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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Germany vs. Belgium; No room for Gavi at Bayern Munich; Lionel Messi’s MLS adventure; Napoli’s Victor Osimhen open to Bayern move; FC Barcelona chasing RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo; & MORE!

The second half intensity saved Germany from having a totally poor showing.

Germany v Belgium - International Friendly Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Germany’s 3-2 loss to Belgium (Bavarian Football Works)

Former Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick was determined to learned more about his player pool and what kind of formation he could run during this international break.

Let’s hope he achieved both goals as the team scuffled through both of its games. The 3-2 loss to Belgium wasn’t just wasn’t good either. A very spirited second half effort made the performance palatable for many fans, but there was no real satisfaction for anyone from this set of matches.

Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • Let’s take a look at the lineup:
  • This was pretty much what everyone expected, but man, it was functioning poorly early on.
  • The German defense was a complete mess. Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku scored goals in the first nine minutes and the Germans were already shellshocked.
  • It easily could have been 3-0, but Dodi Lukebakio blew a breakaway in an awful way.
  • Was Florian Wirtz even on the field? He got a quick hook that probably had more to do with keeping him fresh than his performance.
  • Leon Goretzka also left the match early after picking up a knock, but it was nothing serious.
  • I thought David Raum was pretty bad...and let’s not even discuss the center-back tandem of Matthias Ginter and ThiLOL Kehrer.
  • Thankfully, a Niclas Füllkrug header off of a corner resulted in a handball by Lukaku gave the Werder Bremen man a penalty. Füllkrug converted the opportunity to cut Germany’s deficit to 2-1 in the first half.
  • Germany did look better, more energetic, and more focused in the second half, which was promising.
  • Timo Werner went offside in the 59th minute on what would have been a major goal for the Germans.
  • Kevin De Bruyne’s 78th minute effort iced the game for Belgium and his finish was on-point. After some consistent pressure and renewed fervor, Germany’s backline let it down once again.
  • Serge Gnabry had a very ineffective first half, but had some dazzling moments at the end of the match. His tremendous dribbling in the 85th minute led to a chance for Germany, before he converted a pass from Kevin Schade just minutes later to make a it a 3-2 game. That was nice progress for the embattled Bayern Munich attacker.
  • Overall, it was...not great. At a minimum, Flick learned something about his players and his new formation. Where it all goes from here, though, is anyone’s guess.

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, or Observations give them a look:

Bayern’s midfield too crowded for Gavi? (@Plettigoal)

Bayern Munich has been linked to FC Barcelona midfielder Gavi once again, but even if the two sides could agree that they want to work together, the Bavarians might view their central midfield as too crowded per Sky Sport’s Florian Plettenberg:

With Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Marcel Sabitzer (for now), Ryan Gravenberch (maybe for now), and Konrad Laimer (likely to be joining Bayern Munich) all currently in the mix at the No. 6 and No. 8 positions for next season, Bayern Munich would have difficulty finding space for the Spanish wunderkind.

As we saw yesterday, the last thing the club wants is another young player unhappy with his standing on the team.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 37 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich might be on a break, but BFW has plenty of hot topics — and maybe some hot takes — to chatter about.

Join us for this week’s Weekend Warm-up podcast, where we have a ton of good discussion points on the agenda, including:

  • Why Bayern Munich should extend the contract of Benjamin Pavard,
  • Germany’s squad selections and why this was a necessity for Hansi Flick.
  • FC Barcelona might sell Robert Lewandowski...would you bring him back?
  • The acquisition of Sadio Mané was heralded during the summer, but there were always some reasons to think it would not be a perfect fit. Has he been successful? Is it fair to assess him at this point? Would you make the move again?

Messi moving to Philly? (Goal)

Maybe not necessarily the Philadelphia Union (though the thought of me bumping into the Argentina legend at Wawa is nothing short of scintillating), but Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi is reportedly considering a move to MLS:

Lionel Messi will reportedly get to pick which MLS club he wants to play for if heading to America, with all 29 teams set to fund a stunning transfer.

Various landing spots have been mooted for the all-time great – from Barcelona to the Middle East – but interest from the United States remains. David Beckham co-owned Inter Miami have made no secret of the fact that they would like to welcome Messi to Florida, with coach Phil Neville saying: “I’m not going to deny [it and say] there isn’t truth in the speculation that we’re interested in Lionel Messi. We want to bring the best players in the world to this football club. Messi and [Sergio] Busquets are the two that stand out more in recent years. They’re great players who would still be a massive benefit to this organization. For MLS, it would be a game-changer.”

