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Daily Schmankerl: Lewandowski’s operation a success; Zirkzee stays mum; PSG eyeing Kai Havertz; DFL tests “portrait mode” broadcast, and MORE!

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Robert Lewandowski’s surgery was a success. Meanwhile, PSG is plotting how to replace Neymar and has set its sights on Kai Havertz, among other Bundesliga stars.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BAYERN MUNICH-WOLFSBURG
This earlier operation by Maximilian Arnold went less smoothly.
Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski’s minor surgery a success (FCBayern.com)

Robert Lewandowski was the first player in the locker room after yesterday’s match against VfL Wolfsburg. He met with team doctor Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt and immediately departed for minor surgery on his groin, which he had put off for several weeks.

Bild went so far as to tail him to the clinic and photograph him through the windows. The sugery was performed at 8:00 pm and went well. Presumably to repair or prevent minor hernias, a synthetic mesh was attached to the abdominal wall to stabilize it. Lewandowski will need a few days rest and is expected to be ready to join the team for their winter training camp in Doha, Qatar.

Kai Havertz engulfed in vicious PSG transfer circle (El Desmarque, Tuttomercato)

His name is Kai, but you can call him la última pillada, or so says El Desmarque, The Spanish publication claims that PSG is considering two big names (from the Bundesliga, as chance would have it) to replace Neymar, who they still fervently hope will go away. The two players in question: Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

But wait — what’s this? Es Desmarque says that Tuttomercato is reporting that rumor. Let’s see... hmmm... Aha! Here it is, TuttomercatoWEB reports, with suspicious brevity,

PSG’s sporting director Leonardo is already looking to the summer window. According to a report by El Desmarque, with the help of the possible departure of Neymar to Barcelona, the transalpine club [lol, those Italians talking about Paris like Julius Caesar] has begun assessing names for the future. At the moment, the hottest profiles both come from the Bundesliga and are Kai Havertz of Bayern [sic] Leverkusen and Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund.

Arrrrrgh! I’ve fallen into a vicious transfer circle! El Desmarque, Tuttomercato, El Desmarque, Tuttomercato — save me, O mighty Don! The beginning and end converge, the snake devours its tail, all that remains is a massive agent’s fee collected for players joining clubs before leaving after joining to leave.

...Everton.

No interviews from Zirkzee after his game-saving performances (AZ)

Joshua Zirkzee scored two goals, winning two games, with two first touches, in a single week. His professional debut could hardly have gone better. But Bayern is going out of its way to protect the Dutch youngster from the hype that all too often overtakes prodigious talents like his.

“We have to tread carefully with the youngster,” Hansi Flick told the media. The club does not want expectations placed on Zirkzee from outside to derail his promising start. Serge Gnabry told the press after the game,

We take each of the young players by the hand. We’re a team and everyone is welcomed positively. Joshua is flying high right now and again put [the ball] away ice-cold.

Congratulations on the amazing debut, Zirkzee!

DFL successfully tests 9:16 “portrait mode” broadcast for handheld phones (Forbes)

Forbes’ Chris Williams revealed that the DFL tested an entirely new way to see a Bundesliga match behind the scenes of an ordinary match between VfL Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen. While the ordinary cameras rolled, recording the match in a standard widescreen 16:9 ratio, another set of cameras tiled 90 degrees recorded the match on a 9:16 ratio in Ultra HD.

What does that mean? Williams explains:

The aspect of 9:16 is commonly known as ‘portrait mode’ and it is being used for social media video—as a default by many applications. Snapchat and Instagram the biggest names to adopt the vertical aspect.

In other words, the DFL tested how they might create a broadcast of the match specifically for portrait mode on handheld phones, which 30 percent of sports fans reportedly use to watch games.

Andreas Heyden, Executive Vice President for Digital Innovations at the DFL was pleased with the result of the test. He said,

It was very challenging to keep the ball at the centre of the broadcast due to the switch in format for the camera operators, they performed brilliantly on the live test.

Asked whether users might eventually switch seamlessly between the two different ratios, Heyden said, “it would be ideal—the idea it could switch, that would be innovative.”

Thomas Müller is breaking records

Thomas Müller has broken the Bundesliga record for assists in the first half of the season, getting 11 in just 963 minutes. The current record for a single season stands at 21 assists, set by Kevin De Bruyne in 2014/15. If Müller keeps up his form, he has a strong chance of equaling or breaking that record.

Bundesliga Matchday 17 results so far

TSG Hoffenheim stunned Borussia Dortmund with a late 2-1 winner, enabling Bayern to jump ahead into third place on the table with their own 2-0 win against VfL Wolfsburg. FC Augsburg got off to a good start with a 1-0 lead over RB Leipzig, but Julian Nagelsmann’s Saxons stormed back to score three unanswered goals in the second half. Bayer Leverkusen scraped by a reinvigorated Mainz 05, winning 1-0 with a goal in stoppage time. FC Köln made it three in a row with a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen, who have dropped down into the relegation zone. And Jürgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin fended off Borussia Mönchengladbach 0-0.

Leipzig has won the Herbstmeisterschaft (Fall Championship), while Gladbach holds second place ahead of Bayern.

Both relegation candidates play Sunday: Fortuna Düsseldorf hosts Union Berlin, and SC Paderborn hosts Eintracht Frankfurt. Can either of them end the Hinrunde on a rare high note?