In FC Bayern’s training session today, a long-asked question was finally answered. The question was "is Arjen Robben finally ready to return from his year of injury problems and help FC Bayern win some trophies?" And the answer is "no."
In just his second training session since groin surgery, Robben was forced to abandon the field with pain in his “pubic bone and groin area.” Details are few but the possibilities are either that (1) he simply needed more time, and he’ll be OK with a few more days or weeks of rest; (2) the surgery didn’t fix whatever the problem was, and he’s going to need another operation and more rehab to get anywhere close to the field; or (3) he would have been OK if he’d waited longer, but now he’s re-torn something and will need more treatment.
I guess I have a few reactions here … first of all, the offense has been playing well without him, with Kroos taking the CAM / second-striker role and Müller moving to the right wing, but it’s clear that our best line-up is with Robben on the field (if he’s healthy - a big “if,” clearly). And with Bastian Schweinsteiger also on the shelf until January, Kroos might be deputized into a midfield role, so Robben’s return would have been even more helpful.
The re-aggravated injury doesn’t present an immediate catastrophe, although our depth is being tested. The bigger question is what we do during the winter transfer window. Last summer, we addressed our biggest needs by bringing in Neuer, Rafinha, and Boateng. Petersen wasn’t a “must have,” but it’s good to get a young talented guy on board and give him minutes when you can. But we didn’t do anything to reinforce the wing positions, because we were hoping Robben and Ribery would be back to full health and good form. Ribery has been healthy and played really well for most of the year, but on Robben the board’s optimism hasn’t been justified.
Over the summer, our problem was that it didn’t make sense to go buy a high-priced start to play on the wing. Because there was thought to be a decent chance that Robben and Ribery would both be healthy, any new addition might have ended up just sitting on the bench. Well, that doesn’t appear to likely anymore, so let’s open the bidding. Eden Hazard? Götze? He plays mostly in the middle of the field, and Dortmund probably wouldn’t sell him to us anyway. But if a big enough offer came along, they’d have to consider it. Marco Reus? I wasn’t that impressed with the idea earlier, but some of my readers really like him. Flourent Malouda? He’s a little older, but could probably be had, because he isn’t getting much use at Chelsea. I’m not sure if he can play on the right side, though, and there’s no point in moving Ribery.
Who am I forgetting? I like Hazard, but there’s going to be a huge bidding war over him. But whatever we end up doing, I think we need to pick up somebody. Even if Robben eventually returns, it’s doubtful he’ll be playing every match. When you add in Bastian’s injury, we need more depth up front if we’re going to make a run at the Champions League trophy.
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Hello, all. As we can see, we have a particularly angry troll out today. One of the problems with this Disqus system is that it take a while to delete comments - I can delete them, but they don't disappear for hours, and if I delete a comment, and have to go through and delete all the responses.
In this case, I've now ascertained the guy's e-mail address, IP address, and I know exactly what city he lives in. It's not in Italy - that's all I'll tell you for now, but if he doesn't leave us alone, I can provide more details. I emailed him all of this information and asked him to stop with the trolling, and I imagine he will comply. In the mean time, just try to ignore him.
Make no mistake, if fans from other teams or countries want to come here and talk football, that's fine. They can argue their points and explain why they think Italian football is good (hahahaha). But this guy clearly just wants to get people angry with his insults and his poor grammar. By responding, we're just playing into his hands.