After falling behind early, Germany showed some...fight (!?) and battled back to throttle Portugal in match where several Bayern Munich players played key roles:
- Captain Obvious Alert: Cristiano Ronaldo is really, really good. That is a talented Portugal side, but Ronaldo is still their engine and as he goes, they go.
- I was super worried about the quick counter attacks by Portugal and that is ultimately how they scored their first goal (by Ronaldo).
- Joshua Kimmich and Robin Gosens being the deepest players on Ronaldo’s goal is damning for the three center-backs. What’s the point of playing with 5 “defenders” if the three players acting as the foundation can’t adequately be prepared for the one tactic that everyone knew would be an issue?
- Germany’s lack of creativity and precision in the final third again was a major issue early, but it got....better! Much better, in fact!
- Thomas Müller was on his game. Seconds before Müller, Joshua Kimmich, Robin Gosens, and Kai Havertz combined on Germany’s first goal, Müller was begging for Havertz to make the run in toward the goal. Havertz’s eventual sprint toward the net caused an own goal.
- That initial goal sparked confidence and energy and Germany which caused yet another own goal. Pressure creates offense and Germany put a vice grip on Portugal.
- Truthfully, I felt like Ronaldo’s goal and the second one goal for Germany could have easily been ruled offside. Both would have been marginal offside rulings, but on another day, I could definitely see those decisions go the other way.
- Müller’s pressing and energy is just immense for Germany. Müller is a catalyst for Germany and was absolutely fantastic on the day.
- Joshua Kimmich was terrific as well.
- Gosens continued his strong game with a beautiful ball on Havertz’s goal — Germany’s third of the game.
- Havertz was at his best when darting toward the goal. People don’t realize how explosive of an athlete that he is. That burst on Germany’s third goal prevented a potential offside call if the ball reached Serge Gnabry.
- Kimmich’s cross to Gosens was perfect and it capped off Gosens’ all-world day. What a beautiful header!
- Gosens just made himself some money on Saturday…like a lot of money. That was a good of a performance as he has had wearing Germany’s colors.
- Portugal’s second goal was a product of absolutely horrendous defending from Germany. From Ginter keeping Portugal onside to Antonio Rüdiger, Marcel Halstenberg, and Emre Can running around like chickens with their respective heads cut off, it was…bad.
- Not getting why Niklas Süle is persona non grata everywhere in Germany these days. It was good to see him eventually check in, along with Leon Goretzka. Both players acquitted themselves very nicely during their time on the pitch.
- İlkay Gündoğan was not great again and it looks like it is time for him to pass the torch to Goretzka from this point forward. There is virtually no shot that Low benches Toni Kroos, but Gündoğan could potentially go. Goretzka just adds another dimension to the potency of Germany’s midfield.
- Renato Sanches frustration showed he still has some ways to go with his maturation as a player as he blasted the advertising board after a foul call. Sanches has become a better player on the field, but I’m not sure that was ever his biggest issue.
- Kroos was extremely good on the day. At a time when he absolutely needed a good performance, he gave one.
- Overall, Germany needed this win and they needed to do it in the style in which they did: strong and fearless. Where Die Mannschaft goes from here is hard to tell. Hungary is very formidable — even without Dominik Szoboszlai — as France found out. Hopefully, this is the type of “W” that gets the squad confident and headed in the right direction.
Fiete Arp’s future is hanging the balance and kicker says that things are not settled as of yet. Both Hannover 96 and Holstein Kiel have been linked to the one-time prodigious talent:
It was recently announced that Hannover 96 has put out its feelers to Fiete Arp, who is still tied to FC Bayern until 2024. Now there is also speculation that Holstein Kiel is interested in the 21-year-old offensive all-rounder. So far, this has not been commented on either by Kiel’s sports director Uwe Stöver or by Arp consultant Jürgen Milewski.
There is nothing worse than having to watch talent go wasted. While injuries and illnesses have played big roles in Arp’s downfall, his bouts with confidence are potentially going to cost him his career. Here is to hoping that whatever comes next, he gets back to showing the skill and ability he was once known for.
This is what we have on the agenda this week:
- Germany dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to France that wasn’t....that bad (!?). Will Joachim Löw change things up or will he ride or die with his 3-4-3?
- The future with Die Mannschaft is going to have a different look and feel as Hansi Flick is about to be the catalyst for the dawn of a new era.
- Bayern Munich’s Julian Nagelsmann is going to cause some roster craziness if he really uses a 3-4-3.
- The latest transfer news.
Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are both allegedly interested in FC Barcelona midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who was also briefly linked to Bayern Munich:
Possibly leaving FC Barcelona after just one season in, 31-year old Bosnian international midfielder Miralem Pjanic, disappointed with the game time amount Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman provided him, has been targeted by both Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, according to Le10Sport. Either club had already pursued him in the past, even since he was playing for AS Roma.
Still on a deal with Spanish giants until June 2024, former Olympique Lyonnais playmaker has been heavily linked to a Bianconeri move back, where he would work again under former boss of his Massimiliano Allegri. Pjanic was handed out by Italian giants last summer, within a swap deal involving Arthur move on the other way around.
According to a report from Bild, former Bayern Munich prospect Marco Friedl is drawing interested from several Bundesliga clubs, along with teams from Serie A and the English Premier League.
Friedl is expected to leave Werder Bremen and is valued at approximately 7€.5 million.
Borussia Dortmund is said to be interested in Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey:
On a four year and a half-long Bayer Leverkusen tenure by now, Jamaican international winger Leon Bailey, according to latest German news, is growing into a major target for Borussia Dortmund. Potentially coming from a long line of players BVB signed from “The Aspirins”, former Genk up-and-comer was linked more than once to a move to either Premier League, Serie A, or La Liga.
Currently on a deal with Bundesliga giants until June 2023, Bailey, turning 24 on August 9, is roughly worth 35 million euros, according to Transfermarkt.de. Besides, clubs pursuing him in the past, such as Arsenal, Leicester City, and AS Roma, might be back on his tracks.