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Weekend Warm-up: Why wait? Let’s discuss Bayern Munich’s players from top to bottom; Throwing it back to Nine Inch Nails; Takes on The Mandalorian, Bundesliga predictions; + MORE!

Bayern Munich vs. Mainz 05...are you ready?

FC Bayern München v Manchester City: Quarterfinal Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Just a few weeks ago, Bayern Munich’s season had hopes of a treble.

Now, the club is just hoping to not suffer a collapse in the Bundesliga...but why?

Well, a coaching change at an inopportune played a role in the mess and some very questionable personnel moves also factored in. In the end, though, the players are out on the field and not performing up to the standard that fans expect.

Let’s take a look at grouping the roster based on how they have played on the pitch, their impact on-and-off the field, and how much of the budget they are eating up. For some players, this has been a good campaign, for others...not so much.

Very good seasons

FC Bayern München v Manchester City: Quarterfinal Second Leg - UEFA Champions League
Matthijs de Ligt has been excellent this season for Bayern Munich.
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images
  • Joshua Kimmich: While this has probably not been his best campaign, Kimmich has been the club’s most consistent, high-performing player. His ascension into a leadership role is underway and the team is quickly being turned over to him.
  • Matthijs De Ligt: As much as Kimmich is getting that leadership role, De Ligt might be the better option. After a slow start, De Ligt has been nothing short of excellent. Positionally exceptional, strong in the air, and with a knack for making big plays, De Ligt is also doing an excellent job of assessing the squad and picking up his teammates. If not for Kimmich, De Ligt would be a natural fit as the club’s next captain.
  • Thomas Müller: In a season where two different coaches benched him for big games, it seems absurd to say that Müller has been the team’s third best player, but it is still hard to think of many other players who have been consistently impactful. Simply put, the team is better when he is on the pitch — though it seems like Tuchel will become yet another Bayern Munich skipper who does not see a role for the Raumdeuter moving forward.
  • Benjamin Pavard: The much-maligned defender has been great at both center-back and right-back. Over the years, Pavard has accumulated a lot of hate, but imagine what this team might look like without his versatility and his overall great play.
  • Kingsley Coman: The Frenchman is not having his best statistical season, but he has been especially disruptive as both a wing and a wing-back this season. If he could finish consistently, Coman would be pushing for the top spot on the squad.
  • Mathys Tel: The young attacker performed when called upon, has been a good soldier, and has shown consistent improvement. He has done everything asked of him.
  • Yann Sommer: Picked up at midseason, Sommer was the best possible move Bayern Munich could make when Manuel Neuer broke his leg. While his positioning (and height) have come under some fire from pundits, can you imagine where Bayern Munich would have been without him?

Good seasons, but some issues

  • Dayot Upamecano: The Frenchman has been abysmal of late, but was excellent for most of the season. Hopefully he can snap out of his slump soon. His recent swoon shouldn’t mar his season, but it does knock him from the top level.
  • Jamal Musiala: Moose was sensational in the first half of the season, but his finishing and his confidence took a dive at the World Cup — and he has not been able to shake out of his funk yet. Still, it would unwise to gloss over just how good he was early in the season. Similar to Upamecano, his recent struggles don’t totally take away from everything he did, but did knock him down a rung.
  • Leroy Sané: Sometimes Sane has been excellent and other times he has battled himself and slumped. It has been a good season for the Germany international overall, though.
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: The backup striker became a starter and has done everything asked of him and more. Choupo has far exceeded everyone’s expectations. However, he is not a top-level performer than can be relied upon in big games. It is a good story for this season, but not a solution moving forward.
  • Josip Stanisic: This might seem like an odd placement, but the Croatia international has been terrific when called upon…he just doesn’t get called upon all that much. It does not appear that Tuchel has any use for him, either.

