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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Germany vs. Japan; FC Barcelona joins Bayern Munich, Manchester United in hunt for Fulham’s João Palhinha; Real Madrid eyeing up PSG’s Kylian Mbappé and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland; More stars to Qatar?; & MORE!


International FriendlyGermany v Japan Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Die Folgen: Germany’s 4-1 loss to Japan (Bavarian Football Works)

Former Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick might be running out of time.

Germany was embarrassed by Japan 4-1 in Wolfsburg in what might have been Flick’s final match at the helm of Die Mannschaft.

Sure, that might be projecting a bit, but it was the latest in a long line of terrible performances by the Germans and Flick is the man leading the charge. Let’s take a look at some quick hitters on the match:

  • The rumors were true regarding Flick’s lineup as it lined up exactly as what was reported:
  • This was widely reported as the lineup and Flick was determined to try and make it work, though there were some flaws that could be identified right from the get-go.
  • The group did have some jump in its step early. The Germans were fast, physical, and looking to attack. That was…refreshing to see, but mistakes were incoming. Many of them, in fact.
  • The squad was lacking some precision. There was definitely a lot of pressure put on Niklas Süle, Antonio Rüdiger, and Nico Schlotterbeck as Kimmich was granted permission to wander a bit.
  • Kimmich did end up falling more into a more traditional right-back role for the most part defensively, but he definitely functioned more like a midfielder when Germany was attacking. It just seems like too much mileage for a player to accumulate, even for a workhorse like Kimmich.
  • The formation’s functionality left a lot to be desired.
  • In the 11th minute, Schlotterbeck and Rüdiger were both too lackadaisical in marking their men (Schlotterbeck let the cross get in, Rüdiger opted to not pay attention to Junya Ito) and Japan got on the scoreboard.
  • Schlotterbeck might have good, straight-line speed, but he has the lateral quickness of a traffic barrel, and Flick’s experiment with using him out-wide proved disastrous because the Borussia Dortmund man was simply not able to close out cross attempts consistently.
  • The early goal took the wind out of Germany and it led to a series of miscues, errant passes, and bad decisions due to a lack of cohesion.
  • The Germans, however, were temporarily bailed out by a great combination from İlkay Gündoğan to Florian Wirtz to Leroy Sané. The Bayern Munich star calmy passed the ball into the net after a terrific feed from Wirtz to knot the game at 1-1 in the 19th minute.
  • Wirtz desperately needed something good to happen and it did with his assist.
  • In the 22nd minute, Japan took the lead with a crazy goal that was probably more luck due to a series of deflections than skill, but hey...a goal is a goal. Japan appeared to be targeting Schlotterbeck as it attacked him again...and again. He allowed a cross to get into the box, which received a flick/deflection (depending on how you want to describe it), and eventually deflected off of the foot of Ayase Ueda, who took a stab at it, which was good enough to beat Marc-André ter Stegen.
  • Schlotterbeck’s sloppiness struck again for Germany in the 41st minute when an errant pass sent Ueda on a straight breakaway with no challengers, except Ter Stegen. Luckily for Germany, its goalkeeper made a massive save to prevent Flick’s team from being down 3-1 heading into the locker room for halftime.
  • Emre Can...he’s not it and was brutal.
  • How did Serge Gnabry do? Well...not great, either. All of the good Gnabry can do was weighed down by his own indecisiveness.
  • Kai Havertz was thoroughly ineffective.
  • Seeing Pascal Groß get some run was pretty cool (we are reaching for positivity as you tell).
  • Also, Ter Stegen was excellent on the day, despite being totally hung out to dry on multiple occasions.
  • Germany used Groß, Robin Gosens, Thomas Müller, Julian Brandt, and Kevin Schade as subs, but none could ultimately help the team knot the game up.
  • Gosens, of course, made a catastrophic mistake to help close out the match with a horrendous turnover. Takuma Asano ultimately deposited the ball into the net on an unselfish play from Takefusa Kubo, who pickpocketed Gosens with aplomb. Ao Tanaka scored again seconds later and Germany was officially embarrassed on its home soil. Kubo also assisted on Tanaka’s goal.
  • Overall, Germany is just not very good right now and has not been for a long time. Most of the blame should fall on the players, but we all know that Flick is at the top of list of people taking blame for this mess disaster debacle. How much patience does the DFB have? It is possible that “not much more” is the appropriate response. Flick’s seat is officially scorching hot.

