Bayern Munich drew Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals and those freaking balls set up a mega-matchup that should have fans worldwide salivating at the prospect of seeing two of the world’s best teams trade haymakers.
To be clear, it is a fantastic set of games even if it is ultimately the most difficult for Bayern Munich.
Of course, it is also a draw that I personally wanted no parts of…just yet. I definitely would have preferred to see Bayern Munich rag doll Chelsea FC a little more, but we can’t always get what we want, right?
Sure, I eventually wanted to see Bayern vs. City, but perhaps in the semifinals or final. However, that won’t happen, so I’ll dive head first into the train of thought that I will soak in every second of this showdown — no matter what the end result is.
Let’s enjoy this moment where the football gods decided that there was no reason to wait any longer to see what might be the two best, deepest squads on Earth go toe-to-toe.
If you want to hear what we thought as soon as the draw was announced, check out our Reaction Show:
Back Three for Thee
Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann is apparently going “Full Mandalorian” with his back three system.
Next season will reportedly mark the commitment to the dawn of a new era at Bayern Munich and Nagelsmann is the to say, “This is the way.”
Before you start gathering the masses to chase me out of town with torches and pitchforks, just hold on a sec. Sport Bild gathered the report earlier this week and I will tell you — I am on board.
I love the 4-2-3-1 as much as the next person, but I like where Nagelsmann is going with this. Hear me out — if ever there was a time to make the move, it is now and here’s why…
- Generational center-backs: Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano, and Lucas Hernandez all appear to be ready to lead the club into the future. If Bayern Munich can convince Benjamin Pavard to stick around as well, that would give the squad four, great (yes, great) starting-level players for the position. If you look at Josip Stanišić, too, the Croatian’s versatility makes him the optimal depth player to man a few different roles — and he has already proven he can step into a big spot and perform on short notice.
- Changing dynamics of the attack: Like many of you, I love a great wing player who can break down a defense from the outside-in. However, the two players who have been most integral to the attack this season (Jamal Musiala, Thomas Müller) both function best as an attacking midfielder. But Müller is in the twilight of his career, so what does it matter — you might ask? Well, there is no reason to not keep operating at optimal levels just because the Raumdeuter is getting older— plus, Bayern Munich has been strongly linked to German megastar-in-the-making Florian Wirtz. Are you imagining Musiala and Wirtz working as a tandem in the attacking midfield? I think Bayern Munich might be as well.
Okay dope — you might be saying about me — but what of the wingers Bayern Munich has on its roster? For some, there will be spots on the rosters and for others…maybe they should freshen up their resumes. Sadio Mané could see time at striker, Leroy Sané could slide inside as another option as an attacking midfielder, Kingsley Coman has already embraced a role as a wing-back, and Serge Gnabry...well, the Germany international could also slide inside or even play as a wing-back, but he might also be inclined to explore his options given the team’s exceptional depth everywhere.
Either way, resistance to this “new era” seems futile. Nagelsmann seems set on making this move and fans should start to embrace it. The “new way” might just yield some results that will make everyone happy.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 36
Bayern Munich is set for a little down time as an international break looms, but there is a ton to talk about with the Bavarians.
Why beat around the bush? Let’s take a look at what’s on tap for this week’s episode of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast:
- Some programming notes.
- A preview Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen.
- Why this international break is needed for Bayern Munich (as long as the boys can avoid injuries).
- Erling Haaland’s monster performance in the Champions League and reminiscing about his meeting with Bayern Munich last spring.
- Joao Cancelo’s time at Bayern Munich could be short-lived.
- A quick look at Bayern Munich’s toughest potential matchups in the Champions League.
- Let’s do it live! F*ck it! Bayern Munich should absolutely play a back three moving forward.
Song of the Week: “Whiskey in the Jar” by Metallica
In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to use this terrific cover by Metallica:
I previously used “Body of an American” by The Pogues as a Song of the Week, but it did not feel right in referencing St. Patrick’s Day without using a song from them, so let’s run it back....DOUBLE SHOT FRIDAY!
The Last of Us
The first season of The Last of Us has come to a conclusion and I’ve got some thoughts about it.
- The first five minutes were incredibly hard to watch — and came from out out of nowhere. I was not prepared for that. I am a big wuss, child birth on screen always make me cringe!
- As it turns out, we got the Ellie origin story in what was a totally unexpected flashback (though, I guess it shouldn’t have been totally unexpected given the show’s propensity for flashback-based episodes).
- Aside of all of that, the psychological damage to Ellie from the happenings of the previous episode seemed to taking a major toll on her — that plus the fact that she might have been realizing her time with Joel could be ending.
- The giraffe was pretty cool and it wasn’t CGI apparently. Crazy.
- Joel’s suicide attempt admission was another stunner.
- For as much chemistry as there was between Joel and Ellie prior to this episode, when things got serious, it just felt…weird. Maybe that was the point, though.
