The German Bundesliga season has reached its halfway point and will be on hiatus until the second half of January. This is a good time to review what has happened so far.
Most important of all that occurred is ultimately reflected in the league table. RB Leipzig has finished 2019 at the top of it, two points ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Record champions Bayern Munich are in third place, two points behind Gladbach, while Borussia Dortmund completes the top four, three points behind the Bavarians.
Schalke 04 is fifth, even on points with their archrivals from the Ruhr Valley. Two points behind them, Bayer Leverkusen currently occupies the last automatic European spot in the Bundesliga, one point ahead of seventh-placed TSG Hoffenheim.
This means that the race for both the league title and the European places is more exciting than it has been in recent years.
That said, the fight against relegation to Bundesliga 2 is always dramatic as well.
After a giant slump in form recently, Werder Bremen fell into 17th place occupying the direct relegation spots with last-placed SC Paderborn, who noticeably improved lately.
Fortuna Düsseldorf currently holds the relegation-playoff spot of the table with a point more than Bremen and three above Paderborn. Düsseldorf is two points below safety, 15th placed 1.FC Cologne.
It has been a turbulent year for Bayern Munich, who decided to put their trust into interim coach Hans Flick until at least the end of the season. Of course, it is natural to keep him on for now, given that the players like him and that the results have been mostly good under Flick.
But the fact remains that he has had no head coaching experience at this level before and that a club like Bayern will need a top man sooner or later.
One also must admit that the Bavarians are no longer a top destination for coaches after the club allowed players to walk all over Carlo Ancelotti two seasons ago, before doing the same to Niko Kovač this past fall. Whatever the case may be, only time will tell.