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Weekend Warm-up: Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi is the apple of Bayern Munich’s eye; Checking out Militarie Gun; Bundesliga predictions; Thoughts on Fargo’s season finale; A Marvel Odyssey update; & MORE!

It’s the Markopolo Derby....

Real Sociedad v Deportivo Alaves - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

It appears that the glimmer in the eye of Bayern Munich for Fulham FC’s João Palhinha is now gone. The Bavarians have had their thoughts wander over to a new, younger model — Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi.

According to Sport Bild journalists Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl, Zubimendi is now the favorite of the Bayern Munich brass (as captured by @iMiaSanMia):

Christoph Freund had a meeting over Martín Zubimendi in Portugal with a view to a potential summer move. Bayern want a ‘Rodri type of player’ for the #6 position who’s not only a destroyer, but also good on the ball. Freund has 5-6 candidates for the position for the summer (including Palhinha and an [unnamed] English player), but Zubimendi is currently the favorite. The Spaniard has a €60m release clause.

When asked about the Bayern rumours, Zubimendi’s agent Iñaki Ibáñez said he didn’t want to take part in speculation, but didn’t deny the Bayern links. Zubimendi’s agency IDUB GLOBAL also represents Xabi Alonso.

At 24-years-old, Zubimendi is younger than Palhinha and — arguably — has a higher ceiling as a player. While Palhinha has had a solid season in England so far, negotiating with Fulham has not been easy for Bayern Munich. Moreover, Zubimendi could be a cheaper option, and might even be better than Palhinha is right now.

For the Bavarians, it seems clear that there really is a new defensive midfielder sitting atop their rankings...at least for now.

The second half of the season will offer opportunities for two midfielders to step up and take the reins — potentially making a move for a player like Zubimendi obsolete.

Will it happen? Even if it does, will Thomas Tuchel admit it?

Bayern Munich fans will have to wait a few month to find out.

What is your outlook for Bayern Munich’s midfield in 2024/25?

Poll

Who will start in Bayern Munich’s midfield next season?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka
    (50 votes)
  • 30%
    Joshua Kimmich and a new player
    (86 votes)
  • 12%
    Joshua Kimmich and an existing player (Aleksandar Pavlović / Raphaël Guerreiro)
    (36 votes)
  • 6%
    Leon Goretzka and a new player
    (17 votes)
  • 3%
    Leon Goretzka and an existing player (Aleksandar Pavlović / Raphaël Guerreiro)
    (11 votes)
  • 15%
    A new guy and an existing player (Aleksandar Pavlović / Raphaël Guerreiro)
    (43 votes)
  • 2%
    Aleksandar Pavlović and Raphaël Guerreiro
    (8 votes)
  • 10%
    Two new players.
    (28 votes)
279 votes total Vote Now

Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 3, Episode 28

Bayern Munich is in the middle of a solid run on the pitch and has been thrust into the craziness of this winter transfer window by being linked to what feels like a dozen names.

Clearly, there is a lot going on and much to talk about when it comes to the Bavarians. Let’s get right to it:

  • This is really “do or die” time at Bayern Munich for Matthijs de Ligt.
  • Thomas Müller might have the best outlook and attitude of any athlete (and unfortunately, he will probably need it as this second half goes on).
  • Florian Wirtz might cost an insane amount.
  • The story of the demise of the relationship of Robert Lewandowski and Julian Nagelsmann at Bayern Munich seems on-point.
  • Thoughts on the season finale of Fargo, an update on where I stand with the Marvel Odyssey.


Song of the Week:

I’m going to be truthful here.

I have not eaten at a Taco Bell since 1995 (I know...it’s weird that I remember that), but damn...the Bell opened up my eyes to a banger.

As I was sitting around watching a game (I think it was yet another awful NFL — the product this season has been terrible), a song from a Taco Bell commercial caught my ear. So like any diligent dude in his mid-40s with nothing better to do, I hit Google to find out the name of the song and came up with “Do It Faster” by Militarie Gun.

Released in 2023, I had not heard the song until now, but I am digging it and will check out more work from Militarie Gun. Enjoy:

F’n Taco Bell man...


