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Wishful thinking: This is what could stop Bayern from winning the salad bowl

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Bayern Munich are everybody’s favorite to win the German title this season. But, Bayern have been beaten in the championship race in the past. Here is what is important when battling against Bayern Munich for the championship.

This "lovely" trophy is up for grabs again in the 11/12 season of the Bundesliga.

All evidence is pointing towards a championship winning campaign for Bayern Munich. The team from Bavaria have usually taken the salad bowl home after the German national team have had the entire summer off in the recent past. Furthermore, the Bavarians are the biggest spenders in this transfer window, and have strengthened their side considerably with quality signings like Manuel Neuer, Nils Petersen and Rafinha. Some fans have even begun to embrace some of the silliest stats that are out there to convince themselves that Bayern won’t win the championship. Did you know that Heynckes is too old to win the championship somebody asked on Twitter. True, he’d be the oldest coach to win this title, but Heynckes isn’t a befuddled senior who pours red wine in his coffee cup while sitting half-naked on the bus. I’ll try to give you some decent stats and trends that could indicate that Bayern can be beaten to the championship.

One: Spent loads and loads of money

Borussia Dortmund went almost bust under the leadership of Michael Meier.

Probably not the best solution in the long run. Fans of Borussia Dortmund (and Leeds United) know what I’m talking about. But, a team that lives beyond its means can often secure a great crop of players, and combined with a great coach and great team spirit this team can go on a winning streak that secures them the Bundesliga title. Borussia Dortmund did just that in the 01/02 season, with international stars like Jan Koller, Marcio Amoroso, Tomas Rosicky and Torsten Frings the team from West-Germany managed to secure the Bundesliga.

What followed is well-known. The team had to sell off many of its best players, rebuild the entire team, and restructure the entire club. The financial burden of the success ended almost in bankruptcy for Borussia. The only team that was able to live beyond its actual means were Hoffenheim, but since Dietmar Hopp has put an end to the spending spree of the team from Baden Würtenberg those days are over.

Two: Denial

Well, many people thought that it was pathetic of Jürgen Klopp to avoid talking about winning the championship until the end of the season. His team had secured a huge lead, and only a colossal clusterfuck could have taken the championship away from Dortmund.

Klaus Toppmöller hasn't won a single championship with any of the teams he has coached in the Bundesliga.

But, as it turns out, those clusterfucks do occur in the Bundesliga. Remember Leverkusen against Unterhaching? Or Eintracht Frankfurt coach Klaus Toppmöller touting that his team had shaken of Bayern Munich after 11 match days? Well, Eintracht ended on a the third spot at the end of the season in 93, behind champions Werder Bremen and, you guessed it, Bayern Munich.

So, if any team starts sensationally into this new Bundesliga season you should prey for the coach and the players of that team to be in total denial of their title-winning chances.

Three: Keeping your team together

One of the main reasons for Bayern Munich’s success has been that the team only had to sell few of its star players throughout the years. Additionally the Bavarians had the financial might to replace them with equally good players. Back in the 70s Germany got to see a two team fight for the championship, when Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach divided all the championships between them, but one(78 FC Köln).

Both teams had star players, and managed to hold on to most of those players at the end of each season. The teams ahead of Bayern Munich last season have/will arguably lose their best player(Sahin and Vidal). If both teams have managed to replace those players adequately Bayern will face a strong opposition in the fight for the championship.

Four: The birthplace of your coach could matter

Otto Rehagel(on the right hand side) comes from Essen, home of many coaching greats.

Well, I’m clutching at straws here, but I think that this stat is rather remarkable. A number of the federation states in Germany haven’t managed to produce a single coach who has won the Bundesliga championship: Schleswig-Holstein, Saarland, Rheinland-Pfalz, Hessen and Lower Saxony are amongst those federation states. So, no wonder Bayer Leverkusen screwed things up in 2002 under Toppmöller. The man comes from Rheinland Pfalz. And don’t expect Hannover to win the championship this season, as Slomka is a native of Lower Saxony. The same goes for the VfB Stuttgart, Bruno Labbadia is as a matter of fact born in Hessen.

