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Daily Schmankerl: Leon Goretzka is evolving his game via WhatsApp; Hugo Gatti says James Rodriguez wants Real Madrid return; and MORE!

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The top spot in Group E of the Champions League is at stake!

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Goretzka using WhatsApp to improve his game (Bild)

One of the really bright spots over the past few weeks has been the emergence of Leon Goretzka and how his talent is starting to shine within the Bayern Munich lineup. Goretzka’s commitment and dedication to evolving his game has led to his use of WhatsApp to help assess his performances per Bild.

New signing Leon Goretzka (23) started alongside Joshua Kimmich (23) in the defensive midfield in the last three wins — a cellphone trick is helping him out. The ex-Schalke player analyzes his actions after each game — with an app that all Bayern professionals are required to have on their phones. Team manager Kathleen Krüger (33) asked them to download it in the (team’s) internal WhatsApp group.

Goretzka is using game film shared via WhatsApp to quickly see both the good and bad of his performances. This is a big step in his ongoing evolution from being a good Bundesliga player to becoming a world-class player. Goretzka commented on how using the technology has helped his game:

We now get the scenes spliced together and uploaded to the App. I look at these scenes after every game. In my opinion, I can judge my situations very well, judge and observe myself very critically.

Goretzka is excited about his role in the team’s new double-pivot formation:

I’m more involved in the game at this position. When you’re positioned more defensively in buildup, you can direct the game better. It’s good for me. It’s a job I like.

I had to Google WhatsApp to see exactly what it was, so here is a quick description thank to Wikipedia (that sentence makes me sound at least 15 years older than I really am...but at least I didn’t say “I looked this up in my Funk & Wagnalls”):

WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware and cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service owned by Facebook. The application allows the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location.

Hugo Gatti reveals James Rodriguez’s desire for Real Madrid (SportBild)

74-year old former footballer Hugo Gatti told Spanish talk show, “El Chiringuito” that James Rodriguez is intent on returning to Real Madrid at the end of his loan spell with Bayern.

He [James Rodriguez] told me he’s returning to Real Madrid; that’s his wish.

So what random event drew the two soccer luminaries together might you ask? Well, per SportBild, the Colombian and the Argentinian met Sunday at the final of the Copa Libertadores at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (as you can see by the photo below with James and former Inter Milan player Javier Zanetti, Bayern’s injured midfielder was, indeed, in attendance).

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If you wanted to see the video from “El Chiringuito”, take a look below.

Bayern vs. Ajax: A Prediction (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich has traveled to Amsterdam with the hopes of securing the top spot in Champions League Group E. All that stands in the way, is a feisty and hungry Ajax side that has proven itself to be very worthy competitors.

Powered by alleged Bayern targets Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, Ajax offers a lot for Die Roten to contend with, but this is yet another opportunity for the squad to prove it has turned the corner this season and is ready to consistently show the talent it possesses.

It’s expected that Niko Kovač is going to stick very close to the plan that he has used recently with his lineup and formation. The double-pivot looks here to stay and the same group of players that has featured of late is likely to once again take the field for Bayern.

Robert Lewandowski has been extremely productive of late and has been bolstered by the likes of Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry, and Franck Ribery. We are expecting that offensive trend to continue, while the defense will continue to build up its form with another clean sheet in front of Manuel Neuer.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 3, Ajax 0

Uh, this is unbelievably bad (@matt_4d)

DW filed a story on the completely offensive banner as well.

Schalke fans unveiled a highly offensive banner during Saturday’s derby game against Ruhr rivals Borussia Dortmund. The message, displayed in the North Stand of the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, read: “Death to BVB!!! Freedom for Sergej W!”. The last part of the slogan refers to Sergej Wenergold, the man sentenced to 14 years in prison last month for attempted murder after he attacked the Dortmund team bus in April 2017 in an attempt to gain financially from the fall in Dortmund’s stock market price. Schalke are yet to comment but many fans are calling for those responsible to be banned from the Veltins Arena.