Is Bayern Munich still looking for a striker?
According to Bild (as captured by @iMiaSanMia), the Bavarians are working back channels to see if they can find a No. 9. For weeks now, there have been public denials about needing a striker right now or even making moves in the winter transfer window.
But what does this report mean? Let’s take a look.
Is the club unsure the 4-2-2-2 sustainable long-term?
If Bayern Munich is truly seeking a legitimate striker, it can be assumed that the 4-2-2-2 is a band-aid to meet the talent base that Julian Nagelsmann is working with on the roster. As of now, it would seem that the manager is seeking to use a system that would best fit the talent within his team — and the 4-2-2-2 is exactly what this squad needs. With an eye toward the future, though, it is easy to envision Bayern Munich buying a No. 9 then shifting back to a 4-2-3-1, a 4-3-3, or even a 3-4-2-1 next season.
Who is available or, better yet, attainable?
Wow...the market is thin. Certainly, a team with Bayern Munich’s coffers can afford most players, but the “buy” would have to be fit a few criteria:
- A true No. 9 willing to move to Germany in January.
- An affordable (without breaking the bank), true No. 9 willing to move to Germany in January.
- An available, affordable (without breaking the bank), true No. 9 willing to move to Germany in January.
Good luck with that in January.
So, who would it be? Let’s take a look at some of the names that have been linked to Bayern Munich recently — or previously:
- Dušan Vlahović, Juventus: It would be hard to think that Juventus would be willing to part ways with its big purchase from last season just yet. Prognosis: Not likely.
- Lautaro Martinez, Inter Milan: This rumor was recently shot down, but there have been links in the past between the Bavarians and the Argentinian. Prognosis: Not likely.
- Kai Havertz, Chelsea FC: Havertz is not a true No. 9 and he likely is not even available, but links recently emerged between Bayern Munich and the Germany international and Chelsea is still overloaded with attackers. However, it still seems like a real longshot given it would take some serious coin to get him. Prognosis: Not likely at all.
- Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United: Nearly everyone at Bayern Munich has went overboard in saying how the club doesn’t want or need CR7, but he is unhappy at Manchester United, Erik ten Hag has no use for him, and it is very possible that the one of the all-time greats would accept a six month loan. Would Bayern change its mind about CR7? Probably not, but if the club truly feels like it needs someone who can fill the No. 9 role until the summer transfer window opens, maybe it is worth a shot. Prognosis: Not likely at all.
- Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur: There is no shot Tottenham would let Kane leave in January. Prognosis: Not happening.
- Victor Osimhen, Napoli: The Italian side has been lethal in the Champions League and has a massive price tag on Osimhen anyway. Prognosis: Not happening.
So, who would I suggest? Hmmm...guh, ah, ummmmm....I have no idea. I have been content to let this season play out with the 4-2-2-2 with the rationale that the best time to get a true striker would be in the summer of 2023.
When looking at availability, affordability, and a player who would be a schematic fit, the options are, well, slim.
For Bayern Munich this season, I think it’s “ride of die” with the 4-2-2-2, with the hope that the club will regroup and address the No. 9 position in July.
However, if you have an idea on who you think might be attainable, drop that name in the comments below.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 14
Bayern Munich had a good week in the Bundesliga and Champions League.
The squad is getting healthy after a string of injuries and a couple of bouts with COVID-19.
Things are looking decidedly good...right?
Hell yeah, they are!
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the recent developments with the Bavarians and a whole lot to talk about in the great world of football. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A look at Bayern Munich’s bounce-back week that might have cost Gerardo Seoane his job (Welcome Xabi Alonso!).
- Some thoughts on Der Klassiker.
- Transfer updates on Christopher Nkunku and Alexander Nübel.
- Erling Haaland is throttling the Premier League and EPL elitists don’t know how to handle it.
- Bayern Munich is at its best with Thomas Müller and Jamal Musiala working together...for now. Liverpool is among the clubs yearning for a player like Moose.
Song of the Week: “Talk Dirty to Me” by Poison
I woke up and wanted some classic 80s glam rock. So why not hit up Poison?
“Talk Dirty To Me” was released back in February of 1987 when I was a wee lad of 10 years old. I was too young to be “into” it at that stage, but once I developed an ear for it, I was all-in. Enjoy:
House of the Dragon
Another week, another set of crazy, foreshadowed storylines coming to fruition. Let’s dive in:
- King Viserys’ health is getting worse and worse. Man, Paddy Considine looks like hell every week now.
- The unholy alliance between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Prince Daemon Targaryen became official as we got more “Incest Fest.”
