Tag Archives: Bayern Munich

“Theater of Dreams” might turn into a nightmare – English clubs facing elimination

It’s been a while since three of four English clubs playing the Champions League face elimination before the last game in the group stage. Manchester United’s tie at the “Theater of Dreams” against Benfica and Manchester City’s loss in Napoli might have just set the stage for a bad awakening.

With Chelsea facing a “deciding” match at Bayer Leverkusen, they might just join the club. What’s the situation? Manchester City is already in the terrible situation that they completely depend on help from others. In other words, besides of winning their own game against Bayern Munich, they also need a Villareal win, or at least a tie, against Napoli. Tall order. City looks like they continue in the Europa League for the rest of the season.

Manchester City has an advantage. They can manage moving on on their own. They just need to win in Basel in order to be sure to advance. There is a pretty high chance that United is going to do so. However, there is a real chance that they might continue in the Europa League as well. Basel already snatched 3 points from United, in the “Theater of Dreams”.

Chelsea is a group with Leverkusen, Valencia and Genk. A Valencia win against Genk tomorrow and a Leverkusen win against Chelsea will leave the English 1 point down of Leverkusen and tied with Valencia. The last game in that group is Valencia at Stamford Bridge. And there, “the grapes are not hanging that high anymore”.

There is a lot of theory in this “speculation”. However, in the past years, there weren’t many moments when the English clubs were subject to such discussion. This fact alone leaves a lot of space for discussion.

It is usually agreed on that the Barclay’s English Premier League is the strongest league in the world. It might be wise to start reconsider that and possibly, like in the business world, just downgrade a notch: The top four in England are top European contenders. It is certainly not more at this point, even if they still all advance.


Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund 0-1

Mario Goetze is Dortmunds winner against Bayern Munich

Mario Goetze scored the golden goal as Dortmund takes the points from Bayern Munich. Goetze scored in the 65th minutes when the Bayern defense was searching for the ball and Goetze reacted quickly enough to hit Manuel Neuer on the wrong foot.

Dortmunds win is keeping the Bundesliga exciting. With the win today, Dortmund reduced the Bayern advantage to 2 points.

In a fast game the Dortmund talent wasn’t as effective as usual, but his presence at the right time should give the Arsenal spies a good idea what of Goetze is able to do. Both teams let the ball do the work and forced the tempo of the game. With both defenses very well adjusted, the attempts from both sides were stopped on the top of the box. Both goalies only had to step up once and both did their thing in a convincing way.

Dortmund can now meet Arsenal on a high in next weeks Champions League match. For Dortmund this is another must win game in order to advance into the second round.

Bundesliga – Bayern vs Dortmund. Sweet talking, for now…

Bundesliga – official website.

Munich – Cast your mind back to February 2011. Bayern Munich faced Borussia Dortmund in what many defined as the decider in the 2010/11 title race. As ever, there was little chance Uli Hoeneß was going to miss the chance to get his two cents in ahead of of the big game. “We’re the better team,” claimed the FCB president, “man for man, Dortmund have no chance.”
Quite where Hoeneß got all his confidence from may forever remain a mystery. Beforehand, Bayern were a hefty 13 points behind Borussia. Afterwards – that being be after Dortmund’s 3-1 victory in Munich – the deficit was 16 points. Needless to say, it was a humiliating few days for Hoeneß…Read more 

Bundesliga – Alaba fills Schweinsteiger’s shoes

Bundesliga – official website.

David Alaba most likely to fill Schweinsteiger’s shoes in Augsburg.

Players like Tevez are not worth the money – They are of no use on the business side of the game.

After becoming a $Billion organization, Manchester City’s times are not getting easier. Having a roster of 22 so-called superstars has its own dynamics. Roberto  Mancini knows about that, and I am sure in 10 years he has a few stories to tell about the circus he managed at City.

The latest “performance” of Carlos Tevez is just  one of many incredible displays of idiotic behavior by City’s stars. Tevez refused to warm-up Continue reading

Poll: Who is going to win the UEFA Champions League 2012 and the Euro 2012?

