Gentle reader, you must pardon me, since I just got back from a week of Oktoberfest. Yes, in Munich. And I would’ve blogged from there, but my ethernet didn’t work in the hotel--- and then I lost my Blackberry as in what I could only describe as a “The Hangover”-type incident. No, Mike Tyson and a baby weren’t involved--- but a tiger may have been (wink wink nudge nudge).
I was / am / have been very lucky to have friends with, arguably, the best seats on the pitch at the Allianz Arena. (Thanks, boys!) I was pleasantly invited to watch the Bundesliga Bavarian derby of Bayern vs. newly-promoted Nuernberg, and the DFB Pokal match vs. Rot Weiss Oberhausen.
The Bundesliga match was tightly squeezed in, as we were in the Schottenhamel tent for the opening of the Oktoberfest. And our train had mysteriously (or not) stopped on the way to the match when some fans of Nuernberg and Bayern clashed in the Studentenplatz station. (I’ve got no idea who won, but I’d love to hear about it from anyone who was there.) After running a mile, down Leopoldstrasse, for a car, we made it to the match about 15 minutes early.
We could’ve been a half-hour late.
As is Bayern’s style so far this season, they didn’t show up (mostly) at all in the beginning of the first half. This is a bit troubling for me, as I’m sure it is for all other Bayern fans.
Things didn’t start to get interesting until Robben started playing a bit more towards the middle, and then a cross in to Gomez, who hit the top crossbar, from Mueller, that I think should’ve been a goal. Also, efforts from Schweinsteiger and Olic rounded out the first half.
(On a side note, to watch Robben play live in a stadium, rather than watch him play on TV, is a thing to behold. On TV, you miss the nuances--- the little feints and fakes--- that make a great player. I mean, you see them, but you don’t really SEE them. Until you‘re there live.)
After 10 minutes of the second half, Mueller, who is, so far, this season’s shining star, slipped a pass through to Olic, who scored the opening goal.
Then a surprising attack by Vidosic, getting cleanly through the Bayern defense, saw him pass to Choupo-Moting with a ball past Bayern goal keeper, Butt.
The score finally came ahead for Bayern as Robben crossed to van Buyten for a header.
It’s not supposed to be so close when it’s against a newly promoted team and you’re Bayern Munich, is it? However, when you’re defense plays as shockingly poor as ours does, I suppose we’re lucky to get the three points.
On to the second match of my Bavarian tour…
Of course, Rot Weiss Oberhausen were the clear underdogs in this match… However, I never saw Miroslav Klose or Mario Gomez until Gomez scored a goal. Altintop was hanging on to his touches one too long, and Edison Braafheid was getting beat up continuously. It got so bad for Braafheid that Ribery had to come back and play defense--- which he did admirably.
Finally, Phillip Lahm “scored” off a deflection in the 32nd minute. The 32nd minute? Against Oberhausen?!? You’ve got to be kidding me. I could’ve sat at Oktoberfest for half of this match as well…. Mario Gomez made it 2-0 eight minutes later. And then in the second half, van Buyten scored again. After which, Mueller came on for Ribery and promptly scored 30 seconds after being on the pitch. And, van Buyten got one more in in the 86 minute on a corner.
So, what’s the problem here?
Obivously, it’s our shocking lack of defense. Daniel van Buyten has done an admirable job, and Lahm, to a point. But all others are severely lacking. Butt and Rensing, the two goalkeepers, have done a good job with what they’ve been given in front of them… However, it’s not good enough.
I know that Martin Demichelis is back to practicing with the first team, and I hope, if he can’t be there in the afternoon vs. Hamburg, he can be there vs. Juventus on Wednesday. We need him back (along with a signing or two during the winter transfer).