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Who Do You Hate?

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This post will tie together several weeks of criticism, arguments, and infighting. It’s hard to pin FC Bayern’s recent struggles on one guy; mistakes have been made all over the pitch, and off it. But I’m very interested to see if there’s any consensus on which players (and coaches) have been noticeably underperforming. And, if so, on what to do with them.

Obviously, the title is facetious. None of us "hate" any of these guys - we support them and root for them every week, and we’d all like nothing more than to see them succeed. The real question would be,

"Who is at fault for our failure to win matches we should be winning?"

or

"Who needs to shut up and start producing?"

or

"Who would you not mind seeing benched/demoted/sold/fired?"

For each guy, I’ve listed both why he might be fairly criticized, along with any information that would counter the criticism and point the finger elsewhere. So climb aboard, starting with:

MARIO GOMEZ

The big striker has long been a flash point for criticism and controversy - despite a prolific goal-scoring record since he’s been in the starting line-up, Gomez is somewhat limited in his ball skills, and can disappear from the game if he isn’t being fed by his teammates.

The argument for hatin’ on him:

Basically what I just said above - he doesn’t have a great first touch, he’s not very agile, and he can’t create his own shot from different spots on the field.  People who criticize Mario would say that his eye-popping goal stats are the result of having plenty of good opportunities, not due to his being a great player in his own right.

But in his defense:

Whatever his shortcomings, Gomez does have 65 goals across all competitions in the last two seasons.  Some people say “anyone could score a ton of goals in front of our great midfield and wings, and seeing all those chances.”  Well, anyone “could,” but only Gomez DID.

Gomez

He led the 1. Bundesliga in goals last season and is a decent bet to do it again this year, along with 11 goals last year in the cup competitions and 8 so far this season.  That’s a lot of production to replace if we were to bench or sell him.  What if his replacement struggled to find the net in his first few matches?  We might then be saying “damn, maybe Gomez would have been more productive there.”

ARJEN ROBBEN

Like Gomez, Robben is a constant source of argument between his supporters and his critics.  And some Bayern fans find themselves in BOTH camps, depending on the day of the week.  He’s the opposite of Gomez in some ways - he has brilliant dribbling skills, a good first touch, and he threatens the defense with exciting runs and quick moves.  But, right now, the numbers aren’t showing us much.  In the same period in which Gomez has 65 goals across all competitions, Robben has only 19.

The argument for hatin’ on him:

Take your pick - he gets injured all the time.  He has a prickly personality, and often finds himself at odds with his teammates (Müller, Schweinsteiger, Lahm, and Heynckes have all felt his wrath at various points).  He doesn’t pass the ball very often or very well.  He doesn’t defend.  And since he great Champions League run culminating in our trip to the Final in 2010, he has … zero Champions League goals.

But in his defense:

When he’s in the right place mentally, physically, and emotionally, he can still be one of the most dangerous forwards in the game.  Even if he’s not scoring, he can break down opposing defenses with his aggressive runs, and force the other team to have two guys marking him.  As we showed at the end of January, he still combines speed, accuracy, and a surprisingly good awareness of the game to create scoring chances.

MANUEL NEUER

When the German ‘keeper was brought over this past summer, nobody thought it would solve every conceivable problem with our squad.  But I dare say our expectations haven’t been met.  In some ways, it might be easier for a ‘keeper to look amazing in a game where his team is clearly outclassed (like the Schalke - Man U Champions League semifinal last year) - he was facing a sharp, tough shot practically every minute, and saving almost all of them.  Now, he’s being asked to sit around doing nothing for 80 percent of the match, and to face two or three tough shots a game ... but to still save almost all of them.

The argument for hatin’ on him:

He’s made a few mistakes this season, usually involving a question of whether and how to come off his own line.  In BOTH Monchengladbach matches, he made a questionable decision which may have cost us the match (okay, “questionable” in the first, “downright horrible” in the second).  For a guy who cost us € 18 million, plus his hefty salary, we’re not necessarily seeing a ton of return on the investment.

But in his defense:

He has made a few incredible saves.  In the recent Leverkusen game, he had 3 brilliant saves, including back-to-back stops that most ‘keepers in the world could not have made.  He gave the offense a chance to win it - if we’d scored with any of our chances in the first 60 minutes, we probably go on to win that match.

