Well, this is it — what a journey this has been for Bayern Munich.
The season might only have added one major trophy to the cabinet, but this squad did also nail down the DFL-Supercup, the UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup as well.
We saw some great individual performances (Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Manuel Neuer, Jamal Musiala), some off-the-field drama (Flick vs. Brazzo, the squad vs. injuries, Niklas Süle vs. Bild’s proclivity to imply he is chonky, the entire winger group vs. consistency, Bayern’s fan base strapping up and ready to go to war against the whole country of Andorra), and a lot of fun games.
More than anything though, Bayern Munich gave its fans some quality entertainment at a time in the world’s history when people needed the distraction that sports provide more than ever.
This was a fun team and an entertaining year...it was just snake-bitten for a million different reasons. With a couple of lucky breaks regarding injuries, Bayern Munich could have been one of the clubs suiting up for the upcoming Champions League finale. The team is simply that good — when healthy.
When looking back at this season, it will feel odd. There was a lot to appreciate and admire — and also a lot of reasons to think about what could have been.
As for me, I’ll never be able to stop thinking about the reasons why Hansi Flick and Bayern Munich could not find a way to make it all work. I rate Flick as a coaching genius — as much for his personnel management, relationship building, and communication skills, as for his tactics and strategic aptitude.
Flick is one of the world’s great coaches and — fingers crossed — he will be work the same magic with Germany as he did with Bayern Munich.
Without Flick, none of this would have been possible — but Bayern Munich, like any great club, will move on.
Hopefully fans can appreciate this season for what it was: A fun, entertaining and rollicking quest for greatness...that fell short in some areas, but was successful in others.
Mare of Easttown - Update...It’s Damn Good
Aside of my “hometown” affinity for HBO’s Mare of Easttown, the show is proving to be a compelling smash hit with a great story.
Last week’s episode (no spoilers!), absolutely shook things up and I can say confidently that this is the best show that HBO has produced in quite a while. Gone are the days of the network churning out must-see hit after must-see hit, but this show has not missed yet.
Songs of the Week: “Going Out In Style” by Dropkick Murphys and “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” by Old 97s
With Hansi Flick, David Alaba, Javi Martinez, Jerome Boateng, Herman Gerland, Miroslav Klose and surely a few others all wrapping up their respective tenures on Säbener Straße, I decided to pull out a double shot for the season’s final weekend.
First, let’s go with the Dropkick Murphys anthem, “Going Out In Style” — which is just a tremendous song from start to finish:
The next one kind of goes out to Gerland, who at 66-years-old, is on the job market. Old 97s’ song “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” just seems like a good fit for the veteran coach (minus the part about popping pills and all):
With soooooooo many key members of the club entering their respective final appearances at the Allianz Arena, this really could go a couple of different ways. Bayern Munich could get caught up in a lot of the off-the-field “feelings”:
- Complacency: The league has already been won and some players — and coaches — could already be looking toward what’s next (Euros, new jobs, transfers, loans, etc).
- Sadness/Malaise: This will be the end of a great — albeit short-lived — era at Bayern Munich. Flick led the club to a sextuple, Gerland has been with the club since the dawn of time, Klose is an up-and-coming coaching phenom, Javi Martinez, Jerome Boateng, and David Alaba are all legendary players in the club’s storied history. Great friendships have been built, lifelong memories have been made...seeing those all go away will not be easy.
- Uncertainty: Julian Nagelsmann is coming in and he is going to want to imprint his own style on this team. Who will stay? Who will go? Who will be given a lesser role? Again, none of this is easy for the players and staff.
Through all of that, though, Bayern Munich is a squad filled with professionals — people with a built-in, laser focus. The Bavarians will no doubt be able to push those potential distractions away.
I’d expect Bayern Munich to come out and put forth a dominant effort...perhaps even a record-setting performance as I’m predicting Lewandowski to at least get one goal to snap Gerd Müller’s Bundesliga goal scoring record.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-0 FC Augsburg
Other Bundesliga predictions:
- Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
- Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 SC Freiburg
- FC Köln 2-2 Schalke 04
- VfB Stuttgart 2-1 Arminia Bielefield
- Hoffenheim 2-1 Hertha Berlin
- Union Berlin 1-2 RB Leipzig
- Werder Bremen 1-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Wolfsburg 3-1 Mainz 05
Last Bundesliga match day record: 3-6
Overall record: 163-149*
Guest predictors’ record: 23-4*
(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, Club World Cup, and Champions League)