It is no longer a secret; Bayern Munich has a burgeoning superstar on its roster in Jamal Musiala.
Young, skilled, crafty, and with a nose for the goal, Musiala has about a million traits that have footy fans drooling worldwide.
There is, however, a slight issue for Musiala and that has been his ability to break into Bayern Munich’s starting XI. What formation Julian Nagelsmann ultimately decides to settle on could play a key role for Musiala moving forward.
Nagelsmann is expected to run a 3-4-2-1, which would give Musiala an opportunity to break into one of the two attacking midfielder roles (his more natural position) or to compete with Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka for time in the deeper, central midfield double pivot (a less natural role).
If Nagelsmann sticks with the Bayern Munich standard 4-2-3-1, Musiala could potentially be used as a wing (maybe his most impactful position), an attacking midfielder (to compete with Thomas Müller), or again, in the double pivot.
No matter what formation Nagelsmann rolls out, Musiala will be competing consistently with Müller, Kimmich, Goretzka, Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sane, and Serge Gnabry (at least for now). That is a lot of traffic for Musiala to deal with.
But how long can the youngster remain happy when he has done nothing, but perform — and still have a mountain to climb to get into the XI?
In the 3-4-2-1, it is conceivable that Musiala and Müller would represent the two best options as attacking midfielders behind Robert Lewandowski (if he stays with Bayern Munich, but that is a whole separate matter). Would Nagelsmann be brave enough to put Coman and Sane on the bench...or — gasp! — Müller? Coman and Sane have long-term deals now and Müller — a club legend — is in the process of inking a contract extension. Certainly there will playing time to be had, but there would definitely be more if Gnabry is sold this summer.
In a 4-2-3-1, it would actually be a little easier to integrate Musiala into the starting XI because he could be part of a three-man rotation at wing with Coman and Sane should Gnabry leave and given the injury history — and inconsistency from all three players — Musiala could see more time with this alignment.
There are options — and each represents a way for Musiala to get the playing time he is earning on a daily basis. Should Bayern Munich decide to sell Gnabry (who has been on fire of late), the situation for Musiala will become easier to manage. The issue remains that you can only keep a talent like Musiala saddled with a bench role for so long.
The youngster is proving he is getting close to being deserving of a starting role and the big question is really just who will it be at the expense of?
Who is Jamal Musiala most likely to jump over for a starting role in 2022/23?
This poll is closed
Serge Gnabry (if he is around)
No one — he is going to have to wait another season
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 47
In the wake of Bayern Munich’s 10th consecutive Bundesliga title being clinched, some fans felt a little bitter thinking about what might have been for this season. While that might be natural, take a little time from thinking about what didn’t happen and focus on what did.
Winning ten straight league crowns is no joke!
On this episode, we tackle that topic and a whole lot more. This is what we have on tap:
- A look at Bayern Munich’s title run and why it’s okay to just celebrate the accomplishment even if you feel like this squad should have done more.
- The latest on Robert Lewandowski contract talks and where things might be headed.
- Erling Haaland spent “hours” talking to Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic at the sporting director’s home...what does that mean?
- Bayern Munich’s others option at striker should Lewandowski bolt.
- Why that story about Bayern Munich’s last ditch effort to get Nico Schlotterbeck might be true.
Song of the Week: “In a Big Country” by Big Country
Released in May of 1983, I was just a wee lad when this song came out, but I enjoyed it a ton in my youth nonetheless. I have a strong affinity for this era of music and I still have this one in my rotation. Here is a little background on the song:
“In a Big Country” is a song by Scottish rock band Big Country. It was released in May 1983 as the third single from their debut studio album The Crossing. The song reached No. 17 on the UK Singles Chart in June 1983.
It was released in the US in the autumn of 1983 and peaked at No. 3 on the Top Rock Tracks chart and No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of that year. It reached No. 3 on the RPM Top Singles Chart in Canada on 26 November 1983.
I can’t tell you how many times I listed to this as a kid and I truly still enjoy every second of it today. You can thank me later for this being stuck in your head! Enjoy (and yes, I should totally rock the hairstyle of the lead singer):
Better Call Saul? Ozark? Finally...options for good shows
After what felt like months of being in a position where there is not much to watch, we are now being hit with both Better Call Saul and Ozark winding down with their final episodes. Better Call Saul, of course, is in the first half of its final season (the remaining episodes will come out this summer), while Ozark is truly rounding third and heading to home.
As a huge fan of both, it will be sad to see them go, but the ride for each has been excellent.
I will also likely try to find a way to work in HBO’s limited series, We Own This City, which is being managed by some of the same folks who gave us The Wire. With Jon Bernthal (The Punisher, The Walking Dead) and Jamie Hector (aka Marlo from The Wire), there are quite a few reasons to give this show a run.
If you are watching any of the shows mentioned, give us a non-spoiler take on how you think they are going in the comments (acknowledging that it could be a little early for Ozark unless you binged it when it dropped earlier today).
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Mainz 05 vs. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich has already clinched the Bundesliga title for the season, but there are still three games to go.
The Bavarians will squad off against a pesky Mainz 05 squad and Julian Nagelsmann could deviate from his normal set of starters in an attempt to give the club a chance to look at some of the lesser used boys, along with a few youngsters.
Nagelsmann’s player management will be the focal point for the match, but there is more to talk about as well, so this is what we have on tap:
- A look at where each team is in the table.
- Some squad news on Bayern Munich.
- A guess at what Julian Nagelsmann is going to do and who he is going to play.
- A prediction on the match.
It is hard to predict who Julian Nagelsmann will send out as part of his XI, but there is a good chance that there will be enough talent to carry the Bavarians to another victory.
The fascinating part of these final few games will be getting an opportunity to see some younger players get a chance on the pitch and to watch the lesser-used players showcase themselves for a potential move this summer.
Players like Marcel Sabitzer and Marc Roca will be looking to prove that they still have something to offer, while Paul Wanner and Gabriel Vidovic will be working to gain experience at the Bundesliga level.
Regardless of any of that, though, Mainz 05 has been reeling and Bayern Munich has enough talent to run away with another three points.
Prediction: Mainz 05 1-3 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- Union Berlin 2-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
- Arminia Bielefeld 1-2 Hertha Berlin
- FC Augsburg 1-3 FC Köln
- Borussia Dortmund 4-1 VfL Bochum
- VfL Stuttgart 2-2 Wolfsburg
- Hoffenheim 1-2 SC Freiburg
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-3 RB Leipzig
- Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
This is more like it!
Last Bundesliga Match Day record: 6-3
Overall Bundesliga record: 146-133
DFB-Pokal record: 1-1
DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
Champions League record: 7-3
Overall record: 155-137