Like the rest of us, the players on the senior squad are taking a well-earned break. But as soon as 2013 kicks off, it's back to work, with the club's annual winter training camp in Qatar, followed by a few interesting friendlies. All of it builds toward the second-half kick off on January 19, where Bayern will be looking to bring it home in 3 competitions.
Bayern will be visiting Doha, Qatar again. Last year, a few nice pictures leaked out of camp. Not sure whether that will happen again, but I'll certainly keep an eye out.
Some of the schedule highlights:
January 2 - Players arrive in Qatar
January 3 - First full practice
January 8 - Friendly vs. Schalke 04 in Qatar
January 9 - Last day of camp, players leave for Munich
January 12 - Friendly vs. Basel, in Switzerland - Shaqiri faces his old club
As Grudnik pointed out in the last comment thread, several of the youngsters from Bayern II are also making the trip. Patrick Weihrauch, who we've discussed as a possible asset in the future, will be there, along with Vladimir Rankovic, Pierre-Emile Höjberg, and a few other guys. I don't think any of them will figure in our plans for 2012 (I hope not, to be honest), but for the future, it will be useful to let them get their feet wet now.
Some other items of note:
- A very interesting FanPost from WatsonCrick about winter break and the likelihood of first-half champions to win the Bundesliga.
- An interesting interview with Jupp Heynckes on the team's official site, where he talks a bit about Arsenal and gives his impressions from the first half.
- The rumor mill has Bayern interested in S04's Lewis Holtby. I'd say this is a long shot (he'd be cup-tied anyway, no?), but I guess if we wanted to get depth in case of suspensions or injuries, it's kinda possible. In my mind, he's not better than Gustavo, Bastian, or Javi, so he'd basically be fighting for Tymoschuk for the 4th midfielder spot.
- Vicente del Bosque, manager of the Spanish national side, thinks Bayern has a good shot in the Champions League.
We'll be back with notes from camp as information becomes available. My hope is that the AP photogs will be there, because last year there were some beautiful pictures and videos, but we'll have to wait and see. Thanks for reading.