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Weekend Warm-up: What the hell was Chelsea thinking in letting Jamal Musiala leave for Bayern Munich?; Some final thoughts on Better Call Saul; Throwing it back to Jackyl; Bundesliga predictions; and MORE!

This weekend could have gotten here soon enough.

FC Bayern München v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

When Jamal Musiala left Chelsea FC in favor of Bayern Munich there was not a whole lot of buzz.

Sure, fans were relatively excited to get a solid prospect, who had some German roots, but it was not an avalanche of hope...and that is only because not many fans really knew what the kid’s game was all about or exactly just how talented he was.

Heck, Chelsea didn’t appear to understand those things either.

Now, however, everyone knows — unless you are a Chelsea fan and just don’t want to see it.

Maybe it was his gawky frame and frantic movements that camouflaged his exquisite skill, creativity, and ability to burst away from his opponents? Surely, a lot of English clubs like their players to be a bit more sturdy than how Musiala is built, but how Chelsea allowed such an obvious future star to leave campus remains one of the great mysteries for transfers in recent years.

Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić undoubtedly broke out the master of all his PowerPoint decks to display exactly what the Bavarians could offer the player, who seemingly identified more as English than German back in those days — and it worked.

Now, however, Chelsea’s (major) loss has truly proven to be Bayern Munich’s (incredible) gain. Whether it was the keen eye of a scout, the desire for the player to seek a better opportunity, or if it was even just a bit lucky, Musiala looks to be a player who will help mold the next generation at Bayern Munich — and Germany.

Make no mistake, Musiala’s move to Bayern Munich was a huge victory for the Bundesliga and the German national team alike.

And yes…the critics will start to bark about Musiala proving his mettle in a farmer’s league and people will always have their doubts just like they have had with Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski, and others, but Musiala is a special player.

If your biases won’t allow you to see that, you’ve been drinking too much of the Premier League Earl Grey-flavored Kool-Aid.


Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 2, Episode 7

Bayern Munich dispatched Wolfsburg in a hard-fought contest and is set for another Sunday match-up against VfL Bochum.

There was plenty to talk about, aside of the match schedule this week, so let’s take a look at what is on tap for this week’s episode:

  • Tanguy Nianzou’s surprise exit and how the defense it setting up for this season.
  • A contract extension for sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić and how he has evolved as an executive.
  • Robert Lewandowski’s tough start for FC Barcelona
  • Leroy Sané’s form has landed him on the B team for training.
  • Serge Gnabry’s injury is an opportunity for Kingsley Coman.
  • A dive into the Better Call Saul final, my thoughts, why I am a selfish viewer, and potentially a bad person!


Song of the Week: “Down On Me” by Jackyl

The early 90s was a weird time in music — especially 1992. Heavy Metal and hairbands were on their way out the door, a new age of rap/hip-hop of rising, and rock music overall was shifting into something new: grunge. Alternative was taking a new shape and ready to explode as well. It was truly a great time to hear good music in a number of different genres.

However, there were some groups on holding out to the hard-partying, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll type sounds and feel of the 80s. We saw Poison, Warrant, and others from the hair band era make what amounted to be their last significant releases in the early 90s. Metallica released the Black album, which kept heavy metal’s skin in the game for the mainstream, but one band that just had the 80s look and feel storming into the 90s (that’s a good thing!) was Jackyl, who didn’t even form until 1991.

While I can’t profess to rock out to a ton of Jackyl these days, “Down On Me” still makes me want to grab an “ice” beer, find a girl who uses way too much Aqua Net, and party hard:

I do miss some 80s-style partying.


Entertainment Rundown

Ah…yes, it is time to discuss that Better Call Saul series finale — bullet style:

  • I’m going to make an admission, I did not initially like how the final was going because I was being selfish. I was a little disappointed that Gene Takovic was apprehended so easily…but this had nothing to do with the excellent writing or storyline — it had to do with me not wanting to let go of a character that I find incredibly entertaining and a show that was near-perfect in it’s set-up and delivery over the course of six seasons.
  • Once I realized I was not going to get the “Saul Goodman on the run with a chance to start over in a new life.” I quickly came to appreciate that the ending of the show was all about the character development of Jimmy McGill. You see, McGill was never a bad guy necessarily, but he was a guy constantly seeking approval from a brother who was never going to give it in a job where he was never going to be considered credible. Sure, McGill was not a good guy and he was involved in a lot of bad things, but he was just a person who was dealing with so much conflict and regret that he never considers his long-term outlook and could only focus on his day to day. He was a complex character.
  • In the end, the goodness — and brilliance —that was inside of the Jimmy McGill character came out as he took the bullet for Kim Wexler and ate the long-term prison sentence that he had already perfectly maneuvered his way out of.

