How many different ways can Germany lose a game?
Former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is now in charge of trying to prevent those losses from happening, but the new manager invented a new one — using Kai Havertz as a left-back/left wing-back hybrid and having him pick up a handball penalty in the 71st minute.
Clearly, this was not Germany’s finest hour. Let’s get on with it:
- As always, let’s start with the lineup:
(Hint: It did not work)
- Nagelsmann starting Kai Havertz as some sort of left-back hybrid was some real mad scientist-type stuff.
- Havertz is like a cat. The dude has a million lives and every coach thinks thinks they can save him. I like Havertz more than most and even I can admit his career is a disappointment to this point, but…
- Havertz gave Nagelsmann just enough of a taste to probably keep the experiment going as he scored five minutes into the match. You literally cannot make this stuff up. On the day, though, Havertz’s performance left a lot to be desired.
- From there, it was tough on Germany. Turkey scored two goals, including one from former Bayern Munich youth player Kenan Yildiz.
- At the end of the first half, the Turks led 2-1 and you could feel the air sucked out of the arena.
- The backline was a mess. The chemistry just was not there for Benjamin Henrichs, Jonathan Tah, and Antonio Rüdiger — let alone Havertz, who struggled defensively.
- Rüdiger seemed to be checked out for large portions of the match and Tah was just not good. Havertz’s positioning and lack of precision on his passing was a killer.
- The midfield of Joshua Kimmich and İlkay Gündoğan seems to be a good example of two player with great talent, but no real relationship in playing together.
- Germany fought back with a goal by Niclas Füllkrug, but Turkey would get the game winner on a penalty kick from Yusuf Sarı. While Nagelsmann’s objected to the penalty call on Havertz, it did seem pretty cut-and-dried.
- Florian Wirtz picked up an assist on Füllkrug’s goal, but he just does not look comfortable for the national team. This has become a trend that needs to be reversed...quickly.
- At some point, people have to acknowledge that this generation of German players is likely going to be remembered as a failure. That might sound harsh after a friendly loss, but we are all Charlie Brown and they are Lucy ripping that football away from us. It cannot always be on the coach (though, he was not great in this one, either). Players have to — eventually — make plays.
- Overall, it is not good. If you were worried that Nagelsmann would try too hard to be Nagelsmann...well, you are looking good with that prediction. The team does not have a great feel for playing together and Nagelsmann’s patented tinkering could be a big issue. It is hard to figure out how things will go from here. Joachim Löw took the hit. Hansi Flick took the hit. How long before Nagelsmann is next? Or will the players take accountability for their play? Of course, Nagelsmann is not going anywhere, but he is also not exactly turning around the negative thoughts many have about Die Mannschaft.
The links between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies remain (despite what Davies’ agent said) and Los Blancos might have a plan for how they intend to generate some revenue to go toward the fee the club will have to pay for the Canadian star:
Real Madrid plan to sell left-back Ferland Mendy next summer to fund their move for Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies.
With quite a few holes to fill during the winter transfer window, Bayern Munich has to be judicious with its spending. Specifically, Bayern Munich is targeting a defensive midfielder and a defender, who can play both right-back and center-back.
What does that mean?
Well, it could be hard for the Bavarians to get long-term transfer target João Palhinha from Fulham FC as there could be a price tag of €70 to €75 million on his head:
Bayern’s January transfers were discussed during Monday’s supervisory board meeting. The club is looking to sign a defensive midfielder as well as a right-back who preferably can also play centre-back. João Palhinha remains a candidate, but Bayern are scouting other options as Fulham could now demand €70-75m after the recent contract extension
Ahead of the EURO 2024 competition, yet another international break is upon us.
Bayern Munich players are spread out globally to represent their respective national teams, but that does not mean that there is not a lot to talk about with both the Rekordmeister and the boys representing Germany:
- Registering a formal take on the hotly-contested Harry Kane vs. Robert Lewandowski debate.
- The curious story leaked by Bild that indicates Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann will not be using Joshua Kimmich as a right-back.