Are there always the same takers, or do we have others that can keep up now? Real Madrid, Manchester United, the newly rich from Manchester City, the host of the final, Bayern Munich? Anyone?

Euro 2012: What’s up England, Germany, Netherlands, Italy? Can you do it?


The awakening of an American soccer giant – Remember the Cosmos

cosmosThe New York Cosmos put U.S. soccer on the world stage in the 1970s. For those who are old enough to remember, soccer exploded in the United States when Pele, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia and many other international superstars joined the Cosmos in New York City, stunning an American audience and the American sports world.

Since then, soccer grew into a sport played by millions of kids across the country, and U.S. teams became serious contenders in international competition in all age groups and for men and women alike, but Cosmos hasn’t had a team since 1985. The New York Cosmos is now making a comeback and on its way to becoming an expansion team in the MLS. Still infused with flair, fabulousness and the promise of greatness, the club has lost none of its international name recognition or the ability to rally masses around the world, more than any other sports team in the United States. The Cosmos Continue reading

Manchester City and its doubtful business practices

Looking at the transfer market these days is, as always, a painful endeavor. Especially the events and actions coming from Manchester City make me wonder what these people there are trying to accomplish. While this insanity is going on for a couple of years, it now turns into a much more ridiculous, and that’s the polite form, circus.

Manchester City announced a $193,000,000 loss in the most recent papers, and it hasn’t been much better over the years before. However, they are busy as usual in the transfer market. While they have a valid problem with Carlos Tevez, there are many other cases one has to wonder what these people at City are thinking when it comes to transfer business. Jerome Boateng, Manuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge and a few others currently experiencing what can happen when the business side of a club is unable to take a look over the edge of the plate.

Jerome Boateng, not wanted by City is after one year, ready to move to Munich. Bayern is ready to pay a decent fee, but has no intention to pay City’s “moon prices”. Boateng was a bad move for City, and so was City for Boateng, and the club needs to close the book on this. Asking for an astronomical price doesn’t help here. The treatment of this case doesn’t really reflect very well on City. Other clubs are already fed up with City as Munich’s Rummenigge made the comment: “Seems they want to have 48 players on their roster, while only 25 are allowed”. Much less does the treatment of the other players reflect well. These are all guys that over the past years put the club where it is right now. One would think there could be a little more “giving” from the club. To leave the players hanging while making it clear without saying that they are not wanted and put a price tag on them that no one is willing to pay, doesn’t show a lot of ability, but much rather a big dose of incompetence.

 Participate in my market research project: Remember the Cosmos

Manchester City has a lot of people on the roster that really give a penny for the club. The reason for that is the way how people are treated. Beside of those that have to leave, or stay while cashing in millions if the club doesn’t get its act together, there are a few others that were quite annoyed during the last season. Milner comes to mind as well as Deco and one or two others. Roberto Mancini and his helpers in the business suite must clearly lack people management and business management skills. Here is what is going to happen, if nothing changes: The other European clubs will not like to make deals with City and will leave the “goods on the shelf” of City. The players that are on the shopping list in the coming years, will not make a move, because their risk is too high. Yeah, it is good to cash in big time, but only if you can make some decent money after leaving City as well. Being a starter for one year on a four year contract and sitting the rest out, can cost you millions afterwards. Not a good deal. Players will no longer sign up for this nonsense.

As far as the next season goes, having all these guys running around in the reserve and delivering them weekly paychecks of $175,000 a week for nothing, like in Adebayor’s case, cannot be called sense of business. In addition, having Tevez on the roster in the next season will not be a lot of joy. The guy wants to leave quickly and won’t be in a good mood. A $80,000,000 price tag might not help in solving this problem. Admitted, Tevez is a different case and should not just let go for change. Some other superstars, in their own mind, won’t be pleased as well, with sitting on the bench. City will have a lot of small battlefields that can and will ruin the entire 2011/12 campaign.

