It's most definitely "Hunting Season" in the German Bundesliga. Yes, it's that special time time of year. The teams on the cusp of Europe know that they must must play catch up in the table if they are to realize their European dreams next season.
Players from Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and Borussia Dortmund all used the "hunting" metaphor in their round 31 post-match interviews.
Matters will be obviously be decided on the pitch, BVB and VfL administrators got in on the fun whilst doing the Sunday media rounds.
As departing SGE sporting director Fredi Bobic put it earlier in the day, every remaining match is now a final for the Bundesliga teams that wish to still achieve the dream of Europe. Gladbach's Marco Rose, also departing at the end of this season, said the exact same thing after his side's 5-0 demolition of Armenia Bielefeld. So did BMG keeper Yann Sommer.
As the race for the 2021/22 Champions' League heats up, German football enthusiasts could hardly have hoped for a more exiting final three rounds of the season. Dortmund, Wolfsburg, and Frankfurt vie for the final two places. Only two points separate place three from place five. Wolfsburg 57, Eintracht 56, Dortmund, 55. Fun stuff!
Speaking to Sky Germany on Sunday, the man many regard as the league's current best administrator said. VfL boss Jörg Schmadtke evidently isn't concerned.
"When I look at Dortmund's final program and ours I dare say I doubt they'll make up the two points," Schmadtke told the broadcaster, "We assume that this [table] constellation will hold until next season."
Schamdtke's confidence was matched by the Dortmund bosses, understandably riding high on a four-game win streak that included three convincing victories in the "Englisher Woche."
"We emerged from the third English week in a row," sporting director Michael Zorc told Kicker in an exclusive Sunday interview, "but you didn't see that, we looked very fresh."
Zorc's reference to the "third English week in a row" referred to the team's first-and-second leg ties in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions' League, where the team played well in spite of their elimination.
The man who will replace Zorc when the long-time sporting director retires at the end of next season got his words in as well. While Sebastian Kehl acknowledged that the task ahead would be difficult, he too noted that the BVB's current form was sure to strike fear in the VfL and SGE
"The pressure on the other teams is growing," Kehl told Kicker on Sunday, "I think that the teams are now getting nervous because we play so consistently and are in a position to win all three games. We're hunting them."