Bayern Munich thoroughly dominated Hertha Berlin for most of yesterday’s Bundesliga, but a couple of instances of what could best be described as bad luck gave Die Alte Dame just the right amount of mojo to earn a draw. Below are some quick hitters on the match:
- Bayern put forth a pretty dominant effort and at no point did I feel like they were struggling. The difference between a win and draw on this day was ultimately a deflected ball and a clash of heads. Both of those events put Hertha Berlin on the scoreboard.
- Hertha Berlin’s game plan was clearly to be physical with Bayern Munich and grab, clutch, and hold Die Roten as much as humanly possible. Aside of the penalty that was awarded to Robert Lewandowski, I felt like there were at least two other close calls that could have been penalties on a different day and two potential handballs that did not even warrant a VAR review.
- I thought Lewandowski was fantastic on the day.
- Renato Sanches was not given much time to make an impact, but he certainly did not do himself any favors during his stint on the field or after the game. If he was better than Thomas Muller, Thiago Alcantara, Corentin Tolisso he would have played. Niko Kovac is not in a position where he can afford to keep his top XI on the bench.
- The wing tandem of Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry were completely disruptive to Hertha Berlin.
- Niklas Stark is a beast.
- The center-back pairing of Benjamin Pavard and Niklas Sule had some ups and down, but were good on the day. The aforementioned untimely clash of domes is the likely the only thing that went wrong for Pavard all game. Sule had his moments during the contest and hopefully can build from that performance.
- I know he’s sort of grandfathered into taking most free kicks, but I can’t remember many times over the past three seasons that David Alaba has been on target. Maybe it’s time to open up that competition a bit. It’s hard to ever fault anything Alaba does because he’s a player who always leaves everything on the pitch and has shown such great ability in the past.
- It’s not the end of the world...Hertha Berlin is a pesky side, but Bayern needs to solve how fight through games where teams are going to do nothing but try and rough them up.
As you saw yesterday, Bayern Munich was able to secure Philippe Coutinho on loan from FC Barcelona. On the surface, it’s a very low risk, high reward proposition for the Bavarians. The rumored financial impact for this season is minimal (rumored fee of €15 million to €20 million) and Bayern Munich can easily walk away next summer instead of paying the rumored €120 million fee to purchase the 27-year-old Brazil international.
Coutinho’s ability to play as a wing or centrally should make him a valuable asset to Niko Kovac over the course of this long and grinding season. At 27, though, is Coutinho willing to take a back seat to players like Coman or Gnabry? Does this move lessen the impact that Ivan Perisic was likely to have? Will Kovac slide Gnabry into the middle and push Coman to the right side? Those are questions that we’ll see answered in the coming months.
On talent alone, it was a good move...let’s just hope that Coutinho can stay happy for as long as he is with Bayern, even if his role is not exactly what he would like it to be.
The lesser known move made by the Bavarians yesterday was the acquisition of Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Michael Cuisance.
Cuisance, a 20-year-old central midfielder who projects as an “8”, will join the already crowded midfield unit in Munich. Admittedly, this one was a bit of a head-scratcher just given how much depth that Bayern already has at the position. With Thiago Alcantara, Thomas Muller, Leon Goretzka, Corentin Tolisso, and Renato Sanches all playing as part of a central midfield (Muller is included because of Kovac’s possible 4-3-3 alignment), it seems like a youngster like Cuisance might have some trouble breaking into the rotation.
Is he destined for Bayern II or will the Bavarian front office be looking to move some other pieces to clear roster space?
With the recent reports that Bayern Munich has backed away from Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, the field looks open to make a claim on the 33-year-old.
Enter Eintracht Frankfurt.
Just yesterday, Die Adler was linked to a possible loan move for its prodigal son Luka Jovic from Real Madrid. Now, perhaps Eintracht is looking to make reasonably price move to add a veteran with a deft scoring touch.
According to 90min.de, Eintracht Frankfurt, still in search for a new experienced striker, while tracking a bunch of names, including free agent Daniel Sturridge and Cenk Tosun (Everton), are inquiring Juventus about former Croatian international forward Mario Mandzukic (33). Bianconeri hitman, who might leave after four seasons, is a last-minute target for Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Inter Milan was expecting to land Edin Dzeko from AS Roma, but the striker unexpectedly extended with his current club. The Italian club is looking for help in providing a partner for former Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku. Not surprisingly, Inter is looking at RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Ante Rebic:
After the unsuccessful transfer of Edin Dzeko, who surprisingly extended to Roma on Friday, Inter Milan are still looking for another striker. With newcomer Romelu Lukaku (came from Manchester United) alone it should not stay. Italian media are now bringing names such as Fernando Llorente (contracted after involvement with Tottenham Hotspur), Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Alexis Sánchez (Manchester United) or Arkadiusz Milik (Naples) into the conversation.
How about Falk Master Flex giving us all the “but wait, there’s MORE!” treatment?
True: FC Bayern's transfer plans have not been completed, even after the additions of Coutinho and Michaël Cuisance— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) August 17, 2019
Could Franck Ribery be off to Everton?
Everton have been offered the chance to sign former Bayern Munich and France winger Franck Ribéry. The 36-year-old became a free agent this summer following a 12-year spell with Bayern, where he made 425 appearances across all competitions. Ribéry still hasn’t found a new club for the new season, but 90min understands that Everton have been offered the chance to sign the former France international.
PSV Eindhoven officially extended the contract of one-time Bayern Munich target Steven Bergwijn.