Mané is a terrific talent, is near the height of his abilities (even if he is slightly on the way down at 30-years-old), and has shown to have the mettle to be an impact player in the latter stages of the Champions League.
What wasn’t to like?
For many, there was very little downside to the deal...but was it the right move?
While still a spectacular player, Mané did not exactly fit the profile of the type of striker that Bayern Munich was going to need in the wake of Robert Lewandowski’s departure for FC Barcelona. Moreover, if Mané did not work out at striker, he would be pushed into the mix of wingers, which already included Kingsley Coman, Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, and Jamal Musiala.
The addition of Mané also pushed Julian Nagelsmann to use a different formation (4-2-2-2), which might — or might not — have been the best alignment for the team’s other stars.
In some ways, it could be said that Bayern Munich did the right business move, but might have made the wrong football move. Business-wise, the club created a massive amount of buzz by bringing in a world class player to an already good squad. There is still so much to like about the move.
The logistics of having Mané on the roster (position, salary, playing time requirements) might not be make things easy to deal with for Julian Nagelsmann. There is absolutely pressure on the coach to play Mané regardless of his form, but if he is relegated to playing as a true wing (something he might not be totally comfortable with in a 4-2-3-1 formation), it could be asked if Bayern Munich set itself up for general unhappiness in having so many worthwhile attackers for a limited amount of positions?
One other factor could be which wing Mané plays on. If on the left, that could limit Leroy Sané’s game time — and frankly, Sane has been better than Mané this season.
In the end, it was a transfer that had to be made, but might not have been the best for complimenting the existing core group of the squad. A move like this can only be judged by the end result — if Mané helps bring Bayern Munich a Champions League crown, then it will have worked. If he cannot, one definitely has to wonder if the club jumped too early to get a player that might not ultimately provide anything different than the players who were already on the roster could have contributed.
What do you think?
If you could do it all over again, would you have spent the salary money used for Sadio Mané rather than trying to get a true No. 9?
This poll is closed
Yes - Mané is a great player and if you have a chance to get him, you need to.
Yes - Absolutely, even if the formation needs to back to a 4-2-3-1, Mané will be a better winger than anyone we have.
No - With Lewandowski leaving, Mané was a "name" purchase, who didn’t fit the team’s actual needs.
No - Mané is just another good option at wing on a team that was already chock full of them.
Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 2, Episode 12
Bayern Munich might be on an international break, but there is a massive amount of news breaking from Säbener Straße despite most of the club’s players being on duty with their international teams.
This is what we have on tap for this episode:
- What to look for as Germany faces off with Hungary and England.
- An examination of all the drama emanating from Bayern Munich these days...Players complaining about the system? Nagelsmann not hard enough on the players? Players not liking Nagelsmann’s criticism? The front office wants Nagelsmann to be tougher?
- Trying to wrap our heads around House of the Dragon.
Man...there is A LOT to talk about this week and we’ve got a lot to say about everything, so check it out.
Kimmich stands behind Nagelsmann
Sport1’s Kerry Hau detailed where Joshua Kimmich falls within Bayern Munich’s — allegedly disgruntled — locker room.
Unsurprisingly, Kimmich is backing Julian Nagelsmann, as Hau reported on his Die Bayern-Woche Podcast (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):
Joshua Kimmich, whose words carry a lot of weight in the dressing room, stands fully behind Julian Nagelsmann. Kimmich is a fan of the coach and his tactics. Nagelsmann, as of now, does not have the dressing room/leading players against him.
The good part of this note for Bayern Munich fans is that Hau is saying that the locker room is still behind the coach, despite some folks not being thrilled. That is important for the squad’s chances moving forward. The last thing Bayern Munich needs is the players sniping against the coach.
We’ve seen some of the stories and certainly there is some merit to what has been written and said, but Hau’s point is that it is not a dire situation just yet — and that is a great thing.
Song of the Week: “Superbeast” by Rob Zombie
Okay...I needed a pick me up this morning because the coffee just wasn’t hitting as hard as I wanted. What better way to get the blood flowing than to crank up a little Rob Zombie. While this song did not get as much airplay as the mega-hit “Dragula”, it is still a badass tune to help get you going.
Released in 1999, “Superbeast” was part of Zombie’s first solo album titled, “Hellbilly Deluxe.” In 1999, I was in my last semester of college and I can assure you that I cranked this in my portable CD player for my car (F the skips when you hit a bump!) on a pretty regular basis in ‘99 and ‘00.
House of the Dragon
Another week, another rushed plotline unfolding in almost manic fashion.
For as much as the timing has been crazy, the plotlines jumbled, and with so many wild swings of craziness from character-to-character, I am still enjoying this (despite being annoyed by it at the same time). Let’s take a look at the episode in bullet format:
- Prince Daemon strategically eliminating his “wife” (Lady Rhea Royce) was surprising and unbelievably cruel. Moreover, his strategy in plotting to get the inheritance he would be due as her heir was incredibly calculating.
- It feels as though King Viserys is made to look weaker both physically and with his stronghold on the seven kingdoms with each episode. Surely, this all intentional based on what we know about where this story is going, but it is amazing he is still alive given the time hops and long-term illness he seems to have.
- One of the odd things with Game of Thrones is that new characters can just emerge from nowhere and then have a massive impact on a storyline. That happened almost immediately when Larys Strong (son of the Hand of the King) approached Queen Alicent with the news that Princess Rhaenyra was sent some “Day After” tea to eliminate anything that might have went down with Prince Daemon. Little did everyone else know at this point that Daemon wasn’t the one who bedded the princess.