On the other hand, there is one town in Germany that has produced three championship winning coaches. Otto Rehagel, Karl-Heinz Feldkamp and Willi Multhaup were all born in Essen. All championship winning coaches were born in one of these federation states: Bavaria, Nordrhein Westfalen, Saxony, Hamburg, Bremen and Baden Wurttemberg

Five: Don’t buy the Germany national team’s goalkeeper

Manuel Neuer playing against Hannover 96 last season.

Well, it is true, German goalies are amongst the best in the business. Most championship winning sides fielded a German goalkeeper in their championship winning campaign. However, there is a small nuance to that stat. Most Germany national team first choice goalies haven’t succeded in winning the Bundesliga championship.  Hans Tilkowski, Bodo Ilgner, Andreas Köpke and Bernd Franke were all great keepers for the national team, but they do not have a single Bundesliga championship between. Eike Immel and Toni Schumacher are two German national team goalies who managed to win the championship, but at the time of their championship winning campaign they either hadn’t reached the national team or had already been dropped from it. (Sepp Maier and Oliver Kahn are the exceptions to that rule.)

In conclusion, Schalke fans should be furious that Schalke didn’t offer Neuer to Dortmund for the friendly price tag of 10 million euros.

Uli Hesse: Tor
11 Freunde #114

What do you think? Who’ll win the German championship this season? Please feel free to leave a comment below.


About Niklas

Niklas Wildhagen has been following the Bundesliga for over 20 years and he is the editor in chief of the Bundesliga fanatic.

10 responses »

  1. vizekusen will win it. natuerlich.

  2. Otto Rehagel and Karl-Heinz Feldkamp (Essen) both won for 1. FC Kaiserslautern

    Richard Schneider won 2 championships(’51-’53) pre-modern Bundesliga, he was born in K-town.

  3. One: Just don’t see it coming in to feasibility in Bayern’s case. Bayern looks too big on money, to me.

    Two: Coming up with this point was an ace. If Robben agrees with you on this then it’s worth trying for.

    Three: Spot on, irony is… you’re star player at other club, you’re next to Bayern or out of Bundesliga.

    Four: Nyaahaha. Great research.

    Five: If that’s the case, I would hope that Wiese remains No.2 for the times to come and pray for Adler never to get in to Die Mannschaft again.

    Enjoyed the read, mate. Quite different than what we read in these shitty days of transfer-meddling. Cheers.


  5. Big money can be your own worst enemy. I’m not comparing leagues but Man City(Who I support) have just now gotten into CL off big spending. Most of those big spends didn’t amount to a pile of beans (Boateng), some are still questionable.

    Its really tricky getting dominant players from all over the world to work together. The first part being the “ego” thing. Bayern has shown tendencies to collapse to to sides that are not even in the same quality as them. Kaiserslautern beat them 2-0 early on in the season. This was a newly promoted side that people didn’t even know if they would stay up. Of course Bayern would pound them later on in the season.

    I may be part Bavarian but BM are my mortal enemies.

  6. Mainz will win it. They’ll be right out of the gates at the start of the season…

    Let me hark back to the glorious days of 2008 when everyone (including all the coaches polled) tipped Bayern to win the league, excepting Felix Magath (rather appropriately), who said he wasn’t sure. That ended quite well in my opinion. I’m going to go with the optimistic bet of what I know and say Stuttgart will win it.

  7. I believe #4 is the strongest of the lot. I love straw grasping.

  8. I always thought it looked more like a flying saucer or space ship.. But I do know one thing for sure, and that is it looks much better when Bayern wird Die Meister!

    • well, most people, and me included, tend to disagree on that one. two years without a Bayern Munich championship would be a rather re-freshing thing. Tell you what, make it three or four years, and I’ll consider if I feel bad for Bayern stinking up the place then.


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