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

Sommer talks Bayern experience (SRF via @iMiaSanMia)

Inter Milan goalkeeper Yann Sommer spoke fondly of his time at Bayern Munich.

“It gave my career even more excitement, new experiences and challenges. The past year at FC Bayern took its toll on everyone. It was a very wild and chaotic time, there were a lot of changes and negative results, a lot was written and criticized,” said Sommer. “It was a completely new experience for me too. My time there was very valuable and successful. We won the league title. I’ve had a lot of new experiences, all the criticism that both the team and I personally have had to deal with, the pressure and all of that helped me tremendously. I’m very grateful for the time and see it as very successful.”

Barca joins Bayern, United in Palhinha pursuit (Mundo Deportivo via

Bayern Munich and Manchester United are slated to duel over Fulham FC defensive midfielder João Palhinha in January, but there could be another bidder into the mix — FC Barcelona:

Palhinha is also on Barcelona’s radar as they search for a new defensive midfielder but there are obvious concerns over the cost of such a deal.

It would seem that Bayern Munch is still the frontrunner, but the competition could start to spike, and a club like Barca could offer a stiff test of will on just how much Palhinha wants to move to Germany.

Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 3, Episode 9 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich might be on international break, but there is still an absolute mountain of news going on with the club.

And it is not just the Bavarians, either. The German national team is set to take on France and Japan in what could be two important games in determining what future — if any — Hansi Flick has as manager:

  • Analyzing where Bayern Munich is at the break.
  • The case for — and against — João Palhinha making the move from Fulham FC to Bayern Munich. Also, how adding a defender is also still on the menu for the January transfer window as well.
  • Addressing those bizarre rumors linking Bayern Munich to disgruntled Manchester United attacker Jadon Sancho.
  • What to hope for with Germany during this international break.
  • Jamal Musiala’s injury — should Bayern Munich fans be concerned?

Draxler, Verratti on the way to Qatar? (Sport1)

Paris Saint-Germain players Julian Draxler and Marco Verratti could both be on their way to Qatar:

Ex-national players Julian Draxler and Marco Verratti are about to move to Qatar! As the French newspaper L’Équipe reported, Paris Saint-Germain and Al-Ahli SC agreed on Saturday night to move Draxler to the Qatar Stars League.

After the recent unsuccessful loan to Benfica due to injury, the 29-year-old is now facing his third professional position abroad. The transfer fee for the 2014 world champion is said to be between 10 million and 15 million euros.

At the end of August, his advisor Roger Wittmann said: “Julian has an offer from the Middle East, which is very big. But he also has a family issue to deal with at the moment. So I don’t know if he’ll do it now.”

He explained: “If a player can go there today, he should do it. I would recommend it to every player. It’s something completely different than China or Russia.”

Madrid has 1-2 plan for Mbappé, Haaland (Defensa Central via

Real Madrid has its transfer wish list for 2024 prioritized as Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappé, then Manchester City’s Erling Haaland:

Real Madrid want to sign Kylian Mbappé from Paris Saint-Germain next summer, but are prepared to launch a bid for Manchester City’s striker Erling Haaland if they miss out on the Frenchman’s signature once again.

Rabiot on Barca’s radar (Tuttojuve via

Juventus midfielder has been linked with a move away from the club for months now, but FC Barcelona could be in the mix to bring in the 28-year-old:

Barcelona remain interested in signing Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, whose contract will expire next summer.

Why is Barca linked to so many midfielders? Rabiot? Palhinha?

With Pedri, Gavi, Frenkie de Jong, İlkay Gündoğan, and Oriol Romeu all on the current roster, adding another midfielder (or two!) seems excessive.

Bavarian Podcast Works — Flagship Show: Season 6, Episode 8 (Bavarian Football Works)

With so much going on between both Bayern Munich and Germany, the topics for a BFW podcast could go on for days.

Things are going well for Bayern Munich and Germany is — again — looking to try and figure out how to be successful. We have strong opinions on all of that — and we KNOW you do, too — so join us for this Flagship Show where we hit on some of the biggest news from the past week, including the following topics:

  • Harry Kane’s lack of chances in the current system.
  • The deadline day transfer successes and failures. Is Bayern Munich in trouble or are things going to be okay?
  • Did Bayern Munich sell off too much of its depth?
  • Hansi Flick made some curious selections — and had some even more curious omissions for his Germany call-ups.

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