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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. FC Köln; Manchester United’s Raphaël Varane not on Bayern’s radar; Arsenal to make play for Juventus star Dušan Vlahović; Liverpool leads Manchester City on Leroy Sané; & MORE!

Well...that was UGLY (and boring).

1. FC Köln v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 1-0 victory over FC Köln (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich traveled to Cologne to face an overmatched Billy Goats squad and came away with three points after a 1-0 victory.

It was a game that was not aesthetic, nor exciting, but it was necessary.

Bayern Munich looked like a team going through the motions, while FC Köln did not have the horses to match up with the Rekordmeister. Certainly, many folks found others ways to pass the time as this match was a snoozefest.

Despite that, let’s take a look at some quick hitters on the match:

  • Let’s take a look at the lineup:
  • Yeah...there is something going with Thomas Müller and Thomas Tuchel. With Jamal Musiala out, it was widely-assumed that Müller would get the nod, but instead, Tuchel went “Full Nagelsmann Until It Was Too Late.”
  • Playing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting over Müller, Serge Gnabry, and Mathys Tel was a little wild. If you are not playing Müller in this spot, you simply have no plans of using him given that Jamal Musiala is coming back next week.
  • When talking with Phillip Quinn about the Müller situation, he had this astute comment (that I agree with): “The only answer is honestly that Tuchel doesn’t think Müller is any good. This confirms that.”
  • At first glance, it looked like this could be a 3-3-4 (!?), but it was a 4-2-3-1 with Noussair Mazraoui as a left-back and Konrad Laimer at right-back.
  • My final bullet on Müller: I think Tuchel is making a mistake and that the club is wasting Müller’s final productive years. If they do not have a plan for him to be anything more than a figurehead, they should let him leave in January (if he wants to go, of course).
  • Bayern Munich got out to a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on a play that started with a Laimer interception. Laimer passed to Kingsley Coman, who fed Leroy Sané, who fed Choupo-Moting. After Choupo’s attempt was blocked by a FC Köln defender on the goal line, it caromed right to Harry Kane, who cleaned up the trash nicely. Trash goals still count! Kane was the man in the right place at the right time and there is always something to be said for that.
  • Just about a minute later, Choupo would fail to convert another attempt.
  • FC Köln goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe stood tall on the two Choupo attempts, though we could guess that the Cameroonian attacker probably thinks he should have done better with those attempts.
  • Sané also muffed a chance in the 28th minute that probably should have been a goal. The Billy Goats were leaking oil, but the Bavarians were not making them pay accordingly.
  • Later in the first half, Mazraoui got beat on a back-post run that could have been disastrous, but the looping pass did not connect and Manuel Neuer was able to make a play on the ball.
  • If you want an honest assessment, the game was boring. Bayern Munich sort of just waffled its way through the match, while FC Köln simply was not good enough to really mount any type of significant attack.
  • How in the hell did Tuchel not use any subs? Phillip Quinn pointed out this factoid that Bild found: Louis Van Gaal was the coach the last time Bayern didn’t make any subs. If you thought WTF to yourself, you are on the right track.
  • Steffen Baumgart deserves better, he has nothing to work with.
  • Also, Baumgart was rocking a polo shirt rather than a jacket. Everyone else looked like they were wet and freezing. What a beast.
  • This was yet another game where Kane was mostly uninvolved. The other Bayern Munich attackers were on the ball more and taking more chances. Part of this inactivity is on Kane, but it felt like it was “too much of them, not enough of him” — with him being Kane.
  • Bayern Munich’s backline was strong, but was rarely tested. A game lacking a serious attacking might have been a good thing for this foursome, though.
  • If you were trying to encourage a friend to watch football or join the cult of Bayern...you probably have one less friend now!
  • Overall, Bayern Munich got its three points, but it was a very ho-hum effort. In fact, it was downright uninspired and boring. Such is life over the course of a long season. Not every game can be a banger, but a little more life, energy, and looks for Kane would have been appreciated.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look and/or a listen:

Varane not on Bayern’s radar (Sport Bild via @iMiaSanMia)

According to Sport Bild journalists Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl, Manchester United defender Raphaël Varane does not fit the profile of what Bayern Munich is looking for:

The feedback from Bayern is that Raphaël Varane is not a serious option for the club. The Frenchman earns too high wages and is past his best. Bayern want to sign a defender, but want someone with more perspective with a view to the future.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 20 (Bavarian Football Works)

What a mess of an international break that was.