- The reveal that Laenor Velaryon was gay was not exactly shocking given the way the story was progressing. Of course, the ill-fated plan of his secret partner (Joffrey Lonmouth) to try and play both sides of the fence didn’t turn out the way they wanted it to.
- One of the parts of the episode that I thought was well done, was the Ser Criston confession. Understandably, I think it got misread by some viewers and certainly online. It seemed obvious to me that when Queen Alicent brought Ser Criston in to be questioned it was for him to “rat out” any details on what really went on with Princess Rhaenyra and Prince Daemon. Instead, Queen Alicent got a surprising confession from Ser Criston that it was actually her personal protector, who got down with the princess — thus giving the queen a bit of an upper-hand in this political battle for the throne. We can assume that is why she lets him live and keeps the secret to herself.
- I thought it was a nice touch with the talk about Queen Alicent wearing her house’s colors when readying for battle during the celebration scene — and making her entrance just as King Viserys was about to speak.
- Ser Criston absolutely bashing Joffrey Lonmouth’s face into a gelatinous mess was something, eh? Unable to process his role moving forward with the princess and unwilling to get caught up in the secret games of the elite, Sir Criston did what he probably does best: smash and fight his way through the situation the only way he knew how — with brute force.
- One of the things that struck me as odd was Laenor getting absolutely battered when trying to defend his beau. He just fought in a three-year long war, but got taken out pretty easily in the brawl.
- Why are people always dying at weddings in Game of Thrones shows?
- Queen Alicent stopping Ser Criston from taking his own life later surely will play a major role in the plot lines moving forward. I’m assuming those little Targaryens...err, Velaryons we see running around in the previews for this upcoming episode are actually the product of Ser Criston and Princess Rhaenyra.
- Overall, I am still liking the show, but also think it’s a bit of a mess at times (there is just a lot going on). That said, the actors are doing an excellent job.
- I am a slacker...I need to start watching. My schedule has been incredibly awful of late.
- Ditto...I should have some time to get moving late night this weekend.
As always, I turn this section over to zippy for his Rings of Power takes:
Rings of Power
As usual, we’re one episode behind in Rings of Power, which releases on Thursdays.
Episode 4 was another uneven ride in terms of writing — a real shame, after two strong opening episodes. At least it ends having set the stage in a good place for the second half of the season. I’m enjoying it still, warts and all. I could do with a lot less reliance on the “mystery box” device — there’s so much more to explore here in the Tolkien-verse than endless threads of guessing hey, who’s that guy? What’s this thing?
Onto the spoilers:
- Galadriel’s arc picks back up in the second half of the episode with a momentous, truth-baring encounter between her and the Queen Regent. I like the choice of portraying Míriel as reluctant and conflicted — deferring to the judgment of the Valar, rather than simply keeping faith in the elves. It illustrates the difficulties of doing the right thing in her domestic climate.
- I also liked the portrayal of Adar, the fallen elf. Never mind the strange plot around him (why would he let Arondir go?) — through him, we get a small window into how beings fall to darkness and what becomes of them. The orc burial rites was a nice touch, too. They are
- The amount of screen time devoted to Isildur’s sea exams, teasers about his brother Anarion, and meet-cutes between two made-for-show characters in his sister and Ar-Pharazôn’s son — a real weak point of the show for me. We had an entire episode without the hobbits; Ep 3 skipped the Southlands. For this?
- Halbrand is giving off 99% Sauron vibes at this point. Ar-Pharazôn draws his sword on Galadriel when she busts out of prison, and Halbrand, from his adjacent cell, whispers sweet-talk with remarkable efficiency to stop him. He ends the episode a free man and still on Númenor, seemingly with Ar-Pharazôn’s ear — when it was Sauron himself in lore who occupied that role, albeit openly. Galadriel and Míriel are gone, off to Middle-Earth. What kind of Númenor will Míriel return to?
- I just realized that Elrond’s dwarf friend is named Durin — like Durin’s Bane, that Durin? He’s mining a little too deep into Khazad-dûm, isn’t he? Oh no!
- Finally, some masks come off. The Southland barman reveals himself to be a follower of Morgoth waiting for Sauron’s return, which he now assumes is nigh. Bronwyn’s son has used the evil Morgoth blade more than once — is he doomed for recruitment? More of this kind of stuff, please!
Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Germany vs Hungary; England vs. Germany
Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann might be relieved that he is getting a break; plenty of his squad members are away on international duty. In this podcast, we look forward to Germany’s games in the UEFA Nations League against table-topping Hungary and England. In this podcast we discuss:
- Germany’s squad selections by Hansi Flick.
- Covid cases and injuries impacting the national side.
- How Germany might line up in the matches against Hungary and England.
- A look back to Germany’s earlier Nations League matches against both aforementioned opponents.
- How Germany’s style might differ from Hungary to England.
- Who might play in the forward position.
- What Julian Nagelsmann might learning from watching his players work under Flick.
- Some bonus tidbits regarding the Bundesliga.
F last week...(again). This is a rut unlike any I’ve been in since my glory days of phoning bets to a “hoagie shop” in the early aughts.
- Last week’s overall record: 3-6
- Overall Bundesliga record: 26-37
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 1-0
- Champions League record: 2-0
- WWU overall record: 30-37
- Guest predictions: 7-4