If there was an annual award for Most Laughable Own Goal of the Season, Werder Bremen have not waited around to put their case forward.
One of the Bundesliga’s most typically error-strewn backlines shot themselves in the foot once again in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Schalke, Milos Vejlkovic inadvertently powering a header into his own net after being clobbered in the face by a misdirected bicycle kick from centre-back Lamine Sane.
Yet, while it is easy to blame the defensive duo for a horror mix-up that wouldn’t look out of place in a FIFA glitch montage, rewind the incident a few seconds and you will find a rather erratic attempted punch by goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka.
The Czech international hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory so far in a side that currently sits 16th out of 18 teams in the table after failing to win any of their opening Bundesliga fixtures.
And, suddenly, Bremen fans may find themselves pining for Felix Wiedwald. The German ‘keeper was never the most universally popular figure at the club, the fact he conceded 13 goals in his last three Bundesliga games didn’t help, but summer signing Pavlenka hasn’t exactly proved himself as an upgrade thus far after arriving from Slavia Prague for around £2.5 million (WerderStube).
That is far more than they earned from the sale of Wiedwald to Championship club Leeds United, believed to be in the region of £500,000 according to The Sun.
And Wiedwald has certainly enjoyed a more promising start to the season than his Bremen successor, keeping six straight clean sheets and helping Leeds to the top of the embryonic Championship table.
Wiedwald wasn’t exactly the most consistent of keepers but, at £2 million more, his replacement doesn’t look much better.