I am so relieved, whoah believe me! The German football scene has shoved so many reporters up my ass, that I can taste the hair gel in my mouth. Jeez, fetch the dirns with dirndls already and save me. Sure, I knew that me taking the reigns of Die Bayern would spark some interest but shit is ridiculous here on the north side of the Alps. Must be German efficiency or something. Italian reporters were so dead-lazy that they just came up with something, usually filthy and sex-related but at least they left me alone most of the times. Not here. I can´t get to my car to go to work without some Hanz sticking foam tipped plastic dildo to my mouth. To make things worse, the relics in the upstairs love their celebrity status and go on for hours if given the slightest chance. Of course, they are. Housing the side of my press conference desk, these vultures strike at the very second I am trying to catch my breath and ramble on. You feel like you are an elderly nurse working on a demented retirement home. Luckily I am somewhat cunning. I told everybody that I really need to analyze everything straight away after the game so my assistant will take over the press. Everyone bought it! Of course they did, they just want their chance to talk about themselves. So I told my assistant Hermann Gerland to go nuts on the press, say whatever you like. He was so happy about this opportunity, so happy. Look at him grinning!
One of the things that I was really looking forward to getting rid off when coming to Bayern was the constant barrage towards my key players from the big money clubs in Spain, England, and well PSG is from France so there also. It seems that I need to take over Man City or Real Madrid to manage in peace without someone trolling my players constantly with huge sums of money. At least it seems that Bayern is big enough of a club that I can make false promises to ease of some players. Like promising that we win Champions League. Silly goofs they are to believe in that. Douglas Costa, Thiago and David Alaba were all constantly approached during the summer but I already had made some promises to other players and felt that I could spare there so I chose to let them leave. Also, these were after more money to stay and were asking such sums that I seriously suggested them to start looking for wives in the lower pay grade section if they would want to be signed by any team in the future. Seriously though, Dave, I can´t see what is costing you so much there.
The Braunschweig incident
I obviously knew that I had made some good progress with my team and it was ready for the Hinrunde. Still, I was somewhat surprised when my team came out of the barn with such heat that ladies were going for sanitary pads in the stands. First four matches were murderous but the on the fifth we put out a real display.
My team had some nagging injury problems in the team after pre-season and first few games so I decided to go with a four-piece defense against the Die Löwen. I opted to go with a very familiar(to myself, maybe not for the team) 4-2-3-1 against their 4-4-2 and see if some inside forward thingy would do the trick for us. While I believe that Braunschweig was just super sucky on that day I guess my tactical sidestep proved out to be a refreshing surprise.
My SS and DF combined 7 goals between three players while my IFs put on the missing three out of 10 goals. While I thought that team looked really stellar and Braunschweig suffered heavily under our relentless barrage, I would still have difficulties using this tactical plan against more well equipped be opponents. On that note, I was still confident to start using my initial tactical outlinings once my team was healthy. These look nice though.
Using inside forwards and keeping the stuff narrow we were able to keep the game in the middle and use our superior movement and passing to our advantage. Lots of heat in the middle ladies!
While an anomaly I am sure, it does not stop us from savoring these beautiful moments. Please take a look to this beautiful ballet on the pitch.
Hinrunde in memoriam
If the Bundesliga was entertaining with some quite raunchy performances from our team 5-0 vs Leverkusen, 7-2 vs Freiburg and satisfying 6-1 vs RBL(yes we did play BvB, won 0-1 away that one.) UCL was giving us hard time. Well, maybe not the actual group but Shakhtar was difficult. We lost 0-2 away and managed to claw a 1-1 tie at home which left us second in the otherwise a very shitty group of teams.
