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Weekend Warm-up: Bayern Munich executive covers all the bases amid rumored instability; Bundesliga predictions; Ending the Marvel Odyssey; Reviewing True Detective; Throwing it back to Sleeper; and MORE!

Here we go! Friday could not have gotten here fast enough.

FC Bayern München v 1. FC Union Berlin - Bundesliga Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Bayern Munich sporting director Christoph Freund is overseeing a great period of uncertainty at the club.

And yes, a bunch of certainty, grouped with a whole lot of wins.

As always, Bayern Munich is never boring. With transfer rumors swirling around several key players, whispers that there could be a divide between the coach and some players, along with the coach and some other executives, Freund’s job is likely turning into equal parts personnel expert, sports psychologist, marriage counselor, and crisis management specialist.

Throughout it all, though Freund spoke about several key topics to Tz, so let’s get his takes:

On the the discrepancy between game performance and training performance:

“We discuss it, look into the causes and simply have to succeed. Our big goal is to bring that onto the pitch when the game is on.”

On what might be ailing the Bavarians when in the attack:

“We’re currently struggling when we play against deep teams. It’s also an issue that we play too slowly, cross too much, and aren’t creative enough. But above all, we don’t have enough passion to really go in, make deep runs, and then create holes.”

A lack of leadership on the squad:

“I do believe that there is an axis. An Upa (Dayot Upamecano) has also been here for a while now, a Jo Kimmich, a Leon Goretzka. Harry Kane in front. Jamal (Musiala) has already had more than a few Bundesliga games under his belt and I think that’s just developing again. But of course, the demands are high. We can play better football and we have to.”

The pursuit of Kieran Trippier:

“The issue is settled. There are so many names that I don’t even want to go into right now. But the Trippier issue is settled. There is still hope for (Parsi Saint-Germain’s Nordi) Mukiele.”

The departure of Marco Neppe:

“Nothing is fixed yet. I was a bit surprised by the reporting. We have now worked well together with Marco. Before, the situation was a bit simpler. Let’s see what the next few weeks bring.”

Freund can see — and acknowledged — some of the perceived instability with the club right now. However, Freund’s own role could end up being a little bit shaky. Fans are clamoring for more activity during this transfer window and the club executive is running out of time to backfill some spots on the roster. Meanwhile, Max Eberl is coming in to oversee the club’s player personnel matters and Freund might eventually have to adjust to a new — or at least different — responsibilities. Sport Bild journalists Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl (as captured by @iMiaSanMia) offered the following information:

Max Eberl will initially not bring any of his confidants to the club, but there’s speculation at Säbener Straße about names that could join the club by Eberl’s side later. Candidates:

• Christopher Vivell (ex. Salzburg, Leipzig, Chelsea)

• Stefen Korell (Gladbach)

• Felix Krüger (ex. Leipzig)

Players...coaches...executives...what a time to be a mole at Bayern Munich (wink, wink, nudge, nudge Thomas Müller).


Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 29 (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich has had yet another insane week.

A loss to Werder Bremen, a win over Union Berlin, a few key injuries, a dozen or so transfer rumors...as the Talking Heads once said, “Same as it ever was.”

To help stay competitive through this stretch Bayern Munich might have to spend more money than it is really comfortable with. Needless to say, a lot can still happen...but will anything actually go down? Let’s discuss:

  • Analyzing the state of the team and why Thomas Tuchel still seems to be refusing to do the obvious. There could be a disconnect between Tuchel and his bosses, but no move is imminent.
  • Would Hansi Flick come back and would it work if he did?
  • Does Tuchel hate Leon Goretzka?
  • Examining the latest transfer rumors surrounding Joshua Kimmich.
  • What should Bayern Munich do with Alphonso Davies?
  • Is there any reason to starting being concerned with Leroy Sané?
  • Should we expect any surprises at the end of this transfer window?

Song of the Week: “Statuesque” by Sleeper

This is one is a forgotten gem from the 90s.

Released in 1996, many people found this song in the cult classic Trainspotting, but if you heard it back then, you were hooked almost immediately.

Talk about a combination “Statuesque” and Trainspotting. Enjoy:


Entertainment Rundown

True Detective — Season 4, Episode 2

  • Through two episodes, we have ourselves a show.
  • The murder-mystery aspect of it is intriguing and a good follow. We are also starting to see some of the same characteristics that made Season 1 of this show so good: Deep, complex, and conflicted characters, the toying with the aspect of mysticism being involved, and a good case to follow that will allow for many twists and turns.
  • The connection between the victims in the lab, the old murder, and the missing scientist is going to be fun to watch playout.
  • Jodie Foster is killing it in her role and John Hawkes is just always good. Had a good feeling about that combination.
  • Overall, this was yet another solid episode and was extremely well-written. There are a lot of inferences to past events and deeds the main characters have done that make each episode a rich watch. Can this season keep the momentum and end up a success like Season 3...or will it flame out into the nonsense that became of Season 2. I still have a hard time believing Season 1 can ever be topped. Either way, I am enjoying the show and look forward to Sunday’s episode.

