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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

Bayern Munich – Much More Than A Fresh Coat of Paint

Written by on February 23, 2011 | 25 Comments »
Posted in Bayern Mnchen, General, UEFA Champions League

While Inter have freshened things up the same applies to Bayern but to an even greater extent.

First of all this is the line up chosen by Louis Van Gaal to play in the Champions League Final.

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1)

Butt; Lahm, Van Buyten, Demichelis, Badstuber; Van Bommel, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Muller, Altintop; Olic.

In defence only Philipp Lahm can be expected to start in the same position as he played last May. Goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt  has been replaced by Thomas Kraft a 22 year old goalkeeper brought through the Bayern youth system. However, Kraft did suffer an head-injury against Mainz on the weekend and was replaced by Butt and so there is a possibility that we will see the veteran return on Wednesday.

There have been big changes at centre back. Martin Demichelis finally wore out his welcome and moved to Malaga during the January transfer window. Daniel van Buyten has not made a first team appearance since December.

Holger Badstuber started at left back in the final but has been exclusively used in the centre of defence this season.

His partner will surprise many. Anatoly Tymoshchuk who was signed as a defensive midfielder before Van Gaal arrived is currently being transformed into a centre back – or at least the attempt is being made.

The experiment has been to say the least challenging but Van Gaal shows no signs of throwing in the towel.

Danijel Pranjic has bounced around a number of positions this season but lately he has had a run at left back.

Schweinsteiger has on occasion played in a more advanced midfield role but Van Gaal will probably play him in the deeper role that he played so effectively last season.

His partner in front of the back four may be Gustavo a recent recruit from Hoffenheim. It was thought that the Brazilian would play at centre back but his starts so far have been at left back (an original position for him) or as a defensive midfield player.

Last May Altintop took the place of Franck Ribery who missed the final through suspension. Ribery has also had his appearances limited on account of injuries this season. Bayern are optimistic that he will start as will his partner on the opposite Arjen Robben will both be available.

Ivica Olic was a big reason why Bayern Munich got to the last two in the 2010 Champions League but he has been a long term casualty this season.

Under the radar has flown the much maligned Mario Gomez who is enjoying a terrific season. With 27 goals in 31 games for Bayern this season in all competitions Gomez finally has the look of a player who cost Bayern Munich a lot of money in 2009.

Possible line-up – Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1)

Kraft; Lahm, Tymoshchuk, Badstuber, Pranjic; Schweinsteiger, Gustavo; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Gomez

It is again Inter versus Bayern Munich but with the number of changes in the last nine months we can expect to see some very different things over the two legs.

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25 responses to “Bayern Munich – Much More Than A Fresh Coat of Paint”

  1. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    I can’t wait for this one. It should be the UCL tie this week. Both Bayern and Inter look to have gotten out of their respective funks.

  2. Please regard this one as an open thread for anything going on today Champions League, Arsenal against Stoke etc.

  3. Ogo Sylla says:

    I see Bayern getting the result here and possibly even killing off the tie. Different Bayern indeed, players fit and playing in right positions and Inter leaky at back. Wily Ol’ Van Gaal will be favorite against Leonardo as well. Best chance for goals for Inter is if they focus on right with Maicon Atk. Prediction: 3-1 Bayern

  4. greg mclauchlin says:

    For all the talk of Arsenal being “Barcelona-lite”, I think Bayern are probably equally if not more deserving of that title. Van Gaal has made no secret of wanting to emulate the Barca style and the team has been setup to do that. However it’s only when Robben and Ribery are both starting does it become apparent. The problem is that Bayern are just awful when they don’t have the ball. With Van Bommel gone, they don’t a defensive midfielder who can both win the ball and set the tempo with quick short passes and their CB’s – Badstuber & Tymochuck – are decent but aren’t good enough for a team that has so many attack minded players.

    All those defeciences should make this game good fun for the neutral.

  5. Soccerlogical says:

    I got a few dimes on CHE-MAN-MUN progressing.

    Marseilles should go all out against a weakened Manyoo defense and midfield as they will need a goal or two advantage when they face a full strength Manyoo at Old Trafford.

    Porto vs Sevilla should be a nice appetizer.

  6. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    I can’t say that I’m looking forward to Arsenal playing Stoke however. Playing Pulis’ leg breaking rugby side is never a treat. Both RvP and Kozzer are out with injuries.

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    Looking at the lineups, Inter are clearly set to defend and counter against a Munich onslaught of Robbery, Mueller, Gomez and Schweini.

    Can’t believe Fergie is starting a scrub like Gibson. The sooner he gets substituted for Scholes the better.

  8. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Inter playing with three holding midfielders at home? Do they want a 0-0 and nick an away goal in the 2nd leg? And people wonder why I dislike Italian footy. Come on Bayern! Do us all a favour and knock anti footy tactics out. It’s bad for the game.

