It’s not a Bayern game, but enough of the club’s players are involved that I think it’s worth analyzing. The Deutsche Nationalelf crushed Austria today by a final score of 6-2. FC Bayern was represented by 6 players in the starting line-up for Germany, plus another who came off the bench (Boateng) and one guy on the Austrian side (David Alaba).
Although the Austrians fought hard, this one was never in doubt. When they control the middle of the field the way they did today, Germany is really hard for even the best sides in the world to hang with. Despite the fact that Mario Gomez wasn’t included on the squad, Austria was badly out-gunned today. Germany kept its perfect record in the qualifying, with 8 wins in 8 matches, and stamped their ticket to the Euro party next year in Poland / Ukraine.
How about some video? Ozil completes his hat trick:
Schurrle cleans up the mess:
Die Nationalelf travels to Poland for a friendly this coming Tuesday, then the players scramble back to their clubs for training - for the Bayern players, the club is at home vs. Freiburg this coming weekend.
Elsewhere in the world of Euro contenders with Bayern players on the roster: Croatia’s Ivica Olic, as we all know, is out for a couple months with a hip injury. In his absence, Croatia beat Malta and picked up a vital 3 points in their quest for qualification. A huge match against Israel looms next week, then another big game vs. Greece, who currently tops their group. If Croatia can win both of those, they automatically go to the Euro Championships, and one win and one tie would be enough to maybe win the group, or at least get through to the play-in round.
Netherlands didn’t need Arjen Robben to pull his “I’m healthy enough for international duty” schtick, as they clobbered San Marino to go to a perfect 7 wins in 7 tries. Franck Ribery’s French squad was given a good fight by a rugged Albanian team, but managed to hang on to win 2-1. Ribery played the full 90 minutes, but I didn’t see the match so I can’t vouch for how he performed. France remains atop Group D with the win, and the looming match vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina will probably determine the winner of that group.
One Bayern player whose hopes took a hit today is Daniel van Buyten. The Bull wasn’t on the field, but his Belgian side allowed a late goal vs. Azerbaijan and were forced to accept a draw. Interestingly, Belgium hosts Team USA in a friendly next week. They have two matches left in their Euro Qualifying campaign, and they need to win them both and/or get to watch Turkey drop points if they hope to advance.
On balance, it’s looking like Bayern will be well-represented at the Euro Championships next year. Aside from the German team, which is made up largely of Bayern players, the following guys are either sure to be there with their clubs, or at least looking pretty likely:
Tymoschuk (Ukraine - they qualify automatically, as hosts)
Olic and Pranjic (Croatia - but they might have to go through they play-in stage, and neither was dressed for the game today).
Some programming notes:
- Isn’t Toni Vastic of Bayern II an Austrian? I’m pretty sure he was born there. I know he’s young and doesn’t have a lot of top-level experience, but they could at least have dressed him today. Although it certainly wouldn’t have made a lot of difference.
- I’m headed out on vacation tomorrow, and won’t be back until the 12th. Peter is going to take over posting duties next week, and hopefully provide a preview before the Freiburg match and then some analysis and commentary after it’s over. “Hopefully” because getting past the site’s strange electronic gates can sometimes be tricky.
- Finally, as some of you have already discussed with me, this blog will be moving to a new platform in the SB Nation family sometime during the month of September. ** PLEASE NOTE - everything that will be posted at the new site will ALSO be posted and linked here. So if you really like this site and its look and already have it bookmarked, feel free to just keep coming here to The Offside. You don’t need to do anything different or remember anything new. Nothing will change, and all the posts will still appear here at the same time.
But, having said that, the new site will be very cool. It’s going to have much better capacity for hosting pictures and video, and will include access to a whole bunch of picture and audio/visual footage from around the world. So if you like pretty pictures and video highlights, there will be plenty of them at the new site. Also, there will be more opportunities for reader participation - not just posting comments, but writing articles or columns of your own. Anytime you want to throw out an idea for a transfer or trade, or debate or new formation, or anything like that, you’ll be able to hop on the site and start writing about it, instead of cramming your thought into a comment at the bottom of the page. There’s some other cool stuff in the hopper, too, but I don’t want to give too much away yet.
Anyway, I’ll explain more about that when I get back next week. I’ll be home in time to preview the Villareal match. If my plane crashes over the Atlantic, I want you guys to know that running this blog will be one of the things I’ll miss the most from Hell. Thanks for reading.