Additionally, it’s a hard thing playing GK for a possession-style team.  Even though he won’t face as many shots, the shots he does face are often going to be very difficult: often on a counter-attack, sometimes from a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 break for the other team.  Still, that doesn’t justify stupid decisions on when to leave his line and go after the ball.

RAFINHA

Everyone hates him except me.

The argument for hatin’ on him:

He’s clearly not the kind of RB we’re used to seeing - either on Bayern or in German football in general.  Plays very loose with his defensive responsibilities.  His aggressive runs forward put a lot of pressure on our CBs, who are sometimes left covering his area, which he has abandoned to play a more offensive role.

But in his defense:

In many of our matches, we’re facing teams who are playing full out-defense - 8 or 9 players sitting back on the defensive side of the pitch and waiting.  We know how frustrating it is to watch Ribery and Robben try to dribble past 3 guys.  If we’re going to break down an opponent’s fort, our fullbacks are going to have to get involved in the action - yes, sometimes getting into the opponents’ area and leaving their defensive zones behind.

JUPP HEYNCKES

When we were on an 13-match undefeated streak in the early season, and it seemed like we might have a serious shot at the treble, Heynckes could do no wrong - everyone was saying how much better he was than van Gaal, and how the team was playing up to its full potential.  But our poor form since the January restart has put him under pressure, with some Bayern supporters calling for him to be sacked, and even his defenders running out of things to say.

The argument for hatin’ on him:

A club with this level of talent shouldn’t be struggling like we are.  We’ve won only once in our past 4, and are facing a very real possibility that we might finish without a single trophy for the second straight year - after looking like we had a legitimate shot at 2 or even 3 earlier in the season.  Our tactics have become predictable, we’ve made the same mistakes on multiple occasions, and the players pretty much aren’t getting it done.  Sounds like a good argument for a new head coach.

But in his defense:

I don’t see who we’re going to get who would do a better job right now.  We fired van Gaal because the players weren’t living up to the Bayern standard.  Now, if we fire Heynckes for the same reason, who do we bring in?  And what if the players STILL don’t play up to the Bayern standard?  At what point does it just become the players’ responsibility to just go out there and win balls, make smart passes, and score goals?  Perhaps these guys simply aren’t as good as we thought?

So, let’s hear it, Bayern fans: who earns your enmity?  With the understanding that we can’t bring in anyone new, would you still like to see any of these guys gone?  Is anyone on the list playing so poorly that getting rid of them (or at least reducing their importance) would give us some legitimate “addition by subtraction?”  Share your opinions below, or e-mail us at bayern.offside@yahoo.com and maybe we’ll post your thoughts later in the week.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: none of us actually have the power to make any of these moves.  We’re just sharing opinions here - no need for personal attacks, and no need to get angry with one another.  We all support the club and want them to win.  What we’re doing here is just talking details, and everyone has a right to their opinion.  Thanks for reading.

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Dan  March 5th, 2012 at 11:09 am

Well we can’t say there is nobody we could bring in the replace JH, that’s always possible. We could probably do anything from Jonkers to Hiddink to just get through May, at which point we could get somebody permanent. But it’s true that there is no guarantee that we would actually get an improvement.

phil   March 5th, 2012 at 11:20 am

Also, feel free to levy criticisms at someone not included on my list.

Kroos has been absent and forgettable at a position where we need a game-changer …

Lahm has been good sometimes, mediocre sometimes, nothing to justify popping up every week to say we’re as good as Barca …

Oatbag  March 5th, 2012 at 11:22 am

In the grand scale, I regret having someone like robben holding us hostage, as it were. I’d rather have a less talented, more consistent and humble winger (shaqiri MAY fit this bill), than this hot and cold stuff. Yes he is huge when he’s on, but christ if he isn’t just the worst when he isn’t the best.

I don’t blame him for more than his own actions/performance, but if anyone has to go, we could do worse than selling robben.

Havde   March 5th, 2012 at 11:26 am

AMAZING POST PHIL! Like I have said before, I just love that you never give up hope and always finds positive things to say.

If we had scored every time we attacked, we wouldn’t have let in any goals at all right? Since the goals we let in are from counter-attacks and not letting in goals from them are seen as bonuses so the defensive players here should kinda be free of guilt. Gomez, Kroos, Ribery Müller and Robben have been underperforming. The question is, is it because of them 5 persons or is it because of Jupp, only one person. It is very difficult to resist blaming the one person. I do think that we would have been in a completely different situation if Schweini and DvB had been healthy.

phil   March 5th, 2012 at 11:42 am

@ Oatbag – I should have called this post “The Airing of the Grievances.”

