Heat check: How are you feeling about Bayern’s chances? (Bavarian Football Works)
In Sunday’s Schmankerl, I touched on the doubt I am having over Bayern Munich’s chances for this season, but it is important to know what you think about this mess.
Like it or not, Manuel Neuer played a huge role in how many perceive the chances for the club in the Champions League this season. Personally, I believe Bayern Munich will still win the Bundesliga...and maybe the DFB-Pokal, but my official stance — at this point — is that the Bavarians will be eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain and here’s why:
- No Neuer. Plain and simple, he is a huge part of the team and how the unit operates. Sven Ulreich is a fine replacement, but Neuer is a unicorn on the backline. No one really plays the position like Neuer, so a lot will change.
- An unsettled formation. Julian Nagelsmann is reportedly going to shift to a 4-2-3-1, but does not have a true No. 1 striker to really power the attack. Moving Thomas Müller to striker to compete with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting seem like a terrible idea.
- Locker room griping. Nagelsmann has had to deal with multiple players complaining already. Even with a season-ending injury to Lucas Hernandez, that likely won’t change. And what happens if Nagelsmann has to bench Müller? Will fans an/or part of the locker room turn on him like what happened under Niko Kovač?
Right now, there are too many factors that could work against Bayern Munich in my eyes. What do you think? Tell us in the poll and the comments below.
What will Bayern Munich win this season?
This poll is closed
The Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal.
Nothing...they won’t win any trophy.
Flick’s decision-making with Germany questioned (The Athletic via @iMiaSanMia)
Now that the sting is starting to fade from Germany’s early World Cup exit, the leaks are starting to emerge and journalists are starting to run with some of those themes as to what went wrong and how Hansi Flick can recover.
Raphael Honigstein is one of the most-respected writers out there covering the German national team and @iMiaSanMia captured some of the primary talking points from his latest column:
For all the mistakes he made in Qatar, the DFB were always prepared to give Hansi Flick the benefit of the doubt. Large sections of the squad continue to back him and there is a belief that Germany’s troubles came down to details rather than wholesale deficiencies.
Flick made a convincing argument that other issues, such as the relaxed atmosphere at the team hotel or the choice of the training camp, were ultimately less important than Germany creating/missing enough chances to win at least 2 if not all 3 games comfortably.
There are other considerations, namely the side’s defensive problems and chronic lack of control, but these are seen as not insurmountable to a successful Euro 2024 campaign.
Flick will have to learn some coaching lessons, too. His over-reliance on Bayern players and loyalty to Thomas Müller, in particular, hampered the team and brought his judgment into question.
Unlike a club manager, who needs to keep the dressing room happy over the course of a season, Flick should be a lot more decisive.
There are some valid points, particularly the last one. It would be hard to argue that Flick did not stay a little too loyal to some players (namely Thomas Müller and İlkay Gündoğan) and some temporary hurt feelings might have resulted in a longer stay in Qatar.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 22 (Bavarian Football Works)
After a one-week hiatus (thanks to Schnitzel for running with a combination Weekend Warm-up Podcast/Postgame Show last week), I am here to talk all things Bayern Munich and Germany...and boy is there a lot to talk about.
With all of that said, let’s get down to it. Here is what we have on tap for this week’s loaded episode of the Weekend Warm-up:
- The aftermath of Germany’s flameout, who’s to blame, why the team failed, where to go from here.
- Other World Cup musings including Brazil’s incredible play, Spain’s failure, the rise to fame for Josko Gvardiol and Dayot Upamecano, and more.
- Bayern Munich’s rumored positional battles and what that means.
- The ridiculous Kingsley Coman for Christian Pulisic swap rumor.
- Bayern Munich’s decision to pass on Joao Felix.
Kane tries to rebound after big miss vs. France (@HKane)
Rumored Bayern Munich transfer target Harry Kane is a terrific player, but he will likely be haunted by his penalty kick miss against France late in England’s World Cup quarterfinal match.
In an effort to describe how he feels, the Tottenham Hotspur man took to Twitter to explain how things after the Three Lions’ loss in Qatar:
Absolutely gutted. We’ve given it everything and it’s come down to a small detail which I take responsibility for. There’s no hiding from it, it hurts and it’ll take some time to get over it but that’s part of sport. pic.twitter.com/lw5Esl4fnA— Harry Kane (@HKane) December 11, 2022
Neiderlechner to Hertha? (Sport1)
It looks like Hertha Berlin will ink FC Augsburg’s Florian Niederlechner to a contract in the summer:
Hertha BSC has apparently found a new striker. According to Bild, Florian Niederlechner is on his way to the capital and should already complete the medical check on Monday.
The FC Augsburg striker is in the last year of his contract with the Fuggerstadt team, which runs until the summer. However, the 32-year-old will not move in winter, but only change in summer because both clubs are direct competitors in the relegation battle.
Barca eyeing Kante (Sport via 90Min.com)
FC Barcelona could be looking to make a move for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante:
Barcelona have an eye on Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, with a view to trying secure a pre-transfer agreement for the summer once he enters the final portion his contract next month. But it depends how the Frenchman recovers from injury.
Kante’s contract expires in July, so the lack of a transfer fee would be advantageous to the cash-strapped Catalans.