Here are some other takeaways:

  • The cinematography and symbolism of so many of the shots in the finale were just top shelf. Like the rest of the Breaking Bad universe, this was perfectly done.
  • I definitely wanted to see McGill and Wexler find a way to reunited and escape for a life on the run using their guile and trickery to survive…again, that was a selfish stance on my end (and maybe tells me something about myself that I was rooting for the “bad guy”).
  • The flashbacks to scenes of Saul Goodman with Walter White and Mike Ehrmantraut were expertly done as they played a key role in showing that McGill was really regretful about a lot of things during the entire run of the character despite his crooked, conman exterior.
  • The arc of Kim Wexler is crazy to think about and in some ways. She got off easy, but only with the help of Jimmy. Rhea Seehorn really could not have done a better job with that character.
  • One of the things that stood out to me in processing the finale and all of the primary characters in the Breaking Bad universe was that they all ran on a fuel of some sort. Goodman (family issues, feeling insignificant), Ehrmantraut (the guilt of turning dirty and not being able to get out), Walter White (being conned out of his Gray Matter business partnership) all were running on the feeling of regret for things they did or decisions they made. Jesse Pinkman just wanted to be accepted by his family and others, Gustavo Fring was driven by revenge, Skyler White was fueled by her feeling that she deserved better than to be married to a passive Chemistry teacher, Hank Schrader wanted to always be right, so much so that it consumed him and made him do things that were not necessarily always befitting of a DEA officer, Marie Schrader was always driven by fulfilling her own needs. That type of personal touch to each character was flawlessly ingrained into each role, executed by each actor, and built into the theme of every storyline.
  • In the end, regret was one thing that was a driving force within just about every major character.
  • In the end, Saul Goodman’s worst trait, was also his biggest asset — he could outthink anyone on the fly and could always find an angle to benefit himself. Even with the twist at the end, it was his brilliance that won the day in just the way he wanted it to.
  • Overall, the show was terrific and the ending was fitting. I cannot recommend the Breaking Bad universe enough to anyone who has not already indulged.

I’ll wrap up We Own This City and Trainwreck: Woodstock ‘99 in next week’s edition.


Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show: VfL Bochum vs. Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich has an interesting assignment up next in the Bundesliga in the form of VfL Bochum. We look ahead to the fixture in this preview podcast. Without further ado, these are some of the topics we delve into:

  • How has VfL Bochum started the season?
  • Reflection on Bochum’s performance against Hoffenheim in the past weekend.
  • A quick look back at the Wolfsburg game.
  • Why the Wolfsburg game was interesting in its own way.
  • How Bochum might set up for this one.
  • Will Bayern Munich make any changes?
  • Why Serge Gnabry is a better fit for the team than Leroy Sané.
  • A look at the rest of the Bundesliga fixtures including some headscratchers.
  • A thought or two on that finale of Better Call Saul


Predictions

Last week against Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich scuffled just a bit. Former manager Niko Kovac did exactly what many expected him to do: muck the game up and attempt to slow it down. For the most part, Wolfsburg was successful.

Undoubtedly, VfL Bochum will try to do the same, but it will not have the same kind of players to work with that Kovac had at his disposal. The clutching and grabbing won’t work so well and even with a bus parked firmly in Bayern Munich’s attacking final third, the Bavarians will just be too strong.

One Bayern Munich breaks that line once or twice, the floodgates will open.

Prediction: VfL Bochum 0-4 Bayern Munich

Guest predictions

Swaz: Bochum aren’t in the best form currently, dealing with the aftermath of their transfer window and a long list of injuries. From the Bayern end, I wouldn’t expect as convincing a performance like the one from last Hinrunde because Bochum are still a quality team, they CAN put one past you when you least expect it. With that being said, Bayern are more than capable of winning in style and that will reflect on the scoreline. I don’t expect a clean sheet honestly. Prediction: VfL Bochum 1-4 Bayern Munich.

RIPLT: We look unstoppable right now. Wolfsburg did much better than Frankfurt and are also better than Bochum. So I’m expecting us to go better than the 2-0 result last weekend. Prediction: VfL Bochum 0-3 Bayern Munich.

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Hertha Berlin
  • FC Augsburg 1-2 Mainz 05
  • Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Hoffenheim
  • Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Werder Bremen
  • VfB Stuttgart 1-3 SC Freiburg
  • Wolfsburg 2-1 Schalke 04
  • Union Berlin 1-3 RB Leipzig
  • Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 FC Köln

Prediction Records

An untimely (and bogus) red card + some awful individual plays + some under-performing clubs + bad luck = me taking last week on the chin for an embarrassing result.

Last week’s record: 2-7

Bundesliga record: 7-11

DFL-Supercup record: 1-0

DFB-Pokal record: 0-0

Champions League record: 0-0

WWU overall record: 8-11

Guest predictions: 3-0

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