Bayern Munich

You can browser our back catalog of soccer posts about Bayern Munich here.

Borussia Dortmund will Struggle to Repeat as Bayern Munich Starts Hot

Last season, the German powerhouse team Bayern Munich started incredibly well with 12 straight victories in all competitions.  Their season fizzled out, Borussia Dortmund overtook them, they lost the Champions League Final against Chelsea, and they were beaten soundly in the DFB Pokal final by none other than Dortmund.  Thus, their bright start to the season finished with Bayern Munich coming away empty handed.

This year, Bayern has again started in scintillating fashion, claiming 9 straight victories and already hold top position in Germany’s Bundesliga.  Their goal differential of 17 is far and away the best of any team, and once again the club feels poised to have a wonderful season.

For Borussia Dortmund, who valiantly fought back to win the title last season, they are once again on the back-foot to begin their season.  Dortmund’s 31 game unbeaten streak was ended a few weeks ago by Hamburg, who look decent with the return of their former star player, Rafael van der Vaart.

Then Dortmund played out a fantastic 3-3 draw with Frankfurt, a team currently second in the Bundesliga who look better and better each week.  As a result, Dortmund currently sits third in the table on 11 points, a full 7 points behind Bayern Munich.

Perhaps their struggles have been due to the departure of Shinji Kagawa, and excellent Japanese winger who moved on to Manchester United this summer.  Although Dortmund does still have a very talented side, they lost their most creative attacker.

A lot of the workload will fall onto new signing, Marco Reus.  The young German forward is a full international, played at EURO 2012, and has already scored five goals for his new club.  Sharing the offensive duties with Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, and Ivan Perisic, goals will be sure to come through for Dortmund.

Their defense has also been solid with Mats Hummels leading the back line.  The big young defender is already an experienced starter for the Germany National Team and has earned praise as one of the nation’s most impressive youngsters.

But once again this team will have to fight back from behind to overcome Bayern Munich, and although they managed the feat last year, I feel it will be very hard to overcome the deficit again.  Munich has an incredible roster with Arjen Robben, Frank Ribery, and a whole crew of Germany’s finest players like Philip Lahm, Mario Gomez, and Thomas Muller.  Their new summer signing, Javi Martinez is an experienced midfielder and has been a part of the Spain National Team squad that won both the 2010 World Cup and EURO 2012.

Surely, the Budesliga campaign will have some more twists and turns before the season is out, but I think Bayern Munich means business this year.  Their season fell horrendously short last year, and their players will be ever so hungry to achieve some success this time around.  For a team that has so much promise and talent, I think they will be a hoisting a trophy at the season’s end, and my bet is that they will become German Champions in the Bundesliga.

Woes for Bayern Munich

The players for Bayern Munich have suffered considerably throughout their careers.  One may ask, how could professional footballers ever really suffer?  Well, take a look at how they have fared in the biggest games of their lives and you will understand.

First off, nearly the whole team was present when they lost the Champions League final against Inter Milan in 2010.  Two years later, they lost the same match but it was even worse this time around.  They lost on their home turf in a match that they totally dominated.  They even led during the penalty shootout but couldn’t convert.

Chelsea had magic on their side all throughout their Champions League campaign and it was no surprise that they won the final in this way, equalizing in the final minute, saving an extra time PK, and coming from behind in an epic shootout.

But Bayern’s team seems full of repeated losers.  Soccer is such a cruel sport.  Frank Ribery lost a World Cup final with France in 2006.  Arjen Robben lost a World Cup final with Holland in 2010.  A large part of the German players on the squad lost the EURO final in 2008 too.  Such players include Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez, and Philipp Lahm.  There is a startling trend developing in the club that seems to perform well until the crucial match and then blows it.

You could see the utter agony on the faces of the players following Drogba’s victorious penalty to seal the game.  Players just collapsed on the pitch and were broken to tears.  Manager, Jupp Heynckes repeatedly went back to the topic of missed opportunities during his post game interview.  But what good is that?  How many missed opportunities does it take to show that your team crumbles under the pressure of a final?

Worse yet, this defeat merely adds more pressure for the next time that Bayern Munich will be in a European final.  Let us not forget that this is the same club that threw away a one goal lead in the 1999 final against Manchester United.  Two stoppage time goals snatched another victory from the German club and the horrors were rekindled on Saturday.

Bayern Munich finished the season empty handed, which included their 5-2 drubbing in the DFB Pokal (German Cup) final at the hands of Borussia Dortmund, who also snatched the Bundesliga title.  So where does the club go from here?  The season was actually quite decent, considering they reached two cup finals and finished second in the league table.  But finishing second in three competitions is just another three opportunities wasted.  The club needs to invest in some winners.  Players and coaches who have won major trophies could get them over that hump.  They need people with the belief that they will win…the kind of belief that Chelsea won the Champions League with.