Note: Leaving an old job and starting a new one has seriously cut in to my footie-writing time as of late. And I do so apologize! However, I find myself back in a (somewhat) normal routine and am happy to be here, in front of a keyboard and with a match looming in the very near future.
I couldn’t help but feeling, after the first leg of the Bordeaux - Bayern tie, that we somehow came out a winner. It was the sloppiest match this season, by far (and there have been several of those), however Butt’s penalty-saving heroics, after red cards by Thomas Mueller and Daniel van Buyten, respectively, had me jumping off of my pub stool, shouting gleefully.
I was curious to see how we’d respond the next weekend in our Bundesliga match against Eintracht Frankfurt.
We got behind again (!) and only managed to sneak by with a goal from Arjen Robben and a last-minute header by a striking van Buyten. This is despite having an overwhelming lead on possession time, corners, crosses and well, pretty much every offensive statistic. It was a match, in my mind, that should’ve been 4-1. (Also, in my mind, we should be at the top of the table--- kicking butt and taking names.)
And then, a re-match mid-week against Frankfurt in the DFB Cup gave me glimmers of hope, like we had finally gotten things figured out. Two goals ended a seven-month drought for Miroslav Klose, and the score kept rising with goals by Thomas Mueller and Luca Toni. We clicked on all cylinders; defense playing well, ball-handling accurately and taking full advantage of crosses, corners and fast-breaks.
So, I was, very much, looking forward to this past Saturday’s match away to Stuttgart.
Errrrr… Meh. Again.
Stuttgart came out strong in the first 15 minutes, but never quite strong enough. They played an organized defense against our Bayern men, who had few opportunities to score goals themselves. With Stuttgart hanging around the bottom of the Bundesliga table, and Marcus Babbel’s job, supposedly, on the line, I’d expected a bit more as a build-up to…
…today’s return-tie against Bordeaux in Munich.
Die Roten won’t have the services of Thomas Mueller and Daniel van Buyten (red cards), Ivica Olic and Franck Ribery (injuries) and Breno and Christian Lell (illness). Edison Braafheid is listed as doubtful (ankle). Expect to see Arjen Robben as a second-half sub, as he’s not 100 percent fit yet.
I think we’ll see Klose and Toni getting the start up front. And I’m guessing the back line will be Altintop and Lahm as wing-backs, with Badstueber and Demichelis in the center. I just have no idea what’s going to happen in the midfield. Perhaps Schweini, Pranjic, van Bommel and Tymoshuk? Or van Gaal could throw Klose in behind Gomez and Toni…?
Hans Jorg Butt’s two penalty saves in the first tie put us in the not-unkind position of only needing to win this match 1-0, to stay ahead of Bordeaux on goal differential.
The question is, which Bayern will show up?