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Weekend Warm-up: Is there a communication breakdown at Bayern Munich?; Throwing it back to Simple Minds; Bundesliga predictions; Lamenting HBO’s old decision to can Carnivale; and MORE!

Here we go! Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen this weekend!

FC Bayern Muenchen v VfL Bochum - Bundesliga Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

For whatever reason, the past two seasons at Bayern Munich have had a common theme linger like a black cloud over top of Säbener Straße: Poor communication.

As Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant once belted out: “Communication breakdown, it’s always the same.”

The rift between former coach Hansi Flick and sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic could have been drilled down to a lack of effective communication between the two insanely-drive men.

This season, we already saw the stories leak about Niklas Süle’s disappointment regarding the club not reaching out to him way early to discuss a contract — and also about how Süle felt underappreciated and even unsupported when the media starting calling him fat.

Most recently, we saw Robert Lewandowski lament the fact that there have been no discussions regarding his future at the club.

You know, the same Lewandowski, who is the best player on the plant.

Yup...that guy.

Whatever is going on of late between the front office and its personnel (coaches and players), things are not exactly simpatico. Heck, we have even seen stories about Julian Nagelsmann not exactly thrilled with his own lack of input on squad planning.

There are many theories as to why there seems to be a divide. Is it an organizational arrogance? Are players and coaches more sensitive than in the past? Does it just come down to abrasive personalities? Do former executives still hold to much weight — or maybe it’s not enough?

Whatever the case, the issues seem easy enough to solve with a few chats over some coffee. Bayern Munch — at times — forgets that collaboration and communication are foundational pieces to an organization’s success.

The bosses don’t need to bring in donuts or let the employees wear jeans to work on Fridays (who doesn’t love those awesome “treats” in “Corporate America” after busting it for some faceless CEO), but maybe they do need some more frequent check-ins with the players and staff.

It can’t hurt.


Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 39

As Bayern Munich’s squad prepares for a big Bundesliga match against Bayer Leverkusen, the club was extremely active in the papers with a variety of stories involving the squad planning for next season.

Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A look at why Bayern Munich needs to step up its communication game with Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, and others to avoid another Niklas Süle fiasco.
  • The latest list of candidates to play right wing-back for Julian Nagelsmann next season.
  • A few thoughts on why Bayern Munich might not need to spend money on Arminia Bielefeld’s Stefan Ortega.
  • The potential for a starting three-man center-back crew of Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, and Benjamin Pavard for next season.

Song of the Week: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds

Ah...another seminal 80s classic. Best know for being in used in the move “Breakfast Club”, this tune would absolutely has to be part of any 80s collection.

Released in February of 1985 in the United States by the Scottish band, the song was not originally intended to be performed by Simple Minds, but it is hard to think anyone else could have done it close to the same way. Check out how this played out (per Wikipedia):

The song was written and composed by producer Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff while scoring The Breakfast Club. Both were Simple Minds fans and wrote the song with the band in mind. Forsey played a demonstration for the band’s label, A&M Records, which invited him to meet the band backstage after one of their “Tour du Monde” shows in the U.S. However, A&M did not notify Simple Minds that Forsey would appear, and the band declined the offer of the song despite Forsey’s enthusiasm for them.

Forsey next offered “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” to Bryan Ferry, then to Billy Idol, whom Forsey was producing at the time, but both declined. The record company suggested Corey Hart, who had a hit at the time with “Sunglasses at Night”, but Forsey did not think Hart would be the right singer for the song. Fixx lead singer Cy Curnin also passed.

According to Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, the band was reluctant to record the song, as they felt they should only record their own material. “We are Simple Minds—we don’t do songs that sound like Simple Minds. We are Simple Minds. We do our own songs,” he recalled to the BBC in 2018. The band also were frustrated that their attempts to find success in the U.S. market had not succeeded in getting them significant radio airplay, and did not see how recording the song would turn out any better.

