It was certainly not the result that Bayern Munich wanted, but that does not mean the Bavarians were not feeling just a little bit lucky to walk away from its match against FC Köln.
Here are some quick hitters on what was a pretty crazy match:
- Julian Nagelsmann rolled out the same exact lineup as he used against RB Leipzig. Some were expecting to see Thomas Müller, but Nagelsmann made no changes. Personally, I had predicted that Kingsley Coman would get the nod over Leroy Sané for rest purposes, but Nagelsmann kept the status quo:
- Entering the match, all I really wanted to see was a more fluid attack and a more cohesive defense. Just four minutes into the match, Ellyes Skhiri showed the defense was not going to have an easy time. Dayot Upamecano’s man got his head on the ball, Alphonso Davies lost Skhiri in the mix, and the 27-year-old gave the Billy Goats an early 1-0 lead.
- This was latest gaffe by the uber-talented Davies, who has had a knack for the spectacular and a penchant for lapses, often gets a free pass from the greater fan base. The Canadian has to be accountable for starting to work on some of those weaker parts of his game. He can do so many great things, but it is time for his game to mature more.
- In the 14th minute, Serge Gnabry had a great chance from the left side, but could not convert. Gnabry probably did not do enough to shake off Nagelsmann’s criticism of his Fashion Week trip.
- Bayern Munich did have some (but not a lot of) decent attacking sequences early in the match, but the precision and finishing was not quite there. By using the same lineup, we can assume this was an area where Nagelsmann was hoping to coax some improvement.
- That said, Bayern Munich absolutely controlled play and set itself up nicely to wear down FC Köln over the course of the match.
- Yann Sommer made an absolutely terrific play in the 29th minute when he dove out and pushed a Florian Kainz cross away from the goal. It was a sequence where the entirety of the backline shifted to Keystone Kops mode. Sommer got to the ball just ahead of Skhiri.
- Yeah, it is time to start wondering if the backline will have enough time to get it together before having to deal with Paris Saint-Germain’s illustrious attack. They were not bad, but they have the potential to be so much better.
- I shouldn’t make it sound as if it was purely Bayern Munich’s bumbling that was an issue. FC Köln played like it wanted to win and kept pressure on the Bavarians. The Billy Goats picked their moments to attack and realized they needed to ramp up and ramp down at certain periods to battle against Bayern Munich’s domination of the ball.
- Jamal Musiala scuffled at times and something should be said about the transition from being the phenom to being the “the man.” For the last two years, Musiala has been able to play a complimentary role where he was not the focal point of the attack. Without Robert Lewandowski and with Thomas Müller on the bench, Musiala now is the primary scoring option and primary playmaker. He has to direct traffic and troubleshoot how to get the offense going in real time. That is a lot of responsibility for a 19-year-old to absorb and a lot of weight to put on his youthful shoulders.
- Gnabry was yanked at halftime in favor of Coman. Now, we can all speculate how much Fashion Week played a role in that decision (no matter what).
- Leon Goretzka getting yanked in favor of Ryan Gravenberch was...curious as well. We would later find out that Goretzka was dizzy after winning an aerial duel.
- Coman brought some energy to the pitch, which was a nice jolt to Bayern Munich’s attack.
- On the day, I’d give the starting attacking group of Gnabry, Musiala, Choupo-Moting, and Leroy Sané a C-(minus). They did some good things, but they are not functioning well as a unit.
- Müller helped get the attack going and looked about as good as he had since coming back from his Hinrunde injury. As weird as it sounds, the lineup misses his presence.
- Thankfully, Joshua Kimmich — and his likely weary legs — was there to smash a rocket into the net to knot the game. One point is better than none.
- Overall, it was a tough match. There were some good things and some bad, but Bayern Munich was able to battle out of a tough spot. Nagelsmann will certainly have some tough calls to make this weekend against Eintracht Frankfurt and it would make the fanbase feel a little better if the squad can put together a more complete effort.
