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Weekend Warm-up: Bayern Munich can trust Jamal Musiala to play a bigger role next season; Bundesliga predictions; Some Pearl Jam to get your weekend going; and MORE!

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Let’s go! Get ready for Bayern Munich vs. Mainz 05 with BFW!

VfL Wolfsburg v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

As Bayern Munich plans its squad for next season, it might be able to stop looking for a fourth winger to take the place of Douglas Costa on the roster for next season.

Jamal Musiala has proven he is up to the task to handle that role, while also providing depth behind Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, and Leon Goretzka.

Sure, no one wants to see another thin roster, but it is clear that Bayern Munich is not about to go out and spend a lot during this transfer window. The club is reportedly looking for free transfers to complement Dayot Upamecano as part of its summer transfer window haul.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga
Bayern Munich would be wise note to “recruit over” Jamal Musiala.
Photo by Lukas Barth-Tuttas - Pool/Getty Images

That might be a tough ask in terms of procuring quality, but Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic’s “shadow team” is undoubtedly populated with at least a few free, experienced veterans that Bayern Munich could make a push for. To help with depth, let’s hope those freebie are versatile enough to play multiple positions.

Back to Musiala, though. I am fully convinced in his ability and while he might not represent the “prototypical Bayern winger” that so many people have set a standard for, he can aptly play the position — and produce, which is ultimately the most important objective for any player.

Who knows how long this financial squeeze will last — we could be dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19 for years to come. If Bayern Munich needs to be more fiscally conservative, then one area it can save on is with Musiala. He can provide depth at three positions (wing, attacking midfield, central midfield) and has energy to burn for days.

Whatever happens during this transfer window, though, the Bavarians just need to pick the right complimentary pieces. Clearly, last summer’s haul included a few players who flopped for this season:

  • Bouna Sarr could not perform at the level required.
  • Marc Roca has potential, but has enough flaws in his game to not gain the trust of Hansi Flick.
  • Tiago Dantas could not prove himself.
  • Tanguy Nianzou — while not a flop per se — could not find a way to stay healthy, so he was non-impactful this season. (Don’t get all hot and bothered...Nianzou — like Roca — has time to prove himself next season).

Bayern Munich will likely need a few dependable players to round out its roster. Hopefully there will be a few fitting that mold available on free transfers.


Don’t be that person

Listen...I get frustration and I might even be an expert — I am married with two kids (I kid, I kid) — but should you feel the need to vent online, don’t attack anyone or their family.

As someone who has been in the pro-Flick camp during the “Flick vs. Brazzo Brouhaha”, I have not like a lot of what I have read from either party. I was really rubbed the wrong way with the insinuations that Brazzo interfering in club business to benefit his son.

But...at no point did it ever cross my mind to pop on to Twitter and layout threats against the man and his family — and neither should anyone.

SS Lazio v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg One
Don’t be an idiot...leave Brazzo and his family alone.
Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Emotions are a crazy thing...they carry people to do some marvelous things and some awful things. Don’t let your emotions explode online. You’ll regret it, your employers might regret it, and your family will almost certainly regret it.

It’s never worth it...ever. I’ve seen more careers ruined over one weak, emotional moment online that should have been avoided. All that said, I’m a dinosaur. I didn’t grow up in this generations of handling all disputes and disagreements online. “In my day”...things did not fester like this. They were either handled quickly or forgotten about. Now they just extend on forever and I don’t envy the kids having to grow up like this.

Life was so much simpler in the 80s and 90s.

The first time I dealt with an online harassment was back in the early aughts when I was in my early 20s. I was covering high school hockey as a beat for a local newspaper and one dad — whose son I picked for second team all-county — was irate because his son was not first team all-county.

At first, I responded with my logic and explain why I made the selection process was, what coaches I spoke with, etc.

None of that was good enough.

The badgering went on for days...then weeks...then months...and subsequently bled into the next season. I did a somewhat decent job of ignoring most of it and sometime replying, but one day — after more than a year — I was not having a good day and I snapped.

I told the angry hockey dad exactly what rink I would be at and exactly what time I would be there and offered to discuss the matter further with him in the parking lot.

That was the last time I heard from that guy. Did he not want to risk breaking his hand on my rock head? Was he a coward? Did he realize this had went on too long? Or was he just scared he was going to get his ass kicked in a hockey rink parking lot as moms were bringing their kids in for lesson and teams were leaving after games?

I don’t know to be honest, but what I did learn from all of that was that people are different online...braver...sometimes less intelligent...and often more emotional. Don’t let a few seconds of frustration carry you to do something you might regret for years to come.

Anyway, as for Flick vs. Brazzo, I’ll re-state my position: Both men are very good at their jobs. I value Flick a little more because my affection for coaches and how they mold a group of players — and the journey that occurs while doing so. I think it’s a special talent that great coaches — and if you don’t believe me, look from the pro level to the youth level...you can identify a good coach almost immediately and you can spot a bad coach just as quickly.

As for Brazzo...he’s done a good job and he was part of the “team” that helped create a sextuple-winner. The difference between Brazzo and Flick for me is that there is virtually no way any other coach steps into that situation last season and produces those results.

Flick is a special coach. He’s built a special team with the roster Brazzo provided. I would have given Flick more say in personnel matters to keep him happy, but that’s why I’m typing this and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Herbert Hainer are running one of the best clubs in the world.


Song of the week: “Do the Evolution” by Pearl Jam

Everyone — and I mean everyone — knows Pearl Jam, but this song is one of their best tracks that did not get all that much acclaim.

For me, I typically rate “Do the Evolution” or “Hail, Hail” as my favorite Pearl Jam songs. Obviously, those are not your typical PJ fare, but those are the ones I favor most.

During college and right after I was HEAVY into Pearl Jam. I started listening to them in high school and steadily followed them for years. Of late, I have sort of drifted away from some of their music (maybe I just jammed too much of it back in the day), but I still respect what they’ve done over the course of their career.


Predictions

Bayern Munich should be primed and ready to strike first, strike hard, and strike often against Mainz 05. With Robert Lewandowski expected to be back in the lineup, the Bayern Munich attack should have some extra jump at the Polish Hitman will make his final push to match or break Gerd Müller’s Bundesliga goal-scoring record.

Lewandowski will likely be the focus of the Bayern Munich offense, but he will have plenty of support in helping him chase the record as Thomas Müller, Jamal Musiala, Kingsley Coman, Joshua Kimmich, and Leon Goretzka should be in the lineup and looking to feed Lewandowski.

Mainz 05 is on a bit a run with four wins and a draw over its last five games, but Bayern Munich also has a 9th consecutive Bundesliga title within its grasp as well.

Let’s say the Bavarians will take care of the “Carnival club” in a thoroughly convincing manner.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-0 Mainz 05

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • FC Augsburg 2-1 FC Köln
  • SC Freiburg 2-2 Hoffenheim
  • Union Berlin 3-2 Werder Bremen
  • Wolfsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
  • Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • RB Leipzig 3-1 VfB Stuttgart
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Arminia Bielefield

(Schalke 04 vs. Hertha Berlin will not be played this weekend due to COVID-19 concerns)*


Prediction Records

Last Bundesliga match day record: 6-2*

Overall record: 145-136**

Guest predictors’ record: 23-4**

(*Hertha Berlin vs. Mainz 05, Herth Berlin vs. SC Freiburg, and Hertha Berlin vs. Schalke 04 were postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak)

(**includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, Club World Cup, and Champions League)