I always think of something great to include like an hour after I hit Publish. Dammit.

hakimunich   March 5th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Hi.

Been reading this page for a few months now and its great!

Most of us would say that during van gaal era, we can score many goals, but conceded too many which cost us many matches and titles, most notably the 2nd leg vs inter. And towards the end of van gaal era, we could not even score enough goals to win matches. And back then predictability became our second problem after poor defense. I think what Heynckes has done since taking over from van gaal are good, but not great. We brought a few great players in defense, and together with defensive tactics, Heynckes has changed the defensive style of play in the team.

However, I think since the start of the season, our build up play are pretty much the same way as during van gaal tenure, only quicker in a very few matches that we did well, plus a bit better in counter attacks. However, there were not enough movements and inventions within our team to break down ultra-defensive opponents, just like last season. Even Gomez said that Bayern is the laziest team in the Bundesliga. Our formation and build up play has become very rigid. We scored early goals in most matches in the 1st half of the season when we did well. But when we failed to find the net for about an hour in away matches, we would be either drawing 0-0 or lost to counter-attacking goals. I think Heynckes is too afraid to change attacking tactics and mix the formation up in the middle of the game. Its like he does not have any Plan B, except throwing like for like replacements. And eventually we become very predictable. If you watched enough Bayern matches, you could actually predict who would come on during the game. If this continue, the rest of the Bundesliga would easily played against Bayern the same way they played Bayern the previous season.

Thanks to Netherlands, Heynckes finally tried something new by putting Robben on the left in Leverkusen game. We created lots of chances for an away match, even though we lost. This added some unpredictability in Robben game and Bayern style as a whole. We need more of these.

So, my point is more movements and more changes (not too much of course!)

Tomas   March 5th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Well I am looking at it a little bit different. I think we can all agree that Neuer is no Kahn… yet. But, and as much as I idol Kahn, he made some pretty bad errors in his career that cost us matches before as well. I think with Neuer showing his talent (Schalke – ManU) was knowing that his defense was shit and he really couldnt count on them that much so I think his mental level was extremely high for the match(es).

Now he is playing with most of his NT mates and MAYBE he is counting more on them than he should. How many times have we seen our backline ‘turn-off’ at the most inopportune time?!?! So for some people to say that we need another Kahn, I say Neuer is the best one out there and time will tell if he will be the next Kahn. Judging him now is not only unfair but very short-sighted and those same people conveniently forget all the errors Kahn made in his time.

My finger pointed will go straight at management for not strengthening up our defense. They had 4+ seasons to do this and have fallen short everytime. We got the money, spend it. Strengthen our weakness.

I dont know what infuriates me more, seeing our defense ‘turn off’ as stated above or hear that to be one of the best clubs you need 2 quality players at every position… so why does management fail consistantly regarding this issue??!!??

Care to comment Uli? I love ya man but you are giving me a migrane!!!!!

zbavsc13   March 5th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Great Topic Phil! Haven’t posted in awhile but I feel this is the time to voice my many opinions.

Things are not looking too good right now after the disappointing loss. I do not think we need to panic however. I believe our recent run of poor form is more or less a fluke but I know many will disagree with me.

Starting with players to blame, I think Muller, Kroos and Gomez all need to be looked at.

Kroos hasnt put a good game in for awhile now and Heynckes will simply not sub him. He seems to be better paired with Schweine when there is much less pressure on him.

Gomez is overrated in my opinion. I can’t remember a time that I have seen him strike a ball outside the 18yard box to score a beautiful goal. All of his scoring is done cleaning up the scraps and taking advantage of the oppositions mistakes. This said, thats not always bad but our scoring problem is surely much to do with the fact that we try and work the ball into the 18 far too often and never let one rip once in awhile.

Muller was stunning at the World Cup and there have been glimpses of brilliance throughout last year and early this year. As of late he seems to have a “too cool” attitude and doesnt care enough about the result. Boateng’s recent encounter with him in the Leverkusen game is evidence of this. Muller lazily stopped tracking his man back and Boateng rightly was pissed off.

