Bayern Munich's Oktoberfest tally: Beat Schalke away 2-0, beat Leverkusen at home 3-0, beat Manchester City at home 2-0, and drew with Hoffenheim away 0-0. Not to mention the majority of the team starts for Germany; who had convincing wins over Turkey and Belgium to take all 30 points from European qualifiers. Jupp Heynckes even let the boys come out and party in the Kaefer tent this year (something that was cancelled by van Gaal after an embarrassing loss to Koeln last season).
I'll start with the party atmosphere that was the Champions League match versus Manchester City. And I'll admit that the first 20 minutes or so were a bit dodgy for Bayern and it looked like City might have given us some trouble, especially after a clumsy tackle on David Silva by Jerome Boateng that could have resulted in a penalty.
But, after Mario Gomez opened the scoring on 38 minutes, it was all Bayern Munich; the second of his brace coming just before the whistle blew at half-time. The second half saw Bayern defending excellently, while City coach Roberto Mancini made ill-timed and perplexing changes: i.e. I'm not sure de Jong is a suitable replacement for Dzeko.
The most astonishing thing about this match is that not really anyone in the press gave Bayern their due. Instead, every single article you read was about Dzeko and Tevez. Not to mention, no mention was made of Mancini's naive tactics and unadvisable substitutions. All over-shadowed by Carlos Tevez. Since when does one man make a team? When he cost 50 million to come over, I suppose...
The hangover came the following weekend with a 0-0 draw at Hoffenheim. Lacking pace and energy, die Roten looked tired and complacent against a Hoffenheim side that was ready to play ball. It's the first match this season I've seen with sub-par defending and the only reason we kept a clean sheet is that Neuer actually had to do some work. Roberto Firmino almost put the home side ahead on 22 minutes, if not for the wonderful diving save made by Manuel.
We really only threatened late in the second half when Mueller's shot was knocked out for a corner by Hoffenheim keeper Tom Starke. And then again when Bastian Schweinsteiger's goal was called off-side. So, we lost our chance to capitalize on our 10-game win streak in all competitions, but managed to preserve an 11-game streak with no goals conceded.
Not too shabby, eh?
Then the party raged on for the Bayern contingent representing die Mannschaft, with three Munich stars scoring against a tough Turkey side (Mueller, Gomez, Schweinsteiger). And Gomez again netted in the final qualifying match to help Germany eliminate Daniel van Buyten's Belgium.
So now, back to the Bundesliga with a match against promoted Hertha BSC, who currently sit in 10th place with 12 points from eight matches. There's some familiar faces in the BSC line-up as former Bayern players Thomas Kraft, Andreas Ottl and Christian Lell all feature for the Berlin squad.
According to kicker.de, starting line-ups will be:
Bayern Munich: Neuer - Boateng, van Buyten, Badstuber, Lahm - Tymoshchuk, Schweinsteiger - Mueller, Kroos, Ribery - Gomez. No real surprises here. And Olic is (thankfully) included in the 18-man squad.
Hertha BSC: Kraft - Lell, Hubnik, Mijatovic, Kobiashvilli - Ottl, Niemeyer - Ebert, Raffael, Ben-Hatira - Ramos.
However, it's not all sunshine-and-roses for the next month as our schedule consists of continuous weekend and mid-week clashes: Berlin, at Napoli, at Hannover, Ingolstadt, Nurnberg, Napoli, and at Augsburg. Daunting, yes. End of the world, no. Especially after getting through our first spate of "tough" matches unscathed.
Auf gehts, Bayern!
You can follow Susie on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/fussballsusie