Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end,
the Germans Bayern win.
What the hell are they doing in the UEFA Cup then? Hard to tell. Last year they finished unbeaten on the top of their BL group (as Sporting and Inter supporters may remember) and struggled on against Real Madrid with an away goal, which made van Bommel showing the international one-finger sign aka birdie to the home side (yes, fans do not forget). But it turned out to be their swan-song. AC Milan came, saw and conquered, moreover, two unexpected loss against Stuttgart and HSV busted their season for good.
The management, who painted second is the first loser with blood on the walls, went berserk and got down to the transfer period as if Bill Gates, the Sultan of Brunei and the IKEA guy had been on their back holding hands. God knows how but they managed to bring magnifico Luca Toni and Golden ball material Ribéry in, not to mention the best striker of the post-Klinsmann era Miroslav Klose (no wonder Makaay was seen running home faster than Joe DiMaggio). Prodigal son Zé Roberto also returned, forming a massive filter section with international Hamit Altintop — money well spent. And if it hadn’t been enough, tactical genius Ottmar Hitzfeld made an Ali-like returning to the ring replacing the must be Spartan-born Magath.
Just to get back in shape the League Cup was picked up between two trainings and we could get an insight what the difference is between flushing millions down the toilet and recruiting players to given positions. Toni must have been born facing the goal, you need stocks to slow running man Ribéry down and Hamit, claiming there is no such thing as a bad shot – only weak, fires from downtown — you can always catch it in the replays. Meanwhile, General Klose dribbles, tackles, passes and scores.
Unlike most European clubs, which had the starting line-up graved in stone, FC Hollywood have many faces, the playing system can be varied as needed since the squad is jam packed with flexible, all-around players (Altintop, Schweinsteiger, Zé Roberto etc.) and there are real potentials on the bench, as well. Probably, it makes the team as consistent as wanna be Schalke or Werder can only dream about.
I could come up with classical stereotypes such as legendary German discipline and never give up attitude, but it would not matter at all had they not been gifted with 46 winner chromosomes. Malevolant fans were rubbing hands gleefully against Burghausen, Schalke and especially against Red Star Belgrade only to experience a bitter disappointment — Bayern have done it again (with due respect easy for them with Pope Benedict XVI on board). We have already seen them scatter goals like the crazy baker scatters the flour, now we also know they can triumph even playing bad. This team was born to win. Might be too early, as they are yet to have a major encounter, still I dare say this team would no way have lost the CL final – we all know which one.
Foolish it may sound but the Reds can even profit from not being around the flesh-pot this year. Massive apology from other teams, but the way I see it they have the liberty to use the rest of the season as (target) practice. A year from now (with the UEFA Cup in the show-case) players will know each other inside out, Rensing will have time to fit in and claimed to be future superstar T. Kroos can find his way into the start up. Uli Hoeness has already put shirt No.10 aside for him – shall Tony be more fortunate than former prodigy Deisler.
FCB have had an almost entirely flawless season so far apart from the two hiccups against S04 and HSV thus they lead the way six points clear. Even with my thinking cap on I have absolutely no idea who should be named as official challenger or how long they can remain unbeaten.
On Sunday they are paying their duty to the fearful South Terrace, however, little do they have to be afraid of unless intimidated by vultures hanging around Iduna Park waiting for Herr Doll to come out. Problem is that he must have BVB bench confused with AC Milan and stubbornly insists on the diamond midfield — quite a nonsense with a squad like his. Poor Federico will be victim of vivisection by Dr.van Bommel&Zé Roberto and strikers with lost connection to the midfield can’t get their hopes high.
Doll has tried five different right backs in the last five matches, he may as well go with rock, paper, scissors this time to find the lucky one. The task, piece of cake, is to stop road runner Ribéry while fellow defenders are engaged in airstrikes coming from Toni and Miro.
Good luck BVB – may the force be with you.