Boateng and Badstuber both have been vocal and visually expressing their desire to win the damn game instead of guys like Robben worrying about Shaqiri’s shirt and the rest of the bunch’s indifference. Though it may not seem good that happened, I was glad Boateng and Muller got into it. I also love when Badstuber just starts screeming. They both have the heart and desire to keep on fighting.

Rafinha is not bad and I dont think everyone should hate him as much as they do. Though he may have has a few mishaps, I like his offensive play and he is another guy that puts heart into his game. He runs hard and has a number of tough tackles per game much like Gustavo.

Robben and Ribery both have an undoubted surplus of talent. I believe if we let them run free and just keep playing their game, we will have the technique and creativity to center the offense around. Enough of the hate for both of them. I for one would be crushed if Robben leaves anytime soon.

Lahm and Neuer are both superb. They dont cause controversy off the pitch, they work hard on the pitch and are overall positive to the team. Neuer hasn’t been tested like he was last year and is mainly the reason for the negativity and his lack of tremendous saves. Imagine if Kraft or Butt was in goal vs Leverkusen… 4-0? 5-0? 6-0? Neuer is a tremendous keeper and I am overjoyed he chose Bayern.

Alaba has been decent, he definitely has the potential to be a star in bavaria but is not doing all that much to help in our pursuit of some silverware. Tymo is another hard worker but his talent isn’t world class. I dont mind him playing but he shouldn’t start over Goose.

I hope Bastian is back soon because he will no doubt be of invaluable help.

As for Nils and Ivica. Nils….. I dont know what to say. Picking up the Bundesliga 2’s top scorer was a good idea. He may or may not pan out but we really can’t rely on him to be of much help this season. Maybe a loan in the future? Ivica should play soooo much more. What is Gomez doing that is keeping him on the field? The reason is that Jupp is playing it safe and keeping last years Bundesliga leading scorer on the field. I think Olic has so much more to offer either off the bench or starting. MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MOMENT AS A BAYERN FAN was Olic’s goal vs Manchester in the Champions league two years ago. The highlights still give me goosebumps to this day.

A quick overview of Bayern and Jupp need to do in order to save the season.

Play Olic more!

Dont be afraid to have Gomez, Muller, Kroos starting on the bench.

If all else fails bring up Vastic or Emre Can or Jullich or Koz because at this point… WHY NOT? It will give the future more experience and will give the starting 11 some heart while teaching those who lack 200% effort a lesson.

Lastly, for Jupp, if we dont advance past Basel I think its time to look for a replacement. Favre could be a good coach being young and leading Monchengladbach admirably. It would also help to attract Dante for next year. Klopp would also be great but is highly unlikely. I also like the recent intensity of the Dortmund v Bayern rivalry. One guy who I feel could be the answer is none other than Mr. Andries Jonker. Look what he did last year and Im sure he would put in the effort to do it again.

Let me know what you think. I really enjoy talking about Bayern but dont have many friends who are supporters of Bayern or even the Bundesliga. Also thank you Phil for all your dedication. There is so much to talk about with Bayern and I can’t wait for next tuesday.

zbavsc13 March 5th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

@tomas- I coulnt agree with you more about Neuer, Kahn and our backline. Great post

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  • Susie |  March 5th, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Haha, Phil! Great post. Even though I have to delete mine…. :)

    cornercorner

  • phil |  March 5th, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    cornercorner
    @ zbavsc – I agree 100% on Badstuber and Boateng. I think Badstuber getting angry and fired up is one of the few good things to come out of the last month. Once Bastian returns, he’ll bring a little of that fire, as well. I hope.

    @ Susie – nah, post it anyway! There are so many moving parts here, it’s always better to look at it from multiple angles.

    @ all – as necessary, I’ll re-paste comments from this comment section up in the post itself if we get so many they start getting bumped. So if you want to see something that you wrote earlier, and you can’t see it in the comment section, just check a few inches upward. thx

    cornercorner

  • RW911 |  March 5th, 2012 at 1:34 pmcorner

    No hate for anyone really but yeah I get your drift :)

    Blame: Nerlinger, Beckenbauer, Heynckes, Lahm

    The problems are:

