Bayern Munich - The Shock And The Vengeance

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Bayern Munich - The Shock And The Vengeance Empty Bayern Munich - The Shock And The Vengeance

Post by Bellabong Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:10 pm

With 2012 having come to an end, talk of a team of the year has been going around. Rather than a side of the eleven best players from various clubs from around the world, the team of the year is a single club that stood above all the others in an eventful 2012. This club doesn’t necessarily have to be one that achieved the most success but perhaps the one that grabbed the most headlines or an underdog side that accomplished something that no one would have imagined they were capable of or, conversely, a side that drastically underperformed.

After a fair amount of deliberation, THT Guest Author Adrian Sertl has come to the conclusion that Bayern Munich, the Bavarian giants, are most deserving of this team of the year title.

The 1st half of 2012 – Shock to the System

For FC Bayern, a team for which the extraordinary is expected season in and season out, 2012 can be generally described as a mixed bag of results, especially considering that there were no new additions to the trophy cabinet at the Allianz Arena, for the second year running no less.

Bayern started 2012 atop the Bundesliga but a string of inconsistent results saw them leapfrogged by Borussia Dortmund on matchday 20. Skipping ahead 8 matchdays saw Bayern close the gap to only 3 points but a deflating 1-0 loss to die Schwarzgelben on matchday 30 all but sealed the title for Dortmund. Bayern finished the rückrunde with a 12-3-2 record, good for 73 points on the year, a total that would have been good to win 6 out of the last 8 Bundesliga titles, but a whopping 8 points off of BvB’s record breaking 81.

Die Roten then had a shot to partially redeem their domestic season via the Pokal final. Victories vs. Braunschweig, Ingolstadt, Bochum, and Stuttgart, set the stage for a semi-final playoff against Borussia Mönchengladbach, a team that had defeated Bayern twice in the league that season. After a scoreless 120 minutes the match was to be decided on penalties, where Bayern converted all 4 spot kicks to send themselves into a dream final vs. Borussia Dortmund at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. However, much like in the league it was Dortmund who prevailed in rampant fashion, taking the Pokal 5-2.

Despite missing out on any domestic silverware, Bayern were still in the running for the biggest prize in club football, the UEFA Champions League; and as if the team needed any additional motivation to win the final was to be played in that Allianz Arena. After breezing through a difficult group stage, Bayern were drawn against Swiss outfit FC Basel. A shock 1-0 defeat in Switzerland was emphatically overturned by the 7-0 home win a fortnight later. A pair of routine 2-0 victories against Olympique Marseille saw Bayern in the semi-finals against Spanish giants Real Madrid. A last minute goal from Mario Gomez in the first leg gave Bayern a 2-1 aggregate lead heading to the Bernabeu for the return leg. After a quick Cristiano Ronaldo brace in the opening 15 minutes was cancelled out by Arjen Robben’s penalty just before the half hour mark, the teams played out the remainder of the game and went to a penalty shootout. It was Manuel Neuer that played the hero stopping the first two shooters before a Sergio Ramos miss set the stage for Bastian Schweinsteiger to put Bayern into the Finale Dahoam.

Then there was the final vs. an undermanned Chelsea. An uncharacteristically drab performance saw Bayern barely test the shaky London side’s defence and waited a long time for any spark. Bayern’s goal finally came through Thomas Müller in the the 83rd minute but was cancelled out by Didier Drogba’s header from Chelsea’s only corner of the match. To make matters worse Arjen Robben had his penalty saved in extra time, and then unlike in Madrid, Schweinsteiger was unable to convert his penalty in the shootout allowing Chelsea to lift the trophy. The home fans were absolutely gutted, almost every football follower was left in shock and awe.

Wheeling and Dealing – Summer Transfers

It is not unfair to say that the end result of any transfer window should be an overall improvement to the squad; this past summer Bayern did just that by addressing their biggest concern, lack of squad depth. Veteran goalkeeper Tom Starke was brought in from Hoffenheim to replace Hans-Jörg Butt who retired; Xherdan Shaqiri moved from FC Basel to replace the outgoing Ivica Olic; EURO 2012 star Mario Mandzukic and former Bayern man Claudio Pizarro were brought in to bolster the strike force; in what was likely the signing of the year Brazilian central defender Dante made the move to Bavaria from Mönchengladbach; finally after a long drawn out saga involving a record transfer fee of 40 million Euros midfielder Javi Martinez was added from Athletic Bilbao. In the end Bayern spent nearly 70 million Euros to upgrade their squad, but the money proved to be rather well spent.

The 2nd Half of 2012 – Back with a Vengeance

If Bayern were looking to banish the ghosts of the 2011-2012 season, they certainly did so in emphatic fashion starting the season off with a record breaking 8 consecutive wins before succumbing on the 9th matchday to a spirited Bayer Leverkusen side. Franck Ribery has returned to his world class self, Thomas Müller has shaken off a poor run of form from the previous season, and Toni Kroos is having a breakout season in his natural ‘in the hole’ position. The defence has received a huge shot in the arm with a healthy David Alaba at left fullback allowing Philipp Lahm to play on his more natural right side and Dante in the centre of defence has been an absolute titan. Not surprisingly then, Bayern finished the 2012-13 hinrunde with a 13-3-1 record, conceding a miserly 7 goals while scoring a whopping 44.

The Cup run has also produced a run of positive results. Wins over Jahn Regensburg, Kaiserslautern, and Augsburg have led to a mouth watering quarter final match with nemesis Borussia Dortmund. Perhaps the retooled Bayern squad can exact a measure of revenge when the sides meet in March.

Overcoming the biggest disappointment of 2012, Bayern’s Champions League campaign started off less than ideal with a win at home over Valencia and then a shock defeat away to BATE Borisov. However Bayern were able to regain their footing and won the remaining group fixtures, including a 6-1 home blasting of Lille, to set up a date in the knockout round with another English opponent in the form of Arsenal, who themselves are finding their struggles on the pitch this season.

Off the Pitch – Die Roten are in the black

In addition to the (relative) successes on the pitch, off the pitch FC Bayern are a big club like no other. At the AGM held in November, the club announced record numbers. Turnover was up over the previous year from 328.5 million Euros to 373.4 million Euros; the operating profit was also up from 62.3 million to 86.0 million; finally the after tax profit was 10 times the amount from the year before, 11.1 million up from 1.3 million. It was also announced that the Allianz Arena would be fully paid off by 2013. These numbers are simply stunning for a club of Bayern’s size and prestige, quite simply the model of how to run a club.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one other summer signing in the form of former DFB technical director (and one time Dortmund player and manager) Matthias Sammer as new Sporting Director taking over from the outgoing Christian Nerlinger (himself a Dortmund native). Sammer himself has been widely lauded for his work with the German national youth teams and is seen as an excellent footballing mind, which bodes very well for the future of FC Bayern.


2012 was really a year of two halves for FC Bayern. Missing out on any domestic silverware for two straight years is simply unheard of at the club and the heartbreaking manner in which Bayern tasted bitter defeat in the Champions League final on home soil left many asking questions of the club. But a summer shopping spree has proven to be a revitalising tonic and their performances in the second half of 2012 stands as strong supporting evidence. Bayern have gone out of their way to make their return to the upper echelon of football clubs, but they have made sure to do it without sacrificing their massively successful business model. The future looks blindingly bright for the Stern des Südens.


Written by Guest Author Adrian Sertl

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Bayern Munich - The Shock And The Vengeance Empty Re: Bayern Munich - The Shock And The Vengeance

Post by rwo power Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:11 pm

Good article! Kudos to Adrian Sertl!
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