- Joel’s one-man rescue mission/killing spree was something to behold. The weapon switching in the scene seemed to be a nod to the video game (at least I’m guessing it was) and how the characters in the game can swap weapons.
- Why would Marlene wake Joel up and tell him the plan? There was always a chance that Joel was going to go into Terminator mode once he found out.
- The whole sequence of Joel saving Ellie was surprising with how it played out, but the “swear” at the end of the episode (aka Joel’s cover story) felt ominous and that it was going to rear its ugly head at some point later.
- Overall, I don’t know how the season stacks up against the video game story, but the season was good, but not great. I’d give it a solid B. I will watch the next season, but I’m definitely at least a little skeptical of where this all could go. Will the show continue to follow the template set forth by the video game? Or, will The Last of Us venture into some uncharted territory? I guess we’ll all find out when the next season drops.
Okay, here you go...some thoughts on the first three episodes:
- The opening sequence was insane. The giant crocodile-type thing made for a good way to show off all of the various Mandalorian weapons.
- Pedro Pascal has had some “prestige TV” roles, huh? Game of Thrones, Narcos, The Mandalorian, and The Last of Us. That is quite a resume.
- While still formulaic (20% season plot progression, 80% new problem/mission + resolution), it works for the format of the show.
- The Armorer also reminds Din Djarin that he is not a true Mandalorian any longer because he took his helmet off, which becomes a set up for a mission in the next episode.
- I do love that the show sticks to what it does best: Give us a lot of cool stuff to view and keep an adventure-based storyline. There is no need to muck up a successful formula for success.
- Overall, a good build-up episode to get things rolling for the new season, but there was no “big bang” to kick things off. Instead, it looks like this season will be a slow burn, which is all good by me.
- As stated, the formulaic nature of this show probably annoys some, but it still somehow works to me and I think it’s one of the endearing parts of the show. You know what you are getting as a viewer. If nothing else, it’s consistent.
- Any episode with Peli is a good one and this time she convinces Din Djarin to buy an R5-D4 droid, who will help with the spelunking that will need to be done on Mandalore.
- We finally got a chance to see what Mandalore looks like these days, too, which was cool.
- Damn it, I’m starting to feel like there is too much Grogu in the show. I like the little bastard, but he’s getting too big of a role. Grogu going to get Bo-Katan to save Din Djarin was both cool and borderline too cheesy for me. I am conflicted!
- The point of this episode was for Din Djarin to bath on the sacred waters in the mines of Mandalore to become a true Mandalorian again. The mission, of course, was a success.
- The scenes of the airships fighting over the water are always awesome, but the end result was Bo-Katan saw her home destroyed.
- The amount of TIE Interceptors that were around was alarming, but the whole chase and fight sequence was really, really cool (did I already mention that?). The battled delivered. One thing the Star Wars franchise has always done is deliver on the “dogfighting” scenes. They are — and have always been — spectacular.
- Back on Coruscant, we got re-introduced to Dr. Pershing, who is a doctor who worked on cloning for the Empire (Specifically, Moff Gideon was going to harvest blood from Grogu to make force-sensitive Stormtroopers). This appears to be the overarching theme for the season as there was a ton of time devoted to this.
- Another old player from Gideon’s squad (Elia Kane) is linked up with Dr. Pershing and even the doctor is alarmed to see her. While her intentions seem sort of genuine, initially, you get the feeling immediately that she has ulterior motives.
- We also got an interesting look at how old Imperial soldiers and other personnel are being “rehabbed” into functioning, responsible members of the New Republic. I could see how this might have been off-putting to some folks for a couple of reasons, but I was good with it for how it fits into what might be happening across the galaxy.
- In the end, those thoughts about Elia Kane were correct and she betrays Dr. Peshing. We might not have seen the last of Moff Gideon — or at least his plans for Grogu — after all, as well.
As someone who was rocking a Crackberry as recently as 2010, I think I need to see this:
Glenn Howerton stars in the first trailer for ‘BLACKBERRY’.— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 15, 2023
The film releases on May 12 in theaters. pic.twitter.com/DNzV1EC1qN
Bayern Munich is ripe for a letdown. They are riding high, have international call-up related distractions, Manchester City-related distractions, and could be looking past Bayer Leverkusen...still, I will pick the Bavarians as I think Nagelsmann has them locked in and focused at this stage.
I have to admit, however, I would not be shocked to see Bayern Munich slip just a bit.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Bayern Munich
Other Bundesliga Match Day 25 predictions include:
- Hoffenheim 1-0 Hertha Berlin
- Mainz 05 1-2 SC Freiburg
- VfL Bochum 1-4 RB Leipzig
- FC Augsburg 1-2 Schalke 04
- Borussia Dortmund 4-0 FC Köln
- Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Werder Bremen
- VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Wolfsburg
- Union Berlin 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
- Overall Bundesliga record: 111-105
- Last week’s Bundesliga record: 4-5
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 3-0
- Champions League record: 5-3
- World Cup overall record: 38-25
- WWU overall record: 158-133
- Guest predictions: 7-5