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Daily Schmankerl: Niko Kovac is expecting a fight from VfB Stuttgart; analyzing the transfer window; and MORE!

It’s game day, so get prepped with a little Saturday Schmankerl.

Eintracht Frankfurt Cup Gala - DFB Cup Final 2018 Photo by Andreas Wolf - Pool/Getty Images

Niko Kovac knows nothing comes easy against VfB Stuttgart (

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovač is aware that a crazy week of testimonials, transfers, international call-ups, and the Champions League drawing can be a bit distracting, but is determined to keep Die Roten focused on the task at hand; namely today’s match against Die Schwaben:

The Champions League is in three weeks, the Bundesliga is our bread and butter. The expectations in Stuttgart are high, that makes it more difficult for us. We’ll have to fight. We want to win there but it’s not going to be easy.

For a team that has sometimes needed a reminder to stay focused on the task at hand, it is good to see Kovač addressing the need to laser in on Stuttgart.

Old Man at Hannover-Dortmund game steals the show (@FOXSoccer)

Hannover 96 and Borussia had a largely uneventful match yesterday that ended up in a 0-0 draw (Christian Pulisic being out injured + no goals = an awesome way to capture the American audience on a Friday afternoon!), but the entire broadcast was saved by this gentleman below and his stellar attempt to head a ball that traveled into the stands. Hilarity ensued when he fell and wrecked a little kid in the process:

If you really want a treat, watch the (non-)reaction of the guys sitting in the the row where this happened. There is no emotion, no intent to help...just apathy. Well done, boys!

Assessing the transfer window (Bavarian Football Works)

Now that it’s over, let’s take a quick look back at the 2018 Summer transfer window, who the Bavarians brought in and how it affected players who were on Bayer’s roster at some point last season:

Who’s in

  • Leon Goretzka: No brainer on a free; could be a midfield stalwart here for 10 years. I could not be more excited about the prospect of Goretzka hitting his prime in Munich.
  • Serge Gnabry: Returned from loan to Hoffenheim and should be an excellent fit when healthy.
  • Renato Sanches: Returned from a disastrous loan to Swansea City and will absolutely struggle to get playing time, but should get better by competing in training every day.
  • Alphonso Davies: The 17-year old Canadian phenom was a tremendous value pickup and will join Bayern in January after turning 18. The move reportedly only cost Bayern somewhere in the neighborhood of €10M-€13M.

Who’s out

  • Arturo Vidal: Off to FC Barcelona, it was a necessary move for the top-flight midfielder to see more consistent playing time. The move brought back at least €16M (with the potential for more).
  • Sebastian Rudy: Another move that was necessitated to cull the roster numbers. Rudy’s sublime skill-set will be a great fit with Schalke 04, who reportedly paid €15M for the
  • Douglas Costa: The loan-to-sale purchase by Juventus made sense for all parties and allowed Bayern to pocket roughly €40M.
  • Juan Bernat: At 25, Bernat needed to play and it wasn’t going to happen in Bavaria (barring a couple of injuries). A good move for all involved that cost Paris Saint-Germain somewhere around €15M.

Some key, reserve team player who bolted include:

  • Niklas Dorsch: Dorsch showed a lot of promise during the time he had with the senior team last season, but he would have been just one more midfielder hurdle to climb for Kovač. Dorsch left on a free transfer to 1. FC Heidenheim.
  • Felix Götze: Götze’s ability to play the pivot, center back, and outside back still left him blocked on the depth chart in Munich, so the move to FC Augsburg was a necessity for the youngster.

Note: The exact fees on transfers for Bayern are always a tough to discern, so we tried to go with some approximations of numbers in various reports.

Want to get to know Alphonso Davies a little better? Here you go (@FOXSoccer)

Robert Lewandowski and Renato Sanches earn international call-ups (

Robert Lewnadowski (Poland) and Renato Sanches (Portugal) joined the list of Bayern players, who were called to play for their countries. The running list now consists of the following:

  • Germany: Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Niklas Süle, Manuel Neuer
  • France: Corentin Tolisso
  • Spain: Thiago Alcantara
  • Poland: Robert Lewandowski
  • Portugal: Renato Sanches
  • Austria: David Alaba
  • Canada: Alphonso Davies (okay, technically not a Bayern player yet, but is on his way!)

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

We have 7 clubs on board so far. 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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