Don’t get me wrong. Bayern München are still a spectacular side to watch when they are on song. Performances like their 3-1 win against Manchester City in the Champions League are simply delightful. Some people may say that Bayern’s possession play is boring, but since football is a result oriented sport one cannot argue with it too much in my book (and I for one don’t mind it). Bayern are seemingly incapable of slipping up at the moment though, which means that many people (who aren’t Bayern fans) aren’t looking forward to their matches as much as they used to do.
However, there is something else that has been missing of late when it comes to Bayern: The off-pitch drama. Sure, Guardiola screamed a bit at Schweinsteiger and Robben has had a tendency to make a fool of himself whenever Bayern are awarded a penalty kick, however, these sort of moments have been rare of late and they don’t compare to the sort of drama which we’ve all come to love from the past. Fair warning: If you are a Bayern fan, you may not want to read the rest of this article.
Compared to the past the media are only given scraps to cling onto, and the juiciness of the drama coming out the Bayern München dressing room has been heavily deteriorating of late. Louis van Gaal gave his players a good look at his testicles, Magath had Lukas Podolski sit in front of him saying nothing for half an hour, Trappatoni threw rants which at times only were barely audible (consisting mostly of an odd combination of Italian and German which neither Italians nor Germans could understand) – all of that is gone these days.
The narrative these days is focused on Guardiola’s great German skills during his first presser, which language is being used during the Pep talks and so on and so forth. And while that might be something Bayern’s hard core following might be interested in knowing, there’s little doubt that most other people are utterly bored by these sort of minor details and events.
The Right Profile
With Bayern’s absolute desire to win everything and accomplishing just that week in and week out the players have seemingly been kept happy. The days of Stefan Effenberg telling it like it is or Mario Basler getting into trouble are over. Lothar Matthäus’ inappropriate comments and Oliver Kahn’s gusto are a thing of the past as well.
What we are presented with instead these days is a peek at Bastian Schweinsteiger’s cooking abilities and Philipp Lahm’s outlook on honesty. If the sleeping meds you have been on of late haven’t worked out for you, I think you have found a cure right there.
Going by how the players present themselves in interviews it’s not unfair to state the following: Philipp Lahm is a docile poodle compared to Effenberg’s tiger – When Ambien wants to sleep it takes Manuel Neuer – And Bastian Schweinsteiger’s interviews are as tedious to get through as any movie starring Hugh Grant.
This may seem very harsh. However, think about it: When was the last time that any Bayern player made a statement in the press (or done anything for that matter) which caused you to raise your eyebrows ever so slightly? Let’s face it, the most interesting thing Bayern have going for themselves now in terms of drama is Arjen Robben being Arjen Robben.
The Magnificent Uli
If the players or coaches couldn’t provide any scandals or controversies of note one could always count on Uli Hoeneß in the past. The former sporting director had a long ongoing feud with Werder Bremen’s Willi Lemke. The pair of them could go at each other like two hungry and depraved alley cats, fighting over a tiny sliver of meat. Hoeneß and Jupp Heynckes’ clash with Christoph Daum on German television back in 1989 is probably one of the greatest moment in terms of entertainment value in the Bundesliga’s history.
Hoeneß has, however, not been as prominent of late. That might not be all that surprising, given his tax evasion scandal and his upcoming trial next year.
It’d be unfair just to point the finger at Bayern and their players. Manuel Neuer would maybe have something worthwhile to say if the press dug a little bit deeper, however the media coverage of the league has become more monotonous over the years, and the players aren’t at fault for that.
Bayern and all other clubs present themselves in a better and more professional manner than they did 10 or 20 years ago. Clubs and their PR advisers have become more savvy than they were in the past. Again, pointing the finger just at Bayern might be unfair, however, it is probably most apparent when it comes to this club. At the end of the day I’m just yearning to get a sliver of the good old FC Hollywood back.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below!