Bayern Munich was the victim of a brilliant performance from VfL Bochum, which saw the home team walk away with a stunning 4-2 victory. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Well, the worst fears were confirmed: Bayern Munich looked unfocused and unprepared for VfL Bochum, who was not going to lay down for the Rekordmeister.
- Whether it was the news of Niklas Süle’s transfer, looking ahead to the Champions League against Red Bull Salzburg, or just overall lethargy, things did not work out for Bayern Munich.
- Julian Nagelsmann’s lineup tinkering continued as he opted for a less attacking formation by using a back-four and sending Tolisso to the bench in favor of Dayot Upamecano.
- Upamecano getting worked over physically early was not something anyone really wanted to see, but his positioning was actually an even bigger issue than his on-ball defending or physical play.
- The beginning of the match definitely appeared to show that Bayern Munich might have been looking a bit past VfL Bochum.
- I do love the Alps kits.
- The play from Thomas Muller to Kingsley Coman to Robert Lewandowski was fantastic. Lewandowski, of course, just worked wonders with his feet to deposit the ball into the net. For as much as VfL Bochum was giving Bayern Munich problems, the Bavarians are just too talented to be held down for long in most cases.
- Not yesterday, though.
- Nagelsmann’s ability to find a way to use Coman, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane together has been fascinating, but the alignment has holes and defensive gaps were all over.
- Bochum, though, answered back quickly and stunned Bayern with a goal from Christopher Antwi-Adjei. It should be noted that Upamecano and Niklas Süle were both far too lackadaisical on the play. Frankly, both players were slow to react.
- That would be the start of a massive first half showing for VfL Bochum as Jurgen Locadia, Cristian Gamboa, and Gerrit Holtmann all followed with goals in the first half.
- Gamboa’s goal was just majestic.
- It would be incredibly unfair to blame Sven Ulreich. Those goals would have been scored if he and Manuel Neuer were playing goalkeeper together.
- One fair question is if the back-line plays differently without the assurance of having Neuer in net? Does it change their mentality? How they space? Does it throw off their reaction time?
- I mean...this tweet is pretty incredible. Well done, Gladbach:
Don't blame us, we're playing Augsburg ♂️— Gladbach (@borussia_en) February 12, 2022
- Upamecano’s benching for Corentin Tolisso pushed Bayern Munich to a back-three, which (again) seems to be the exact way Nagelsmann really wants to play.
- The back-line was not great overall. Upamecano just looks tentative, indecisive, and is struggling. Süle was average, Benjamin Pavard was below average, and Lucas Hernandez was...good, I guess. Hernandez was surely the best of the lot, but when a defense has that many breakdowns, it typically means it was a group effort in being so poor.
- The over-arching theme of this match was simply that VfL Bochum wanted it a whole hell of a lot more than Bayern Munich.
- Give Lewandowski credit...he kept pushing forward and got another goal.
- Former Bayern Munich player Milos Pantovic made an appearance with an 80th minute substitution.
- Overall, it was a mess. There were a lot of distractions this week and with the Champions League looming there was a complete loss of focus and motivation. Mostly, I just Nagelsmann to pick a direction for how he wants to play. Back-three? Back-four? All out offense? Balanced? There just has to be some kind of stability. Personally, I think he wants to play a back-three and is trying to tow the line with a back-four to avoid outrage. In the end, he has to coach how he beat sees fit and I’m not wholly sure we are getting that. I don’t have doubts about him being the manager at Bayern Munich, but it is fair to question if shifting things so much is causing too much confusion internally.
Frenkie de Jong wants to stay at Barcelona despite ‘big offers from elsewhere’, according to reports. The 24-year-old has not had the impact expected at the Nou Camp since his move from Ajax in 2019. Bayern Munich were said to be interested in securing the services of the Barcelona midfielder in January, having contacted the player’s agent, while Chelsea were said to ‘have made an opening offer of £33million’ for him.
SPORT claimed that Liverpool were also ‘willing to pay’ for the Holland international. Meanwhile, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are also understood to be interested in his signature. However, despite the rumoured ‘big offers’, De Jong is determined to succeed at the Nou Camp, according to Spanish outlet SPORT.
Maybe after yesterday, Robert Lewandowski is pondering going full Bo Jackson:
Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United have all been linked with snapping up Corentin Tolisso on a free transfer in the summer, but he may now stay with Bayern Munich as talks over a new deal are underway.
The 27-year-old’s current contract expires at the end of the season and he looked likely to be leaving the German giants given that a new agreement had not been reached by this late stage.
In addition to those three teams, Inside Futbol says Tottenham Hotspur is also in the mix:
Bayern Munich are in talks with Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur linked midfielder Corentin Tolisso over a new contract, with suggestions that he could continue in Bavaria.
It’s a throwback episode to the old days when Chuck and Jake were the only knuckleheads talking Bayern Munich for Bavarian Football Works!
It’s true, after a few consecutive solo runs, Chuck teamed up with Jake to cover the following topics for this episode of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast:
- Manuel Neuer’s surprising injury and whether or not Sven Ulreich will be up to the task in filling Neuer’s boots.
- A brief look at next week’s Champions League match against Red Bull Salzburg.
- The equally shocking transfer of Niklas Süle to Borussia Dortmund.
- The possibilities for replacing Süle, who the prime candidates are, and why Bayern Munich might need to think outside the box.
- Some quick thoughts on the entertainment world as Chuck gives a quick and dirty review of the latest season of Ozark, while Jake talks Succession and Euphoria.
Bayern Munich honored Bouna Sarr for Senegal’s big win at AFCON: