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Weekend Warm-up: Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sané is in a terrible slump and could be feeling the weight of heavy expectations; Josip Stanisic’s rise; Batman movies ranked!; Throwing it back to INXS; and MORE!

The Germany international has crazy talent, but is mired in an awful slump. Can he regain his form for 2022/23?

Germany v Italy: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3 Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Bayern Munich star Leroy Sané has been in a terrible funk for months, but still has the type of exceptional ability that always seems to leave fans, pundits, and football scouts salivating for more.

For whatever reason, Sane’s career has been a roller coaster of emotions. The 18-month pursuit by Bayern Munich when the player was at Manchester City set up lofty — maybe unrealistic — expectations for the winger upon his arrival in Bavaria.

His first season at Bayern Munich was also his first campaign after an ACL injury, which meant that he was never going to fully be 100%, nor would he be able to show his full potential.

Germany v Italy: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 3
Leroy Sane might not have been ready to deal with the heavy expectations set on him on upon arrival at Bayern Munich.
Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

A year later, with more confidence in his knee and working under a new coach, Sane started out incredibly well, but fizzled into dramatic slump that could eventually land him on the bench for both club and country.

“It’s not an easy situation for him. We’re helping him, but of course he has to help himself. In the end, as a player, you have to fight your way out of it,” German national team director Oliver Bierhoff recently told Abendzeitung. “You shouldn’t overinterpret your body language, that’s his way, but it’s important, he knows, that he has to perform despite this body language.”

Sane’s body language can, indeed, sometimes come across poorly, but the player has also had run-ins with both of his coaches at Bayern Munich (Hansi Flick and Julian Nagelsmann), which have not helped his cause. Flick, of course, is now the manager of the German national team, where he still hopes to get the best out of Sane.

Sane’s struggles were also recently detailed by kicker and the German outlet insinuated that the pressure of being the “savior” at wing for Bayern Munich might have been too much for the player to handle:

Sane never wanted this role of the Messiah, it was assigned to him. He also brought that certain superstar factor to the club. Yet he sees himself very differently. ”It’s not that I want to be seen as a celebrity,” said Sane, who, looking back on his two years at Bayern, was neither one nor the other. No football Jesus, no Hollywood star.

Was the pressure too much for Sane to handle? Bayern Munich appears to think so and will take a new approach with Sane for 2022/23. It seems that the club is brainstorming how to make it work with Sane and will change its approach with the player:

Kicker learned that one approach for the coming season, a psychological one, should be to allow the player more peace and quiet, to let him be as he is. Don’t build up pressure, lower expectations, give him freedom. The many conversations with him could, it is said internally, have been rather counterproductive. Now Hansi Flick, his ex-coach and national trainer, is trying to build up Sane, who is undoubtedly highly talented.

No doubt, Bayern Munich will do what it can to help Sane re-find his form, but ultimately the player will have to make things happen for himself. Will he rise to the occasion or will the potential arrival of Sadio Mane become yet another stumbling block for the 26-year-old?

Either way, 2022/23 will be a key season in determining Sane’s future in Bavaria. How do you think next season will work for Sane?

Poll

Where will Leroy Sane end up with Bayern Munich for 2022/23?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Starting XI: Sane will show his true talent and break out of this funk.
    (210 votes)
  • 46%
    Part-time starter: Sane will find himself in a position competing week-to-week.
    (295 votes)
  • 16%
    Clear backup: Sane will be the clear second choice to starters (possibly Kingsley Coman, Sadio Mane).
    (103 votes)
  • 3%
    Deep reserve: This could be the season we start to see Sane’s faults come to the forefront and he’ll get overtaken on the roster.
    (21 votes)
629 votes total Vote Now

ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 1, Episode 54

There is a lot of moving and shaking these days Bayern Munich and we’re covering it all here at BFW. This week, though, some of the biggest pieces of news were not necessarily always revolving around transfers. Take a look at the big topics we have on tap for this episode:

  • A deep dive into the relationship between Joshua Kimmich and Julian Nagelsmann.
  • A look at Leroy Sane’s extended slump and why 2022/23 might not be so kind to the sometimes dazzling attacker.
  • The latest transfer reports on Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane, and Serge Gnabry.
  • Ryan Gravenberch’s arrival at Bayern Munich.
  • Some sad news on some of our favorite prospects.

Song of the Week: “New Sensation” by INXS

When you think about bands in the late 80s, INXS was in that rock framework that meld pop, Nu-Wave, and alt-rock...and it worked tremendously. INXS was another one of those bands where I always enjoyed their music when it popped on the radio or on MTV.

Trying to find just one song from INXS is no easy task because there are so many (I feel like one of the “Bobs” in Office Space discussing Michael Bolton), so I opted for “New Sensation” which was, well, a true sensation when it was released:


Stanisic setting himself up for interesting season

One of the great stories of last preseason was the rise of Josip Stanisic. After Hansi Flick gave him a cup of coffee in the Bundesliga in 2020/21, Stanisic shined brightly initially under Julian Nagelsmann.

Versatile, quick, savvy, and with a calm presence on the ball, the now 22-year-old player displayed some extremely positive traits. Injuries and illnesses, however, thwarted Stanisic’s progress (at least in the eyes of the coaching staff). By the end of the season, though, the youngster was back in the mix and getting playing time.

The arrival of Noussair Mazraoui certainly put a damper on any hopes that Stanisic had for a spot in the starting XI for this upcoming season, but as his recent performances with Croatia have shown, the youngster is still approaching every day with a “prove it” mentality.

Should Julian Nagelsmann formally shift to a back three-based formation, Stanisic could see his opportunities for playing time rise a bit, but that situation will not be settle for quite a while. Will the determined youngster be able to break through at Bayern Munich — or will he end up as a “buy low, sell high” asset for the Bavarians to deal with in the transfer market?

The 2022/23 season will certainly have a multitude of storylines and that will surely be one to follow.


Entertainment Rundown

I’m still working through the week-by-week release of Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Boys, so I’ll lay off from saying much other than both are still hitting on all cylinders.

Instead, I wanted to focus on a somewhat controversial topic: Best Batman movies. When compiling this list, I did not include any animated movies, Lego-related flicks, full-out Justice League flicks, etc...I stuck to the live action movies where the main storyline was Batman-based or where the source content was derived from the great Batman universe.

Here is my cracked list:

  1. The Dark Knight (2008): Christopher Nolan’s take on the Batman vs. Joker saga was sensational. Heath Ledger’s Joker was just an astounding portrayal of the classic character.
  2. Batman Begins (2005): Nolan’s first movie of his trilogy introduced us to Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman and gave us a deeper look into Batman’s origins.
  3. The Dark Knight Rises (2012): The final part of Nolan’s trilogy was extremely good, but — for me — was just a notch below the other two movies. That’s not a knock by any means, I just rate the first two movies very highly.
  4. Batman (1989): This was maybe the first comic book movie that showed that there was a better way to look at a seemingly unlimited amount of source content. Admittedly, this does not hold up to today’s standards and Tim Burton’s version of the story was campy, but it was fun as hell for its era and really kickstarted the industry’s brainstorming on how to produce good comic book flicks (which is still really did not perfect more than a decade after this release).
  5. Joker (2019): While not necessarily a Batman flick, we did see a very young Bruce Wayne’s catalyst to become the Caped Crusader. Todd Phillips took a unique spin on the Joker character and focused the movie on him rather than a Batman feud. While a deeper theme within the movie rang through, it was still a fascinating take on a historic character.
  6. The Batman (2022): Robert Pattinson’s emo-Batman worked. The storyline was good, the characters were interesting, and it looks like Matt Reeves found himself a way to create a new “world” with more modernized versions of classic characters. There is potential here for a fun trilogy (or more). There is a CLEAR drop off from this point. Like...the movies list below are not good...at all. Buckle up, here we go.
  7. Batman Returns (1992): Burton’s return effort featuring the Batman vs. The Penguin was not quite the hit of its predecessor and, frankly, was not as good. This also marked Michael Keaton’s final turn as Batman.
  8. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016): Zack Snyder’s take on an old storyline just did not work for me. I did not hate Ben Affleck as Batman, but the plot was terrible and slow.
  9. Batman Forever (1995): Joel’s Schumacher’s take on Batman starring Val Kilmer was horrendous.
  10. Batman & Robin (1997): Ditto Schumacher’s take on Batman and Robin with George Clooney.

There you have it. Fire away!

[Editor’s note: Clearly someone’s never seen the amazing animated Batman movies. The Dark Knight Returns is GOAT-ed.]


ICYMI: Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Show — Germany 5-2 Italy

For anyone fretting Germany’s recent performances, former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick had quite a way to make people feel a little bit more assured.

Germany smacked Italy 5-2 in a match that really was not even that close.

Die Mannschaft was dominant from the outset and never let up. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A look at how the scoring went down.
  • What looked different in this match for Germany as compared to some previous games.
  • The offensive explosion fueled by Timo Werner, Thomas Müller, and others.
  • A good showing from the squad’s outside backs.
  • Why Leroy Sane needs to catch a break of some sort to get back in gear.