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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. SC Freiburg in the DFB-Pokal; Manchester United, Man City, Real Madrid join FC Barcelona in Benjamin Pavard pursuit; Brave Chelsea players clowned Graham Potter behind his back; & MORE

What a debacle.

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FC Bayern München v SC Freiburg - DFB Cup: Quarterfinal Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Getty Images

Die Folgen: Bayern’s 2-1 loss to Freiburg in the Pokal (Bavarian Football Works)

Thomas Tuchel’s second game at Bayern Munich was an abject failure — there is no way to sugarcoat that.

However, it is debatable exactly how blame should fall on his shoulders given the lack of urgency and focus that the squad exhibited during the match.

To be clear, it was…not good. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • Let’s start with the lineup:
  • Tuchel kept things static with the exception of Joao Cancelo taking over for Alphonso Davies. I have several questions on this: Was it just a rotation thing to rest Davies? Was there an issue with how Davies performed against Borussia Dortmund or in training? Does this look a little bad since Cancelo sulked after the BVB game and left his teammates hanging? It was reported that it was simply a rest day for Davies, but an elimination game seemed like an odd time to give the Canadian an off day.
  • I’m not going to make a big deal of it, but I don’t like the optics of Cancelo getting the start after pouting.
  • It was very evident early on that SC Freiburg was going to be patient and not deviate from its defensive shape much. While not exactly parking the bus completely, it was a very compact set-up that was going to force Bayern Munich to be creative and efficient.
  • In match like this, set pieces were going to be key — and Bayern Munich made good on a corner from Joshua Kimmich that Dayot Upamecano headed home in the 19th minute. Bayern Munich desperately needed that lead because the longer it stayed in a stalemate with SC Freiburg, the more difficult the match was going to get — and the more confident that Christian Streich’s boys were going to be.
  • That lead would be short-lived, however, as Nicolas Höfler hit a beautiful strike to knot the game at 1-1 just minutes later.
  • While it was not a bad first half effort from Bayern Munich, it was one that we have seen before against a determined side, whose main goal was to frustrate Bayern Munich into making mistakes more than actually trying to win the match outright.
  • Bayern Munich’s late flurry at the end of the first half did not amount to a goal and it definitely felt a little ominous to see two excellent chances occur — and to walk away without a goal.
  • Thomas Müller was working like hell to create offense for Bayern Munich, but things never fully clicked for the Bavarians.
  • Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich’s respective roles in the match were reduced compared to what we have seen of late from the duo. In particular, Goretzka was invisible and barely on the ball.
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had a rough game.
  • Cancelo often found himself in a very central position while Bayern Munich was attacking. I’m not sure that worked out so well…
  • In the 63rd minute, Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman were removed in favor of Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala. I thought Coman was solid, but not great, while Choupo-Moting struggled.
  • The entry of Sadio Mané into the match in the 79th minute would prove to be fatal for Bayern Munich’s chances to win. Ineffective as an attacker, the veteran picked up two clumsy fouls — including one that set up the free kick, which led to the game-winning goal. The former Liverpool is not taking nearly enough heat for his sloppy performance.
  • SC Freiburg’s ensuing free kick eventually led to a handball call in the box on Jamal Musiala during the third minute of extra time. Lucas Höler would bury the attempt and the rest is history.
  • Overall, there was not a ton to like about Bayern Munich’s focus, effort, or consistency. Perhaps players like Cancelo (who pouted about playing time on Saturday) and Mané (who allegedly had a blow up with Julian Nagelsmann) are creating a distraction with their antics (if true). Maybe? Maybe not? Who knows, but something looked different in the team’s mentality on Tuesday. Now, it will be up to Tuchel to sort out how to right the ship. “Welcome to the party, pal!”

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

United, City, Madrid all want Pavard (

As we already know, FC Barcelona could make a play for Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard during the summer transfer window. Now, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Real Madrid are all also keeping a close eye on Pavard, who is entering the lame duck year of his contract:

Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid have all expressed an interest in Bayern Munich right-back Benjamin Pavard, sources have confirmed to 90min. Pavard has been considered one of Europe’s most talented full-back’s for a number of seasons, but his long-term future at Bayern is uncertain and he does have options away from Bavaria.

City, United and Real are all looking at bolstering their options at right back in the coming months and Pavard has emerged as a very attractive option. Sources have told 90min that all three clubs are well aware of the state of play with Pavard, and have asked to be kept informed about his situation.

Pavard has just over a year left on his current deal and Bayern are keen to open talks over an extension. But the Frenchman and his representatives have told the Bundesliga giants that they will wait until the summer before deciding what to do next, which is something the player confirmed publicly this week.