Entertainment Rundown

Fargo — Season 5, Episode 10 (season finale)

Well, what a season.

If you invested the time into the latest iteration of FX’s Fargo, you probably feel like it was well worth it. An intriguing storyline filled with multiple plot twists and fueled by some astonishingly great acting performances, Fargo season five absolutely goes down as an outright fantastic series of television.

Let’s get to it:

  • Let’s get this out of the way, Jon Hamm (Roy Tillman), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Lorraine Lyon), and Sam Spruell (Ole Munch) all deserve long looks for awards. All three were astonishingly good.
  • Now, on to the plot developments — we saw how the final moments the ranch shootout played out, though we do not get a full picture of any deaths between the militia men and the military/police/FBI. Still, it was an intense scene-by-scene to close out the most tense moments of the series.
  • Roy’s quick killing of Odin Little (Michael Copeman), following by taking a bullet to the gut from Dot was an insane sequence, especially given his escape from that situation and subsequent killing of state trooper Whit Farr (Lamorne Morris).
  • The final scene between Roy and Lorraine was a final battle of the show’s two strongest (and best) characters, with Lorraine coming out firmly on top — using the power of her debt collection business to ensure that the rest of Roy’s life is hell.
  • It should be said that Juno Temple was awesome this season as well, but somehow the show’s star was outshined by the performances of Hamm, Leigh, and Spruell. Dot was a complex character to play and Temple did it with aplomb.
  • In a weird way, I think the better ending might have been Ole Munch killing off Dot. It would have gone full circle Fargo-style, but writers probably opted for the safer, more well-rounded option. After a season of evil acts, they went wholesome at the end. I can’t really fault them for that. Ending a season of an anthology series is difficult, so they landed on a good ending (just maybe not the one I preferred).
  • The theme of the season was all about debt — both the literal and figurative kind and it was brilliantly weaved in through so many different characters and plot-points.
  • Overall, it was a tremendous season. No doubt about it. Was it perfect? No, but it was damn good. As far favorite single seasons of a show, for me, it is in the mix for a top spot (In no particular order, some of my favorites are True Detective — season one; The Sopranos — season one, season two; The Wire — season one, season two, season three; Breaking Bad — season one, two, four, five; Deadwood — season two; The Walking Dead — season one; 24 — season one; The Americans — season one; Better Call Saul — season one; Stranger Things — season one, two; Mindhunter — season one, two; Game of Thrones — season one, season two, season three...I legit have a ton and could just keep going, but I’ll stop here before I spend a whole day thinking about this). In the end, this season of Fargo was well worth your time — and in the end, that is the most important thing when you decide to devote time to a show.
  • Episode Rating: 4.50/5.00
  • Overall Season Rating: 4.75/5.00

True Detective — Season 4, Episode 1

True Detective is back for its fourth season and has a strong cast led by Jodie Foster and Kali Reis. Here are some quick thoughts on the first episode:

  • Well, uh, what an opening. It seems like this season is taking a little bit different of a turn than what we have seen in the past from True Detective.
  • Like some of HBO’s best shows this first episode of True Detective really set the stage with a lot of character development and background.
  • I’ll say this…John Hawkes nails every role he plays, so I was psyched to see that he was in this season.
  • Off the bat, there is a hell of a lot of creepiness.
  • The Polar Bear was a nice touch.
  • The potential tie-in to the previous crime is the kind of “is it related?”-type of mystery that True Detective handles so well.
  • In typical True Detective fashion, there was just enough intrigue to make me want more. Needless to say, I’m in.
  • I didn’t want to give away too much for anyone who has not watched yet, but I will go a little deeper in subsequent episodes.
  • Episode Rating: 4.00/5.00

The Marvel Odyssey

I made it through the next set of Marvel flicks and the overarching plotline is starting to take shape. Let’s get to it...

Doctor Strange — 3.75/5.00

  • Admittedly, I was unsure how I would feel about the “mystic” part of this journey, but I came away pleasantly surprised by how Marvel/Disney transported this character from the comic books to the screen.
  • Again, Marvel absolutely nailed the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch, which is half the battle.
  • The effects were tremendous as this type of “superpower” is not exactly the easiest to visually portray.
  • The biggest argument you could make is that some of the movie felt rushed, but overall, it was very good.

