Bayern Munich have been crowned champions of the Bundesliga for the seventh time running. Let it out. Get your Weißbierduschen out of the way. Enjoy it.
Alright, now welcome back to reality, where Bayern still has the DFB Pokal Final on Saturday against a dangerous Leipzig side. If Die Roten want a good chance of securing the domestic double, they’d do well to snap out of their championship celebrations, at least for five more days. Bayern President Uli Hoeness is well aware of this, telling Bild:
We have to be careful to not let up a bit like last year, after we were already champions. We gave a very poor showing against Frankfurt; we didn’t have much left in the tank.
It’s not hard to see where Hoeness is coming from. Similar to this year, Bayern overtook Borussia Dortmund despite their strong start, continuing their run of dominance in the Bundesliga. Then, in their Cup final against Frankfurt, they looked complacent and not nearly like the team that had just won the league. The opportunistic then-Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac took advantage of this side of Bayern and used it to deny Jupp Heynckes his proper send-off.
However, a key difference this year is how late Bayern won the league. Last year, it took the Bavarians until April 7th to clinch the title, leaving five games to spare. That’s five games for the complacency to sit in. Hoeness enjoyed the competition his team was up against this year:
The fact that we had to work and fight to the last minute this time is a good sign.
Niko Kovac, who knows something about winning a DFB Pokal Final (once again, why’d he have to do that to Jupp?), also commented on the final fixture of the season:
We know that Leipzig has a great team. Last year I was allowed to see what it means to be in the final. You cannot underestimate anyone. And we won’t. We’re champions, and Leipzig is a very good third place. This will be a game of bending and breaking. I expect a close result. We’ll have to really extend ourselves.
Kovac has been able to rejuvenate his squad since the beginning of the Rückrunde, but if the matchday 33 result against Leipzig is any indication, we’ll be in for a white-knuckle affair full of drama and excitement until the final whistle. And maybe I’d be willing to forgive Kovac’s trespasses against Jupp if he brings home the double. Just don’t crush my dreams two years in a row, Niko.