Bayern Munich fully understands that its nemesis is Felix Magath who left the club disgraced two years ago. He came back to win the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg. Before the season was up, the protean Magath had signed a deal as Schalke's new coach.
Both clubs are on top of the Bundesliga while Bayern has managed two effete draws.
Under the new leadership of Louis Van Gaal, player are still struggling to familiarize themselves with his coaching style. Franck Ribery is gradually being eased in after injury concerns but his diminished minutes obviously robs them of their most creative player. Uli Hoeness has also revealed that they would have let Ribery go if someone had offered 100m euros this summer. Hoeness is preparing for a huge transition of his own as he cedes his responsibilities to Christian Nerlinger in the day to day workings a sports director and ceases to be the familiar face on the Bayern sidelines.
These developments just add to the distraction already caused by changes in the managerial and player department. The two draws against Bremen and Hoffenheim have dealt a severe reality check to the inflated expectations built up by pre-season wins over Man Utd and AC Milan.
Van Gaal made a very good first impression with the establishment when he said this:
"Self-confident, arrogant, dominating, honest, hard-working, innovative, but warm and familial too. I recognise my own personality in these concepts, and I think that's why I'll fit in here. The Bayern München culture and the Bavarian way of life fit me like a warm coat."
But he also cautioned not to expect results anytime soon which is where they could be a divergence in expectations.
"That's not something that's going to come about in the space of a couple of months. It could take two years", he said, while adding however, "You can trust me."
VfB Stuttgart's Mario Gomez is a huge signing and could provide an instant impact but the loss of Lucio and Ze Roberto has also robbed Bayern of defensive strength. Van Gaal is a conservative and believes in a small squad which has led to a mass uprooting of players. There could be further departures. It gives Bayern an unsettled look.
Felix Magath could continue to celebrate as Bayern basically mortgaged its success on short term gains two years ago when it hit a blip.