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Midweek Warm-up: Bayern Munich is exactly what we thought they would be; How Bayern won Joao Cancelo over FC Barcelona; A DFB-Pokal prediction; Niko Kovac tosses a little shade at Bayern; Throwing it back to the year 2000 hit “Opticon”; and MORE!

Bayern Munich vs. Mainz 05 in the DFB-Pokal...are you ready?

FC Bayern München v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Let’s get this out of the way — Bayern Munich is a great team.

Bayern Munich is a terrifically run organization with a bright coach and a talented why can’t the team win right now?

It’s a great question, but the answer lies in a lot of information that we already knew:

  • There is no world class striker: When Robert Lewandowski left for FC Barcelona, there were three options to take over his role: Sadio Mané, Thomas Müller, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting — none were ideal. Both Mané and Müller are not a fit for the role and do their best work in other positions. As for Choupo-Moting...he’s just not that guy. There was some hope that using a 4-2-2-2 would alleviate some of the burden with that situation, but Julian Nagelsmann moved on from that formation. Maybe more than most other power clubs, Bayern Munich needs that big time threat at center-forward. The notion that the team can ride Choupo-Moting as the No. 9 next season is concerning.
  • The coach loves himself some tinkering: For all of his good qualities (and there are plenty), Nagelsmann cannot help himself sometimes. He just can’t. His propensity or tweaking lineups, formations, tactics, etc., often leads to choppy play and a visible lack of cohesion. I don’t necessarily disagree with Nagelsmann’s line of thinking that players should be able to seamlessly adapt to playing in different formations, roles, or with different teammates...reality, though, has proven that it is not that easy with this group.
  • Having too many good players is tough to manage — maybe too tough: So far, Müller lost his starting job, Ryan Gravenberch is unhappy, and having four (maybe five if Mathys Tel keeps developing) starting level wingers has prevented the attack’s chemistry from fully hitting its potential. Sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić has done a great job of accumulating and retaining talent for the most part, but there was likely no need to re-up both Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry if the club was going to add both Mané and Tel. That does not even count the fact that Jamal Musiala could be the squad’s best winger (Nagelsmann’s recent refusal to use Musiala on the wing is puzzling).
  • The team is developing young talent, but most of it plays the same position: With Musiala and Müller already entrenched and the team’s top two No. 10s, word broke that the coaching staff also views Gravenberch as an attacking midfielder as well. Paul Wanner? Arijon Ibrahimović? Malik Tillman? Gabriel Vidovic? They are all at their best while playing the No. 10 spot. None are likely to get the first team exposure at Bayern Munich needed to even drive up their value. It is an incredibly tough spot for the coaching staff and club to be in with some very good talent.

These are truly footballing problems that only the best of clubs can experience and despite the club’s greatness, all of those points above lead to a flawed end product on the field. These are not flaws that cannot be overcome, but it will take work, defined roles, a new striker, and some consistency.

Can this version of Bayern Munich achieve all of its goals? Maybe, but it will not be easy.

Fans should have confidence that this will get better, but tempered expectations might be in order. There is no crisis, but the Bundesliga is better, the DFB-Pokal can be a toss-up, and the Champions League has some incredibly tough competition.

There will not be any cakewalks moving forward and some major changes to the roster could be on the horizon for this summer.

Song of the Midweek: “Opticon” by Orgy

Maybe best know for their cover of “Blue Monday”, the band Orgy released this gem back in 2000 (GAH!), which was their take on where the world was headed at the dawn of the internet really taking over the world.

If you have a strong memory, you could remember this from the little-known horror flick, Valentine, starring Denise Richards (The 2000 version was a favorite of mine for sure) and Philadelphia-boy David Boreanaz.


Bavarian Podcast Works — Flagship Show: Season 5, Episode 31

Bayern Munich gave its fans a heck of a start to the work week, eh?

Coming off of another draw over the weekend — this time against Eintracht Frankfurt — the club made a move for Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo to shake things up on the backline...but why?

There could be a bunch of reasons and we explore them all! Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this episode:

  • Bayern Munich’s loan move for Cancelo, why it was done, who it affects, and why this could mean the end of the road for Benjamin Pavard.
  • A look at Bayern Munich’s draw against Eintracht Frankfurt and why things should eventually settle into a comfort zone for the players. Will be it be in time for the squad to knock Paris Saint-Germain? We’ll see.
  • A preview of Bayern Munich’s DFB-Pokal match against Mainz 05.

Union more dangerous than Bayern?

Wolfsburg coach Niko Kovac saw his team’s hot streak end over the weekend against Werder Bremen of all clubs, but that did not stop him from throwing a little shade at his old club.

“It’s the most difficult opponent we could have drawn. I think it’s easier to play in Munich than in Berlin at the moment,” said Kovac (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).

Maybe he’s telling the truth at this moment, but you know he probably enjoyed saying it just a little bit.

How Bayern won Cancelo over Barca

According to Sport1’s Kerry Hau, Bayern Munich’s big edge over FC Barcelona in acquiring Joao Cancelo from Manchester City was its position in the Champions League:

Both Bayern and Barcelona were in contact with João Cancelo and his agent Jorge Mendes over the weekend. Bayern’s decisive advantage was the Champions League, which is why it didn’t take Cancelo long to decide for a move to Munich.

It feels like after losing Robert Lewandowski to FC Barcelona, the Bavarians have been on a revenge mission to destroy Barca’s 2022/23 campaign — and it is working.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 29

Bayern Munich is scuffling...BFW’s podcast got whacked like Joe Pesci walking into that room in Goodfellas...and there is a ton of news going on.

Plus, Bayern Munich has yet another game in a jammed schedule — this time against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Yeah, there is A LOT going on, but we are covering it all here! Preview? Yes. Riffing on the news? No doubt. Some entertainment talk? For sure. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • A preview for Bayern Munich vs. Eintracht Frankfurt.
  • There seems to be a changing of opinion on Leon Goretzka — and is Ryan Gravenberch going to take over Goretzka’s starting role?
  • FC Barcelona tried to hijack Bayern Munich’s deal for Konrad Laimer and the word that Marcel Sabitzer might want to stay (or maybe not).
  • Chelsea FC’s Kai Havertz and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane are probably off the table for Bayern Munich.
  • Bayern Munich’s plan for the attack and why it is a mess.
  • Some thoughts on the latest episode of The Last of Us — and some news on the future of Cobra Kai.


There are plenty of reasons to think that Bayern Munich is going to come and struggle once again, but at some point, the players have to seize a match and control it. There is too much talent to continue to let the poor results have happen — and yeah, those recent draws were not good, but they did not signal “doomsday” either.

Mainz 05 is no pushover, but Bayern Munich should be able to dictate how this game is played, what the tempo is, and should do so without incurring too much damage.

If, however, Mainz 05 manages to pull a Holstein Kiel, then I think it will be time to rattle some cages in the locker room.

Prediction: Mainz 05 1-3 Bayern Munich

Prediction Records

  • Overall Bundesliga record: 82-80
  • DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
  • DFB-Pokal record: 2-0
  • Champions League record: 5-1
  • World Cup overall record: 38-25
  • WWU overall record: 128-106
  • Guest predictions: 7-5

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