- It was good to see Bayern playing with a great sense of urgency, enthusiasm, and confidence once again.
- The biggest factor in the game was how involved and energetic Robert Lewandowski was. He is so vital to the squad’s success (understatement!), but had not had that kind of fire in his game for a while. Lewy also jumped into the “circle the wagons” move that the team’s front office put forth during the now infamous Friday press conference. If the master plan was to inspire the team by publicly giving them support (via ranting against the media)...then mission accomplished as Joshua Kimmich (as Tom Adams covered here) and Lewy both sent a message:
- Speaking of Kimmich...it’s actually very rare to see him make a mistake like he did on the Wolfsburg goal yesterday. Not tracking back quick enough assuredly was the final factor in the goal by Wout Weghorst, but I would not expect that to become a common theme. Kimmich seems to be a bit of a perfectionist and will likely be extremely bothered by that one moment in an otherwise solid game by the right back.
- Now the big question is how Niko Kovač will align his squad on Tuesday for AEK Athens. As the game will be in the early time slot (12:55PM EST), we will likely see Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka, and Jerome Boateng. Perhaps, we’ll see Renato Sanches as well. It could be wholesale changes for the lineup
Did you miss Luka Jović’s incredibe 5 goal performance for Eintracht Frankfurt? Check out the video (@FOXSoccer)
Luka Jović is a 20-year old star in the making for Eintracht Frankfurt. The Serbian international tallied five goals in Die Adler’s 7-1 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday.
20 year-old Luka Jović scored FIVE goals in one game today for Frankfurt. What'd you do today?— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) October 19, 2018
Watch all 5 goals ⬇️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/DGr9DnLP2i
It’s never good when a great player goes down. It’s worse when he might be the best ever. It’s only three weeks, though, so there shouldn’t be any major implosion for Barca.
❗ [INJURY NEWS] Tests carried out on the first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that he has a fracture of the radial bone in his right arm. He will be out for approximately three weeks. #FuerzaLeo pic.twitter.com/kpNcspnfqo— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 20, 2018
Watch out ladies...
This is very interesting.
The Netherlands and Belgium are considering merging their top-flight football leagues to form a new cross-nation competition, i understands. Such a move would be a radical attempt to curb the growing domination of the “big five” European leagues and change the balance of power in continental club football. Scotland are not believed to be involved in the initial discussions. But Neil Doncaster, the chief executive of the Scottish Professional Football League, has previously stated that cross-border football is the “direction of travel”.
A Benelux league has been mooted for decades, with Michel Platini an advocate when he was Uefa president. But the growing financial gulf between Belgian and Dutch clubs, and those in the bigger European leagues, coupled with years of under-performance in European club competition and fears that the nations’ best young players are leaving ever-earlier have led to the concept being explored more seriously.
How would it work?
While talks between Belgium and the Netherlands are in a preliminary stage, it is understood that a new competition has been floated by representatives of the countries. There is a new urgency to the idea as both nations attempt to improve the strength of their domestic competitions.
Any new league would need to be voted through by individual clubs, which would be a significant challenge, with opposition from fans likely, and smaller clubs fearful that they would no longer be in the top division. But a new league would expect to generate significant extra cash in domestic and international broadcasting rights, provide a higher standard of football and keep more leading players from Belgium and Netherlands in the countries. Only one member of the Belgium World Cup squad, which reached the semi-finals in the summer, was playing for a Belgian club side.
The Eredivisie, the top Dutch league, is currently discussing a package of measures designed to improve domestic football. A new Benelux league is among the options. If clubs agreed, then formal talks with the Belgium football association could begin next year.
A new Benelux competition would most likely involve nine teams from each of Belgium and the Netherlands. It is also possible that there could be a second division, with sides from Luxembourg included.
While the proposal may hit some detractors, I think it’s a tremendous idea. The smaller leagues need to evolve and this is one way to help.