I’m happy to do it, as this column has provided me the opportunity to become the local FC Bayern “expert”, and has introduced a lot of hard-core Premiership fans, who normally wouldn’t give a squat, to the joys and travails of Bundesliga football.
We all knew Luca Toni was going to AS Roma. No surprise there. And, I wish him well in trying to get playing time so he can make his final World Cup appearance for the Azzurri. He has lost a couple steps in the last season and a half (hence the 20 million offsides) and his theatrics will definitely be more appreciated in Serie A. However, he is responsible for one of my favorite matches in Bayern history.
I watched the Getafe-Bayern ‘07/‘08 quarter-final UEFA cup match by myself, in an Irish pub, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lucky to convince the bartenders for a little sound (and more than a few pints) I agonized, swore and hopped around until Ribery equalized in the 88th minute. In extra time, Getafe struck twice, quickly, and all hope seemed to be lost. Luca scored late in the second overtime period, giving me a glimmer of hope. Now, all eyes in the pub were on me watching the match. (I’ve mentioned before in the comments section how much of a spaz I am!) As Luca netted again, with 15 seconds left, I burst in to spontaneous tears of joy--- and received a hearty round of applause for being the entertainment that afternoon.
Ciao, Luca. As much as I swore at you, I do wish you the best. And wish to see you playing against die Mannschaft in South Africa to get revenge for our semi-final loss to the Italians in ‘06.
Defender, Breno and midfielder, Andreas Ottl are loaned out to Nuernberg until June 2010. Breno couldn’t quite fill the shoes left by departing Lucio. And Ottl wasn’t getting very many chances due to the plethora of talent in the midfield that Bayern possesses.
Alexander Baumjohann also suffered from the too-much-talent-in-the-midfield scenario. Making only three appearances in the Bundesliga, he returns to Schalke 04, his first professional club.
My wishes came true when Miroslav Klose wasn’t loaned out anywhere, but this comes with a caveat. And a plea. He needs to get match time, ahead of June, so he can be the stud he always has been for the German national side. Can you help us out, Mr. van Gaal? Pretty please? However, I’m sure, now, that with Toni gone, Klose will get his chances. And scoring a brace in the friendly against FC Basel didn’t hurt his case at all.
The only other question mark in my mind was Toni Kroos. On loan to Bayer Leverkusen, and having a stellar season, I wondered how hard Bayern would fight to recall him. But once again, if you get him back--- Where do you put him? I do expect him to rejoin Bayern after the end of this season, though, no matter how much he won’t want to leave.
Also, of note, the enduring saga of Franck Ribery’s match fitness. Am I the only one who is totally grossed-out by the thought of him having his big toenails removed? And, can I be a girl for a moment, and say, “Ewwwww!”? Franck, minus toenails, will not be in the squad for Friday’s fixture, but hopes to come back against Bremen.
Welcome to the second half of the Bundesliga, folks! In third place, and only two points back, I expect a lively restart. Thank you for reading and for your comments, everyone! And as always, auf geht’s Bayern!