Miss management is a common thing in clubs that didn’t grow into their role of being a leader, but were pushed into it by a flood of money from the outside. It wouldn’t be the first time that such an experiment is failing. There is this old saying in between soccer cracks: “If you want to p.. with the big dogs, you must be able to lift your leg”. Way to go, Manchester City.

Manuel Neuer transfer circus, presented by Schalke 04

Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich currently negotiate the conditions for Manuel Neuer’s transfer from Schalke to Munich. What comes to the surface is a ridiculous circus created by the “want-to-be-someone” officials from Schalke. The facts are on hand, Neuer has one more year contract with Schalke and with that this year is the last chance to cash in some major money. Bayern Munich offered $25 million and Schalke declined. Bayern Munich, in a second offer, expressed willingness to pay $29 million plus another $5.5 million should they win a title with Neuer. Schalke’s comment: “Now we have a normal conversation”.

Bayern has in the meantime extended the contract of Hans-Joerg Butt, Bayern’s current number one. In other words, while they would like to have Neuer, and Neuer would love to transfer to Munich, Bayern would not really need him. In theory, Bayern and Neuer could wait it out for a year. Neuer stays in Schalke, and they (Schalke) “look into the blue moon” comes next year when the contract is up.

For Schalke to say “now we have a conversation” is quite ridiculous, they can’t afford it, not on the money side and not with other credit, especially not with the escapades to their name. Bayern has already announced that they are not willing to pay a “moon price” and negotiations could end any time. In that case, Schalke would continue with Neuer, try to get a result in the next season, and then wrap Neuer up and send him to Munich as a gift. Almost $35 million would flow down the river. Schalke, while making some good money in the Champions League, is broke and in need of every single penny they can get. Major other income sources are not in sight and some adjustments to the roster are necessary in order to play for a Champions League seat in the 2012/13 season.

Schalke’s attitude might be considered as clever negotiations by some, however, the truth is this is a circus they can’t afford. Besides that, having to sell a player like Manuel Neuer is a homerun that can be accomplished by a first grader. There is no need to display “big gun power” when there is nothing than wet powder. This deal is not to demonstrate negotiation abilities, it is a deal to earn a lot of credit in business and soccer, not necessarily with an immediate dollar sign, but with lots of potential down the road.

Bayern Munich is a club with an outstanding record, not only in soccer and in the business world, but also on the human side, if that is still of any value for the business minded. Bayern wants Neuer and will pay what is necessary, and is somehow justifiable, not because Schalke is saying so, but because they will not leave Neuer hanging. Those that remember the van Bommel deal from last January, will understand what I mean. One of the things they have to learn in Schalke, and in other clubs, sometime you leave a few bucks on the table as an investment in other deals that will come up down the road. It is one of the reasons why Bayern is Bayern, or “Mia san mia” (we are who we are) as they say.

Bayern Munich and the difference – Or why Louis van Gaal fell over his own feet

The German record champ is one of the first addresses in world soccer. Ranked number 5 in the“world ranking for revenue”, the club is interesting for top players as well as for the top coaches in the world.

Last week, Louis van Gaal, a commonly considered top coach in soccer, lost his job in Munich. The press and soccer experts around the world are wondering about the reasons. Louis van Gaal made many mistakes, not only in managing the team, but also in managing the club and its grown structures. It is all his fault, clearly!