Mediocre for one reason or another

  • Leon Goretzka: It seems that Goretzka has picked up some of the inconsistency issues that plague his buddy Serge Gnabry. Worse, he’s become the go-to target for the online haters, who have temporarily suspended their disdain for Pavard to get after Goretzka. Tuchel has also given the Germany international some guff. This all sure sounds like he could be an unexpected sale this summer, but overall, he has been...decent — which is where we are in this list.
  • Noussair Mazraoui: The summer acquisition was quality when he got a chance for extended playing time, but tested positive for COVID-19, experienced some terrible after-effects, and has been unable to push himself back into the discussion for playing time. Now he is threatening to leave via the one needs another distraction. To be clear, he was headed toward that next group above, but he picked the day the team was eliminated from the Champions League to complain about playing time to the media. Bad optics...

Forgettable campaigns

  • Alphonso Davies: Davies had a tumultuous season on-and-off the field. He lost the ball too much, struggled with his positioning, failed to track back defensively to the detriment of the team too many times, and lost his mark a ton. Davies still has a boatload of potential, but he was not “great” last season and was really “off” this season — to the point he was benched in an elimination game. It has not been good.
  • Joao Cancelo: The Manchester City loanee has his legion of fans, but he has been mediocre and has barely made an impact in any games that really matter with Bayern Munich. It is hard to say exactly why he has been given so many chances — aside of the club bosses not being thrilled with Davies and Mazraoui. I pondered pushing him into the “Not Rated” category, but he got picked to play against Manchester City, so...he made this cut.
  • Serge Gnabry: The attacker is struggling with his form and his confidence. He was always inconsistent, but this season was probably his worst campaign since breaking through in the Bundesliga.
  • Sadio Mané: Even though he got off to a decent start statistically, he has not been what this team needed when it made the effort to sign him. The former Liverpool FC star played a huge role in getting the team eliminated from the DFB-Pokal, went offsides an absurd amount, slapped a teammate, and overall just looks like a non-fit for this team. Mané is also the team’s highest paid player...when factoring all of that in and silo-ing in on strictly this season (plus factoring in his off-the-field nonsense with Julian Nagelsmann and Sané), I am okay with placing him here.
  • Ryan Gravenberch: Seldom-used, not great when he did play, and complained to the media multiple times. Even Gravenberch would say this season has been a letdown for him.
  • Daley Blind: Remember him? Well, he barely played, but when he did, he was subpar.

Not rated

  • Sven Ulreich: He really could have been number one because he was ready to throw hands after Kimmich pissed off SC Freiburg. #SvenTheWall was ready to throw down with SC Freiburg’s players.
  • Lucas Hernandez: An ACL rear ended his season far too early to evaluate. He was excellent before the injury for what it is worth.
  • Manuel Neuer: Neuer should knocked for a silly decision to go skiing during the season. It was an “uncaptain-like” move.
  • Marcel Sabitzer: Honestly, it seems like he has been a better player for Manchester United than anyone on this roster has performed since he left the club in January. It is hard to believe after the awesome Hinrunde he had, that there was no way to use him in the second half of the season at Bayern Munich. If we are rating him just based on his performance at Bayern Munich in the first half of the season, he would be in the top-third of the squad.
  • Paul Wanner, Arijon Ibrahimovic: We just didn’t see enough of these guys...and probably won’t ever at the rate this is going.
  • Bouna Sarr: Who?

There you have it. Tell me where I am too high or too low in the comments...

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 2, Episode 41

Bayern Munich’s season has been knocked upside down.

The DFB-Pokal run is over, the Champions League hopes have been crushed, and now fan have been left to pick up all of the pieces, while hoping like hell that the squad can remain focused enough to capture the Bundesliga (which is no sure thing at this point):

  • A preview of Bayern Munich vs. Mainz 05.
  • The fallout from Bayern Munich’s elimination at the hands of Manchester City including the Oliver Kahn getting ousted rumors, Thomas Tuchel’s blame game, the team’s collapse since the hiring of Tuchel, and more!
  • Transfer talk including Bayern Munich’s striker list — which has two less names these days, including Hasan Salihamidžić failing to take accountability for the lack of a Robert Lewandowski contingency plan.

