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Weekend warm-up: Bring back Mario Götze; Bayern Munich’s electric offense; a Nickelodeon controversy; and MORE!

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Sit back, relax, and grab your coffee to wax on a few things including Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga, David Alaba, Zlatan Ibrahimović, and MORE!

Bndesliga - Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Bayern Munich Photo by Bernd Thissen/picture alliance via Getty Images

Earlier this week, we ran a story that originated from Sport Bild, which implied that Hansi Flick wanted to bring in Mario Gotze. You know what? Let’s do this.

Bayern Munich should absolutely kick the tires on Götze, whose main desire is reportedly to win a Champions League crown. What better place to be than Bavaria for a chance at achieving that goal?

Götze could provide great experience — and talent! — as a back-up on the front line. With the ability to primarily spell both Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski or even drop back to the central midfield or out-wide to wing, Götze could be a valuable jack-of-all-trades sub as Hansi Flick tries to manage his roster over the course of this condensed season.

Borussia Dortmund Training Session
Could Mario Götze fill a role with Bayern Munich?
Photo by Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

Flick has earned the right to have say in personnel decisions. He wanted both Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, but finances and squad planning did not make either player a fit for Bayern Munich at this time. Götze, meanwhile, would be a free transfer who is willing to take a pay cut — and would be an invaluable piece to a potential championship roster.

Give Flick what he wants and improve the squad along the way. Any time you can bring in a humble player who has proven himself on the biggest of stages for a relatively cheap price, you should do it. Only good things can happen (see Perisic, Ivan).

The story has already been given the “beruhige dich” treatment from Bayern Munich, but there would be zero harm in taking a gamble on a proven winner as the Bavarians gear up to chase another treble.


Welcome to Loser Town

For those of you still reveling in Bayern Munich’s rampant success over the past few months, I’d like to remind you that there is always a flip-side to such glory — and no, I’m not talking about that raging dumpster fire burning out of control in Gelsenkirchen.

I’m talking about Philadelphia — the entire sports scene in the city:

  • The Phillies: In the midst of an epic collapse and with a bullpen that can only be described as the single worst unit of any team in any sport anywhere. Still, they could make the playoffs with a good final weekend (fingers crossed).
  • The Eagles: Started out 0-2 and looking like they’ve got some major issues, along with some potential front office-coaching relationship issues.
  • The Flyers: A nice run in the NHL playoffs, but ultimately lacking star-quality offensive talent that is needed to be a legitimate contender.
  • The Sixers: Two stars, a couple posers, a brutal bench, and zero strategic direction.
  • The Union: They are GOOD...but their best player, Brenden Aaronson, is almost assuredly leaving for Europe — maybe RB Salzburg.

What’s the lesson? Enjoy this moment Bayern Munich fans...your team is the best in the world.


Strike first...strike hard...no mercy

Bayern Munich’s offensive display against Schalke 04 was, well, frightening. It was not just the talent on the field that was scary, but how that talent moved and symbiotically played off of each other.

Lewandowski, Muller, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane melded together to form an overwhelming unit and that does not even count the offensive presence that both Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich are able to show — or even count disruptive weapons like Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies, who missed the game, or reserves Corentin Tolisso and the #StepoverKing, Michaël Cuisance, who are both offensively adept.

This could be a brilliant, record-setting season offensively for the Bavarians. And yes, I snuck that header in as yet another tribute to the greatness that is Cobra Kai.


Creepshow

One of the many side-effects of being quarantined with daughters for such a long period of 2020 was how I absorbed the entire catalog of iCarly and Victorious on Nickelodeon by osmosis. Just about any time our television was on when the world stopped, I was faced with one of those shows on our family room screen.

Why am I bringing up this mundane detail of my quarantine experience? Well, on a very special crossover episode iCarly and Victorious (I know...I am sooooooo 2013 on this take), one of the main characters, a teacher named Sikowitz, finds himself in a hot tub with his students.

High school students.

What Nickelodeon executive viewed that script and said, “Sure, why not? A high-school teacher hanging out with his students in a hot tub is completely normal. Let’s do it!”

Sikowitz could best be described as middle-aged, quirky, frumpy, balding, and bearded oddball who could just as easily be an American soccer fan or an artisanal aioli maker. But using those vivid descriptions to detail a kid show character, who is found wading in a hot tub with “teenagers” isn’t Nickelodeon material, hell, it’s not even After School Special material...it’s a Porn Hub subcategory that should be scrubbed from existence.

The hilarious part is that Eric Lange, the actor who portrayed Sikowitz, later ends up playing CIA Station Chief Bill Stechner on Narcos, a terrific show on Netflix — which, I also watched during this pandemic.

The world, as always, comes full circle.


Release the video!

It has been too long...someone release the film of Niko Kovac singing 99 Luftballoons.


Zlatan is the best

No other words needed.


Get Alaba done

The back-and-forth between David Alaba’s camp and Bayern Munich’s negotiating team has went on much longer than anyone cares for. At this point, there are two stances which seem to be nearing a final state:

  • Bayern Munich is standing its ground and unwilling to put the squad’s salary structure into upheaval by pushing Alaba close to the €20 million figure that he allegedly desires. To compensate, Bayern Munich reportedly added a fifth-year to its contract proposal.
  • Alaba — seemingly — wants to return, but feels like he needs to be paid like one of the world’s premiere players and does not seem willing — at this stage — to back down from that request. Whether or not itis Pini Zahavi driving that rationale, we don’t technically know (though, we can probably assume). How far Alaba and Zahavi are willing to drop from that salary demand is the absolute key to everything.
Bayern Munich Training Session: UEFA Super Cup
Getting David Alaba’s contract finalized should be a priority for Bayern Munich.
Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

It really is not even debatable on how important of a player Alaba is. His work at center-back last season helped stabilize a previously shaky back-line and his ability to shift seamlessly between center-back, left-back, and the central midfield makes him an invaluable asset to have in a condensed season.

The only satisfactory outcome for both parties is some sort of compromise that can get Alaba paid without wrecking Bayern Munich’s pay scale. It would be easy for me to say that the latest five-year proposal worth €11 million in base salary, plus bonuses is good enough for the Vienna-native, but I’m not Alaba, a player who has proven himself to be among the world’s best and who is also looking at his last big contract before he starts to ride off into the Austrian sunset.

And, sure, Alaba wasn’t great yesterday, but that performance was an outlier in what has been an incredible career with Bayern Munich. The worst-case scenario for all of this is that this saga drags on even further, which is entirely possible...and no one wants that.


Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim: A Prediction

The prediction? Pain.

Bayern Munich looked unstoppable against Schalke last week and even though Sevilla pushed Die Roten, there was never a doubt who the better team was on the pitch. Hoffenheim might pose more of a threat than Schalke did, but I’m not quite sure the Bavarian Juggernaut is ready to slow down just yet even with some weary legs from the UEFA Super Cup victory.

The interesting part of this contest will be to see exactly how conservative achtzehn99 decides to play this. I’d imagine there will be a fleet of busses parked deep to minimize damage, but if/when Bayern Munich breaks through initially, the game almost always opens up.

I’d expect Hansi Flick to have his charges prepared appropriately and while the Bavarians will sure slip up at some point, it likely won’t be this week.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4, Hoffenheim 0

If you want a rundown on predictions for the other games, here you go:

Last week’s record: TRASH... 4-5. Embarrassing. Truly.

Season record: 4-5.