Loud joy at being insulted and ridiculed: Max Kruse puts salt in the wolves’ wounds

The joy that mocks and mocks
Max Kruse rubs salt in wolf gaping wounds

by Stephan Uersfeld

The story of Max Kruse’s retirement is one of the great stories of the first week of the Bundesliga season 22/23. He was demoted in Wolfsburg, celebrated it elsewhere: Union Berlin supporters celebrated him. He likes to bring a salt shaker.

Max Kruse added salt again. After Wolves beat Union Berlin, the faded Wolfsburg star thanked the Bundesliga leaders’ supporters. They mocked eleven from the Mittelland canal around coach Niko Kovac on Sunday. Celebration for Kruse, who lives in Berlin and is now expected to warm up the goalkeeper in Wolfsburg for a salary of millions. “I will never forget what happened over the weekend,” Kruse said happily in a statement on Instagram. “I heard what the fans were singing. It’s a great feeling to hear something like that from the fans of the team you used to play for. So thank you very much.”

The former national team player changed from Union Berlin to Wolfsburg in a short time in January 2022. The wolves, who were in trouble at the time, sweetened the unreasonable transfer of millions of euros for both Berliners and players and at least benefited from it in the first half of the year. Fans of Köpenick’s cult club from Berlin were anything but happy with the departure. But the constant sporting frenzy in the old forest house quickly overcame that resentment. However, they did not let the mockery be taken away from the weekend.

They sang very happy and fun “You don’t have a chance without Kruse” in the direction of Wolfsburg and otherwise celebrated the way you do when you are at the top of the table and no one really knows how long the party will last. The last will be long. So this song is often understood as a mockery of Wolfsburg and not a pro-Kruse song. Kruse probably didn’t care about that at all.

Union Berlin does not want Kruse

The fact that Kruse is not needed in Köpenick is proven week by week by the leaders of the Bundesliga. In Sheraldo Becker and US international Jordan Siebatecheu they have two of the league’s most successful attackers under contract. Together they scored 9 goals, the same as rivals Borussia Dortmund. Becker also applied early for the title of the highest score.

The title became vacant this summer after Robert Lewandowski left for Barcelona. With six goals, Becker is now occupied at the top of the list of scorers, a true follower can only be identified in Niclas Füllkrug of Bremen. Bayern, as colleague Tobias Nordmann wrote yesterday, will basically do well to score again.

However, the fact that Union Berlin was so legitimate caused an international uproar. Because after evaluating all the data, Köpenickers should not do that at all. This has to do with the expected target value. In short, it shows how many goals the team should score from the total number of goals. The more prominent the shooting position, the higher the expected target value. For example, penalty kicks are rated 0.9 in many models.

All values ​​show that Union Berlin should not have scored more than between four and six of the last 15 goals. But they don’t. They scored 15 goals. Every real Bundesliga table shows that. Football cannot always be explained with data. That’s why Union Berlin are top of the table, including five points ahead of troubled Bayern, who can’t win the title themselves at the moment. The union is not in the middle of the table, ie on a par with local rivals Hertha BSC, as can be read on page one. They performed more, even without Max Kruse.

Union fans celebrated Kruse until the police arrived

In just the fourth Bundesliga season, some experts now still trust the iron team to win the championship. The most notable example from the crowd is former international Michael Ballack. “Dreams are allowed,” the 45-year-old told “Sport Bild”: “Why not? I had experience with Kaiserslautern in 1998 when we became champions as a promoted team. In 2016 won the Premier League.”

Ballack spoke about the turmoil the team can get into and then “carry the team through the season”. VfL Wolfsburg entered such turmoil in the 2008/2009 season. At that time, under coach Felix Magath, they surfed a wave of euphoria. They are the last Bundesliga champions not called Borussia Dortmund or Bayern Munich. Max Kruse played for Werder Bremen’s second team that year. He was only 21 years old in the summer of 2009. He could hardly have imagined the chaos he would cause at the end of his career.

“On the night from Sunday to Monday, there was a lot going on in front of my front door, there were some Union fans with Bengalos here, the police had to come because it was too loud,” he said: “I know. This recognition I really appreciate and I want to say thank you.” Meanwhile, in the Mittelland Canal, they had to wash fresh salt from Kruse’s wounds.

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