Fans and the Order Of The Ancient were not too pleased with our showing in the group stage but getting to go to playoffs be must the main thing here. I guess I need to play some friendlies with Shakhtar at the pre-season to settle the score, we will see. As mentioned our Hinrunde was quite successful with occasional hickups occurring, mostly from heavy rotation due to UCL and player development reasons. I managed to lose at Hoffenheim 0-1 and drew against Hannover and Mainz. The rest of the way was mostly smooth sailing on our behalf but there was some turmoil ahead.
DFB-Pokal saw us three times during the fall. We beat SC Preußen Münster 0-2 away, Schalke 2-4 away and Augsburg at home 3-0. Business as usual in that regard.
Among the players expected to lead the back like Manuel Neuer, Hummels , Boateng , Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich there were some players that caught my and maybe someone else´s eye during the fall outings. One of the players to make their mark was Timo Werner . He was very much present on the fall campaign bagging 12 goals in all competitions. While I still had my doubts about his work rate and commitment he was producing. One fellow that made some waves with his versatile swag was the celestial Javi Martínez. He saw time as a CM with defense duty and BPD in the middle of my 3-piece D-line and was rock solid. Unfortunately, he suffered a season ending injury in the winter break which most likely will seal his fate. Other players worth a mention here are Corentin Tollisso who shone like a supernova with his versatility during Passlack´s absence and Marco Tumminello. Tumminello, who made huge progress during my stay at AS ROMA filled perfectly the “Super-Sub” role designed for him. He bagged a whopping 15 goals from the bench and occasional rotational starts I gave him during the fall, what a young stallion. Also worth to mention that he is single to all you WAG – wanting “player scouts” in the stands. Go get your German-Italy books from the store pronto! Lastly, I want to bring up Zé Gomes whom I brought in with a loan deal from Benfica. He was very good when played but got some injury problems and dropped down the hierarchy during the fall. I was initially hoping to get him signed by the summer but we will have to see if I pull the trigger on that one at all.
The issues, the break, and the winter window.
Along the way, on our ravishing fall campaign, I am sure that some of our players were caught in the webs of ever watching money giants. This observation is purely manufactured due to numerous meetings I had in my office during December. I was holding a fucking court most of the time, I started feeling like I was in Game of Thrones all of a sudden listening my bannermen and peasants shoot their whiny shit on my boots and pleading on some trivial matter. I needed to make some moves to restore order and peace in the galaxy. Names like César Azpilicueta, Juan Bernat, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman were frequent visitors in my office. My lovely Hungarian secretary Csenge named them “The Whiny Four”. Spot on mist..princess, spot on. The only silly money that came knocking our door was from Azpilicueta whom Man Utd wanted to accompany with the earlier acquired David Alaba. Red Devils offered us 26.5M with up to 39.5M with pretty much guaranteed optional fees from a 30-year-old WB who wanted to leave anyway. ¡Y que no ya no regrese César!
For Bernat, I painted a beautiful picture of UCL and glory and for the youngsters, well I just basically told them to fuck off and work hard and maybe get a chance someday. I was planning on selling them but they do not need to know that.
I still had the lingering issues with Christian Früchtl. He was with us the whole fall with me failing to find a team that would play him as their number one. Juggling with him and Neuer was something I wanted to avoid in the first place and this was nagging my nerves all along the way. I was very stuffed when I saw the inquiry from Metz on Früchtl to serve as their number one for the remainder of the season. One big piece for the future was covered at least for the moment.
In with the good air
- Alberto Paloschi – 6.75M from my former Roma team. Absolute gem. Professional personality. Great tutor, a good sub, does not whine, can score.
- Makis Katsikogiannis – 18-years-old from AEK Athens. Paid 20.5M and he will be seeing rotation in the first team during Rückrunde.
- Jannes Horn – A backup for Bernat. 19M from Köln. Looking good things out of him next season.
All the players I brought in were building up for the future. Paloschi in his tutoring role and the other two being young developing players. All three are also well equipped for moderate rotation during the Rückrunde.
Out with the bad
- César Azpilicueta – 26.5M to Man Utd with the optional fees rising up to 39.5M if conditions are met.