- To make his relationship with Princess Rhaenyra go official, Prince Daemon was left with a conundrum on how to eliminate Laenor Velaryon. Daemon, of course, made a proposal to Ser Carlo to “off” Laenor, but things took a turn. As it turns out, Carlo and Laenor staged Laenor’s death and escaped off to parts unknown where they hope to live anonymously. If I was to bet on that actually happening, I’d say there is zero shot that it works out like that.
- There are really no redeemable characters in this show are there? It seemed like Queen Alicent Hightower could have been or Prince Aemond Targaryen might have been “good”, but this episode cemented the fact that they are both flawed as well.
- Aemond’s obsession with getting his own dragon finally paid off as he “claimed” the now-deceased Laena’s dragon, Vhagar. Aemond’s cockiness after linking up with Vhagar, though, would be the downfall for his eye. A mini-brawl erupted with what amounted to a 4-on-1 that saw Aemond eventually lose his eye at the hands of his cousins (admittedly, I am unsure exactly what the relation is considered given all of the in-breeding and legitimacy of the births).
- Anyway, Aemond’s eye loss set the stage for the episode’s major conflict to emerge and now the battle lines are draw. On one side we have the Rhaenyra / Daemon alliance...and on the other we have Queen Alicent and her dragon-riding boys. Once King Viserys dies, war will be waged. The conflict for the throne is now set. We can clearly see how this will all lead to Dragon-on-Dragon crime.
- Overall, the episode was entertaining, but was far from perfect. This story seems too grand and too extensive to be crammed into one season. I feel like we are getting the CliffsNotes version. Maybe that is a good thing? After investing all of that time into Game of Thrones, only to see the ending completely rushed and filled with bad writing, perhaps getting House of the Dragon on “>>x8” is just what we all needed.
Okay, so I ripped through to try and stay up with what was “hot” at the moment, but man...I am not sure I should have. Let’s get to it:
- Let’s get this out of the way...Evan Peters — like he is in everything he does — was fantastic as a the deranged serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
- I am not sure, however, I needed this series. There are documentaries out there that capture the real story in detail.
- Anyway, the important thing to remember is that the series was just “based on true events” and should not be taken as gospel by any means. There were several alterations to the story that helped the story fit together much better for television that do not correlate to the real story. If you want a summary of some of the differences, check this out.
- The portrayal of Dahmer’s father Lionel (Richard Jenkins) really makes it seem like he was oblivious (likely because he was not around all that often — and when he was around he encouraged some really bizarre hobbies) to how disturbed his child was.
- There were A LOT of disturbing scenes that had to be tough for the actors to film, but the acting was very strong throughout.
- Overall, I’d say if you are interested in this story, you should check out the documentaries available rather than series. The Netflix show is strictly entertainment and should be viewed that way (well, as much as a show about real-life serial killer can be taken as entertainment anyway). I can say that I won’t watch it again, but I don’t get the impression that this story is one that many people will want to re-watch.
The Walking Dead
I’ll keep this brief as the show’s first episode of its second half of the final season (got all of that?) premiered last Sunday:
- “The gang” is once again embroiled in drama and trying to out-wit the latest evil madman (Hornsby) outside the walls of the Commonwealth, while trying to avoid even more trouble inside the walls.
- Somehow, I watched the entire episode, but don’t feel like the show made any progress.
- Admittedly, I’m trying to feign as much interest as I can, but the plot lost me some time ago. I was an “OG” fan of the show, but it just is not interesting anymore. My goal is to see characters like Rick and Michonne re-emerge this season and to just get the finality of the series that I think everyone is just craving at this point.
I swear I’ll get to this. It’s killing me that I’ve waited so long.
As always, I’ll hand it over to zippy to hit Amazon Prime’s Rings of Power.
Rings of Power
Episode 6 of Rings of Power — we’re one week behind, per usual — finds us taking up just one of the many threads and focusing in. It’s a reasonable choice. I enjoyed the last half far more than the first.
- Let’s start with negatives: like most shows, RoP struggles with battles: clichéd, over-budgeted, over-gory. But I lived through Game of Thrones Season 8. Nothing can hurt me anymore. And the Númenorean charge? Okay, that was cool.
- Adar, I realized, is the same actor as Benjen Stark from Thrones. He’s fantastic. He’s captured and Galadriel has to stop Halbrand — who has some fierce hatred for the guy — from killing him. Adar — nor the viewer — has no idea who Halbrand is.
- Sauron, it seems, had been sacrificing orcs in search of an unnatural power. “For my part, I sacrificed enough of my children for [Sauron’s] ambitions,” Adar says. “So I split him open. I killed Sauron.” (Adar apparently does not know Sauron is immortal)
- Galadriel is in a pretty dark place right now. She goes full Jack Bauer on Adar, threatening first to torture his ‘children’ by exposing them to the sun, then declaring that she would genocide his entire race and make him watch. It shows far she has to go.