Lets look at a few details. Last year the Bayern made it into Champions League Final and lost against Inter Milan. At that time already clear, they need to shore up the defense. Both central defenders and the left full back position should have been reinforced. Van Gaal let it go, despite the fact that the Bayern were willing to spend money. After the World Cup, the real trouble started: The entire team was at the World Cup, for Germany, France and the Dutch. A real good preparation for the season was not possible. Van Gaal laid that out, and he was right. Until the team was getting back in some kind of normal form, the half of the season was over. Most important for the club, Bayern was not in the top five and had to struggle to keep up and put themselves  into Champions League qualifying position. At that time, while completely underestimating and disregarding competition and valuable resources, van Gaal got the glorious idea to shape the team for the next season. Butt out of goal and Kraft in. Sold Demichelis, the better of the two central defenders, and let van Bommel go to AC Milan. All  these actions, as expected, went straight into the pants, as the Germans say. Butt, who was mandatory for Bayern’s and van Gaal’s strategy, had to watch from the sideline how the young Kraft was overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. Many mistakes in the traditional goalie game, and hopelessly “under equipped” to support the Bayern strategy of keeping the ball and use the goalie to do so. Letting van Bommel go, with his experience and leadership abilities, comes close to a beginner mistake. If one wants to put numbers to just those two mistakes, those cost the Bayern five to six points at least, since the winter break. Add those to the current points, and van Gaal would still be in charge. You can go on and consider the dynamics that are created by such actions, and you have another 3 or 4 points.

Much more ridiculous, van Gaal managed to p… off the entire management “high society” at Bayern. Unlike other top clubs, were management has no clue about the game and just throws money out to buy players, at Bayern, everyone in charge knows everything about the game on the field and off the field. If, as a coach, you don’t take advantage of such resources, you are either stupid or you lost the ground under your feet. Van Gaal is not stupid.

One can charge management for not putting an end to this earlier, but you can also give them credit for letting the coach do his thing. Considering everything on the table, I find this worth to give them credit. As a coach, where do you find that kind of opportunity? A big club, money to buy players and incredible resources in management that help you do the job.  All you need to do is manage a “rose garden”. Van Gaal failed to do so.

UEFA Champions League – Draw creates excitement for supporters!

The draw of the champions league quarterfinal created some excitement for soccer fans around the world. The premier league clubs Chelsea and Manchester United face off for a battle of England. Alone this set-up is promising soccer at its finest. No less excitement for the third English club in the competition: Spurs are facing Real Madrid! And, they were lucky, the first game is in Madrid. Spurs have a great chance to advance into the semis. While Real is a great team and getting better every month, they are still everything else than solid in defense. Of all the attractive opponents, this is the best Spurs could get. A great name and no further motivation needed and a chance to win. Paradise for every coach and player. Good luck, Spurs!

Barca drew the, on paper, least attractive opponent for the quarter-final. Donetsk is not necessarily a cracker in European soccer. However, they are dangerous and can give Barca lots of trouble. The outcome of this duel is not as clear as it looks like. The first game is played in Barcelona and that is an advantage for the Russians. Barca needs to be ready for a “hot dance”.

While Bayern Munich is probably in tears at this moment, Inter Milan is smiling all over their face. They clearly, if that can be said of a quarter-final, drew the easiest team in the pott. Schalke at this stage, is not a team that can create fear. With all the troubles from the past week and the way things in Schalke go after such events, they will still be trying to force themselves out of the “chicken stable” they put themselves in to. There chance is the goalie Neuer and a goal from Raul. Without those two doing magic, they have no chance.

Inter Milan will make the semi-final and most likely Barca. The two other games are completely open. Awesome!

Happenings around the European Leagues – Ashley Cole off the hook, Fabregas not a happy camper, Bayern and Schalke firing coaches.

Cole off the hook

Ashley Cole just got a break from some of his headaches. After shooting a student on Chelsea’s training ground with an air gun, investigations were stopped. Charges were never pressed. Cole brought an air gun to the training ground and accidentally shot a student. He claimed he didn’t know the gun was loaded. The question is, why did he bring an air gun to practice? Some people!

Fabregas facing not so happy times

Ces Fabregas saw better times. Injury and missing the Carling Cup final, not being fit and playing his “love” Barca, helping Barca to a goal and now missing the FA Cup clash against Manchester United. According to Wenger, Fabregas is very disappointed. Dear Ces, don’t be disappointed, there is worse in life. You will one day lift a trophy as an Arsenal captain and possibly have another chance to play Barca, unless he is leaving in the summer. Is he?

