A win is a win is a win…
but is a win enough?
The Niko Kovač-led Bayern Munich squad in 2018–we’ll wait and see who the club’s coach is in the spring and fall of 2019–has received understandable pressure from the press and fans alike after a subpar beginning to the 2018/2019 campaign. Sitting at 21 points after 12 matches, which is nine-points out of first-place to heated domestic rival Borussia Dortmund, the Bavarian giants have showcased uncharacteristic weakness and lack of comprehensive identity.
It’s just not good enough.
So what better time (and competition) than the Champions League match against the visiting Portuguese side Benfica to reassert its dominance for 90 minutes?
Ladies and gentlemen, when you score off a short corner–a kiss of death for scoring 99.99% of the time–then you know the game is going your way.
A brace (2 goals) for the ageless #10 Arjen Robben and relentless #9 Robert Lewandowski led the Bavarians to an emphatic 5-1 victory at the Allianz Arena. The Frenchman #7 Franck Ribéry added a laser of a goal in the 76′ for good measure.
Bayern Munich has proven that a win is, in fact, a win. However, is this one win enough to get Mr. Kovač off the hot seat?
Will the remainder of the 2018/2019 season be slowed down to analyzing this Bayern Munich squad, as managed by the enigmatic Niko Kovač, with a tirelessly critical eye on a game-by-game basis?
Welcome to FC Hollywood, Mr. Kovač.
P.S. Regardless of what the Bayern Munich business leaders are saying to the press regarding their coach’s job security, accomplished manager Carlo Ancelotti can attest that it’s the Bayern Munich locker room that will ultimately decide their manager’s fate.
Lionel Messi and Barcelona did not earn their way into the final four of the UEFA Champions League after a shocking 3-nil defeat against Roma that sent Roma to the semifinals based on away goals. Whoa.
“Of course that was a warning,” Robben told reporters. “It shows that everything can happen in football.”
And you thought college basketball had a monopoly on madness this time of year.
Soccer is the world’s game and one of this sport’s eternal truths is that anything can happen. The biggest clubs can dominate or stumble in spectacular fashion (see above). That’s part of soccer’s beauty. Another part of this sport’s amazing DNA is that–if approached with hard work, tact, talent, and patience–teams can set themselves up to peak at exactly the right time.
Enter the 2017/2018 Bayern Munich squad.
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Will Bayern Munich win the Champions League en route to another treble under the management of world-class coach Jupp Heynckes? We’ll see soon.
Most pundits have been critical of Bayern Munich this season outside the Bundesliga. Fair points have been made here and there, I suppose. Still, they’ve been tagged–as a result of a few less than stellar/perfect performances–with an underdog tag for the Champions League.
Well, those same “experts” may want to review the tape and “underdog” roster of Bayern Munich one more time…
because Liverpool, Roma, and Real Madrid certainly are.
The draw for the semifinal matchups is this Friday. Stay tuned to Jimmy’s Daily Planet for the must-see fixtures.
P.S. Bayern Munich has dominated the Bundesliga and has qualified for the UEFA Champions League semifinal without Manuel Neuer. Or, in other words, the world’s best goalkeeper. How many other clubs could do that? Just saying.
Following the spectacular closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, it’s only natural to be a bit nostalgic.
Quick question: Can we be nostalgic for things that happened weeks/days ago?
I think so.
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USA-USA-USA! There’s just something truly special about the Olympics (winter and summer). See you in Tokyo in 2020.
Have a Better Week Than Last Week.
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Columbus Crew 4 – 1 NYCFC
Crew fans are feeling good today after their team produced an exciting and necessary goal-fest against the offensively potent NYCFC in the first leg of the 2017 MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal. The second and final game in this series will be played in Yankee Stadium (that’s a soccer-specific stadium with a full-sized field, right?) this Sunday afternoon. As an added bonus last night, Crew fans let their immoral owner Anthony Precourt hear how they feel about him and his despicable actions that continue to be disclosed from the very moment the snake in the grass (Precourt) arrived in Columbus.
Once again, those chants won’t be repeated on this blog. As an attendee last night, these aforementioned chants were bold, unequivocally clear and fitting and will surely be communicated throughout message boards, social media and to MLS fans across the country, plus Canada. Equally important, MLS owners will surely get the message of the indisputable deceit and sleazy events that have been occurring for at least four years that not only rise to the ownership desk of scumbag Anthony Precourt in Columbus but also to scumbag MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
What officially transpires with the Columbus Crew’s potential move to Austin, Texas will define the true, underlying character of MLS and U.S. Soccer, for better or worse.
Let’s just see what happens.
Interestingly, MLS claims it wants to mirror the system and success of Europe’s biggest football leagues. On that note, one of the most valuable assets in England (EPL), Germany (Bundesliga), Spain (La Liga), Italy (Serie A), France (Ligue 1) and other leagues is history. Therefore, if MLS is constantly trying to evolve as the next Europe, why in the hell are they trying to erase its most storied history that set the very foundation of its league and identity of its national team?
There is absolutely no good answer to that question, which just adds to the gut-wrenching frustration for Columbus Crew fans.
Pivoting to the incredible atmosphere at Crew Stadium last night, an estimated 15,000 men, women, and children showed up on a frigid Halloween to cheer on their beloved Columbus Crew. Seemed like there were more people and I was there. Some fans arrived wearing fun and imaginative costumes, which was a great sight. After what has been happening the past couple weeks in Columbus, the sight of Black & Gold supporters at a home game was genuinely heartwarming. Jerks like Precourt and Garber, who only care about and understand money and spreadsheets, are incapable of understanding or appreciating what it means for someone to show up to a soccer game, let alone the sport of soccer, which they don’t understand. Don’t forget that nobody is required to show up and support the Crew, or any team for that matter. But we do. And last night, Crew fans, as they have since 1996, showed up not only to cheer for and #SaveTheCrew but to save the proud, ever-evolving legacy of the club and its beloved Columbus, which are one in the same.
In a word: Massive.
Sometimes in life, the battle between good and evil can be blurred, requiring an understanding of both sides. However, the ongoing battle of scumbags Anthony Precourt and Don Garber versus the Columbus Crew and its faithful supporters will never be classified with any degree of blurred nuance. It’s clear-cut. One side is bad and the other is good. Pure and simple. Focusing on the good right now, the Crew players and its supporters will not go quietly into the night.
Speaking of an epic adventure with sheer existence on the line and the notion of not going quietly into the night…
The Crew and its dedicated, proud fanbase aren’t done working for Columbus.