Germany is a disaster under Julian Nagelsmann, but at least Bayern Munich is coming back this weekend. Given all of that, there is plenty to talk about, so let’s get to it. Here is what is on tap for this week’s episode:

  • Assessing why Germany is a clown show these days (Hint: The answer is pretty simple).
  • Looking at why Julian Nagelsmann cannot help himself and is proving all of his critics right.
  • Break out the torch, it is time to light some folks up.
  • A preview for Bayern Munich vs. FC Köln.
  • Transfer rumors on Bayern Munich stars Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané.
  • What to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving season.

Henry encourages Tel be a killer (Telefoot via @iMiaSanMia)

Mathys Tel has had a strong 2023/24 season so far as he has tallied six goals and three assists in 17 games across all competitions.

That said, Thierry Henry, Tel’s coach with the French U-21 team, wants to see Tel become more of a killer.

“Having such a big name as a coach is very motivating. He tells me not to be afraid - as soon as you can be a killer, you must be a killer,” said Tel.

Well...better Henry than Jeffrey Dahmer or O.J. or someone like that. That would be a whole different context.

Checking in on Rice (King Casino Bonus)

Not everyone thinks Declan Rice has been a massive hit since choosing Arsenal FC over Bayern Munich last summer.

“Arsenal looked edgy at first and the game wasn’t as comfortable as I thought it would have been, considering where Burnley are. I put Eddie Nketiah as my captain! It’s all about getting the three points at the end of the day. To win whilst not playing well is a good sign. Burnley were always going to make it difficult despite their struggles. It was comfortable in the end,” former Liverpool FC player Jermaine Pennant told King Casino Bonus. “I’d say the addition of Declan Rice has made Arsenal look more comfortable, especially when facing counter-attacks. They look harder to break down. Last season, I thought any good attacking side could have scored against Arsenal, even if they got two or three in return.

“Arsenal look more organized now. They look very strong going forward, but they did last season, too. Trossard has chipped-in with some important goals already, and he’s added a bit of a boost. We said Arsenal looked thin last season, but they’ve got more options this time around. They have slightly more depth.”

Bavarian Podcast Works — Flagship Show: Season 6, Episode 19 (Bavarian Football Works)

Yes, we are a Bayern Munich podcast, but after the latest humiliation we simply have to focus on Germany this week. Losing 3-2 to a Turkish B-team is a new low, and we’re only three games into the Julian Nagelsmann era. Where was the free flowing football? The attacking concept? The tactical philosophy? It seems like the coach has fallen into the experimentation trap he experienced at Bayern Munich, where he didn’t know when to stop tinkering.

In this episode, INNN and Samrin discuss the following:

  • What was Julian Nagelsmann thinking with THAT lineup? Kai Havertz at left-back, really?
  • Everything that went wrong for Germany, from offense to defense, the midfield, and individual performances.
  • Why do coaches keep making the same mistakes when taking over the at the DFB?
  • The curious case of İlkay Gündoğan and the major issue with Joshua Kimmich.
  • The problem with Germany that no one seems to talk about — a culture of mediocrity and assumptions.
  • Where does Nagelsmann go from here?
  • What will happen at the Euros?
  • A token amount of Bayern Munich discussion — what is going on with Alphonso Davies? Will he go to Real Madrid?
  • Why losing Davies would be devastating to Bayern in the long term.

Gunners eyeing Vlahović (@Transfersdotcom)

Juventus wants to re-up striker Dušan Vlahović, but Arsenal FC has other plans:

Vlahović, who was a target for Bayern Munich last summer, has four goals and one assist in 10 games across all competitions so far this season.

LFC leads City on Sané (CaughtOffside)

FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool FC, and Manchester City are all reportedly interested in Bayern Munich star Leroy Sané. If it comes down to the two English teams, Liverpool — allegedly — holds an edge over City. Christian Falk wrote the following in his exclusive column with CaughtOffside:

The big question around Leroy has always been about his mentality. This was a big discussion with Pep Guardiola. Speaking of which, there were rumours around Manchester City also being interested in the player – I heard this was an option, but I also heard that Sané doesn’t want to go back there. Jürgen Klopp is a coach who can get his players to buy into the work rate you need at Liverpool.

This would be an intelligent move for Liverpool to get Sané, as he has everything; if you can add a working mentality to this (which Jürgen Klopp can perhaps give him), he would be perfect for Liverpool.

Leroy Sané made a huge development at Bayern Munich regarding his work rate in recent years, tracking back in addition to his offensive output. Now you see why he’s so good now, as he’s also doing this job. This comes amid reports of ongoing Saudi interest in Mo Salah following a failed attempt to land the No. 11’s signature in the prior summer transfer window.

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