    1. Lack of strategic planning – Nerlinger
    2. Lack of structure and motivation – Heynckes
    3. Lack of motivation and leadership – Lahm (come on! who are we kidding, we all know he is not the best captain around)
    4. Beckenbauer – You don’t kick a man when he’s down, asshole…

    cornercorner

  • eddinanM3 |  March 5th, 2012 at 1:36 pmcorner

    @Tomas, I think that Uli assumed when he got Neuer and Boateng that they would be enough to solidify the defense, but both Uli and KHR should have realized that injuries chew away at that fact during some point in the season. The fact that we had Breno hanging in no mans land over the summer clouded their judgement because Bayern really did need two new central defenders and we only got one. It does seem that management could plan a bit better for injuries and the depth that we need to cover our backsides in those situations, sometimes I think that they take the easy road to much of the time i.e. Rafinha. If you looked at it just from a sheer numbers game, I am sure that Real, Milan, Barca and Man United go acquire many more players in the same amount of time, some hit and some miss, but you have to factor that into the equation!

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  • Jonas |  March 5th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I blame the Bayern board. Their criticism has adversely affected the team.

    cornercorner

  • Jon |  March 5th, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    since past three season we are having same END of FEB and MARCH Madness , our team losses more games than any other time in this period… It is like a curse…..

    We don’t have very clear planning how to approach this season i guess… we were aiming for 3 titles….. now 2 titles….. we should have just focus on ONE and stick with it then we could have achieve more.

    Look at REal Madrid this season…they are ONLY aiming for LA LIGA….in order to get LA LIGA they need to beat everyone else except BARCA…so they have a plan and carry out as both players and staffs are in same page.

  • Vrdo4ever |  March 5th, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    phil, I loved the point about Rafinja, when you said that he is going forward very often because our opponents defend a lot, and this kind of forgives our FBs for not being at their positions when we get counterattacked. I like Rafinja when he is going forward and we need that, but unlike Lahm, he is good only going forward, and not defending even when he is in his spot.
    And I don’t agree with anyone criticizing Lahm, we are lucky to have him, he might have a bad game out of 100 games, and it is foolish to count that against him. When Bayern is down a goal, I get this feeling that he is the only person on the team who really cares about getting back into the game, and gives his all. Unfortunately after doing that he himself leaves his position unprotected, which can result to dangerous sitiations for us, but that’s a chance he is and I am willing to take if almost noone else doesn’t really give a shit about the team.
    All in all I only would get rid of Tymoschuk this summer: the main reason is he is super slow.
    And if Robben continues to behave like he is God, then fuck him too.

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  • westcobbie96 |  March 5th, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I love Kahn but don’t forget that for the majority of his career he had one the best back four in Europe in front of him. I really think we should try Contento assuming he is healthy or stick Alaba out there at lb and switch Lahm over to the right. He does link up well with Ribery though? One thing i really hate seeing is us always being linked with strikers and midfielders when we need to sign a top level cb and rb/lb depending on lahm.

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Georgi  March 5th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

OK, here it goes …

The last few weeks have shown me how wrong I’ve been, misjudging the importance of the van Buytens and van Bommels of this world, seeing them as the weak links. Two players with somewhat limited technical potential who more than make up for that with character.

I’m afraid character is what seems to be missing in this squad. Ribery and Robben may have the biggest egos in dressing room but a giant ego is not what binds a team together as a unit (in fact, it’s quite the opposite). And now that Schweini is out, the calm and collected figure to unite the team is missing.

Lately, it feels like we field 11 players, each of which follows their own individual training program. There’s no team movement .. that subconscious understanding of where your teammate is gonna be so you can play the ball first time without looking is gone completely – thus our attacks have become tame and predictable. The guys are sticking to safe passing along the width of the pitch. Luckily, we still manage to create a few chances thanks to sheer individual skill (both goals against Schalke)

Would it kill Gomez or Kroos (who I normally rate VERY highly) to make a sharp run to try and lure a defender or two once in a while!?!? Especially when Ribery or Robben are facing 2 defenders – surely there must be enough space.

I really don’t understand why people keep saying that Rafinha is mediocre defensively but quite gifted offensively He’s mediocre both offensively and defensively. What good has come of his “headless chicken” runs along the touch line? Does anyone remember him delivering a half-decent cross or making a good 1-2 with Robben? He just receives the ball, stops, slows down the attack even further before eventually passing it back to Robben who has had to drop back to actually stay clear of his 2 markers to be able to receive it. At this point, I think even Contento is above Rafinha in my book (although I am of the opinion that if we wanted Contento to ever become a good player capable of performing at least a secondary role at Bayern, we should have sent him out on loan this season – now I fear it may be too late).

