At some point, there will come a time when Bayern Munich stars Robert Lewandowski (33), Thomas Müller (32), and Manuel Neuer (35) start to slowdown, reach for their Ensure, complain about modern music, and settle into watch some old Matlock re-runs.
Okay, so maybe it won’t totally play out totally like that, but the trio will inevitably slow down at some juncture.
Will that be two years from now? Three years?
No one knows, but one thing is certain: None of the three has showed any signs of regressing — in fact, you can argue that each player is actually better than he was three years ago.
That’s scary — for fans and opponents alike.
And while it is an awesome spectacle for observers, the club quietly pulls together its respective lines of succession in the background. Some of those players are on campus, while others are likely toiling away for other clubs.
What the collective success of Lewandowski, Müller, and Neuer has done — aside of win a heck of a lot of games — is put Bayern Munich’s sporting department in a bind.
How — and when — do you replace a legend?
It’s the great balancing act that often represents the shaping of a new era for better — or more often for worse. Transitioning away from three players like Lewandowski, Müller, and Neuer will not be easy. Of the three, Müller, whose style of play and skill-set are the hardest to define, might have the most built-in replacements already on campus in Jamal Musiala, Paul Wanner, and Arijon Ibrahimovic.
Lewandowski’s original planned successors (Fiete Arp and Joshua Zirkzee) have flamed out for one reason or another at the club, while Neuer’s most mentioned replacements, Christian Früchtl and Alexander Nübel, are not going to stick around to see Neuer finally decide to hang up his boots.
These days, Johannes Schenk might be the mostly likely in-house potential successor to Neuer, while Lewandowski’s apprentice could be Gabriel Vidovic or could be playing somewhere else at the moment. Can players like Vidovic and Schenk continue to develop to an elite level — or will they plateau and force Bayern Munich to seek some outside help?
This will be an evolving situation that we all will have to watch play out. For now, though, we can all lean that old quote from E.W. Howe: “A young man is a theory, an old man is a fact.”
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 35
Bayern Munich will ramp back into action after the international break, but the news surrounding the squad did not stop as the team was out of action.
There was plenty to talk about this. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A new segment to kick things off called “Five things we learned this week”
- Why Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s statements about Niklas Süle and Marcel Sabitzer were unnecessary.
- Chelsea FC’s Andreas Christensen is Plan A for Bayern Munich to replace Süle and how there might not be a Plan B.
- Julian Nagelsmann’s outlook for where he sees Jamal Musiala playing in the future.
- Nagelsmann’s sleep talking exploits.
- Cobra Kai season four reviewed! What was great, where the missed, and why there could be cause to worry about where this is all going.
Cobra Kai: Season 4 — reviewed
Cobra Kai’s season four followed a familiar format in balancing a fine mix of nostalgia, comedy, teen drama, and fun. It was another great, easy-to-watch season in what has to be one of the most successful (if not the most successful) continuations of a franchise that was revived from the dead (a 35-year gap!).
Here are some takeaways on the season:
- Season 4 of Cobra Kai was excellent — just like the rest of the series. The entertainment and fun factor was off the charts.
- Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is still the star of the series and the show is always eminently better when he’s at the center of things, making 80s references, and crushing Coors Banquet Beer.
- The re-emergence of Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) was key to helping the show evolve and continue onward — and it was interesting to see the effect that John Kreese (Martin Kove) has on people (he generally makes them all worse versions of themselves).
- Johnny’s breakdown of Top Gun was classic. This is the gold that makes the show so great.
- Kreese has never lost his ability to steal a scene.
- Mr. Pib and Dr. Pepper at the same place?
- The Rocky montage for Johnny was fantastic.
- One thing I really love about the show is how the characters never really evolve far from who they really are. I sort of believe that people always have a baseline that defines them (positively or negatively) and while some people can make periodic changes, their true self will always be there in the background.
- Johnny’s Van Halen t-shirt was awesome.
- Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro) went full AJ Soprano, huh? Sam LaRusso (Mary Mouser) isn’t far off from Meadow either. I’d love some sociologist to examine the modern portrayal of first born son in modern media. Many of them are written as weaker or more naive versions of their parents. King Joffrey (Queen Cercei and, well, Jamie Lannister)? D’Angelo Barksdale (Brianna Barksdale)? Namond Brice (Wee-bay Brice and De’Londa Brice)? It’s one of the great tropes in all of entertainment in having a son not being able to live up to the powerful standards of his parents.
- The junk shot sequence made me wince...multiple times.
- Demetri (Gianni DeCenzo)’s Pac-Man tux was tremendous.
- Stingray (Paul Walter Hauser) is somehow, someway a fun (yet creepy) character. I did not realize he was the actor who played Richard Jewell (in the movie of the same name) as well.
- The junior prom after party pool fight was a bit much.
- How the hell did they not use Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best” during the tournament montage. HUGE MISS! This was the only infuriating moment I’ve had in watching the series. That needed to happen.
- I am a bit worried about the future direction of the show given the upcoming storylines. One of the great things about Cobra Kai is that it mastefully teeters along the line of being cheesy...but not too cheesy where it would turn off a viewer. It’s a tough balance to maintain. Can the show’s writer’s keep that overall sense of fun, while diving into some storylines that have potential to go off the rails?
- Johnny as some kind of ass-kicking commando rolling through Mexico does have some potential, though.
- Overall, Cobra Kai continues to have just the right amount of nostalgia, comedy, teen drama, old man/80s greatness, and a whole lot more. It’s a great, entertaining show.
Song of the Week: “Burning Down the House” by The Talking Heads
I’m venturing deep into my collection for this one, but “Burning Down the House” is an absolute Talking Heads classic.
First, let’s hit the song’s history: Released in 1983 on the “Speaking Tongues” album, the song is a classic. Admittedly, RLD nudged me a bit to feature the Talking Heads and I’m glad he did as I got a chance to listen to classics like “Take Me to the River”, “Once in a Lifetime”, “Nothing But Flowers”, and other great songs once again.
Take a look and enjoy some 1980s work at its finest:
As a bonus, I am going to add one of the absolute best Talking Heads cover songs out there, which was done by The Lumineers. The Colorado-based alt rock band took a different angle on this Talking Heads classic (which was featured in the movie Wall Street) and it’s just terrific. Enjoy:
Here is the way different original if you wanted a frame of reference:
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig
The Bundesliga is back after what seems like a long — really long — time.
Bayern Munich will square off with RB Leipzig in a match that should be a great way to kickoff the next phase of the season after an ill-timed international break.
Regardless, the Bavarians will be back in action and will be without Alphonso Davies and Leon Goretzka — two players who are vital to the squad’s success. This is what we have on tap for the episode:
- A look at where the teams are in the table.
- A quick take on RB Leipzig’s revival under Domenico Tedesco.
- A prediction on Bayern Munich’s lineup.
- A prediction on the match.
Bayern Munich returns to action against a rejuvenated RB Leipzig side that is looking to climb back into the Bundesliga race.
There would not be a better way to make that happen than to oust Bayern Munich, but even a Bavarians’ side missing two key starters won’t be susceptible to an upset this weekend. Julian Nagelsmann will assuredly have his squad ready to face his old club and Bayern Munich should be primed to get back to action after the international break.
This match feels like it could be the start of a good stretch for Robert Lewandowski, who I’ll say will get a brace on the way to a victory.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 RB Leipzig
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Hertha Berlin 2-1 VfL Bochum
- Arminia Bielefeld 1-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- FC Augsburg 2-1 Union Berlin
- FC Köln 2-2 SC Freiburg
- Mainz 05 1-2 Hoffenheim
- VfB Stuttgart 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
- Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Bayer Leverkusen
- Wolfsburg 2-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 5-4
Overall Bundesliga record: 93-86
DFB-Pokal record: 1-1
DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
Champions League record: 6-0
Overall record: 101-87