UEFA are having a laugh. Once again, they’ve decided to appoint an English referee to a Bayern Munich game. But this time, the game is in the Champions League knockouts, so the stakes are higher than ever. WHY?
In case you watch only the Bundesliga or just missed it somehow, English referees are some of the worst refs in the top five leagues. Not a single matchday goes by in the Premier League without some kind of refereeing controversy. These guys make awful mistakes all the time, and they also have the worst implementation of VAR in Europe. And now, Bayern Munich will get one of these bozos officiating the Salzburg game.
Of course, Bayern Munich fans are perfectly familiar with Michael Oliver. He’s officiated two Bayern games in the last couple of seasons, mainly against Spanish opposition. In 2020-21, he was in charge of the Atletico Madrid game that Bayern won 4-0, and this season he officiated the UCL opener against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Yes, both of those games were resounding victories for Bayern, but that’s not the point. The point is, he’s simply not a good referee (by the standards we’re used to) and that is a problem. Bayern aren’t exactly in great form at the moment, so bad refereeing could easily sink us in the first leg itself. And even if it doesn’t, it could have an impact on later games in the UCL, through injuries, cards, or suspensions. Lucas Hernandez, for example, is only a single yellow away from suspension — something we cannot afford with Alphonso Davies injured.
Hopefully, Oliver has a good game. And more importantly, Nagelsmann and the players have a good game. After the Bochum defeat, Salzburg are looking like formidable opponents — but losing is never an option.
In case you’re interested, this isn’t the first time we’ve complained about Michael Oliver officiating a Bayern Munich game. The first time, our rant even made it onto the Daily Mail.