Thor: Ragnarok — 4.50/5.00

  • This flick was pretty damn great and became the bridge to Infinity War.
  • Thor getting humbled so much in this one was a tad off-putting at times and it seemed a stretch that Hela was essentially forgotten in Asgard.
  • The use of Immigrant Song in this flick, was 100% on-point. Great choice.
  • Hulk ending up up in the hands of The Grandmaster was a little weird. I get how it a plot necessity, but I feel like some of those things would have been better served to be flushed out with more air time.
  • The interplay between Thor and Hulk was pretty awesome.
  • Watching Asgard fall was tough, but imagine the disappointment of all the Asgardians who had to go to Earth (I’m assuming they eventually made it there, but I’ll find out soon enough).
  • Bottom line: It lived up to the hype. One of the great movies of this franchise.

Ant-Man and the Wasp — 3.75/5.00

  • Let me start by saying that Evangeline Lilly was far better in this flick than in Ant-Man. I don’t know if I was subconsciously docking her points for some reason in Ant-Man, but she was great in this flick.
  • Ditto for Paul Rudd, he absolutely killed the role of Scott Lang.
  • The Ant-Man movies are a good diversion from the greater “Infinity War” storyline, but we did get a sneak preview ahead of what happens when Thanos enters the picture as a primary character in Avengers: Infinity War.
  • With Scott trapped in the Quantumverse, there is certainly a cliffhanger in the closing credits (though, I sort of know how that all plays out at this point).
  • It should be noted that Michael Peña as Luis, Tip “T.I.” Harris as Dave, and David Dastmalchian as Kurt all kill in their roles.
  • I know he is older now, but Michael Douglas captured the volatile complexities of Hank Pym’s character really well. At a time in his life where he could just be cashing checks, Douglas still put effort into understanding the role and the character.

If you want to see Part #1 thoughts and ratings, you can get them here.

If you want to see Part #2 thoughts and ratings, you can get them here.

If you want to see Part #3 thoughts and ratings, you can get them here.


Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen

After a week in Portugal, Bayern Munich is headed back to the frosty confines of the Allianz Arena.

With some time in the sun to rejuvenate and prepare for the second half of the season without any distractions, the Bavarians will seek to continue their winning ways in the Bundesliga against lowly Werder Bremen.

With just four wins through 17 match days in the league, Die Werderaner will have its work cut out for it. Let’s see what’s on tap for this episode:

  • A look at where each team is in the table.
  • Some thoughts on Bayern Munich’s training camp in Portugal and who might emerge to play in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI.
  • A prediction on the match.


Predictions

Bayern Munich is back from Portugal and, assuredly, it is a lot colder in Germany.

That said, the Bavarians will look to stay hot on the pitch and should be well-poised to do so against an overmatched Werder Bremen side. Bayern Munich is rounding into form with the attack looking fresh, the defense solidified, and the midfield performing better.

Maybe Thomas Tuchel’s coaching is starting to sink in...or maybe the team is rallying around each other — whatever the reason for the recent run of solid play (dating back to the final few games before the Winterpause), Bayern Munich needs to keep it going.

The only potential pitfall here is fatigue. Traveling to Portugal, plus a schedule filled with two-a-days could sneak up on the Bavarians, but this should be a match where the team is ready for action, rather than worn down.

Let’s see if things really play out that way...

Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-0 Werder Bremen

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

  • Mainz 05 1-1 Union Berlin
  • VfL Bochum 1-2 VfB Stuttgart
  • SV Darmstadt 98 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
  • FC Köln 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
  • SC Freiburg 1-2 Hoffenheim
  • Heidenheim 1-1 VfL Wolfsburg
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 FC Augsburg
  • RB Leipzig 2-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Prediction Records

  • Bundesliga Last Active Week: 5-4
  • Bundesliga Total: 77-75
  • DFB-Pokal Total: 1-1
  • Champions League Total: 5-1
  • DFL-Supercup: 0-1
  • Total: 83-78

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