Leon Goretzka’s return to the Bayern Munich lineup was welcomed by fans, players, and coaches alike.
The 26-year-old star might not get as much acclaim as his double-pivot partner Joshua Kimmich, but there is little doubt that Goretzka’s importance to the squad rivals that of his teammate.
Able to effectively contribute at both ends of the pitch, Goretzka has developed into one Hansi Flick’s true glue players. The starting unit just does not function as seamlessly without Goretzka — and this really is something that many did not think would happen even as recently as 14 months ago.
Over the course of his tenure, Goretzka has had to do battle with Kimmich, Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez, Corentin Tolisso, Renato Sanches, James Rodriguez, Philippe Countinho, and Marc Roca among others just to get into the lineup. There were times where many Bayern Munich fans had reservations about what kind of future Goretzka might have in Bavaria, but he persevered, built up his strength and conditioning, and made himself a fixture in the lineup.
The former Schalke 04 man really first caught my eye at the 2017 Confederations Cup because there was a certain “it” that he brought to the pitch. In big moments, he seemed to rise to the occasion and while he got caught up in a numbers game in the Bayern Munich midfield early in his career with the Bavarians, Goretzka has more than proven himself to not only be capable of playing at a world class level, but to also raise his level of play another notch in key moments.
Kimmich has that same innate ability. When the two of the are healthy and together, it is a special combination — and one that can dominate the central midfield for years to come.
Finally, it’s happening
Okay, I need to come clean: I’ve been slacking mightily in getting around to watching season three of Cobra Kai.
Life has sort of gotten in the way a bit as my kids both back hardcore into soccer season, I’ve been coaching basketball, and I’ve also been drifting to watching random NHL and NBA games at right rather than hitting the streaming services.
Putting all that aside, this weekend, I’ll make my triumphant return to watching Cobra Kai and will write up my review for next week. I’ve got a couple of other series/documentaries/shows bookmarked for viewing as well — now I just have to make time to watch them all.
Show some Grouplove
So...yeah, this happened earlier in the week.
So cool! How can you not like @GROUPLOVE?? https://t.co/Z32Ql1rMyT— Bavarian Football Works (@BavarianFBWorks) February 23, 2021
We don’t pump up bands, shows, or entertainment figures for any type of “clout” in this space. When I write about those “entertainment” aspects of what I enjoy, it is mostly to be able to connect with the readers over common interests — or in some cases for me to hear your bad takes (Bob Dylan over Tom Petty, Markopolo? Really? I kid, I kid).
I will say, though, Grouplove hopping in and showing some appreciation was pretty cool — especially because it turned out that quite a few of you also enjoyed their music.
So, yeah, that was pretty cool and nice little shout to all of you in the BFW community.
Hype music: “The Boys are Back” by Dropkick Murphys
As I was typing out the Warm-up this morning, “The Boys are Back” by Dropkick Murphys came through the shuffle on my playlist and I instantly had a little jump in my step. Well, that plus the black coffee I was drilling.
This is one of my favorite Dropkick Murphys tracks for sure. It starts out fast, loud, and hard, but it’s a load of fun and offers constant energy throughout.
It’s kind of funny because it always makes me think a little about where I grew up. As I’ve talked about a few times, I typically spend every Thanksgiving morning getting rip-roaringly hammered at a dive bar in my hometown — often seeing a lot of the people I grew up with and this just always seems like the perfect tune for that environment (although my one buddy insists with starting every morning with “Wheel in the Sky” by Journey because “it has to be a great song, it closed out an episode of The Sopranos” — insert eye roll emoji).
Anyway, this can apply to good nostalgic feelings or would also make a great soundtrack to any hype video for a team to start a season or coming back after a long road trip. These are absolutely the kind of dumb projects I would work on if I was an employee for a team or just in charge of Michaël Cuisance’s Twitter account:
The biggest question about this game is whether or not Bayern Munich will be distracted from its midweek victory over Lazio and suffer any sort of hangover (not the type I hope to be experiencing on Sunday morning).
Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich has shown a pretty remarkable ability to focus on the task-at-hand, but definitely looked past Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend. Die Adler proved that they are nothing to be trifled with, but FC Köln does not exactly pack the type of offensive punch that could threaten the Bavarians consistently.
I would expect that Bayern Munich learned its lesson last week and will be mentally and physically prepared to take on the Billy Goats. I just can’t see any way that FC Köln is able to keep up with Bayern Munich for 90 minutes or even present a viable threat.
Let’s take a comfortable win while we can get it.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-0 FC Köln
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Werder Bremen 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
- Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Arminia Bielefeld
- VfB Stuttgart 2-1 Schalke 04
- Wolfsburg 3-2 Hertha Berlin
- RB Leipzig 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Union Berlin 2-2 Hoffenheim
- Mainz 05 1-2 FC Augsburg
- Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 SC Freiburg
Things are looking up as I’ve got a 7-3 record in my last 10 games. This weekend definitely presents some challenging games to pick. Let’s hope my hand stays hot.
Last Bundesliga match day record: 6-3
Last Champions League match day record: 1-0
Overall record: 106-101*
Guest predictors’ record: 23-4
(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League)