Wow… what a crazy month you're having. Despite the obvious football side of things, I hope things are going well for you and the family. My boy just went for his 6 month shots… he took it like a champ: a bit of discomfort and initial "WTF" pain, but then, all smiles and happiness. I hope that Leon will have the same experience.
But you're not reading this to wonder about my boy’s tolerance for his vaccinations… you're reading this to wonder why I'm writing you again. After all, not to toot my own horn or polish my own shoes, but that last fanpost I wrote was pretty convincing for you to go… about how it was your time to shine and leave Bayern Munchen. How it was your time to get your proper adulation, respect, financial compensation and become an essential, integral part of a team that you can lead to glory on a national, European, and maybe international level. And my opinions in that fanpost still stand.
But unless it’s change for the sake of change that you are seeking (and no one would fault you for that) it’s important that you realize that most of those goals that I mentioned before, can be still achieved right here at Bayern Munchen. Hear me out:
Adulation and Respect
Yes, what I said in the other fan post is true: while you are loved at Bayern Munchen, you are not beloved. You are not a player who people go ape$hit crazy over if you were to get hurt. You would be sorely missed and journalists would spill some ink/use up some internet space pontificating if your absence is something that the team can overcome… but there’s no wailing and flailing. But Toni… wailing and flailing come with time; it is earned and not bought.
By waiting it out and staying for a while, you become reliable and you become part of a team’s family. Look at Diego Contento… he’s not a stupid man: he’s been with the club forever and a day. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if he set a record for being Bayern’s long serving "player" He knows he’s probably be out of a job within 3 years if he left Bayern. Yet, we still keep good ol’ Diego around just because… he’s been around for ever (because it certainly isn't his ability to play left back, that's for damn sure)
Ask yourself Toni… if you moved to a different club, would you get that wailing and flailing? See… Bastian and Lahm have earned that over time… by staying in the same place, and building something from its core and foundations… not from being an addition or an extension of that core. They have been there since the beginning and have been a crucial part of their team for what seems like forever. Now, I know what you’re about to say: What about Neuer? Yes, Neuer has not been there from the beginning, but goaltenders are a crazy, unique bunch and they are the exception to the rule. Neuer lives on a razors edge every single game as he has to stay sharp, despite seeing limited action. If you make a bad pass or there’s an interception, you have 4 people to help you… if Manuel does that, he often has no one.
If you left Bayern, would you have that embedded loyalty with the fans? Let’s rewind the clock: when Drogba scored the penalty kick to give Chelsea their first ever Champions League win… who missed the previous Bayern kick? Bastian Schweinsteiger, that’s who. Did we scream and wail and demand to sell him? No: we watched him crumple to the ground, sobbing in tears. We watched him sobbing, our hearts breaking, but fully knowing that the pain and suffering that we were feeling paled in comparison to what Bastian was feeling. That sympathy from our part is earned, not bought. If you left Bayern Toni, and if you went to the CL final with another team, and you hit the post like Bastian did, and you crumpled into a ball and burst into tears… would your new team’s fans have that sympathy for you? Maybe, but there’d still be a solid portion of that teams fan base who you haven’t won over yet, and might never after hitting that post.
So, if you want to go, if you want to be loved and adored as a team’s one and only, just remember Toni: you have a good thing going here. You’ve put in your time; it will happen (but if it never did (ie: you missing a CL winning PK for Bayern Munchen in our home stadium) we wouldn't be upset)
This section is a brief(ish) one: if you want money… going to another club is asininely redonkulous. Yes, there are "richer" clubs than Bayern, but guess what? You will not find a club who is more focused on spending money to make their team better than us. Really… the only financial issue we have is whether or not Uli Hoeness is going to jail. Sure, Real will drop 100 mil on someone… they’re doing it for their team as well as their brand. Sure, people will sign with Barca so they can hang out with Messi… Messi won’t be around forever. If you want a club that is always focused on making sure their team is hoarding the best talent, to keep everyone on their toes, you want to be at Bayern Munchen.
So, let’s say you left Bayern, and you go to another team: you get your money and your respect and your just deserts. But what happens if someone on your new team gets injured… do they have the depth to overcome that loss? What if you then watch as your team flounders because of the injuries? Sure, you have your money, but you’ll never win because your team just doesn’t have what it takes to overcome the injuries that happen in sports. And while having a lot of money is nice… so is the continued success and silverware. Just as anyone on this list would tell you… it’s nice to get a paid AND get medal and a trophy now and then.
If it’s the money you’re after… then just pull a Lewandoski: talk to a foreign journalist, say that you want to stay at Bayern but you want some a raise, have the media go crazy over that, and then just say you were misquoted and that nothing has been decided. Then, continue to win a lot, and let your winning do the talking and you’ll get your money. KHR and UH aren’t stupid: if you have a great CL and if you have a great WC, they’re not going to let you walk.
Essential part of the team
Ah yes, Toni. In my opinion, this is where the issue lies. Personally, and having never met you, spoken to you, or interacted with you in any way, shape or form… if someone put a gun to my head and asked my why Toni Kroos would want to leave Bayern Munchen, this would be it: you want to be a starter who starts always, despite injuries. You want your name to be a constant on the lineup sheet. You want people to say "Who knows what Pep is going to do… but at least we know that Toni Kroos is starting"
And I concede Toni… you got me on this one. Baring form and injuries, when it comes time to the Bayern Munchen midfield, no one is guaranteed to start every single game. Sure, there are some players who you can 99.9% guarantee will start (Lahm, Bastian, Neuer, Ribery, Robben) but really… there are no guarantees.
But Toni, this no-guaranteed starting roles strategy, is the biggest strength we have. Because it gives our opposition fits. They have an idea of what Pep is going to do, but until they read the starting lineup, they’re not 100% sure. Look at the Man City win… Muller as a striker? Totally caught Pelligrini with his pants down and aside from a Dante/Kirchoff effup, we’d have shut them out .
Another strength of this system is that it makes players better: it keeps one hungry for success, it breeds competition amongst the locker room, it makes one a better player. It teaches one focus, so when that moment comes for one to succeed and taste glory, one takes it and drinks it deep. If you go to another team where this environment of competition doesn’t exist… will you feel that same hunger to strive for greatness, or will you be content to be rich and the big man in the room? Will you feel that same drive or will you plateau?
So yes, Toni….you are in fine form and in damn good condition… but will it stay that way without a tactical genius coach and a locker room that has 10 players striving for 4 starting positions?
In conclusion... that’s all I’m going to say about this Toni. If you leave, for whatever reasons you want, make sure they are the right ones. No one can fault you for a change of scenery; just make sure it’s for the right reasons. Because right now, there are very few, if any, good reasons to leave Bayern Munchen. This is a pivotal time in your life and despite when I wrote earlier, that no one would fault you, just remember that change for the sake of change, rarely works out well.