Philippe Coutinho wins Bundesliga goal of the month for December
Philippe Coutinho finally started to hit his stride for Bayern Munich in December. He closed out the hinrunde in a fine run of form, most notably with his hat-trick performance in Bayern’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena on December 14th. In that win, he scored in the 45th, 63rd, and 78th minute en route to the much-needed, comprehensive victory, and his 2nd goal of the match (Bayern’s 3rd), was voted as the Bundesliga’s goal of the month for December. On the play, the Brazilian magician had done exceptionally well to take down a lofted ball in from David Alaba and was clever to dink the ball over an on-rushing Jiří Pavlenka to put Bayern firmly ahead, 3-1. It’s also worth mentioning how well timed Coutinho’s run was to beat Bremen’s offside trap and how well Alaba did to pick him out.
Have a look at the wonderfully taken finish:
A massive boost for Joshua Zirkzee as he travels to Qatar
Joshua Zirkzee had quite the fairy tale ending to 2019. He was recalled to the senior squad in November after a relatively difficult first half of the season with Bayern’s reserves in the 3. Liga, where he failed to register a single goal. Despite the rough start, Zirkzee scored after coming on as a late substitute in two consecutive matches to close out the hinrunde against SC Freiburg and VfL Wolfsburg, respectively. In both matches, the 18-year old came on as a late sub and scored the ultimate winner for Bayern in difficult circumstances where they were in desperate need of points to keep pace with RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach at the top of the table.
Since he’s been included in the squad to travel to Qatar for the club’s winter training camp as preparations for the ruckrunde begin, it’s another massive opportunity for the youngster to continue to impress Hansi Flick and the rest of the coaching staff. If he continues on where he left off at the end of the hinrunde, Zirkzee surely has a bright future ahead of him with Bayern.
The full roster to travel to Qatar:
Bayern to let Jerome Boateng leave for free? (Really?!)
Per a report by The Metro in England, Bayern could potentially be prepared to let Jerome Boateng leave on a free transfer, as Arsenal have expressed interest in acquiring his services. It was initially understood that Bayern would be looking for around €15m for the towering center back, but they could be willing to let him go without a transfer fee if Arsenal would be willing to pay his wages in full, which are approximately €230,000 per week.
Arsenal are in need of defensive reinforcements after Calum Chambers sustained a long-term injury. They were said to be interested in RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, but Die Roten Bullen are reluctant to sell him for anything less than 80-million Euros.
New Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta commented on the potential need for defensive reinforcements after Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United on New Year’s day:
Obviously we have a bad injury with Calum a few days ago that will change our plans at the back. The reality is we will not be able to do much. I’m more concerned about getting players back from injury and try to improve the players I have here, get everybody on board and understanding what we’re trying to do. And if something extra comes up and we think it is the right opportunity to improve what we have, then let’s do it.
We had some quality banter with the guys over at The Short Fuse about these rumors:
Alphonso Davies does one of those new Instagram filters and we love the result
A winner. 2020 comin’ at ya! ‘Nuff said
Julian Nagelsmann says RB Leipzig still aren’t good enough to win the Bundesliga
It should come with some comfort for Bayern fans that in a recent interview with Bild+, Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann sad he believes his side still don’t yet have what it takes to win the Bundesliga title this season. While Die Roten Bullen do currently sit atop the Bundesliga table with 37 points, Nagelsmann feels that there is still a lot of room for improvement if they want to finish the season higher than their league rivals:
We have to develop. At the moment, we are not good enough to become champions. We always talk about weakening Bayern and Dortmund. But it would also be advisable if we won against them – otherwise, it would just be difficult at the end of the season.
Leipzig did beat Monchengladbach earlier this season thanks to a Timo Werner hat-trick but they drew 1-1 with Bayern at the Red Bull Arena. Had they beaten Bayern on that occasion, they’d likely be more than two points clear at the top of the table by this point.
The next meeting between Bayern and Leipzig is set to take place on February 9th at the Allianz Arena just after the 3rd round ties in the DFB-Pokal, during which Bayern face Nagelsmann’s old side, Hoffenheim. Leipzig have a difficult run-in prior to the clash against Bayern as they face Eintracht Frankfurt (once in the league, once in the Pokal) twice in 10 days with a match against Monchengladbach in between.