- Kingsley Coman – 27M to Wolfsburg. An absolute surplus on my team. It was like selling you olds shoes for 100 times their value.
Rückrunde and other not so funny named competitions
Really not too much movement on the winter window and all the players coming in can be settled in very careful pace without distracting the team chemistry too much. I played some silly friendlies to test out some new things in my tactics. Mostly a role change for Barbosa who successfully had taken the F9 spot in the Hinrunde. While results were somewhat promising, I still fielded my old ways to face Wolfsburg to start Rückrunde. Even though the start was good 3-1 at home, we were slapped to our senses by Schalke in the next one. The trip to Gelsenkirchen was a dismal effort from us. 2-1 away loss nagged us to draw two times in the next 5 games, which was something unheard off amongst the board.
I was not too worried about the senile former legends. Our start of the season had carried us to quite a far margin but still, I needed to address the slip up fast or we could be soon facing difficulties both in Bundesliga and European theatre. Luckily Munich is the home of the Infinite stairs. An artwork of sorts we rented it for the weekend to regain our form and humility. Needless to say, players were thrilled.
Our theme weekend with the stairs turned out to be a great success. We ran over PSG in the UCL 1st KO round 3-0 at home and had some comfortable victories in the next few games. Sadly we had an absolute off-game at the “Park Of Princes”, honestly what sort of name is that for a football field? I know some parks with princes and those guys are not there for football, nice fellows anyway but not my bucket of Budweiser. Yes, we lost 4-1 away with Juan Bernat saving us on aggregate. I can imagine the PSG ownership fuming with a yet another exit in UCL early on. We had only few weeks to prepare ourselves for the next contest in Europe. Had the spring battle with Dortmund, which was tough yet again, 2-1 home victory to clinch the series 2-0 over this season. Had the odd draw with Stuttgart before facing BvB.
We faced ManU next in the UCL. Red Devils had won the previous Premiership and were well in the way to make it back to back this year. Line up looked quite good but we were able to defend successfully in the first leg at Old Trafford. The sole goal of the game came from Timo Werner in the 38th minute. After that, it was Bastogne in the second half. A very tasty 0-1 away win brought us to the second leg which we took 1-0 also. 2-0 on aggregate. This seemed to be a thing for our team since we enjoyed very good performances for the rest of the season.
We finished Bundesliga season with 5 straight wins and took the title with 84 points and a record of 102 goals scored. Second place BvB managed to gather 68 points, third place BMG 65 and fourth place Hoffenheim also 65 points. Köln, Hannover, and Kaiserslautern took the dive to 2nd Bundesliga.
Fußballer des jahres
Fußballtrainer des jahres
After enjoying a rather easy way to the DFB-Pokal final, we had to work full-time to have our hands on the trophy after penalties. 2-2 after extra time vs BvB was a thrilling match.
We were lucky after the ManU. It was Chelsea, Barcelona or Benfica and we got the Portuguese. While CFC and Barca battled for the spot to the final, we brushed our opponent aside with 3-0 aggregate victory. Final was to be played against Leo Messi and his aging group of passing machines. I think they sold even the toilet seats to Ernst-Happel in Vienna, the stadium was packed. Unfortunately, the game itself was much like the 1990 WC final where the great Argentinian wizard was facing off with a German team. With very solid defensive effort and our right WB Passlack scoring from the penalty spot, we took the much-coveted prize to our possession. Vienna went nuts.
I really don´t know how many time Unkle Franz showed his motivational film to the players during the end of season party but hopefully, enough times it to carry to the next season. We needed our spirits high since what I saw during the latter stages of our spring campaign, there were emerging signs of issues and problems I needed to address in the summer. There would be some unexpected exits from our team but also spots to be filled by our young talent. Also, who knows if I am still here once the season starts in August. For the moment, I´ll be hung in gary with Csenge and I´ll see you guys in August.