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Daily Schmankerl: Carlo Ancelotti blasts Bayern; Dynamo Kiev’s Viktor Tsyhankov a target?; Alphonso Davies news; and MORE!

Yesterday was okay...nothing more, nothing less.

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Carlo Ancelotti came back....blastin’ on Bayern (Times of India)

Don Carlo has been waiting idly to take a big swipe at Bayern and yesterday he got his chance:

Bayern have not changed because I think the problems they had a year ago are still there from what I hear. My state of mind has changed a lot because last season I felt I only had the confidence of four or five players. Today, I feel the confidence of the players, but confidence also comes from the context and I think that changes a lot of things.

Honestly, it’s a little hard to argue that things are peachy with Bayern, but Carlo had his shot and he took it. His ability to hold a grudge is reminiscent of my Italian grandmother, who would rather stab you than get over a perceived slight. The ability to hold a long-term grudge is REAL.

Bayern has it eyes on Dynamo Kiev winger Viktor Tsyhankov (TEAMTalk)

Bayern Munich might be interested in signing Dynamo Kiev outside midfielder Viktor Tsyhankov.

Tottenham are lining up a January bid for brilliant Dynamo Kiev starlet Viktor Tsyhankov, TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal. The 20-year-old has emerged as one of the finest midfield prospects in Europe – and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is a huge admirer. Sources close to Dynamo have confirmed to TEAMtalk that a host Europe’s top clubs, including Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool have been checking on Tsyhankov.

However, we understand Tottenham have been on his trail for months and are believed to be some way down the line in brokering a deal for the player, who has recently broken into Ukraine’s international set-up. The move – which could go through in January – is said to have been given the thumbs up by Pochettino. Attacking midfielder Tsyhankov has already claimed an impressive 25 goals from midfield in just over 70 first-team outings for Kiev and is thought to be valued at around €18m by his club.

Tsyhankov is an interesting player to keep tabs on, but Bayern has some heavy and deep-pocketed competition to secure the Ukrainian talent.

Die Folgen: Bayern’s underwhelming 2-0 win over AEK Athens (Bavarian Football Works)

It was not a very assuring or aesthetically pleasing game, but these days a win is a win. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • Robert Lewandowski did not quite have the same fire as he had on Saturday, but still managed to put himself in a position to score on a great feed from Rafinha. The play was started by a nice flick from Serge Gnabry. Lewandowski, at this best, is opportunistic and we are starting to see a bit more of that from the Pole as you can view in the clip below:
  • Gnabry’s game was solid, but still needs a lot of work. Gnabry did some very good things, but the end product still needs improvement. It’s encouraging that he is starting to look more acclimated in Munich, but has bouts of indecision that plague his ability to really hit his stride. I was expecting him to be a little more polished after the loan stint with Hoffenheim last season. Integrating into a new team can take some time and it looks like he’s on the road to feeling more comfortable and assertive with Die Roten. At this stage, though, he is far from being considered a “sure thing” as a long-term solution on the wing.
  • James Rodriguez is either experiencing some fatigue, is in the beginning stages of his chronic calf issues reoccurring, or has lost a step. He still has great skill (no one is denying that, so put down your torches and pitchforks), but for the second game in a row it does not appear as if he has another gear he can shift into when needed. It’s not an overwhelming concern at this stage (his game was never based on pace), but is worth keeping an eye on. He may be a player that can really benefit from a squad rotation, whether he likes it or not.
  • Every team needs a Rafinha. There is always a lot of talk on transfers and talent acquisition, but every team NEEDS veteran role players to be a calming presence in the locker room, provide guidance and leadership, and, oh yeah, that can also look good playing in spurts. Rafinha is that exact player for Bayern. He’s versatile, energetic, smart, and absolutely vocal enough to help lead and guide his younger teammates.
  • I am interested to see the starting XI this weekend. I am not fully understanding Niko Kovač’s rotation (if still in play) at this stage. Part of me wonders if there are unreported injuries, prearranged deals with players, etc. that we are not privy to that are determining some lineup decisions. I am not sure yesterday’s XI was the best possible that could be assembled, but it is hard to gauge exactly why Kovač rolled with that unit.
  • Terrific goal from Javi Martinez, who often gets no love in the Schmankerl.

If you missed our Match Awards or Observations from the match, please give them a look.

Niko Kovac’s beard is drawing attention (@SFbayeagles)

Come on, this is funny. These Eintracht Frankfurt fans in the San Francisco Bay area did a nice job on this. I’ve interacted with them before on Twitter and they offered a lot of banter back when the coaching change happened. I have to give credit where it’s due:

Vancouver Whitecaps bid adieu to Alphonso Davies (

Alphonso Davies will say goodbye to the city of Vancouver on Sunday as he will suit up for the Whitecaps one final time. The club gave him a bit of a tribute on its website:

It’s sure to be an emotional occasion for Davies, his parents (who are making the trip from Edmonton), and everyone else in attendance. After all, this is a kid we saw grow up right in front of our eyes. We saw him arrive in Vancouver at age 14 – eyes wide open.

(Please do not start hearing Creed’s “Arms Wide Open” - I read that line and am so scarred by the lyrics - I heard it as “Eyes Wide Open” in my demented mind. That awful song will be stuck there like it is in mine...(oops, too late!). Big thanks to Markopolo for making my day WORSE and ensuring I don’t shake that tune from my brain!)

In reality, it was a really, really nice appreciation of the kid, so give the full statement a read at the link above. Whitecaps FC midfielder Russell Teibert had this to say about Davies:

He’s added something to this Academy. You’re not just reaching for the first team, you’re literally reaching for the stars. There’s no ceiling on what you can do. And he’s proved that to all these kids that flow through this system. They’re going to want to be the next Alphonso Davies story. All it takes is someone to trigger that. He’s triggered that for a lot of kids, not only in Vancouver but across Canada.

A call for fan groups (

We are trying something here at the Daily Schmankerl and need YOUR help. If you read my man Tommy Adams’ piece about his experience with the FCBNYC Fan Club (if you haven’t, SHAME ON YOU!), you could see how great the event was. So we want to highlight some of these wonderful groups that are out there globally and this is what we need from you:

  • Name of the group
  • Location
  • Year founded
  • Leadership (if you have people are kind of running the show)
  • Meeting place
  • Social media handles
  • Pictures

I’d LOVE to be able to feature a different fan group every week this season. Maybe we can do it, maybe not...but only YOU can help decide the fate of this idea. Send your info to:

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