuter”, and don’t you forget it. He is to be worshipped and hailed as an “unseen genius of movement” at every available opportunity.
If you’re not fully on board with the concept of a Raumdeuter, just Google it and you’ll find hundreds of insightful articles from blogs named “Expert Tactics Witness” or “Inverting the Inside Lines”.
Regurgitate some random paragraphs from these theses and you’ll find yourself swimming in RTs.
You must mention the phrase ‘englische Woche’ when discussing midweek games
Oh, is it an englische Woche again?
During these action-packed midweek phases, it’s definitely worth considering dropping in a complaint or two about how football is for the weekends, while lamenting the Bundesliga’s decision to follow the Premier League’s example in diluting this reality.
At the end of the day, it’s just another sad indictment of the game’s genuflection at the altar of TV money. As a died-in-the-wool Bundesliga observer, you naturally think this is something best left to less moral competitions like the Barclays beast.
And we're back.
— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) May 6, 2020
Remember: you were here when the league was sh*t
When all’s said and done, though, don’t you think the Bundesliga is becoming so commercial now? It’s not like it was back when you started watching it. Which, of course, was years before anyone else.
Ah yes, there was a time when German football in general was in the doldrums. That, for you, was a golden age, when the likes of Michael Tarnat and Alexander Zickler bestrode the league like giants.
You can neatly destabilise a Jürgen-Come-Lately on Twitter by openly pining for the days when any German club daring to enter the Champions League would be eliminated before the group stages even made it to halfway.
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