Bayern Munich got lost in the turmoil around the Premier League and PSG. Ignore them at your peril.
“FAB FOUR (AND PSG) LEAD EURO CHARGE” read the headline from the Daily Mail, which told us that “the Premier League can cash as clubs from Spain and Italy reign”. In some ways, it’s heartwarming to know that the fingers of English exceptionalism extend to the last pages of this right-wing journal, but we suspected they were forgetting something.
“This year, Premier League clubs are entering Europe from a position of strength as their rivals – with the astonishing exception of Paris Saint-Germain – suffer from the financial impact of the global pandemic,” wrote Matt Barlow, before guiding the reader through the crises of Inter Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona before highlighting the “winning mentality” that has been “injected” into the Manchester United squad of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Good, but we’re now at 12 paragraphs in a cheerleader session masquerading as a Champions League preview and the 2020 Champions and third-favorites for this year’s title don’t yet deserve to be. mentioned.
Barlow finally got there, with the 14th paragraph acknowledging that “Bayern Munich, as always, will lead the German charge”, but he is dismissive as Bayern does not fit the narrative that the only real threat to English domination comes from PSG , “Financed by the unlimited wealth of Qatar”. Tell that to the club that have reached four finals (and four other semi-finals) in the past 12 years. Even before Manchester United’s ridiculous surrender to Switzerland, it was embarrassing to suggest that United had a better chance of success in Europe than this Bayern side.
This Bayern team then went and duly beaten Barcelona. Yes, Barcelona are a mess in a mess in a difficult situation, but they couldn’t put a glove on a Bayern side reinforced by Dayot Upamecano despite the pandemic which has apparently devastated all clubs except England and the cheaters of Paris . It is still the Bayern of Robert Lewandowski (ten goals already for Bayern Munich this season) and Thomas Muller but also now Alphonso Davies and Jamal Musiala. Their ridiculous depth is such that Lucas Hernandez, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Marcel Sabitzer only appeared off the bench.
Bayern lost money during the pandemic but they are a juggernaut of an isolated football club against such blows. They still spent £ 50million to improve a side that have already won nine Bundesliga titles and chase Die Zehnte, while also bringing in one of the best young coaches in world football, Julian Nagelsmann. He was given the task of bringing Bayern into this decade by making them younger and more tactically fluid. The first signs are incredibly promising, with Leroy Sane notably reinvigorated by the new manager.
“FOB FOUR (AND PSG) LEADS IN CHARGE OF THE EURO”? Only if you ignore the huge German elephant in the room.
🔝 Highest number of successive away games without defeat:
– UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 14, 2021