Just a few weeks ago, Bayern Munich was scuffling under manager Thomas Tuchel and the pressure was beginning to mount on CEO Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic (but not president Herbert Hainer for some reason) for their ill-fated and poorly handed decision to sack Julian Nagelsmann in March.
The termination of Nagelsmann was so terribly managed and Bush-League that the club did not want to risk any further damage to its reputation, so it called for a reboot, sacked Kahn and Salihamidzic, and brought back Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to lead the supervisory board with Uli Hoeneß.
“Run it back!” “Run it back!” “Run it back!”
The move was met with some joy, some relief, and some skepticism. Could the formerly dynamic duo recapture the magic they once had in leading the club?
That, my friends, is the €1 billion question.
Neither Kahn, nor Salihamidzic were necessarily bad at their respective jobs, but both — at times — lacked the people skills to endear themselves to othersat the club. At a minimum, Rummenigge and Uli Hoeneß can be counted on to bring back that “family feel” to the organization.
All that said, the two men are 67-years-old and 71-years-old, respectively. Not to be ignored is the fact that the duo was tasked with leaving the club in good hands during their last time around and, well, we saw how that worked out.
Do they have enough energy, drive, and passion left to fix that mistake and set the club up better for their next exit? Bayern Munich fans had better hope so. There may not be any duo better suited to play the role of the “men behind the curtain” and reinvigorate the club, but the game has changed from just a few years ago when they were last in power together — and Robert Lewandowski (probably) isn’t walking through that door to save the squad.
The margin between success and failure is razor thin these days and Rummenigge and Hoeneß will have to prove that the game has not past them by. Surely, they still have the chops for it, but this game can be cruel, even to legends.
Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 2, Episode 47
What a long, strange trip it’s been.
Admittedly, Bayern Munich fans have had a lot to process with everything, so what better way to do it than with the Weekend Warm-up Podcast and at Bavarian Football Works.
Let’s take a look at what is on tap for this week’s episode:
- Some thoughts on the title win and the massive fallout that saw CEO Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić get sacked.
- Who might be coming in: Juventus striker Dušan Vlahović and West Ham defensive midfielder Declan Rice.
- Who might be headed out: Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Leon Goretzka, and Alphonso Davies.
- Who is likely coming back (at least for a little while): Marcel Sabitzer.
- Why this might be the summer that Bayern Munich “goes big.”
As you can see, there is a lot to cover.
Kimmich staying put to assert himself in Bavaria
In some ways, Joshua Kimmich had a confounding season at Bayern Munich.
The midfielder was consistently the club’s best, most dependable player. Sure, there were some missteps along the way, but in the end, Kimmich was Bayern Munich’s Most Valuable — and Most Outstanding — Player in my mind.
The transfer rumors are widely being shot down with the latest report from Abendzeitung’s Maximilian Koch (as captured by @iMiaSanMia) stating that the 28-year-old is staying in Bavaria for the the foreseeable future:
Joshua Kimmich’s full focus is on being successful with Bayern, that’s where he clearly sees his future. Neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid are an option for him at the moment. Kimmich wants to start a new attempt at all 3 titles next season, with FC Bayern.
His pending position change, however, is more difficult to decipher. There have been some reports that the club wants to move him to the No. 8 position and others that indicate the the player wants to make the transition.
Given his talent, defensive awareness, and press-resistant style of play, Kimmich could be as good of a No. 6 as there is in the world — if he wants to. This season, though, Kimmich did seem to eschew that deeper-sitting role in favor of advancing up the pitch, which waged war on his partner Leon Goretzka’s own sense of where to be and when to attack. It was also often Goretzka, who bore the brunt of Thomas Tuchel’s ire about the midfield tandem’s imbalance.
With a pursuit of Declan Rice not really being much more than a fun pipedream (most Bayern Munich fans would take Rice in a millisecond, but he is probably not leaving England), it is realistic that Bayern Munich really might not find a better No. 6 than Kimmich....then what? Does Bayern Munich continue down this road and forcing Kimmich into the No. 8 role?
Right now, we don’t know the answer to that, but seeing Kimmich at the No. 6 in the 2023/24 season opener would be just fine by me.
Song of the Week: “A Decade Under the Influence” by Taking Back Sunday
Back in 2004, “A Decade Under the Influence” by Taking Back Sunday hit the airwaves and it was a song that towed the line between alt rock, indie rock, and a rising brand of “emo” that was seeping into scene.
If you can get over that tag, much of the music that fell into the “emo” category was actually really good, including this track. The early aughts really did have a lot of great alt rock, but people kept doling out tags to differentiate things, when really all you needed to know was that it was good.
I don’t have a specific story that relates to this song, but I think it does resonate because it is mostly about discovering that there is a whole lot out there that we don’t know about — and the reality that it is sometimes unnerving to know that we have a lot more to learn and experience. Anyway, enjoy:
Entertainment: Why do I still pay for HBO?
I’ll admit this: I never got into Succession. I am probably missing out, but I did try to watch it initially; it just did not capture my attention, so I bailed (something I almost never do).
Because of the massive hype around the show’s finale, it led me to start thinking about why I actually maintain an HBO subscription (Yes, I still have cable...WHAT A BOOMER!). I don’t necessarily like
any many of the channel’s offerings these days, so I am trying to rationalize why I should keep it.
Right now, I need to catch up on the miniseries White House Plumbers, but otherwise I am “out” on every other HBO series that is currently airing.
These are the upcoming shows that I think could keep me going:
True Detective: Night Country
Description from HBO.com: When the long winter night falls in Ennis, Alaska, the eight men who operate the Tsalal Arctic Research Station vanish without a trace. To solve the case, Detectives Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) will have to confront the darkness they carry in themselves, and dig into the haunted truths that lie buried under the eternal ice.
Thoughts: I loved Season 1 of True Detective (it is an all-time great HBO season), but the show changes storylines and characters for every season which can go horribly awry. Season 2 was a complete trainwreck, but Season 3 was really, really good. Can Season 4 help keep me in?
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight
Description from HBO.com: A century before the events of Game of Thrones, there was Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, Egg.
Thoughts: I have often railed against how badly the final season-and-a-half of Game of Thrones was. I was scorned about how badly the showrunners just gave up on telling that tale properly. House of the Dragon did give me some faith that the GoT franchise was salvageable after a shaky start. I’ll definitely give this one a chance.
Aside of those two shows, however, House of the Dragon and Curb Your Enthusiasm are the only other titles that I have interest in. Curb is a classic and is always worth its completely irregular schedule, while HotD looks like it might capture that old GoT magic that pulled many of us in initially.
As for The Last of Us...I will ride with it for the next season, but I don’t have high hopes.
Prediction Records (Gulp!)
My numbers were a little off, so I had to go back and re-total things. As it turns out, I was even worse!
- Overall Bundesliga record: 151-155
- Last week’s Bundesliga record: 5-4
- DFL-Supercup record: 1-0
- DFB-Pokal record: 3-1
- Champions League record: 6-4
- World Cup overall record: 38-25
- WWU overall record: 199-185
- Guest predictions: 7-5