- And it’s contradictions Tolkien grappled with himself. Are orcs — uruks, as Adar repeatedly corrects her — irredeemable? “We are creations of [Eru, The One — Tolkien’s version of God], same as you,” he tells her. “Each one has a name, a heart. As worthy of the breath of life, and just as worthy of a home.” Hard to argue that.
- But Galadriel does. “Your kind was a mistake,” she spits back. “I vow to eradicate every last one of you.” Adar sighs, and replies — “It would seem I’m not the only Elf alive who has been transformed by darkness. Perhaps your search for Morgoth’s successor should have ended in your own mirror.” Ouch! Truth hurts.
- Now it’s Halbrand’s turn to stop Galadriel from killing Adar, who, by this point, is getting curious. “Who are you?” he asks abruptly. Halbrand turns away in silence — and the music turns veeeeery eerie.
- Halbrand and Galadriel have another heart-to-heart. She encourages him to be free of his past, whatever it is. “I never believed I could be,” Halbrand replies shakily. “Until today. Fighting at your side. I felt...” “I felt it too,” Galadriel confirms.
- But wait. About that feeling, Halbrand goes on for a bit. He adds that he wishes he could “bind it to my very being.” Hmmmmmm. Not normal human talk!
- I love the possibility that we are seeing a genuinely conflicted Sauron here. Having been turned on by Adar and his uruks — talk about being able to relate to what Galadriel had said about her friends failing to distinguish her from what she was fighting — he wound up (literally) adrift. Now he’s forgone his vengeance on Adar, and in Galadriel finds a kindred spirit who shows him another path. Why shouldn’t he take it? Why can’t he?
- We end with the eruption of Mount Doom — a truly spectacular shot as plumes of smoke, lightning, and ash envelope the Southlands. Suddenly, the means to gain the otherworldly powers Sauron had chased for so long...just exists. Can he resist? Or does he end up binding something else to his being instead?
- Thematically, I love that idea: Sauron, not as malevolent mastermind but rather himself corrupted by the One Ring, even in the mere possibility of it — all while on the cusp of overcoming his past forever. Is that where it’s all going? We’ll see!
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, third and fourth in the Bundesliga table respectively, will take on each other in Der Klassiker in the Bundesliga. Both teams have had some strong performances and some head-scratching ones. We look ahead to the game in this episode, and cover the following:
- A look at what stood out in Bayern’s win over Viktoria Plzeň.
- Is Bayern — Dortmund the biggest clash in the Bundesliga?
- Dortmund’s front-man situation.
- A look at Dortmund’s results to date (yes, we talk about Werder Bremen!) and performances.
- Should Dortmund have beaten Manchester City?
- Dortmund’s midfield attacking options and how Dortmund might lineup.
- Some possible changes Bayern might make.
- How should Dortmund approach this match?
- Why has BVB not been able to make progress and win a title since Jürgen Klopp’s days?
- Did Dortmund do the right thing letting Marco Rose go?
Ah, Der Klassiker...one of the great matches on the Bundesliga calendar. This contest, however, is far more about Borussia Dortmund than it is Bayern Munich.
With Bayern Munich, we already know what is in the holster. Deep, talented, and mercurial, the Bavarians have boom-or-bust potential in every match. This is going to be life in Bavaria for the season (with far more booms than busts).
For Dortmund, however, it is hard to discern exactly what is happening. Good, but not great, steady, but not solid, BVB has yet to establish a true identity for this season’s version of its squad.
The transition back to Edin Terzić has worked well, but the squad has not settled into a solidified lineup, nor developed a true style all its own. BVB certainly has potential to a very strong side, but how long will it take for the squad to evolve to get there?
This is one major step for Borussia Dortmund, but the feeling here is that BVB just isn’t quite ready to play the role of “king slayer” just yet.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Hoffenheim 1-2 Werder Bremen
- FC Augsburg 1-2 Wolfsburg
- Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Schalke 04
- VfL Bochum 0-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
- VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Union Berlin
- Hertha Berlin 1-3 SC Freiburg
- Mainz 05 1-4 RB Leipzig
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 FC Köln
The internet is there to either totally pick you...or pull you down. Thanks for the lift @knicks_tape99 (whoever you are):
October 3, 2022
I was better last week, but not good enough.
- Last match day’s overall record: 5-4
- Overall Bundesliga record: 31-41
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 1-0
- Champions League record: 3-0
- WWU overall record: 36-41
- Guest predictions: 7-4