The band relented after persuasion from A&M and from Chrissie Hynde, Kerr’s wife at the time, and after receiving a phone call from Forsey in which he reiterated his admiration for the band.[5] According to one account, the band “rearranged and recorded ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ in three hours in the north London studio and promptly forgot about it,” believing that it would be a throwaway song on the soundtrack to a forgettable movie

In the process of recording, Simple Minds added parts such as Kerr’s “la lala” vocal fills. They then resumed work on Once Upon a Time, their next album. However, some of the band members had realized they had recorded something with genuine commercial potential The song’s famous out-bridge (the previously mentioned “lalalala” lyrics) actually came from a tired Kerr doing some final riffing during the production day. His plan was to simply put in some filler material that he and the band could replace with something better the next day, but when the rest of Simple Minds heard the out-bridge they loved it so much that they told Kerr that it should be left just as it was to finish the song. Kerr said that was fine with him.

Anyway, here is the song...enjoy it:


Random thought on the old HBO show “Carnivale”

Back in HBO’s hey day, it released a show with a fantastic premise — but also one that required a lot of patience, a thirst for a story, and a helluva lot of money with Carnivale. Without diving too deep into the plot, it was essentially a mystic thriller tracing the never-ending battle between good and evil through time until things needed to be settle once and for all in America’s dustbowl.

Somehow, that all worked perfectly within the setting of a traveling carnival.

It was complex, complicated, and tough to follow at times, but the story, characters, writing, and acting was tremendous. Still, despite all of the positives associated with the show, HBO’s slim budget caused the show to be one of the network’s first big premature cancellations.

The show is well-beyond being picked up again and could never be revived with the old cast, but I’d love to get the same team of writers back on to it and to re-boot it — only this time with a pathway to finish it.

Clancy Brown’s “Brother Justin” is one of the great characters that was ever on HBO (which says a lot given how many good one emerged from the network’s prime years). If you enjoy the work of Brown (aka Mr. Crabs from SpongeBob SquarePants), you need to see him in this role.

If you have not checked out Carnivale — and you like dark, mystic-type shows — you should absolutely check it out. Just know you won’t get a chance to see how it all would have concluded, but the ride within each episode makes it enjoyable nonetheless.


Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Bayern Munich will host Bayer Leverkusen in what should be a very intriguing Bundesliga match-up.

The Rekordmeister sits in first place, while Die Werkself is 14 points behind the pace-setters in third place. Certainly, a win for Leverkusen would be a huge boost the squad.

Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A look at where each team sits in the table and the recent form of the two clubs.
  • Why Bayern Munich fans want to keep an eye on both Florian Wirtz and Jeremie Frimpong.
  • How Bayern Munich might line-up — which could change a million times because of all of the uncertain statuses for Julian Nagelsmann’s squad.
  • A prediction on the match.

Predictions

Bayern Munich could be a little out of sync in this one. Some players will be back in the lineup, but potentially could be rusty. Others are pressing to perform because of squad competition and there could even be others distracted by a lot of the noise and movement being discussed in the media.

Regardless, this should be another match where Bayern Munich can snatch three points — albeit against a very dangerous opponent. Bayer Leverkusen sits in fourth place and has proven to be a formidable squad this season. Florian Wirtz is a phenom and a difference maker, who must be accounted for on every possession.

While I am not anticipating the game to be any sort of blow out, I do think Bayern Munich should win once it gets its bearings in the match. Let’s call is close, but not exactly a nail biter.

Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

  • Other Bundesliga predictions include:
  • Arminia Bielefeld 1-1 FC Augsburg
  • VfL Bochum 1-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
  • Hertha Berlin 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • RB Leipzig 2-1 SC Freiburg
  • Wolfsburg 2-1 Union Berlin
  • VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach
  • Mainz 05 1-3 Borussia Dortmund
  • FC Köln 1-2 Hoffenheim

Prediction Records

Ah...finally a good week.

Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 6-3

Overall Bundesliga record: 115-102

DFB-Pokal record: 1-1

DFL-Supercup record: 1-0

Champions League record: 6-1

Overall record: 123-104