The only positive from the last few weeks has been Alaba’s development. I think he’s actually doing quite well. Someone suggested that we should try playing him in the hole and to be honest, I quite like this idea. His ball control and dribble are better than Mueller’s and his work-rate is better than that of Kroos. He’s actually playing with a bit of urgency from time to time and his decision making has improved dramatically compared to last season. If only the sight of Tymo controlling the ball didn’t give me shivers each time.. (apart from when he shoots from distance, then the guy’s a beast).

glebe   March 5th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I’m kinda feeling that Rafinia isn’t fitting in real well at RB. He has a CL goal that was nice and uh… that’s about it. most of the crosses he has tossed in that turned into goals were off deflections. So mostly luck. I also feel like he does slow down the attack on the Right. He makes some weird runs.

The only player I’m ready to get rid of is Robben. The man is a machine offensively (a delicate machine that needs to be very very well fine tuned) but his attitude towards his teammates is that they should be there to make him sparkle. They don’t make enough room for him, he shuts down. they don’t pass to him enough, he shuts down. They don’t hold his dick when he pees, he shuts down.

Getting rid of him would no doubt free up some cash to maybe buy a star RB or CB or a couple of outstanding utility players.

Gomez is fine however. i keep saying this but he is in the lead for goals. 2 years in a row means that is not a fluke. He know’s how to position himself but he isn’t getting much support from his attacking ‘mates’. Robben and Ribery seem to be having an unspoken feud over who is the better wing and that is leading to some very solo play from the two of them. And Mueller seems to be getting a real poor run of luck. He’s had some good shots stopped by some good saves. Gomez will net a hat trick soon or get a couple of braces soon and everyone will forget that he had his slump.

glebe   March 5th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I just looked. Robben is only one goal up on DvB….. and is not even in our top 5 in assists. I know he has only been around for a few games but as “one of the worlds best players” I’d expect him to be doing a little better. (btw at least two of his goals were from pk’s that he shouldn’t even have taken. He stole the ball out of his teammates hands)!

scalia  March 5th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Agree that Bads would become a great captain!

BrklynBayernMarch 5th, 2012 at 8:54 pm

More good posts:

I want to add to my grievances list. Ribery was actually mostly responsible for both goals against Bo4. The first goal, he tracked back and helped Lahm hold up the initial run, but when the ball was passed back to the supporting player, Ribery did not close him down and he sent the cross over. It was lazy. Then on the second goal, Ribery actually had possession on the dribble, but couldn’t penetrate, so he turned around and gave Lahm a weak back pass that the pursuing defender was able to chase down. Also lazy. Lahm’s pass is deflected and the counter attack was sprung. Two goals last week for, two goals this week against. It comes from Lahm’s side so he gets the blame, as captain, he gets double blame for a big 3 points lost. JH takes blame for putting him in… WTF The “chemistry” on this team is all out of whack.

And, all stick up for Rafinha, because I kind of like him. He’s got character, can’t deny that. First, he has served in a couple of peaches lately. He definitely put one on Gomez’ head last week, and I’m pretty sure he sent one in again against B04. Not a lot, but everybody says he should be defending anyway. Also, he has done some good link up play. He nutmegged a guy to set up a play with Muller in one of the build-ups to a missed goal. Finally, the more direct runs he makes are what we need. When Robben is double teamed on the touch line, there is space in the channel behind them. The problem is that this is exactly the space that Robben likes to cut back into with his left and make a charge across the box. Robben doesn’t deliver the pass when Rafinha makes that run. Also, it is a space that only the CAM in the hole can make a run into as alternative. But, Kroos isn’t that mobile, and Muller plays more centrally until Robben makes his move. So, Rafinha’s runs up and inside are potentially beneficial. Yes he gets caught out, but the left CDM and CB know they have to cover. And, hopefully, Robben doesn’t totally leave him hanging, which he hasn’t recently. But, still its about linking up with Robben, not so easy.

I can’t imagine what its like in the dressing and physio rooms these days. Not much fun.