However, the kicker to this story is that MLS might be workshopping a deal that would have every franchise pay for Messi in what would be an unprecedented move:

Sport is now reporting that MLS teams could work together to bankroll a sensational deal that would see Messi earn over $1 million a week. As his presence in America would stand to benefit everyone, with commercial and TV revenue taken into account, it is suggested that all teams could contribute to his wages and he would be free to choose whether he turns out in Miami, New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta.

There is no doubt that Messi moving to MLS could create a frenzy, though it might be a mountain of a financial mess to sort through for everyone involved.

Barca still eyeing Olmo (kicker)

FC Barcelona is still scoping RB Leipzig attacker Dan Olmo:

Not only in Leipzig is speculation about the future of Dani Olmo (24). As the club-affiliated “Mundo Deportivo” writes in a “secret” report, there was a meeting between the offensive player and those responsible for FC Barcelona during the Winter World Cup in Doha. The Catalans are said to have asked Dani Olmo not to renew his contract at Leipzig, which expires in 2024. The tense financial situation makes it difficult for Barça to pay a higher fee for him.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Rant edition — Bayern Munich sack Julian Nagelsmann? And hired Thomas Tuchel!? (Bavarian Football Works)

So this came out of nowhere and we just HAD to react to it. Bayern Munich have decided to sack Julian Nagelsmann with immediate effect, and former Chelsea and BVB coach Thomas Tuchel is set to be named his successor. This is an insane set of developments, especially given the timing during an international break and with the game vs Borussia Dortmund coming right after.

In this special edition reaction (or rant) episode, INNN and Schnitzel talk about the following:

  • The strange timing of the decision.
  • Arguing back and forth about Nagelsmann’s record and the decision to sack him.
  • Can Thomas Tuchel get Bayern on track before facing BVB and Manchester City?
  • What criteria does Tuchel need to fulfill to be a success at Bayern?
  • What happens to the board if Tuchel can’t hack it?
  • And arguments. Lots and lots of arguments. Especially about the DFB Pokal for some reason.

Osimhen likes Bayern, but finances aren’t aligned (@Plettigoal)

According to Sky Sport’s Florian Plettenberg, Napoli star Victor Osimhen would not be opposed to joining Bayern Munich, but the club does not have the finances available to bring in the high-scoring striker:

Kovačić on Bayern’s radar? (Daily Telegraph via @iMiaSanMia)

The hiring of Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich has people thinking that the club will pursue Chelsea FC’s Mateo Kovačić:

Bayern could enter the race to sign Mateo Kovačić, who is well known to Thomas Tuchel. The Croatian midfielder will only have a year remaining on his Chelsea contract in the summer, which has already alerted Manchester City.

However, Sky Sport’s Florian Plettenberg shot down the rumor:

Bavarian Podcast Works: Flagship Show — Season 5, Episode 39 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich has entered unsteady ground with a coaching change so late in the season. Marcus and Samrin take up the coaching appointment and discuss many aspects of it as well as what the season might look like moving forward.

  • What Marcus thinks of Julian Nagelsmann’s fashion sense!
  • Did Nagelsmann have the right attitude throughout his time at Bayern?
  • Did the team actually progress under Nagelsmann?
  • What is the right way to run a club like Bayern Munich?
  • How the sacking of Nagelsmann impacts the positions of Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic
  • Thoughts on the aftermath of the Bayer Leverkusen match
  • Was the decision to fire Nagelsmann the correct one?
  • What does success mean when it comes to comes to Thomas Tuchel?
  • Is Tuchel the answer for Bayern? Does he have the nous to handle the personalities at Bayern, both in the dressing room and the on the pitch?
  • How will Tuchel’s hiring impact player morale?
  • Where we think Germany stands ahead of the Euros
  • How might the team react to the coaching situation against Borussia Dortmund
  • A word on the Frauen topping the table and on women’s football in general
  • A discussion on the quality of the Bundesliga and whether that has led to a more competitive league season
  • Marcus’s belief in Joachim Löw
  • Marcus underestimates Niklas Füllkrug!
  • A lot of references to INNN!

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