The slap heard ‘round the world on Tuesday has left a lasting impact at Bayern Munich.
Here is what we know:
- Leroy Sané and Sadio Mané had a disagreement on the pitch (excerpt from our post here):
The trigger for the argument was apparently in the 83rd minute, where Mane apparently ran into space for a through ball rather than coming short to receive the ball. This led to a heated exchange between the two players on the pitch, which was captured by photographers at the stadium.
- The disagreement between the two star players carried into the locker room.
- Mané slapped Sané, which caused some kind of mark/irritation/cut to the German winger’s lip.
- Stories leaked.
- Bayern Munich suspended Mané.
For Mané, it was the second locker room altercation in the span of about a month. The former Liverpool FC star berated former coach Julian Nagelsmann after the second leg match between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain as well (as excerpted from our post here):
Per Bild, Sadio Mané angrily confronted Julian Nagelsmann in front of the rest of the players in the dressing room, after being given only eight minutes in the game that saw Bayern advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. They claim that the coach was “intimidated” by Mane’s angry speech, which is why he started the following game vs Augsburg.
These things...happen. This won’t be the last fight between players or the extinction of players getting heated with their bosses over playing time. However, a player’s ability to remain on a team after these incidents typically has to do with how valuable he is to the club.
When Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels got into a verbal exchange, cooler heads prevailed before it got more physical than some light pushing and jostling.
When Kingsley Coman (unwisely) tried to take on trained kickboxer Lewandowski and punches were landed, both players moved on and the club quickly swept it all under the rug.
In those instances, all three players involved, held value to the team.
As for Mané slapping Sané? Well, one player was a long-running, coveted transfer who has ingrained himself into the club and locker room. The other? He was a grab-and-go, big name transfer inked to fill a “star” void in the attack, who has neither become a seamless addition on the pitch, nor with his teammates (as we know from this post).
Simply put, Bayern Munich will have to assess if Mané is worth all of this trouble — and there is no guarantee that the club will want to deal with an underperforming locker room issue much longer.
Winning the Bundesliga is a must
Bayern Munich is enduring just about every type of clubhouse controversy you can imagine:
- Summer transfers going bust.
- An underperforming transfer — allegedly — going after a coach in the locker room (see above).
- A late season (and poorly timed) coaching change.
- The front office risking a total punt on this season — then it subsequently seeing the bottom fall out of the season.
- A young player using the media multiple times to voice his displeasure.
- A loanee refusing to celebrate a big win with his teammates.
- A shocking loss in the DFB-Pokal.
- An absolute thrashing at the hands of Manchester City in the Champions League.
- An — alleged — fight in the locker room after a loss between two high-profile stars (again, see above).
- A front office member potentially being given the boot from the team bench on game day.
Yeah, there has been A LOT of drama.
Now, however, the squad is going to to have to try to turn the page on all of the craziness and focus on trying to win the Bundesliga. Can fans do the same with so many extra-curricular events going on?
It won’t be easy for the team or its supporters as the team has melted down over the last three weeks in a horrific way.
The season is not completely lost yet, though. The Meisterschale still means something and Bayern Munich should be eager to just get back on the field and away from just about everything else that has been going on.
But how do fans tune out all of the noise? It’s hard...really hard.
Things have not unraveled like this at Bayern Munich in quite a long time. Just like the players, the club’s fans are bickering.
There is #TeamTuchel vs. #TeamNags...the #MüllerMafia vs. any time he is not featured in the lineup...the lack of acknowledgement that Alphonso Davies has taken 10 steps back this season vs. Canadian loyalists!
Every topic surrounding this team has turned into a raging debate.
Yup, this is where we are at as a fanbase.
Remember the days when Nagelsmann allowing the team to vacation in Ibiza was the biggest controversy? Who wouldn’t love to have that problem back?
Rest assured, there will be plenty of time for the bickering to continue, but for now we should all just be hoping that Bayern Munich has enough in the tank to capture another Bundesliga title.
Like everything else this season, even that is no sure thing.
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 40 (Bavarian Football Works)
Yup, there is A LOT to talk about with Bayern Munich, so let’s dive right into it. This is what we have on tap for this episode:
- A preview of Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim, a predicted lineup, and a score line that will hopefully give fans some juice heading into the weekend (Please note that Sadio Mané was suspended after this episode was recorded).
- Why this match will tell us a lot about Thomas Tuchel’s mindset as a manager, his player preferences, and where things might be going from here.
- A look at all of the strikers (and other attacking options) that Bayern Munich has been linked to.
- Chatting on next season’s logjam at goalkeeper.
Song of the Week: “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
In honor of fight week, why not have Drowning Pool featured:
Released all the way back in 2001, I still enjoy this one and it still gets my blood pumping.
Given all of the turmoil going on, there is the perfect spot for Bayern Munich to implode. Hopefully, the boys can keep it together and put themselves in a position to stay atop the table.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Hoffenheim
Other Bundesliga Match Day 28 predictions include:
- Schalke 04 1-1 Hertha Berlin
- FC Köln 2-1 Mainz 05
- RB Leipzig 3-1 FC Augsburg
- VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Union Berlin 2-0 VfL Bochum
- Werder Bremen 1-2 SC Freiburg
- Wolfsburg 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen
Champions League prediction
At this point, it’s just about playing with pride in front of your home fans on your home field.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2-1 Manchester City
- Overall Bundesliga record: 125-119
- Last week’s Bundesliga record: 6-3
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 3-1
- Champions League record: 6-3
- World Cup overall record: 38-25
- WWU overall record: 172-149
- Guest predictions: 7-5