Bayern and Schalke firing their coaches

Bayern Munich has fired coach van Gaal, not immediately, but to the end of the season. Probably because no one else was available. One is surprised van Gaal is playing this game. The Dutch coach has contract until the end of season 2012, but faced headwinds due to a few losses after their last Champions League win against Inter. After the Inter game Bayern lost against the future German Champ Dortmund and the Cup semi final against Schalke 04, both at home. They also lost the important game against Hanover in their efforts to secure second or third in the Bundesliga. Champions League participation for the next season is in jeopardy, which equals an earthquake in Munich.

Schalke is desperately trying to get rid of Felix Magath. The coach/manager has too much power, according to some board members and members of the club. While the club has no chance for glory in the Bundesliga, Schalke is in the German cup final and just advanced to the quarterfinal in the Champions League. Magath has spent Millions on creating a competitive squad and many board and club members don’t like the debt that was created. Debt combined with lack of success in the Bundesliga, Magath’s power in the club and the incredible success of Schalke’s biggest rival a few miles down the road, Borussia Dortmund, has triggered an incredible campaign against Magath. Schalke is known in Germany for their escapades in management and trouble is always luring around the corner. Success or not is not the issue with the club.

Bundesliga: In Munich the tree is burning (All hell is breaking loose)! Bayern is fighting for survival.

It doesn’t happen very often that the Bayern bosses are speechless. Today we witnessed such an event. Bayern lost in Hanover and is facing elimination from the Champions League for 2012. As of today, they are 5 points behind the 3rd, Hanover 96. The third place in Germany sends you into qualification for the Champions League.

Usually, when Bayern is struggling in the Bundesliga, most people have a smile on their face. For most Germans, Bayern is too successful, and a little suffering here and there doesn’t hurt them. This time, it is a little different. While there are still a lot of people laughing at the Bayern, some became a little hesitant to find it funny anymore. The Germans want good results for their teams in the international competitions. Who else can deliver that better then the European and German top club from Munich. Hanover in the Champions League? The Germans just won another starter place in the Champions League from the Italians, and that is a result, beside others, of a lot of Bayern wins in Europe. With all due respect towards Hanover, it is not very likely that they make it very far in Europe. Hanover AND Bayern, yes, that would fly. But Hanover instead Bayern?  So, the most are not really comfortable with the situation.

Let’s take a look at what happened. After the successful World Cup in South Africa, the Bayern internationals got a longer vacation than the players that didn’t go to the World Cup. Nothing special one would think, everyone does that. Yes, but Bayern had the entire team at the World Cup. When practice started, there was just the reserve present. For three weeks the team wasn’t in practice. Preparation for the new season suffered. While it is nice to be popular, it wasn’t really good for the club and the team. Also, the Bayern had a very successful 2009/10 season. Won the Championship, Cup and were in the Champions League final. As it always is, the Bayern are very excessive in everything they do. When things are good, they enjoy it big time. When bad, like right now, they are very intense as well. If everything is normal, then they find something to be intense about. Besides of that, they have high expectations and at times they come over as quite arrogant.

While van Gaal was warning of the problems that might occur after such a World Cup, the Bayern officials acknowledged, but still expected to win everything, as always. The start into the new season was then as expected, more modest. On top of that, injuries came up. Robben and Ribery were out for the most part of the first half of the season. With the problems at hand, the Bayern didn’t adjust to it and trying to save the season. They started to build a team for the next season, still in believe they can manage it all. The goalie, Hans-Joerg Butt, was put on the bench and a greenhorn was put into place. Not that everyone gave the young Thomas Kraft a chance to grow on the job, all season coach and officials are talking about moving Manuel Neuer from Schalke to Munich, as the new number 1. That might be motivating, most likely, it is not. Demichelis, the Argentine, was put on the bench as well and later sold to Malaga in Spain. Mark van Bommel, while an old bone, he is still a top player with a lot of influence on the team, was let go to AC Milan! An absolute ridiculous move by the Bayern. In between of all that, Uli Hoeness and coach van Gaal had their issues on an almost weekly basis. Topics were the way they play, lose or win. Whatever was needed and available to discuss, the two did it. Over the entire season the club and team had no peace. Today, they sit over a huge mess and have to find a way to get themselves out of it. Champions League is a must for the Bayern. Not only because it is an annual expectation, this time there is another reason: The Champions League final 2012 is in Munich and that is the club’s target for the next season. Reach the final and win, of course. That’s what they are working on all season, no matter the circumstances.

