The German second division has a new leader and it's a club with an old name. Greuther Fürth were contesting championships as far back as the early twentieth century. The second Bundesliga leaders are a different club to the original and have spent many years in the doledrums. Now, after years of steady improvement they sit top of the pile.
There were three reasons for this: Firstly, the previous leaders, Eintracht Frankfurt were thrashed 4-2 by Paderborn. Secondly, St Pauli could only manage a goalless draw with Eintracht Braunschweig. Thirdly, Fürth capitalised with a 6-2 hammering of Bochum. Former Schalke and German international Gerald Asamoah signed for the Franconian club in January and his transfer from St Pauli is looking like a smart move. He scored two goals in the rout along with contributions from Edgar Prib, Dani Schahin and Bernd Nehrig.
If the top of the table wasn’t congested enough, the race for promotion has another contestant coming up on the outside lane. Just over a year ago, 1860 Munich were on their knees and almost out of business. However after having been rescued by Jordanian investor Hansa Abdullah Ismaik the club, who have produced a fine array of young players down the years, are on the way back. They managed a late winner against Union Berlin to make it eight wins from their last ten games.
At this rate there will be six teams vying for the two and a half promotion spots, assuming of course, Fortuna Dusseldorf don’t arrest their alarming slump. Their once prolific forwards are lacking confidence and were unable to break down Alemannia Aachen. A scoreless draw was the best they could muster and Fortuna remain in fifth place.
At the bottom it seems that Hansa Rostock’s minor resurgence proved to be very minor indeed. They had the chance to gain some ground on fellow relegation strugglers, Ingolstadt but lost at home, 2-1. The away side move out of the relegation places at the expense of Erzebirge Aue who did not get that new coach bounce after sacking Rico Schmidt last week and replacing him with Karsten Baumann. They lost 2-0 to Energie Cottbus. Karlsruher are second from bottom after a 2-1 defeat to FSV Frankfurt.
Finally, threatening to join the relegation fray is MSV Duisberg. Last season’s German Cup finalists have lost four games in a row, the latest was a 2-0 defeat to Dynamo Dresden who themselves successfully appealed against a one year ban from appearing in the German Cup next year, following crowd trouble in a cup tie in 2011 against Borussia Dortmund. Instead the club will pay a fine of €100,000.