Well...there was always a chance that Bayern Munich was going to experience a letdown against Bayer Leverkusen — and it happened.
Bayern Munich had the Champions League draw, an international break, and some other issues going on that had the potential to be just distracting enough to cause the Bavarians to look past Die Werkself.
It’s no excuse at all — hell, I thought Nagelsmann had gotten the team to the point where they would do anything but let Leverkusen steal three points, but here we are. Let’s take a look at some quick hitters on the match:
- Let’s take a look at the starting XI — which did not really sync or flow:
- Nagelsmann’s back-three featured some different parts with Joao Cancelo and Sadio Mane getting the nod. Mane looked listless at times, while Cancelo was pretty good. I think Cancelo and Joshua Kimmich were the only two players I gave passing grades to.
- It was a rare, terrible day for the backline. I did not like the way any of the center-backs played and Alphonso Davies faded back to how he looked earlier this winter for points during the contest.
- At times I felt like Davies was doing well, but he did lose possession 17 times and only won four of his 13 ground duels. Those statistics need to improve.
- Thomas Muller only has 19 touches...19. He lost possession 12 times. Not a good day for ol’ Tommy Boy.
- Since lost possession is looking like my theme, Leroy Sane also lost it 17 times. Between Davies, Muller, and Sane, there were 46 times the trio lost possession. It is hard to get any consistency going in the final third with that kind of sloppiness.
- To be equal opportunity, Florian Wirtz lost possession 21 times on 43 touches. Yikes. I think Wirtz is outstanding, but I think he was pressing against Bayern Munich (for obvious reasons) and took himself out of the match.
- I’m not going to belabor any of these points, it just wasn’t a good game for Bayern Munich and it took a “total team effort” for the squad to be so collectively bad. Burn the game film on this one and forget it ever happened.
- Overall, I was way too optimistic about how mature the team was in terms in maintaining focus and taking care of business. This is a great team...a championship level team, but they still do have some room for growth as a unit. A lot of times, there is a mix of blame that can be placed on the coach and the players, but I think the players were flat, unmotivated, and lacked any type of competitive fire for the most part. It was disappointing, but unfortunately one of those things that does happen during a season. This is not harbinger of things to come, but a stark reminder that every season is filled with ups and downs. This was a certifiable down, but is likely just a minor blip on the radar screen. The team will be better the next time we see them.
Ryan Gravenberch was one of Bayern Munich’s star signings for this season, with the 19-year-old Dutch midfielder arriving from Ajax Amsterdam as one of the great jewels of continental soccer, reinforcing the midfield of the team coached by German coach Julian Nagelsmann.
However, Gravenberch’s first season at the Allianz Arena has not been at all as expected, with the player not getting regular playing time, which has sparked all kinds of rumors about his departure during the next transfer window. He could be signed by Liverpool, who apparently have very advanced negotiations to give one of their first bombshells for next season.
It still remains doubtful that Bayern Munich would be interested in selling the Dutchman after just one season. Barring some outlandish offer from Liverpool, it is probably safe to assume that Gravenberch will be back with the Bavarians for 2023/24.
Some outlets say that Bayern Munich is completely out on Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, while others say the Bavarians are still in the mix — just maybe on the periphery.
One club that might be considering throwing its hat fully into the ring for Kane is Real Madrid:
Real Madrid have admired Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane for a long time now and as per Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, Los Blancos are keeping tabs on the developments surrounding the England captain, who is a target for Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
The report adds that Bayern Munich and Manchester United are interested, but have doubts about a move due to his age, valuation and the possible protracted negotiations with Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy.
Even as the situation continues to develop, Real Madrid are keeping close tabs on any movements surrounding Kane. Los Blancos are set to extend Karim Benzema’s contract by another year, but are on the lookout for additional replacements. Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe have been heavily linked, but signing either of them comes with a great set of challenges.
Hence, Kane is also being looked at as an option, as they believe Levy would prefer selling the England captain to a club outside the Premier League.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Reaction Show — Bayern Munich draws Manchester City (Bavarian Football Works)
Well...”We’ll do it live, (Bleep) it!”
Bayern Munich will face Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals. What would be the great reward if Bayern Munich makes it through that gauntlet? A meeting with the winner of Real Madrid vs. Chelsea FC.
Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this show — “A very special episode” of Bavarian Podcast Works dedicated to the UCL Draw:
- My initial reaction to the draw — no one can say Bayern Munich will not have earned it if they make it all the way through.
- Why this is a good matchup.
- Why this is a bad matchup.
- Bayern Munich will get a chance to exorcise the ghost of Pep Guardiola.
- Dealing with Erling Haaland will not be easy.
- A very, very early prediction on how this might play out (just no score line or concrete call on the tie yet. Time is needed to soak it all in).
It appears that Marco Verratti is not a fan of the criticism that he has been facing at Paris Saint-Germain and might want to leave the club. However, the team actually has no intention of selling him off:
Marco Verratti is considering his future at PSG after facing recent criticism from supporters but club officials have no interest in selling the Italy international.
At one point when he was at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Denis Zakaria was considered a prime transfer target for Bayern Munich.
The move never came to fruition and, instead, Zakaria moved to Juventus — where he did not impress. He was then loaned to Chelsea FC, where, again, he has not lived up to expectations:
News #Zakaria: At this stage he is likely to leave Chelsea at the the end of this season. Been told the club tendency’s is not to use the option to buy. Therefore he could return to Juventus.— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) March 16, 2023
But: #CFC is looking for a new No. 6! One of the top priorities. @SkySportDE pic.twitter.com/rWnJSoJuUg
Liverpool FC could be ready to overhaul its roster, which could mean parting ways with beloved attacker Mo Salah. However, if some club (***cough***Paris Saint-Germain***cough***) wants Salah, it will have to pony up about €80 million:
Liverpool will demand a fee of €80m to part ways with Mohamed Salah this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain looking to get a deal over the line.
That seems like a lot of money for the 30-year-old, but PSG could be looking to make a splash after Bayern Munich unceremoniously bumped them out of the Champions League.
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.