January 27, 2011
In my last entry I stated MY best possible Bayern Munich starting XI. Louis van Gaal, strangely, chose not to listen to me at all. I wonder why that is...
Instead he chose to start Danijel Pranjic and Andreas Ottl as holding midfielders, keep Schweini in the playmaker's role, sit Breno in favor of Antoliy Tymoschuk and give (my favorite player ever) Hamit Altintop a start, opposite Thomas Mueller, in attacking midfield.
January 24, 2011
This entry was going to be titled: The Best Defence Is a Good Attack?
Although Bayern managed an important and emphatic 5-1 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, troubles remain in the amount of scoring chances we are allowing opposing teams. Breno and Badstuber will take a bit to gel, and newcomer from Hoffenheim, Luiz Gustavo, will take awhile to be comfortable in Munich's system.
January 21, 2011
Sigh. Well, the match against Wolfsburg didn't go exactly as planned, but it wasn't horrible either. Strange to say that about 90 minutes where Philipp Lahm missed a peno, Schweini gave up an equaliser and Franck Ribery found something new about his knee to destroy.
The eventual draw against the Wolves also means that, for now, winning the Bundesliga is quite unobtainable. There it is. Playing for second place is not the end of the world, however, as we're still in the driver's seat in the DFB Pokal and Champions League competitions. Solidifying a second-place finish, with direct Champions League qualification, seems to me to be a readily obtainable goal.
January 14, 2011
The Advent calendars are put away. The Christmas tree has been dismantled. Gluehwein has stained the teeth. Presents have been opened and given. 2011 has been toasted in. OK, so... now what?
Oh, yeah! The return of the Bundesliga!
I'm sure that all of you are salivating over the re-start as much as I am, as the end of the first half saw Bayern Munich clawing it's way back up the Bundesliga table, beat Stuttgart twice in a week's span, advance to the next round of the DFB Pokal and gave us our round of 16 Champions League opponents.
January 5, 2011
Bayern have confirmed that they tried to sign Everton full-back Leighton Baines, but the player turned down the chance to move to Munich.
Baines famously missed out on a place in England's squad for last summer's World Cup finals after becoming homesick during the pre-tournament training camp in Switzerland.
That always made a move to the Bundesliga unlikely, and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has now confirmed that the player had no intention of moving to Germany.
"We cannot force him (Baines) to join us. He would rather live in Liverpool than Munich, and that's that," Rummenigge said.
Rummenigge insists his side will be a force to be reckoned with in 2011 following the signing of Luiz Gustavo from Hoffenheim and the return to fitness of Arjen Robben. Bayern struggled to fifth place at the end of the first half of the season and they currently trail league leaders Borussia Dortmund by 14 points.
Although the chances of them successfully defending their league title this season appear slim, Rummenigge says there is still all to play for and that Bayern will start to show their true form during the coming year.
"We are going to be attacking in all three competitions,'' he proclaimed. "With Robben and Gustavo, we are stronger than we were in the first half of the season. We want to knock Inter (Milan) out of the Champions League, win the DFB-Pokal and then we will have to see about the league.
"I am convinced that we will gain far more points than we did in the first half of the season.''
Gustavo linked up with his new team-mates on Monday at their winter training camp in Qatar. The Brazilian has joined for a reported fee of €15 million from Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim, although some eyebrows have been raised about the arrival of the 23-year-old, who has yet to be capped by his national team.
However, Rummenigge is convinced that Gustavo will strengthen his side
"We only sign players who guarantee us improvement,'' he told Bild. "Gustavo can help us out immediately either at left full-back or at centre-back. He can also play in the centre of the midfield. The lad has character and he was the player (coach) Louis van Gaal really wanted.
"Seriously, we are not going to sign any more players in January."
As part of the deal, Bayern full-back David Alaba has joined Hoffenheim on loan until the end of the season.