  9. Talorcan says:

    TVN it looks like you got your wish… 0-1 BM!
    Also a bonus of an away goal from Gomez who is finally living up to the hype when he was originally signed.
    Man U also got the result they wanted.

    Italy’s FA is also getting very nervous about their UEFA coefficient… a very poor start to 2011 for them.

  10. refan says:

    There’s a turn up for the books, the aging Inter squad JM and RB wanted upgrading goes down at home to a more polished and better co-ordinated Bayern. Advantage Germany at half time.

  11. Soccerlogical says:

    Let’s be honest, Milito or even Pazzini in the lineup would have been too much for Germany’s CB pairing.

    How about that huge miss that Gomez had in the first half when the ball flew to row Z. I still don’t rate Gomez and think he would fail miserably in a league with better defenses or without Robbery to supply his tap ins. His goal ratio at Stuttgart was just a one off for me.

  12. Talorcan – I think the situation is now past the point of redemption.
    This lists the points earned this season and who is left
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~kassiesa/bert/uefa/data/method4/ccoef2011.html

    and the country rankings that at the end of the season will take effect 2012/13 I believe.
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~kassiesa/bert/uefa/data/method4/crank2011.html

  13. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    I’d personally like to thank all the Italian teams for competing in this year’s UCL. All three played at home for the first leg. All three lost by one goal. Three Italian teams enter the R16 and none will qualify for the QFs. As with all those high quality game shows, we have some nice parting gifts for you. Don’t let the door slam you on the way out.

    Just to clarify. I’m not anti Italian. I love the culture and people. I’m anti Italian footy. Their tactics are largely negative (and that is bad for the game) and they get far too much North American television exposure.

  14. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Talorcan,

    I’m not so sure ManU got the result they wanted. 0-0 for the home leg is never really a bad result. ManU did not get an away goal and now have left themselves susceptible to just one mistake knocking them out.

  15. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    SL,

    You believe Milito or Pazzini would cause any pair of CBs more trouble than Eto’o. Surely, you can’t be serious?

    If, however, you mean if Milito were not injured and played CF, Inter played a more attack minded 4-3-3, Eto’o out on the wing, and removed one of their holding MFs, then I would concur and understand.

  16. Soccerlogical says:

    Obviously the latter scenario dude.

  17. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    TVN
    just watched Man Utd not many chances.try i know it will be hard. what do you think of Smalling?i think he has a chance to be good.he looked good in a bad game today.

    how about a AFC recap did stoke ever challenge?any scoring chances?i heard Tho out for CC this weekend and Cesc has a hammy.

  18. Eaglesoar says:

    Looks like Inter really miss Milito……especially when Sneijder seems to have lost a little of his mojo.

  19. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    TVN,
    One can argue that Pazzini is in sizzling form, and provides a threat in the air that Eto’o cannot, which would actually make him more worrysome to opposing CBs.
    Eto’o is one of the greatest strikers of the last 10 years, but I actually do believe that Pazzini is more troublesome to defend than Eto’o at the current time.

    Talorcan-
    To me the big moment for the UEFA coefficients was at the onset of the season, when Sampdoria choked away a big lead to Werder Bremen in the second leg of their August Champions League qualification tie. A goal in the 90’+, and one more in extra time sent the German club through at the expense of the Italians. I knew at that point the days of 4 Italian qualifiers were over.

  20. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    RRD,

    Based on that line of logic then one can say that the likes of Crouch and Zigic trouble CBs the most. I need not say more.

  21. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    If Crouch or Zigic just scored 4 goals and had 2 assists in their first 6 games with the club.

  22. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Bobby,
    Just found out tonight’s show is Jeremy St. Louis’s last. Sad day as I don’t know what FSR would be like without him. If you could, please let me know what he’s heading off to do.

    During the months where Teri and Lara stumbled through their reports with constant errors, Jeremy was always their as a quality broadcaster to pick the show up. That cool delivery, his sense of humor and knowlege of the game will truly be missed.

    Its nice to see new editions like Michelle and Eoin, and hopefully the show has continued success in the future.

    DT YOU CANT LEAVE, I STILL MISS CARLOS! now St. Louis?!

  23. Jeremy is off to work as News Director for a radio station just outside of Winnipeg.

    Jeremy may have a farewell piece up on the website later today.

  24. RRD – the erosion of Italy’s position has been on going for sometime. The coefficient accumulation over 5 years makes it difficult to identify a tipping point.

    However, if you want to look a telltale sign of how strong a weak a league is I think the canary in the mine might be how the final representative of each league does each year in the Champions League.

  25. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Bobby,
    I totally agree that it has been a steady slide. I just remember that particular match being the point where I admitted to myself that there was no chance of turning things around and preventing this powershift.

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