@Gorgi: liked most of what you say, especially about the MvB and DvB types, I basically felt the same way and have come around. Watching MvB do his exact same act at Milan and get away with it just like he did at Bayern, kudos to him. Same goes for DvB although his mistakes have been alot more visible over he years, his successes not as much. I think Tymo is a similar type of player and personality, but has always been given support roles. Only with consistent time pairing with Schweini did he ever really get to play without covering the left, back left, and Alaba, or Kroos learning on the job next to him. I think against more technical/tactical teams its better to have him on for his positioning and tackling. And, about Contento, the guys got the worst luck with injuries. I think after 3 years training in the first squad that this year he would be ready to really take his chance. Further, I think it was all part of the plan to use Lahm on the right as an option for injury, or tactically. JH doesn’t see Pranjic as LB obviously, only Alaba as a stand in. Robben would’ve liked the switch, or wants to switch to the left himself now. Contento even had some chemistry back in the LvG era with Ribery, before there was a falling out, a couple of mistakes, dropped to the reserves, and a serious back injury slowed him down.

@quaazzi: have you been eating smart pills? your posts have been sharp and concise for like a month now. Not that they weren’t interesting before… you’re right about tempo, when we run for the first 15 min. things happen. Then we go into cruising speed, conserve gas mode, let’s pass it into the goal, training ground intensity. I think you got the 3 main culprits too.

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phil  March 5th, 2012 at 10:40 pm

@ BrklynBayern -

quaazi’s always like that. He explains in thirty words what takes me 1,500.

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Jon   March 5th, 2012 at 10:41 pm

by looking at JH as a coach: He did great job in 1st half of the season with great defensive display almost all League game, even so with Napoli and Man City. His tactic are working until we hit injury and recent form of offensive players.

if he were to use Pranjic, Olic, Usami and Contento as sub or starting XI then things would have turn out differently.

- Praniic was leading assists in 2010 1st half of season when he play as LB/ LW position. he wasn’t injury or anything

- Olic was also starting to pick up a few games to achieve his previous form. but his playing time was so little.

-Usami could give a few trick here and there if he were to come on at 70 min or so in away game…..

- Contento wasn’t very bad as LB either….

Now… JH has to make or break on his decision making in next TWO IMPORTANT HOME games….I hope HE MAKE GOOD CHOICH as His LIFT is ON the Line.

As Bayern Fan I don’t think we will go through if he deploy same staring XI as last week in upcoming CL game.

Jordan   March 5th, 2012 at 11:14 pm

@glebe: you getting rid of Roben and stating Gomez is fine makes me ask you- have you seen last 2-3 Bayern games? Counting a couple of weeks before Christmas and since the restart in mid January, Gomez undisputably earned the title of the weakest striker to wear Bayern uniform ever! Not being sold to Liverpool should be counted as a trully regrettable business decision by the Board. If we play Philipp Lahm instead of Gomez in the middle of the offense, he(Lahm) will have twice as many goals scored than Gomez and I just picked Lahm’s name as an example. We let Toni, Close and Olich (almost) go, just to keep this sorry player miss chance after chance like there’s no tomorrow. He and the so called head coach JH must be let go, in the best interests of Bayern!

Le Vee  March 5th, 2012 at 11:37 pm

The thing that pisses me off the most is our management and the constant stupid comments coming in left and right from everyone who has an opinion about anyone. guilty parties include Uli, KHR, beckenbauer, Khan, even freaking did hamman had an opinion about someone a while back, please shut d f up!

the bayern management is probably the most shortsighted management team in world football, which top class team has only 20 players, actually i will rephrase that which regionalliga team has less than 20 players? they took a chance on Breno,everyone on this forum could see it coming, why didnt they see it? i find that very strange

kross is still in the has potential phase and it seems that he will never get out of it, JH’s love affair with him is pissing me off, he is anonymous lately, you dont even see him on the pitch anymore, but he is always there in the starting 11

lahm needs to grow a pair and start dishing it out, maybe bads or boa can give him lessons. i love him, i think he is one of the best at his position, but in a football team leading by example alone doesnt work, u need to make yourself heard, you need to get in that MFs (be that a ref, opposing player,etc)space and give him a piece of your mind, does van bommel ring a bell?

why did we let him go? to let kross play? another great decision by the management, just like they let hummels go and hang on so freaking tight to Breno, Lucio before that (who ironicly was on the team that beat us in the final of the CL)

to me it comes down to mismanagement, if this was in the corporate world, i think all of them would have been replaced by now.

by the way great job phil, i love ur posts

RW911  March 5th, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Le Vee, I agree.

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