” Mmmmmmm. Where is my Rolodex? ”
With Franck Ribery out, Bayern has been struggling without his creativity. They lost to Bordeaux, 0-2 in the CL and are almost out of contention to make the round of sixteen.
In the Bundesliga, Bayern are in sixth place with 19 points after five wins, four draws, and two losses. It has not been a scintillating season but then again only four points separate the top team (Bayer Leverkusen) and Bayern, pointing to a far more fluid situation in the Bundesliga as compared to the Premiership where Chelsea has established itself as the team to beat.
However, Van Gaal’s tenure has not lived up to his billing and compared to Klinsmann at a comparable stage, it falls short. He was touted for his discipline and tutelage of young players but so far he has failed to get the players to perform. The club spent 70 million euros on Mario Gomez, Ivica Olic, Anatolyi Tymoshchuk, Danijel Pranjic and Edson Braafheid. Mark Van Bommel and Anatoliy Tymoschuk have been ineffective in midfield. Hans Jorg Butt has not inspired confidence in goal. Tymoschuk’s inclusion seems to mirror Rafa’s obsession with Andriy Voronin. Both are especially immobile players with a heavy touch.
Van Gaal seems to rotate his striker corps a lot giving it an unsettled look and scoring is down relative to how potent the attack looks on paper with names like Gomez, Luca Toni, and Miroslav Klose. Their most attacking player against Bordeaux was the evergreen Arjen Robben, making a remarkable recovery from knee surgery just a month ago. Robben was the star of that 3-0 win over Wolfsburg which was followed by a 5-1 clobbering of Dortmund but the scoring after those high voltage games have faded. It will be a month before Ribery returns and Bayern has to figure out a way to create goals without him in the forthcoming matches.