Introduction to a ramble
Remember me? I won’t hold grudges if you don’t. The football world has changed drastically in my Bavarian Football Works absence, making it difficult to know where to start this opinion article.
I’d love to give my opinion on everything I missed. I could write about the quick rise and fall of the Super League that shocked the world, Jogi Löw’s Die Nationalmannschaft crashing out of the Euros after Thomas Müller missing a clear-cut opportunity against nation-rival England at Wembley, or Bayern Munich losing a coach who conquered Europe in lightning speed.
I’ll try and touch on all three in this article. What won’t be discussed in great detail is Germany’s exit from the European Championship 2020. As the long-lasting BFW readers know, I was myself a long-lasting defender of Joachim Löw. In short, I was wrong. Hopefully, Germany’s future under Hans-Dieter Flick will be more fruitful than the quality Europe’s most successful footballing nation has produced in the last three years.
Nagelsmann and the one that got away
Acting as an intentional segue to this un-structured article, Hans-Dieter Flick’s departure from Bayern Munich came rather abruptly. I view it as a potential to be a ‘’watershed moment’’ when evaluating Die Roten’s future. Whatever the reason was Flick’s goodbye, I believe his departure will leave Bayern fans with a bitter taste of ‘’what could have been.”
Because Hansi revolutionized a team that looked defeated, made them the best in the world, and played incredibly pleasing football along the way. How the hell do you follow that up?
Well, you pay a world-record fee for a coach. In theory, Julian Nagelsmann becoming the new head coach of Bayern Munich is the best possible solution after losing Flick. Young Julian is a tactical mastermind who defines the new era of football coaches.
However, in my opinion, the question marks surrounding Nagelsmann’s appointment are many. Will a current title-less coach succeed in Germany’s most title-demanding club? Will Nagelsmann get along with the Bayern board? Will Nagelsmann successfully integrate with his new players and get the respect from them that Flick always had?
There is also the uncertainty of what is happening outside of the football arena. How is the board dealing with the generational change that will happen soon in Munich? Do you replace Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer with multi-million signings during a pandemic? Or do you have a more long-term strategy?
I sincerely hope Bayern pursues a strategy that ignores the monkey business of modern post-Super League attempt football. Firstly, let me be clear: if Bayern Munich ever joins any kind of Super League, then that’s it for me. A closed league is a dead league and one that stands against everything I believe in. A Super League would kill any element in football that is genuine, any element that makes football the most complex social phenomenon our planet has produced. All that would be left is Big Business, and I get enough of that every time I buy a Big Mac.
The creation of the Super League seemed to be the perfect cruel way to end a 12-month horror show plagued by a pandemic. True fans, from teams such as Chelsea, showing resilience made me hopeful for the future.
You can take your multi-billion ideas and shove it up you’re a**, true European football culture will remain for yet another season.
A sustainable and moral path
I was happy with Bayern Munich not being one of the ‘’dirty-dozen’’, although I am fully aware that things might turn out differently in the future. I am also delighted with Bayern’s recent investment in youth. The Bayern board has put time, effort, and money into the Bayern campus. Bayern II, now in the Regionaliga, have won their first five games. When they won against the mighty Eichstatt with 6-3, seven players in the starting XI was born in 2003 or 2004, and the best academy players were in Nagelsmann’s pre-season squad.
This is the path I want to see Bayern pursue. Trust the process and ignore what is happening outside of Germany’s borders. Go hand-in-hand with grassroots football and find a more sustainable path to beat the foreign-backed billionaire clubs.
Will a different path work immediately? Who cares
Bayern, for now, has another strategy than clubs who buy an English national team super-sub for €118 million or will add to their oil empire with the addition of Lionel Messi. And I love that.
Because for those who don’t know how I view the beautiful game, winning isn’t everything for me. I am first and foremost a football fan, who by this stage, find more enjoyment in Lille OSC winning Ligue 1 than Bayern clinching their 9th consecutive title. I am a Bundesliga fanatic, who truly believes that the best league in the world would benefit if Bayern didn’t win the league for the next four years.
Strange opinions to have on a Bayern fansite, I know. But I believe that Bayern’s approach will also benefit the ‘’Bayern or nothing’’ supporter. I’ve seen the rise and fall of Malaga CF and Anzhi Makhachkala, two clubs backed by billionaires who didn’t have a plan B when they left. I grew up thinking that FC Barcelona will always be one of the best teams in the world, but I am now starting to realize that there’s no such thing as ‘’forever’’ in football.
In today’s football world, teams can become ‘’world-class’’ overnight. Only the future can tell if Newcastle United will challenge for the Champions League title in a few years. Bayern Munich, a sports institution that has done everything right financially and on the pitch in the last decade, has decided to not submit itself to the absurdness of today’s transfer market. I believe that in the long run, this is the right path to take.
As hinted at the beginning of this strange rant of an article, I’m not sure whether Julian Nagelsmann will be successful in Munich. While Bayern has another strategy than PSG in the transfer market, the expectations on the pitch remain the same. There’s no patience in Munich, a statement that applies to the Bayern board and commentators on this lovely fansite.
Bayern needs to win. Whether they do or not, I’m happy that I follow a team that has so far chosen a sustainable path in a wicked world.