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.
So, this begs the question of the holding midfield - the engine that runs die Roten. Who are the best personnel in those two positions? Answer: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Antoliy Tymoschuk (when paired with Schweini).
Bayern captain Mark van Bommel's transfer to Milan solidifies this. Louis van Gaal will no longer have the luxury of keeping Bastian in the 10 spot, which I never thought was a sound decision in the first place. LvG has answered this criticism by saying, "The team is more important than Bastian Schweinsteiger." Naturlich. You'll get no argument from me there. However, he's basically saying, "I can do whatever I want!" without any complete reasoning behind it.
Schweini can play the playmaker's position. He does a fine job of it, as well. And, I do understand van Gaal's reason for keeping him there: Keep Mario Gomez happy. However, Mario Gomez operates just fine with Thomas Mueller in the 10 slot. Look back at the last match before the winter break against Stuttgart as evidence of that: One goal by Thomas, assisted by Super Mario, and an assist for Mr. Gomez.
Although Mueller can play left, right or center midfield (always nice to have on your squad), he's best utilized, for now, in the playmaker's role. Of course, when Toni Kroos finally returns from injury this is a question that can be looked at again.
So, after the van Bommel transfer is complete, what is the soundest starting XI we can field without Ribery?
Kraft - Lahm, Breno, Badstuber, Gustavo - Tymoschuk, Schweinsteiger - Robben, Mueller, Pranjic - Gomez
Eh. I'm alright with that.
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