Is Sadio Mané holding Bayern Munich back?
Everyone was expecting Mané to be able to fill in the hole left behind by FC Barcelona bound Robert Lewandowski, that he did. At the start of the season, the former red from Liverpool FC was scoring a bunch of goals in Bayern’s blistering start to the season which had people believing that we found a proper successor for the Ballon d’Or hunting Pole. Then came the rough patch which undid Bayern where a hero was needed to get them back to form, and Mané was not that man. Well, according to one journalist anyway.
Alex Steudel has tore the Senegalese attacker a new one in his Sport1 column as he pointed out the things Mané was doing which was bad for the team, such as pushing players out wide, his own performances, and the absurdity of being Lewandowski’s direct replacement. He even called Mané a stranger which is…strange?
“Stranger is put pretty nicely. The man fits into the Bayern team like tofu into the white sausage. Mané messes everything up”, said Steudel. “Sometimes he plays on the left and, of all people, pushes Leroy Sané to the right, sometimes he plays in the center of the attack, where he is hopelessly overwhelmed. Mané is the field walker who never arrives.
“And it’s been like this all the time, but nobody says it out loud: Mané for Lewandowski – who actually came up with this nonsense?”
Steudel said that the only reason Mané is playing is because the coach doesn’t have any choice but to play him due to the situations of his teammates: “The man is obviously no longer a top scorer. He’s only playing because Serge Gnabry’s in trouble and Kingsley Coman was first suspended and then injured - and sometimes when Sané kindly swerved to the right.
“With Mané, the Bayern attack is in constant imbalance. Everyone can see it. The result: Worst start to the season since 2010. Mané is not solely responsible, but he bears a fair share of the blame.”
Apparently, the only reason that we signed Mané is because sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić wanted to “pacify” the fans. “He [Brazzo] was more concerned with getting a big name. Opium for the people, all were appeased”, Steudel commented. “Nobody really criticizes Mané because everyone knows that they cheered along. Not even his coach Julian Nagelsmann does anything but uses him all the time due to the fact that Mané is so new in Munich and so likeable and earns a huge amount of money (supposedly more than everyone else in the league).”
Steudel also pointed out that sympathy like that won’t get Mané boatloads of goals: “Sympathy doesn’t score goals, otherwise Günther Jauch would have flanked FC Bayern for years and Annalena Baerbock would do things in.
“It really hurts me to look. If Mané gets the ball on the left and starts dancing around, I always know in advance that nothing will come of it. He gets stuck, he stumbles. He’s slow too.”
Apples and Oranges for goals as Mane only has one more than all goalkeepers since the end of August. “Incidentally, Mané has scored a goal in the Bundesliga since the end of August. Each goalkeeper managed only one less in the same period”, Steudel said.
Steudel’s final blow was calling Mané “the worst transfer of the season”: “Unfortunately, all of this makes him the worst transfer of the summer for me; 32 million for nothing. In my interim report, Mané gets a five (presumably out of ten) with a lot of grace. I added, ‘I tried.’”
Despite all of this, Steudel would like Mané at Hamburger SV: “P.S. I think Brazzo should return all his prizes for now. And Mané could be parked at HSV. Glatzel-Mané, that would be something.”
Bayern play SC Freiburg next and this could be Mané’s chance to silence Steudel and the rest of his critics