Bayern's road to glory goes through England. Again.
11 Feb, 2014 8:32 PM GMT
And I’m not sure if I should be happy or not. I am a Bayern fan since 1999 and some may say it’s a terrible year to start cheering for those guys. I remember watching that Champions League Final without being too involved, the score being 1-0 very late in the game for the bavarian team against Manchester United.
Then the unthinkable happened and for some weird reason I started being a Bayern Munchen (or Munich, how it’s known worldwide) fan. I will not bore you to death writing how many trohpies Bayern won because it’s pointless, but all those trophies and the recent success made me a little cocky.
It seems that England is the keyword for us when it comes to the Champions League lately. Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City two seasons in a row, the Final on Wembley. In some ways I really like it, because it gives us the chance to show people that Bayern is ELITE, that our club can beat anyone anytime.
Arsenal is up next for us and before I will say how much better WE are, let me tell you this: I respect three teams in England. Chelsea for beating us two years ago, Liverpool for their history even though they are complete garbage over the last 20 years (2005 was a mistake) and Arsenal.
No, not for the trophies that you won, because half of them were won when my grandfather was a kid, but because ever since one russian came and took England by storm with a team that no one knew about before 2003, you kept your composure and did things in a normal, rational way. No billionaire came to pump money, even though you have it, and in the meantime you’ve built yourselves an amazing stadium which I visited and I find it as one of the best in the world. Trophies suddenly became a thing of a science fiction movie for you since then, as next 2015 will be the 10th trophyless year in a row . But you did something that only real fans can appreciate: entertaining football played by youngsters who came from nowhere. Look at your team now: Szczesny, Wilshere, Walcott, Ox, Ramsey, are extraordinary players, and you saved a lot of money because of them
But even though your finances are top notch, you still lack something that makes me EXTREMLY confident in our teams’ match-up. You don’t have a striker. I know Podolski since he was in Koln (Cologne). Extremly gifted athlete but he lost something in the process: his killer instinct. He came to Bayern with a lot of hype and he failed to achieve the standards we’ve set for him. You have Giroud which is strong as a bull, but needs way too many chances to score.
One thing you’re good at is creating chances so your lack of offensive firepower from the strikers is well hidden by the qualities of the midfielders. But, and here comes the BIG BUT….
Bayern Munchen has THE BEST midfielders in the world right now. We don’t have Messi, but we really don’t need him. Schweinsteiger, Martinez, Gotze, Kroos, Ribery, Robben and Thiago give us the edge in every single game against any team. So we will have possession when we will want to have it, and knowing Pep, we will have around 60% on both games.
I will not stay here and write that our defenders are the best in the world because even though we have conceded the fewest number of goals among teams playing in all big leagues in Europe, we’re talking about Bundesliga here. While I think that Bundesliga is a very entertaining league, I don’t rate it higher than the Premier League because except Borussia Dortmund, there is no one else to stand a chance against Bayern.
What I will say though is that we’ve reached the UEFA Champions League Final 3 times in the last 4 seasons. You don’t do that by cheating football. Bayern is the real deal.
To be honest, Arsenal’s best interest would be to lose this series against Bayern in order to be focused solely on the Premier League. You have a chance to win it after 10 years and can’t see why you would risk that in order to hang around in the UCL and maybe risk some injuries, get your players fatigued, etc.
Arsenal is not a world class team by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, you lead the Premier League but you failed to win against both City and Chelsea and you’re yet to play against anyone elite in this second half of the season. Arsenal will quickly go to the 3rd place because I can’t see them capable to win at Stamford Bridge and City is just too strong right now if both Fernandinho and Aguero are on the pitch.
I saw tweets that “hey, we beat Bayern the last time we met, i’m not worried”. You beat us after we schooled you at Emirates and we just laid back in Munich. I believe that game was the last one I saw my team being laid back against anyone. I do believe that was Bayern's turning point and we just became unstoppable ever since.
Wenger will have to prove he is a worldclass manager against Bayern. He will have a hard time finding ways for his midfielders to gain possession of the ball and create as many chances as Giroud needs. All Bayern fans trust Pep Guardiola to handle this match-up easily. It will not be EASY but I have the utmost confidence that the best team in the world will advance.
After that, I will cheer for Arsenal in the league, because I loath teams that suddenly became elite and a few years back they were nobodies. Arsenal won those titles last decade by solid management, good transfers and not with the help of russians or arabs looking for a thrill in the glamorous Premier League.
I salute you, Arsenal fans, and I hope we will enjoy two great games between two very good teams.