|No one would have predicted that eight weeks into the season the two top title candidates, Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen, would be mucking about in the bottom half of the table. But there they are, sandwiched between the likes of Cologne and Karlsruhe.
To appreciate how worried the bosses are at Bayern, just look at the players coach Juergen Klinsmann picked for last weekend's away match against Karlsruhe: a back four, two defensive midfielders, and -- nominally at least -- only four offensively oriented players.
This is the same Klinsmann, who, when he took over the German national team ahead of the 2006 World Cup, never tired of preaching his philosophy of modern attacking football.
Yet he nominates a squad that screams "damage control" against one of the smallest clubs in the Bundesliga. Klinsi seems to have realized that the team he manages may be star-studded, but the collective adds up to less than the sum of its parts.
Bayern barely eked a 1-nil win -- and commercial manager took out his frustration on a reporter who had the temerity to ask, after the match, whether the victory was fortunate. The irony was that the journalist worked for Bayern Munich's own TV station.
Werder Bremen have no problems with being too defensively orientated. In fact they seem to have forgotten about defense entirely, having conceded a league worst 19 goals this season -- or almost two-and-a-half per game.
Now under coach Thomas Schaaf, Bremen have always been a squad that would rather win 3-2 than 1-nil. But their inability to keep the ball away from their own net in the final minutes has left them hemorrhaging points, as was the case on Saturday when they allowed Dortmund a last second equalizer.
In fact, Werder can thank their lucky stars that they eked our a 5-4 win over second-placed Hoffenheim earlier in the year, having allowed the upstarts to come back from a 4-1 deficit and having themselves gone a man down.
It's not a good sign when three-goal leads aren't safe. In the past, Bremen could afford to be generous at the back late in matches. This year they can't, as their 2-3-2 record attests. In fact the only team they've beat convincingly thus far...
...is Klinsi's toothless Bayern.