Somehow, it felt like the Bundesliga season would never get here and now that it’s here, I feel...unprepared.
When looking at the Bayern Munich roster, I imagine sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic might be feeling the same way.
It was an uneventful offseason for Bayern Munich as not much really happened. We knew last winter that Dayot Upamecano and Julian Nagelsmann would be moving from RB Leipzig to Bavaria, but what we did not know is that there would be a push internally — and externally — so late in the transfer window for Bayern Munich to make some moves to improve its depth.
Similar to last summer, Bayern Munich made its “big” moves early and then tried to cram for the final with some “deadline” deals for Bouna Sarr, Marc Roca, and Douglas Costa.
Even after the deadline had passed, Bayern Munich pulled the trigger on a loan for Tiago Dantas, whose game was as green as the player looked young,
A successful transfer window, it was not.
While we can hold off on judging Sane until after this season, but it is safe to say that Sarr, Costa, and Dantas were flops and Roca’s report card would read “Incomplete” at best.
Yet, when the schism occurred between the front office and coaching staff last season, it was left to fester until a sextuple-winning coach decided to leave the club — and now the new boss is already insinuating that he has the same concerns.
This could all just be conjecture before Bayern Munich drops news about a signing of Marcel Sabitzer or it could be a legitimate cause for concern. The club is not developing top-level players at a successful enough rate to currently backfill spots on the roster and also does not have the financial capacity — or possibly the desire — to engage in competitive bidding on the transfer market.
Brazzo’s job is not getting any easier and the patience of his bosses, his new hire, and his fans won’t be increasing any time soon.
So, as the season is just about to kick off, it is fair to ask how Bayern Munich will fare moving forward. Not just in the Bundesliga, but against the powers of Europe. We might all enjoy the games on the pitch, but the contests in the board rooms — and in the shadows — might have more of an impact than any X’s and O’s or Julians and Dayots.
Let’s have some fun with this season. Who knows how many of these “football as we know it” seasons we have left.
Better Call Saul scare
The brilliance of Better Call Saul is partly because the creative team found a way to make a prequel to one of the top television series of all-time and partly because of Bob Odenkirk’s absolute brilliance in playing the role of Jimmy McGill / Saul Goodman.
The fact that we know how the story unfolded in Breaking Bad, somehow only makes the prequel — and black-and-white sequel scenes — all the more intriguing. A couple of weeks back, however, Odenkirk suffered a cardiac episode on set and sent shockwaves through the entertainment world.
Famous person or not, you feel for anyone that has to go through such a thing. While Odenkirk has vowed to come back better than ever, his ailment certainly had fans of the show on the edge of their seats.
The conclusion to this sequel — plus the build up to the events of Breaking Bad — and the tie-ins to what happens to Odenkirk’s character as he tries to live in anonymity while fearing for his life makes this must see TV.
If the cast can stay healthy, Better Call Saul has an absolute chance to go down as one of the greatest prequels in the history of entertainment and certainly appears to be headed to a better conclusion than what other pantheon-type shows like Game of Thrones gave us in its final season.
Good luck to Odenkirk! It was great to hear that he is doing better. He has this excellent story and lot more left to tell.
Song of the Week: “Scare Easy” by Mudcrutch
Toward the end of his illustrious career, Tom Petty linked back up with his original band, Mudcrutch. One of the great things to come out of that reunion was the song “Scare Easy”, which is more than appropriate for Bayern Munich as it heads into this season under a new manager facing a league hunting it down and a handful of European clubs building “super teams.”
Clearly, for Bayern Munich to achieve anything this season, they cannot afford to “Scare Easy.” Anyway, enjoy the legendary Tom Petty:
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Julian Nagelsmann’s first game at the helm of Bayern Munich comes against a strong, dangerous opponent in Gladbach, but also a rival immersed in its own “drama.”
Adi Hutter is the new boss for Die Fohlen, but already the transfer rumors are swirling such integral players as Florian Neuhaus, Denis Zakaria, Matthias Ginter, and Marcus Thuram. If Bayern Munich is in the midst of a “transition”, Gladbach could be in the middle of an overhaul.
When teams are uncertain if key players will be there next week, it becomes uneasy for everyone — less than ideal for a new manager. Make no mistake, Gladbach is strong and Hutter is a quality manager, but things might be a bit too unstable at the moment to pull of one the Foals’ patented upsets of Bayern Munich.
Gladbach has defeated Bayern Munich once in each of the past four seasons, to make it five, however, Die Fohlen will have to wait until the Rückrunde.
Prediction: Gladbach 1-3 Bayern Munich
Now, onto our guest predictor:
Schnitzel01: Gladbach away has always been a very tricky fixture for Bayern, and the Bavarians looked a little rusty in preseason. The game won’t be easy, and the players will be tested, but I expect a dominant showing from the reds. However, with quite a few players down with injuries, it might not be as dominant a showing as we’d like.
Prediction: Gladbach 1-2 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Union Berlin 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen
- Augsburg 1-2 Hoffenheim
- Arminia Bielefeld 1-3 SC Freiburg
- Wolfsburg 4-1 VfL Bochum
- VfB Stuttgart 1-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
- Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
- Mainz 05 1-3 RB Leipzig
- FC Köln 1-2 Hertha Berlin
Well...this might be the only time I am evened up all season.
Overall record: 0-0
Guest predictor’s record: 0-0