- What to expect from Germany’s upcoming games and what are some realistic expectations.
- Looking at Bayern Munich’s upcoming slate of games.
- The latest news on Alphonso Davies and his potential transfer — as Real Madrid, Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester City, and Paris Saint-Germain all circle.
İlkay Gündoğan just got to FC Barcelona and there are rumors indicating that he might already be looking to move. So, what gives?
Not much per the Germany international:
The agent of Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gündoğan has laughed off rumours that he met with Galatasaray to discuss a move away from Barcelona just months after his arrival at the club. Reports in Turkey claimed that the agent of Gündoğan, a German national with Turkish heritage, had met with Galatasaray before their 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich earlier this month to discuss a future transfer for the midfielder.
The story emerged after Gündoğan had generated controversy among Barcelona fans for his criticism of the squad after their defeat to Real Madrid, while he was also accused of rejecting the chance to take a team photo at the Ballon d’Or ceremony. There have even been rumours that Gündoğan has been left underwhelmed by Barcelona’s attempts to help him settle in the city - a story which was denied by his partner Sara.
Keen to set the record straight, Gundogan’s agent and brother released a statement (via Mundo Deportivo) to dismiss the links to Galatasaray.
“The news that has appeared in the press in recent days about Ilkay does not reflect the truth,” Ilhan Gündoğan stressed. “I didn’t meet anyone from Galatasaray before the Bayern Munich game to talk about Ilkay. There was no development, meeting or anything of the sort that came to us in this regard. I want to make this clear. Neither I nor Ilkay can understand how this news came about. Ilkay is very happy in Barcelona and is focused on what he wants to achieve there and his goals.”
Gündoğan himself recently pledged his allegiance to Barcelona, describing his move to Catalonia as a “dream.”
“For me, the value of Barcelona has always been high,” he told Sporx. “Barcelona are completely different. “It was my dream. I always wanted to play for Barcelona one day. This summer was my chance and I wanted to make it happen.”
Manager Xavi played a huge role in convincing Gundogan to move to Barcelona, with the midfielder seeing similarities between his current boss and Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola.
“I have a good relationship with Xavi. I came to Barcelona for him and spoke to him twice before coming on the phone. I think we have great compatibility,” he said. “Pep has many years of experience while Xavi is in his fifth season as coach and third in Europe, but their view of football is very similar.”
Gundogan also confessed that he recently spoke with Guardiola, revealing: “Recently, I visited Pep Guardiola at his home in Barcelona and we talked. He said that if I or my family needed anything in Barcelona, I could always contact him.”
Tottenham Hotspur could be lining up a move for Brighton & Hove Albion striker Evan Ferguson:
Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly planning to sign Manchester United target and Brighton & Hove Albion star Evan Ferguson to replace Harry Kane in the upcoming transfer window, as per talkSPORT.
According to the report by talkSPORT, Spurs are looking to purchase Ferguson as a potential replacement for Kane. However, the report claims that Brighton have no intention of letting their star man leave anytime soon but they could change their stance if they receive an offer of more than £115m from the striker’s potential suitors Spurs.
So, Tottenham will have to break the bank to sign Ferguson in the upcoming transfer window. However, talkSPORT states that Man Utd are also keen on signing the youngster so Spurs are set to face tough competition from their rival in getting any potential deal done for the Irishman.
Ferguson is deemed one of the best young talents in the Premier League and has already showcased glimpses of his talent in recent times. So, he would be a great coup for Tottenham or Man Utd if either club manage to secure his signature.
However, it is going to be extremely difficult for the North London club or the Reds Devils to sign the 19-year-old if Brighton stay firm on their valuation.
Canadian star Jonathan David is still on the radar of AC Milan:
Jonathan David remains one of the top targets for AC Milan for 2024.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 17, 2023
Deal could only be feasible in summer window due to price tag and with 12 months left in his current deal, it allows good chances for AC Milan to sign him.
He’s also on three Premier League clubs list. pic.twitter.com/Js4fWl04xp