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Quarantine thoughts: Bayern Munich’s goalkeeping quandary and the murky legacy of James and Coutinho

Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper situation will be murky for a while, while the Bavarian legacy of both James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho has been disappointing to say the least.

FC Bayern Muenchen Doha Training Camp - Day 6

Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper fracas

As covered earlier this week, Manuel Neuer’s “contentious” negotiations with the club finally seem to be closing in on a solution. Even with Schalke 04 goalkeeper Alexander Nubel arriving in the summer, Neuer is clearly the best option for the Bavarians moving forward if the club is serious about Champions League contention over the next three years.

Could Neuer hold up longer than that? No doubt — and that’s why Bayern Munich must take the financial gamble, even if it means giving Neuer the four years that he allegedly wants. If the club believes in its ability to put a world-class lineup in front of the goalkeeper, then it must find a happy medium to keep Neuer in tow.

From there, however, the situation is extremely murky. Sven Ulreich has been reliable and a consummate professional as Neuer’s back-up. He moreover appears to be content and supportive playing that role. Should Nübel take his roster spot behind Neuer, Ulreich will likely look to leave town, which would be a bit unfortunate.

Organizational depth pieces Christian Früchtl and Ron-Thorben Hoffmann are also both peeved at Bayern Munich’s possibly premature move for Nübel. Früchtl is likely headed out on loan. That move should temporarily assuage Hoffmann’s anger over his lack of playing time with Bayern II, but it is clear that both youngsters have an eye on ultimately starting on the senior team . . . Nübel be damned.

Nübel might end up being the “New Neuer” (der neue Neuer?) but until he proves his mettle on the big stage at Bayern, he will have to fend off some talented competition to occupy that throne.

It happens

I finally got around to watching chapter two of “It” and I have to say it was good. I was a fan of each chapter of this adaptation. More impressive than the film itself was the genius way that the adult actors channeled the mannerisms of their child (really teen) actor counterparts in picking up the story 27 years later.

It might not be popular, but James Ransone is terrific in every role he does — especially as Ziggy in season two of The Wire (my personal favorite season). The reason I favor season two was seeing how the machine powers “the game.” Again, likely a very unpopular opinion, but I found that season fascinating — despite how much I loved seasons one, three, and four as well.


What was your favorite season of The Wire?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Season 1
    (10 votes)
  • 19%
    Season 2
    (6 votes)
  • 29%
    Season 3
    (9 votes)
  • 9%
    Season 4
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    Season 5
    (3 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now

Assessing star-crossed La Liga players

The career trajectory of both James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho peaked, began trending downward, and briefly took them to Germany and Bayern Munich, where they quickly learned that their services were more valued elsewhere.

Both players came to Bayern Munich with a boatload of hype and with the ultimate intention of supplanting Thomas Muller as the squad’s “10” of choice. Rodriguez came with a sponsor in Carlo Ancelotti and showed occasional flashes of brilliance, but more often was “okay” at best before griping his way out of town. Coutinho came in with equal fanfare, immediately pushed Müller out of the lineup, but ultimately just didn’t perform well enough to make himself a permanent fixture in the Bayern Munich starting XI.

Clearly, both players have talent, but what was the ultimate reason that both flamed out? Were they just are not as good as everyone thought? Or was it that neither could adjust to life in Germany? Rodriguez, for one, sent signals throughout his tenure that he was not necessarily thinking of staying in Munich long-term, while Coutinho has been a model citizen — just not good quite good enough to convince Bayern Munich he would be worth his hefty price tag.

Either way, each player will leave a disappointing legacy after their respective time in the Bundesliga. While Coutinho’s legacy is not quite over, who would YOU say made the best use of his time in Bavaria?


Which La Liga castoff was better in Bavaria?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    James Rodriguez
    (183 votes)
  • 38%
    Philippe Coutinho
    (115 votes)
298 votes total Vote Now

Binge watch: ZeroZeroZero

Looking for a good show to binge? Check out ZeroZeroZero on Amazon Prime. A spoiler-free summary for what to expect would read something like this:

A view of a drug deal between a Mexican cartel, the Italian mafia, the brokers that make it happen and the fallout from each decision made on the way to a deal.

You won’t like recognize many actors aside of Gabriel Byrne, but it is well worth your time. It is only eight episodes with each clocking in at an hour or under. One warning is that it is intense, violent, and features a fair amount of time-hopping where you see an important scene — but then flashback to what led up to that point.

Tolisso for Perisic and cash makes too much sense

As covered earlier in the week, the whispers surrounding Inter Milan’s interest in Corentin Tolisso make a potential player swap (with cash involved) an actual scenario that might work for all four parties involved:

Bayern Munich: The Bavarians get a solid, veteran winger, who has proven he is a fit under Hansi Flick and (seemingly) has accepted a role as a rotational piece at this stage of his career. The Bavarians also open up a roster spot to see what they really have in Michael Cuisance and Adrian Fein.

Inter Milan: Antonio Conte gets a young, athletic, fearless, and talented midfielder, the kind of player he craves to be a part of his system in Italy, while disposing of a player that he deemed a bad fit for his system months ago.

Ivan Perisic: The Croatian winger can spend the next few years competing for trebles and undoubtedly still be an important piece on the roster behind Bayern Munich’s oft-injured winger corps.

Corentin Tolisso: The 26-year-old is a talent, but he is caught up in a game of Roten roster roulette that he cannot win. Tolisso needs to be a starter (somewhere) for the sake of his own career.

Sure, the days of getting €25 million to €30 million for Tolisso are long gone given the current financial climate, but it is time to let him go for the good of his career.

One final thought: I had a nice little hiatus from many of you here, but I should say it is very good to be back and interacting with you (even you dolts that disagree with me and you anti-Timo heathens! ...I kid, I kid!). Follow me on Twitter @TheBarrelBlog for all of my sporting-related thoughts or @csmith191919 if you like hearing about dumb stuff I do.

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