Marcus Thuram seems pretty eager to leave Borussia Mönchengladbach, but there is no clear leader in the clubhouse for where he might end up if he leaves Die Fohlen:
Téléfoot journalist Saber Desfarges is reporting that Borussia Mönchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram (25) is increasingly receptive to the idea of leaving the Bundesliga club this January.
At the beginning of the season, Thuram’s intention was to remain at the German club until the end of the season. With his contract expiring this summer, he would then move on from Mönchengladbach in order to take on a new challenge.
However, with many top clubs circling, Thuram is now reportedly more open to leaving the club this winter. Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Inter Milan have all been strongly linked with the forward, who played a prominent role for France during the recent World Cup in Qatar.
Thuram’s chances of a move to PSG may have decreased in recent days, with Christophe Galtier confirming that he is looking to replace Pablo Sarabia, who left to join Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a profile similar to that of the Spaniard. Thuram, a more typical number nine, doesn’t fit that mould.
Whilst no clubs have made significant advances on Thuram yet, the player’s stance on a January move will likely increase the chance of a transfer this month.
The back-and-forth transfer story that Bayern Munich wants to make a move for Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane seems to be rounding third and heading for home. The latest news comes from Sport1’s Florian Plettenberg, who says that Bayern Munich wants Kane, but almost assuredly cannot afford the total package that will be required for the player:
Bayern Munich kicked off its Bundesliga re-start with a not-so-promising, but also no-so-concerning draw with RB Leipzig, which left a ton to talk about.
When you look at that, the quick turnaround for a match against FC Köln, the crazy news that this podcast has been wacked by SBN/Vox, the Yann Sommer acquisition, more rumors on Harry Kane and Kai Havertz, there is a TON to talk about.
So join me for this podcast journey, we are going to hit on a number of topics — because, damn it, that is exactly what we do here:
- A quick look at the draw with RB Leipzig.
- A preview of the FC Köln match.
- Looking at the latest rumors on Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz.
- The future of Bavarian Football Works and Bavarian Podcast Works.
Lionel Messi is still working out some contractual details with Paris Saint-Germain per Fabrizio Romano:
Leo Messi situation has not changed. New meeting will take place soon with Paris Saint-Germain to discuss length of the new contract and then get it signed. #PSG— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 24, 2023
Leo plans to continue in Paris, verbal pact was discussed in December.
More: https://t.co/2sjL4QIK4X pic.twitter.com/btlBUsrZYo
According to Sky Sport’s Florian Plettenberg, Liverpool FC had some interest in seldom-used and allegedly unhappy Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch:
News #Gravenberch: It’s decided and no doubt: He has to stay at #FCBayern! No transfer in January. Within the club they still believe in him. A loan to Liverpool or to another club is NO topic. #LFC @SkySportDE pic.twitter.com/9qlBmJ7tP0— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) January 24, 2023
Oddly, Gravenberch got some extended run against FC Köln after both this story — and the news that Konrad Laimer had inked his deal were reported on. A knock to Leon Goretzka helped pave the way for that, but Gravenberch held his own during his appearance.
Okay, a whole lot:
What a week for Bayern Munich! Yann Sommer officially transferred in, Konrad Laimer unofficially inks his deal (allegedly), and there is wall-to-wall excitement for the squad’s re-start in the Bundesliga.
Needless to say, we have A LOT on our minds about the biggest news pieces of the week. This is what we have on tap for this week’s episode:
- Reacting to the Yann Sommer signing and the weird quirk of this deal that will be odd to watch play out.
- Konrad Laimer’s signing isn’t official, but it’s done.
- New rumors on Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and why it will be easier for Bayern Munich to get him rather than other Premier League squads.
- Should Bayern Munich fans get excited for Arijon Ibrahimović?
- Assessing the Bundesliga title race.
- Some brief thoughts on the series premiere of The Last of Us.