Song of the Week: “The Hand That Feeds” by Nine Inch Nails

I woke up and needed to hear some Nine Inch Nails...and the song I chose was “The Hand That Feeds”, which was released in 2005 (which still doesn’t feel that long ago...but really is). Like many NIN songs, this hits hard and fast. Enjoy:

Entertainment Rundown

The Mandalorian

Season 3, Episode 7

Here we go:

  • Titled “The Spies”, this....opened up a lot of cans of worms.
  • We saw Mandalorians holding a summit on Nevarro, some previously unknown Mandalorians roaming Mandalore, the full return of Moff Gideon, a meeting with the “Shadow Council”, and Grogu rolling around in a new ride — a rebuilt, but not fully functional IG-11. A lot went down.
  • The big set-up for the episodes was the Mandalorians returning to their homeland, only to be ambushed by Moff Gideon’s, which worked to set up a conflict-filled season finale.
  • It was a decent episode, but not one of the best of the series — which is becoming a bit of a trend. The story this seasons seems to be dragging out a bit longer than necessary. While I might sound like I am teetering on the show, I am still all-in, but no show is ever perfect. This current string of episodes has left a little bit to be desired, but I am enjoying it nonetheless.

Season 3, Episode 8

I went a little light on Episode 6 as I was a week behind, so let’s go on the season finale:

  • Titled “The Return”, we all knew something g big was going to happen.
  • The aerial battle of jet packers was pretty cool.
  • Din Djarin and Grogu finally ran into Moff Gideon for an ultimate showdown.
  • The Grogu fight scene against the imperials guards was...absurd. There I said it.
  • How did Bo-Katan know Grogu was in trouble when she came in and why did it take Grogu so long to use The Force? Come on kid!
  • The ultimate, final battle between Moff Gideon and his goons vs. Bo-Katan, Din Djarin, and Gorgu was ultimately interrupted by the other Mandalorians crashing an Imperial ship into Gideon’s secret lair.
  • Grogu literally creating a “Force field” to save Din Djarin and Bo-Katan was too much and some serious plot armor.
  • As for Gideon, we do not officially see him die, though it would be hard to ascertain how he could have survived that.
  • We then got Din Djarin adopting Grogu. It all got weird.
  • The positive is that the way it all ended at least put everything in a position where there would be new adventures to build from.
  • Overall, the season was…okay. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending and I can’t help but find Grogu annoying (Gah! I know I’m a bad person).I’d rate this below the other two seasons and while I found it enjoyable, it almost has started to feel like The Mandalorian does work better as a formulaic show rather than one that carries an over-arching theme for a full season. Regardless, when it loads back up on Disney + for season four, I’ll be watching.


Bayern Munich is not in a great spot — and Mainz 05 is actually playing fairly well. If Bayern Munich has quit on the season or feels sorry for itself, it will drop points here. The feeling here is that the Bavarians will do enough to win, but Thomas Tuchel’s tinkering could make it difficult to get a good flow going.

Prediction: Mainz 05 1-2 Bayern Munich

Other Bundesliga Match Day 28 predictions include:

  • FC Augsburg 2-1 VfB Stuttgart
  • VfL Bochum 1-3 Wolfsburg
  • Hertha Berlin 1-1 Werder Bremen
  • Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • SC Freiburg 2-0 Schalke 04
  • Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 RB Leipzig
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-2 Union Berlin 2-0
  • Hoffenheim 2-1 FC Köln

Prediction Records

  • Overall Bundesliga record: 125-119
  • Last week’s Bundesliga record: 0-1
  • DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
  • DFB-Pokal record: 3-1
  • Champions League record: 6-4
  • World Cup overall record: 38-25
  • WWU overall record: 172-150
  • Guest predictions: 7-5

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