When you hear all that, you might wonder if they all have no clue in Munich. Far off, my friend. Bayern Munich is the club with the most experts in important positions. There is no other club in the entire World that has such a huge panel of experts not only around, but on duty. Uli Hoeness, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Christian Nerlinger, Gerd Mueller, Paul Breitner (not direct for the club, but always with an opinion), and, above everyone else, Franz Beckenbauer. As a coach, you want to explain to them how soccer works? Good luck! Some will probably say, let them coach. Yes, that happened too in the past. They fired the coach, Beckenbauer took over, and, of course, despite all obstacles, won the championship. You see the problem? It is kinda difficult to talk with them when things don’t go well. Poor van Gaal. Poor everyone else who is trying.

Sounds all crazy, I know. It is not. It is unusual. The mentioned officials are absolute crackers in sport and business. They know what they do and always did. Yes, the expectations are sometimes out of reality, but if you look at the successes of the club, outstanding. When it comes to financials for example, the rest of Europe doesn’t even dare to look at Munich. No crazy club owners, no galactic debt or any other issues. And still successful. Just not right now.

One can write on this forever and will not find a solution. We will have to wait until Sunday and see what happens. In my opinion, the challenge is to find peace and calm the egos of certain people. Once that is accomplished, they can focus on soccer. It is not all lost. Third place is still possible and should be the focus of all at Bayern. Also, they won in Inter Milan and play them in the second leg next week. They still have a chance for the biggest of all trophies, the UEFA Champions League title.

Manchester United and Bayern Munich looking for a new Goalkeeper!

>Two of the top European clubs are looking for a new goalkeeper. Manchester United’s Edwin van der Sar is ending his great career at the end of this season. It seems there is no chance to convince the keeper to add another year. Bayern Munich is looking for a goalie that fits the style of play. Hans-Joerg Butt is too old, in coach van Gaal’s book. They also have the young Thomas Kraft. After the winter break Kraft became number one at the German top club. He is eager to stay number 1 at Bayern, however, the club is looking at Manuel Neuer from Schalke 04.

Neuer, since the World Cup 2010, the new number one in Germany is certainly a complete and perfect match for both, Bayern, as well as Manchester United. While he is not only a good shot stopper, he is probably the best “goalkeeper-field player combination” within the group of top class teams and goalkeepers in the World. While that sounds not so important for the most, Bayern Munich and Manchester United rely on the participation of their goalkeepers. Edwin van der Sar and Hans-Joerg Butt at Bayern Munich have given their teams the opportunity to use the entire field to keep possession and end opponents possession with a pass back to the goalie, even in situations the most wouldn’t pass the ball back.

While Bayern Munich, as usual, doesn’t keep a secret about their shopping list for the summer, Manchester United and Sir Alex keep their thoughts more closed up to avoid speculations. Neuer would be a rather expensive buy for a goalkeeper, but money is not the issue for both of the clubs. Besides that, considering what’s at stake every year and just looking at the last few games in England and Germany, a World Class Goalkeeper can get you the points you might need at the end. Schalke 04, Neuer’s club in Germany would certainly not be sad to cash in, even though they have their own ambitions and Neuer being a “Schalke -Kid”.

From Neuer’s view, he wants to play Champions League. While Bayern is struggling in the Bundesliga and qualification is by far not guaranteed, Manchester United would be a great platform to display his abilities. However, Bayern has the advantage that Neuer could stay in the league and country, therefore will allow a more comfortable personal life.

From a neutral observer’s view, Neuer must consider Manchester United, should the English Top Club show further interest. In United’s interest, look at this guy. He is the only solution to the problem at hand. Anything else will cause a loss in quality of the team.