“Typical!” or: classic Bayern-Dusel

So there we were: just a few minutes to go until the start of the new season. There was anticipation all around. Actual champions versus former champions, first game of the season, etc. And then came a choreography which (in my humble opinion) was really hard to be surpassed in terms of tastlessness. Ok, little kids running across the fields in mysterious ways holding banners with all the names of the first division’s clubs. Granted, you could hardly do without that sort of thing. But then, mini-zorbs (or whatever you want to call those people within plastic balls running/rolling around on the pitch) entered the field accompanied by some more weirdos tossing signs with the Bundesliga logo about in a very dynamic / poncy fashion. It was all capped off by singing the national anthem. Wow.

Oh, and there was some football as well.

Steve McClaren gave is debut on the Bundesliga bench and God knows what his instructions for his team were. It must have gone something like “You see, these are the big guys, most of them played at the World Cup, so please be polite and don’t disturb them too much in their ways.” It was indeed almost a little bit scary to see how easy Bayern could walk past all the Wolves players. And it was (of course) Thomas Müller to open the scoreline for the new season after a beautiful combination with Toni Kroos (back from a loan to Leverkusen). Typical.

It didn’t take long for another not so surprising thing to happen: Mark van Bommel got the first booking of the season. Typical, one would be inclined to say, but really, these things are actually something from the past. The former “mean machine” (or “aggressive leader” as former manager Ottmar Hitzfeld dubbed him) has been domesticated a tad and most of his bookings usually result from clumsy rather than malicious challenges; but anyway: first booking for van Bommel: check.

So it was 1-0 at halftime, Bayern in total control and one would have thought that it was just a matter of time for Wolfsburg to crumble and accept their fate. Oh, how wrong you could be. During the break, McClaren must have said something like that: “Ok, f**k politeness, I don’t want to be called a wolly again (although there’s no sign of rain and I can stay well clear of umbrellas), you get out there, get stuck in and [insert stereotypical brutish managerial phrases at your own liking]”. Anyway, it worked – and it worked well. Wolfsburg should have been more obliging and listened to Bayern’s begging more intently, since they played as if they wanted to concede: “Possession? Oh no, we’ve had enough of that during the first half. You have a go now...”

If you look at the statements after the match, you couldn’t help but notice that the Bayern players themselves still didn’t really know what had hit them or what they were thinking during those first 15 minutes of the second half.

Well, thankfully, Wolfsburg scored that goal, which, ironically, put Bayern back in the driving seat. It wasn’t very strategic or coordinated driving, though. It rather resembled someone who wants to get somewhere really, really fast – no matter if there are brick walls or anything. Some people would wrap their car around the next tree, but not this team, no.

Of course, the first reflex the seasoned Bayern-hater has is: Typical! Bayern-Dusel: again and again scoring a decisive goal during the dying minutes of a game. Pure luck? I doubt that. It takes a bit more than simple coincidence to not give up, even if you keep running into that brick wall and time is running out. You think that this is just a prerequisite for a good football team? Well, take a look at Wolfsburg’s performance: Sure, they wanted to win, but did they really want it and believe in themselves? Well, you be the judge of that, but sometimes results do speak for themselves...

Anyway: Typical!

So this was the curtain-raiser, everyone at Bayern was happy enough, although no one seemed to be blinded by the result. But people probably had other things on their mind.

During the warm-up I was wondering: “Where’s Martin Demichelis? He’s not on the field warming up. Well, he must have picked up a last-minute, unfortunate injury...” But lo and behold, the mobile internet solved that mystery fairly quickly. Senor Demichelis had lost his bearings a bit and thought that it might be a good idea to act like a petulant child and refuse to go onto the bench unless he be in the starting eleven. Smooth move, Martin. Louis van Gaal was more than happy to oblige and respond in timely fashion: “Well, if he leaves the club, I don’t have a problem. There’s still Maximilian Haas.” (another youngster from Hermann Gerland’s reserve team, also known as “the Wonder Boys”) – the manager’s not so subtle way of putting Martin Demichelis in his place (which is on the bench, in case he’d forgotten).

Well, let’s be honest. It’s not the first time Demichlis waved his handbag around threatening to hit somebody unless he got his will (which usually means: playing where he wants, when he wants). I’m not saying that I would love to see him leave (despite his tendency to include at least one mind-numbing blunder in every match), but there are irrefutable parallels to Luca Toni – and we all know how that ended. So at the moment it looks like one of the most senior players we still have in the squad is about to leave – in a most undignified fashion.

And now we’re off to Kaiserslautern. As a Bayern supporter, wherever you go, there are many other Bayern fans, but those who are not will hurl lots of abuse at you, but I must say that the quality of antagonism you get in Kaiserslautern is a very different one, which is why a win against the “Red Devils” is even sweeter than a regular away-win. Well, if you factor out all the emotional riff-raff and what now, it should be a fairly unspectacular matter – but who knows whether the feared Betzenberg can weave its magic or not...




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