Regardless of how you feel about how Bayern Munich’s David Alaba has played this season, the fallout from the imminent departure will be felt for quite a while.
Alaba is not only a fantastic player, but a true leader on the squad and one of the players who often embraces youngster and welcomes them to the team. For some of these players, they not only have the issue of integrating into a new team, but also a new country and language.
Many players have touted Alaba, including Alphonso Davies, who recently spoke highly of Alaba and the impact that he has on the squad. Chris Richards, of course, told Bavarian Football Works directly about how Alaba’s influence (including coining Richards as “Texas” due to his FC Dallas connection), but Davies sat down for an interview with Tz and told the German outlet what he will miss the most about Alaba.
“Clearly, the communication,” Davies said. “He gives me so many tips and commands that I will definitely miss. Can you hear how much he’s talking in the stands?”
For all of the vitriol that some have thrown Alaba’s way regarding his pending departure, it is important to remember that the Austrian has been a world-class player throughout this career, a model citizen, and one of the most important players at Bayern Munich.
While Alaba is almost certainly leaving, it might be a good time to refresh everyone’s memory about all the good things Alaba has done on-and-off the pitch, while also celebrating his contributions to two treble-winning teams. Even now, Alaba figures to be a key figure in Bayern Munich’s quest to win another Champions League title.
There will be plenty of time to dissect Alaba’s final year and how his uncertain contract situation affected his play, but over the next few months — including the day his next destination is ultimately announced — it would be a good time to appreciate Alaba’s contributions on the pitch and look fondly upon all of the good things that he has done.
Exclusive: Our interview with Pine Tree Garden
If you listened to this week’s episode of Der Ausblick, you heard a really cool FC Bayern-themed song put together by the Munich-based band Pine Tree Garden. Last September, Süddeutsche Zeitung named Pine Tree Garden its band of the week and here is a snippet from the piece that SZ did on the band:
Ever wondered where Munich bands got their band names from? It is worth taking a look at the underground stations, starting with the band Münchner Freiheit. The band Pine Tree Garden, who met in a student dormitory by the pine garden, had this idea. The dormitory was not only the place of establishment, but also the origin of creativity. Michi Geitner and Hatti Seidl wrote their first songs in 2014 in the tiny band room of the dormitory. Philipp Habisch and Felix Pieringer soon joined them.
All members of the band are characterized by an intensive musical education. The singer, Michi, attended the high school of the Regensburger Domspatzen and was part of the choir throughout his school days. “You get such a comprehensive musical education there that you can theoretically teach yourself any instrument,” says Michi. His voice, trained as a boy in choir, gives the songs of Pine Tree Garden their character.
Hatti is also a musical all-rounder: he plays the piano, guitar and bass and also composes songs for the band. The Beatles are a great inspiration for him and so is Bob Dylan lyrically. But also the indie rock of the 2000s like The Strokes and The Kooks influence him as well.
The most diverse influences flow into one another through these two creative minds and make the music of Pine Tree Garden appear timeless. A harmonica gives a folk touch every now and then, subtle guitar picking gives a playful harmony, the piano the necessary seriousness. The melodies are melancholy but always carried by a familiar, positive feeling. They easily tell stories that have been told a thousand times and yet never make you tired. Because they are honest and emotional. “Everyone writes their own songs and the others then practice their parts. In terms of taste, we actually always come together,” says Hatti.
Pretty cool, eh? Well, it turns out that the boys from Pine Tree Garden are BFW fans as well and they were gracious enough to do a little interview with us, which showed their great sense of humor and their fandom of Bayern Munich (you know, the reason you are all here, too!).
The boys go back years in their fandom and even reference Mehmet Scholl’s infamous — and cheeky — quote about Oliver Kahn: “The moments when it really pays off being a soccer pro are when you’re watching Olli Kahn soap himself in the shower.”
They’ve got a great sense of humor and some serious Bayern Munich fandom, so take a look at the brief interview below and also check their music out (not just the FC Bayern song, “Münchens Liebe, Mein Verein.”)
We had a great time interacting with them and are fully backing “Münchens Liebe, Mein Verein.” The band has a great and fun attitude and were really awesome to communicate with during this process.
Anyway, here you go:
BFW: How long have you guys been fans of Bayern Munich?
Pine Tree Garden: For most of us, that goes back a long time. It must have been even before Mehmet Scholl lost his hair.
BFW: What’s your greatest memory as a fan?
Pine Tree Garden: Our bass player Philipp has a very special greatest fan memory: Champions League 2013. Quarter-finals against Juventus. He’s in the stadium, David Alaba scores after half a minute and everybody goes nuts.
BFW: Over the course of your fandom, who has been your favorite player to watch?
Michi: Mehmet Scholl because of his fantastic ball skills as well as his unique and funny interviews.
Hatti: Thomas Müller due to his impeccable aerial acrobatics. (Editor’s note: Another member of the #MüllerMafia)
Felix: As a kid, it was Roy Makaay.
Philipp: Arjen Robben with his iconic Robben move.
BFW: What inspired you to record the song and who from the band made the suggestion?
Pine Tree Garden: That was our guitarist, Hatti. He set himself the objective to write a song to which Oliver Kahn could perfectly soap himself in the shower. (Just kidding, we simply dig the club.)
BFW: Where can our readers find your music?
Pine Tree Garden: Hopefully, soon in the arena. Until then, check out this great FC Bayern Spotify playlist where the song is included.
I’m not going to lie...I’ve been humming the song pretty relentlessly over the past few days. I hope you guys enjoy it, too. Give Pine Tree Garden a follow on Instagram and You Tube and support their music. See the sidebar for all of the places you can check out Pine Tree Garden and give a listen to Der Ausblick if you are ready for a little pregame action — and want to hear “Münchens Liebe, Mein Verein” which features at the end of the episode (really though, go check the song out on Spotify and give the band some likes on Instagram and You Tube):
Bayern Munich seems to have turned the tables and swept past the mini-slump it was going through. Of course, Hertha Berlin does present at least some danger for a few reasons:
- Sitting in 15th place, Die Alte Dame is fight for its first-division life.
- Hertha Berlin can already be confident in knowing that it pushed Bayern Munich to its limit earlier this season.
- Bayern Munich has the Club World Cup ahead of it and could potentially be looking right by this match.
Hansi Flick has been a master at keeping his squad prepared, so even with those aforementioned concerns, I’d say Bayern Munich are still prohibitive favorites. Going into Berlin and taking care of business before leaving for the Club World Cup in Qatar would be a good way to prove to everyone that last month’s struggles are a thing of the past and that Bayern Munich is poised to make another run at the Champions League.
Prediction: Hertha Berlin 0-3 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- FC Augsburg 1-2 Wolfsburg
- Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 VfB Stuttgart
- SC Freiburg 2-3 Borussia Dortmund
- Mainz 05 1-3 Union Berlin
- Schalke 04 0-2 RB Leipzig
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 FC Köln
- Hoffenheim 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
- Arminia Bielefeld 1-2 Werder Bremen
Last week was better...much better. Can it continue?
Last Bundesliga match day record: 7-2
Overall record: 88-90*
Guest predictors’ record: 20-4
(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League)