From fcbayern.de: “I've always emphasised that I feel very, very settled in Munich and at FC Bayern," commented Robben, “this is the reason I'm glad to extend my contract ahead of its [expiration]. FC Bayern is like a family to me. Two of my three children were born in Munich, and my family and I feel at home here. This contract extension is also the right decision for me from a sporting perspective. We have a magnificent team, and I'm certain we'll enjoy the maximum possible footballing success in the years to come."
Well, duh. In the end, he makes the smart move. He was never going to have it better anywhere else.
So, Mario Gomez, Daniel van Buyten and Robben have extended their contracts. This means the face of Bayern Munich will look quite similar for years to come. And coupled with the signings of Dante and Xherdan Shaqiri, we've got a bit more talent on the bench.
With Olic leaving, however, we still need a back-up striker. Christian Nerlinger has been sniffing around Montpellier and France striker Oliver Giroud, although the Frenchman failed to impress in his last run out, missing a penalty.
I'm sure, in time, Nils Petersen would be the answer, but now is not it. Frankly, I'd like to see him loaned out to get regular playing time in the 1. Bundesliga as he is unhappy riding the pine at the Allianz.
Should Giroud continue to not impress, who would you like to see Bayern go after? Edin Dzeko's name has come up a bit. But, would he be willing to take on a secondary role to Mario Gomez?
All looks set for our defensive line with Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba, Rafinha, van Buyten, Contento and Dante. Keeping in mind that Jerome Boateng can also play wing-back and you can put David Alaba pretty much anywhere on the field. Also, defensive midfielders Luis Gustavo and Antoliy Tymoschuk can play center back (in a pinch).
Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Gustavo, Tymoschuk, Robben, Ribery, Mueller and Shaqiri will anchor what is arguably one of the most talented midfields in Europe. Losing Pranjic hurts a bit here and also the back line. We could use one more quality, versatile back-up in the midfield spot.
Finally, I've been asked a lot about our starting XI for the Champions League final. With DvB returning to team training, more questions can be entertained. I'm not sure he's got the pace, especially after just coming back, to deal with Chelsea's attack. However, he's quite lovely on our corner kicks.
As it stands right now, I would go with: Lahm, Boateng, Tymoschuk, Contento - Schweinsteiger, Kroos - Robben, Mueller, Ribery - Gomez.
Why? I'd like to see the Robben / Lahm pairing left intact. Robben, for all of his talent, doesn't play well with Rafinha. And Ribery seems to work well with whoever he's paired with. We will need both wings operating on full throttle to overcome the Blues. I'm sure we'll all have a better understanding of what Jupp Heynckes will do after this weekend, however.
But, for now, Bayern Munich is shaping up as a force to be reckoned with for the seasons to come. And say what you want about Arjen Robben, but his talent can not be denied. Besides, he fits right in with the new kits.
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