David Ornstein of The Atheltic had additional information on United’s interest in Pavard:

United’s priority position is at centre-forward, with Tottenham’s England captain and new record goalscorer Harry Kane prime in manager Erik ten Hag’s thoughts. Checks have been made on Napoli’s Victor Osimhen, Goncalo Ramos of Benfica and Brighton & Hove Albion’s emerging youngster Evan Ferguson, but United are also aware of other strikers who may be on the move this summer. The market has been notified about the prospect of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and Rasmus Hojlund of Atalanta being made available.

Should those two positions be sorted, a new right-back is next on the list. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has done well in the second part of this season but United will listen to offers for him should there be interest. Talks are ongoing over a new contract for Diogo Dalot, who also plays the position.

An attacking right-back will come on the agenda if Wan-Bissaka is sold. Exploratory talks have been held about Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard, whose contract expires in 2024, while Denzel Dumfries has changed agents in anticipation of a possible transfer from Inter Milan — Ten Hag is known to be an admirer of his compatriot. The Netherlands international has taken on representation with Yalcin Sarica and John Morris at Wasserman.

Amazingly, one thing that each of these reports neglects is the fact that Pavard wants to play center-back. That seems extremely important to the Frenchman.

Offer to Messi is massive (@brfootball)

The numbers here are staggering:

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 38 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich had one hell of week since the last recording of the Weekend Warm-up Podcast.

Immediately after I hit the road for Richmond last weekend, the world fell for Julian Nagelsmann. By the time I hit my destination, Nagelsmann has been fired, Tuchel was linked to the job, and chaos had ensured.

It was completely wild and BFW was here for ALL of it. Here is what we have on tap for this episode:

  • What we can take away from Germany’s performance during the international break.
  • Ryan Gravenberch’s feud with Julian Nagelsmann and why he needs to grow up.
  • Thoughts on the firing of Nagelsmann, the hiring of Thomas Tuchel, and why this is a so risky.
  • What the sudden change might mean for the roster — especially during the summer transfer window.

Newcastle poised for Diaby move? (Northern Echo via

Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby has drawn some serious interest from Newcastle United:

A club-record bid could be coming from Newcastle for Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby, a long-time target for the Magpies.

Chelsea players had nicknames for Potter (Daily Mail)

A bunch of players not good enough to be higher than 11th place of the Premier League table were giving out nicknames to their second scapegoat manager of the season? Say it ain’t so:

Graham Potter was called “Harry” and “Hogwarts” by Chelsea players behind his back prior to his Stamford Bridge sacking after failing to command the same respect as his predecessor Thomas Tuchel, according to reports.

Potter was relieved of his duties on Sunday with the Blues in the bottom half of the table after a dismal 2-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa the previous evening. The 47-year-old won just 12 and lost 11 of his 31 matches in charge after leaving Brighton to replace Tuchel in September.

Despite leading Chelsea to the Champions League quarter-finals, he struggled to win the players over and they believed he lacked authority, as reported by The Athletic. This led to him being called “Harry” and “Hogwarts” by Chelsea stars when out of the earshot of their manager.

Maybe Potter was a clown, but there seems to be a lack of accountability on the Chelsea roster from the players who — you know — are the ones actually going on to the field and losing.

Regardless...did you know that I have never seen any Harry Potter movie?

Gunners to make charge at Raphinha (Football Insider via

Could FC Barcelona attacker Raphinha already be on the move? Perhaps, and Arsenal FC seems ready to make a deal for the former Leeds United star:

Leaving Barcelona could be Raphinha just one year after joining from Leeds United. Arsenal are ready to reignite their interest in the Brazil winger and could lodge a bid.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Postgame Show — Bayern Munich 4-2 Borussia Dortmund (Bavarian Football Works)

So the Thomas Tuchel era starts with a bang. Bayern Munich dispatched Borussia Dortmund with 70 minutes of ruthless efficiency combined with 20 minutes of complete incompetence. 4-2 flatters the opponent because it could’ve easily been 6-0 in the first half itself. Safe to say, it looks like Tuchel has hit the ground running.

Here are our talking points from the game:

  • Why did Thomas Tuchel return to the standard 4-2-3-1?
  • A quick recap of how the game played out, and the poor play in the final 20 minutes.
  • Why Thomas Muller looks soooooooo much better in the 4-2-3-1 system, especially compared to his role under Julian Nagelsmann.
  • Subbing Thomas Muller remains a critical mistake no matter what your tactics are.
  • The resurgence of Leroy Sane and how he came alive in the second half.
  • The potential changes that could improve this lineup — mainly Jamal Musiala and Noussair Mazraoui.

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