Rating: 4.00/5.00

The Marvel Odyssey

Avengers: Infinity War — 5.00/5.00

  • What an epic flick. This was terrific.
  • Josh Brolin as Thanos was pretty spectacular.
  • While I had heard about the “snap”, watching it playout and how it affected everyone was kind of insane.
  • The Hulk just getting his ass kicked repeatedly was...not great. Refusing to come out (assuming because of fear) was also disappointing.
  • However, there was not much fault I could fine otherwise. The film was near perfectly done and had all of the elements you want to feel during a movie like this.
  • This really might have been my favorite movie of the lot.

Avengers: End Game — 4.25/5.00

  • Admittedly, I hated the five-year gap and yes, the time travel shenanigans did make things feel manufactured. I feel like there was a way — perhaps better — to get to the final result without going down that road. They needed to time travel, but how it played out was just...forced.
  • The deaths in this one were hard to take for sure. Black Widow becoming the sacrifice, so that Hawkeye (and ultimately Gamora) could live on. Tony Stark going down after the effects of “the snap” was very rough given what we had already learned about how his life had evolved after Infinity War. While Captain America did not die, seeing him choose to go down a different path (which really did not make sense in terms of the whole effects of time travel) was odd. While impactful, it seems like the future for Steve Rogers should have turned out differently.
  • It was cool to see how Marvel showed that Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers was the strongest, most dangerous of the heroes.
  • The overarching theme of Endgame was about resilience, recovery, and redemption. You could see how it was interwoven into the story for each character and how they were all still linked together. That really shined through despite some of the plot holes.
  • Overall, it was a good, fitting ending to the saga (even though Marvel has kept on producing content). While I did not agree with every decision made on how to wrap it up (and even less on how the story got to the ending), it was great.

Summary

  • To wrap up this journey, I would say Marvel/Disney was the perfect partnership to power the franchise. The casting choices were on-point, the writing was sharp, and the plot was delivered in a terrific way throughout each movie.
  • I do think that the saga would have played out better for viewers if everything was released in timeline order. I think that could have turned off some people, because you really had to be “all in” to ensure you didn’t miss anything.
  • I hated what they did with the Hulk character. I guess I am just more of a HULK SMASH kind of guy.
  • Overall, I get it. I understand what the hype was all about. While I could nitpick a lot, there is an appreciation for what Disney and Marvel achieve with this string of movies that spanned more than a decade and feature A-Lister after A-Lister. The storylines were good, the portrayal of these characters was off-the-charts great, and it kept viewers on the edge of their seats and wanting more. Unlike the Star Wars franchise, which seemed to lack a plan for the sequels, Marvel’s years of stories for these characters melded nicely together.

Final Rankings

  • Avengers: Infinity War — 5.00/5.00
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1— 5.00/5.00
  • Iron Man — 5.00/5.00
  • Avengers — 5.00/5.00
  • Black Widow — 4.75/5.00
  • Thor: Ragnarok — 4.50/5.00
  • Thor — 4.50/5.00
  • Captain America: The First Avenger — 4.50/5.00
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 — 4.50/5.00
  • Avengers: End Game — 4.25/5.00
  • Captain Marvel — 4.00/5.00
  • The Incredible Hulk — 4.00/5.0
  • Spider-Man Homecoming — 4.00/5.00
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — 4.00/5.00
  • Black Panther — 4.00/5.00
  • Iron Man 2 — 4.00/5.00
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier — 3.75/5.00
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp — 3.75/5.00
  • Doctor Strange — 3.75/5.00
  • Thor: The Dark World — 3.75/5.00
  • Ant-Man — 3.50/5.00
  • Iron Man 3 — 3.50/5.00
  • Captain America: Civil War — 3.50/5.00

*Upon reflection, I adjusted some ratings after viewing the entire series leading up to Endgame

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.

If you want to see Part #4 thoughts and ratings, you can get them here.


Bavarian Podcast Works: Preview Show — FC Augsburg vs. Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich bounced back into the win column with a midweek victory over Union Berlin, which was much needed.

While not everything was great in the aftermath of the match, the boys did pick up three points. The Bavarians were dominant in the victory, but the downside was that a few players picked up injuries, which could make things interesting against FC Augsburg. Let’s take a look at what is on tap for this episode:

  • A look at where each team is in the table.
  • Some thoughts on Bayern Munich’s injury situation and what Thomas Tuchel might to do to work around missing Dayot Upamecano, Konrad Laimer, and maybe even Joshua Kimmich.
  • An attempt to figure out Tuchel’s lineup for the game — one back three option and one back four formation.
  • A prediction on the match.

Predictions

With no Joshua Kimmich, Dayot Upamecano, Konrad Laimer, or Serge Gnabry, Bayern Munich has some limited options for this weekend’s tilt against FC Augsburg. Not only that, but the the WWK Arena pitch is in shambles, too.

Talk about a recipe for disaster.

Anyway, Bayern Munich is till the better, more talented team. Rather than folding under tough circumstances, I am expect that the Bavarians will rally around one another to avoid a severe letdown — even on the road.

Prediction: FC Augsburg 1-3 Bayern Munich

Other Bundesliga predictions include:

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

Prediction Records

  • Bundesliga Last Active Week: 4-5 *(includes Bayern Munich vs. Union Berlin makeup game; also note Union Berlin vs. Mainz from last weekend was postponed)
  • Bundesliga Total: 81-80
  • DFB-Pokal Total: 1-1
  • Champions League Total: 5-1
  • DFL-Supercup: 0-1
  • Total: 87-83

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