Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bayern Munich Season 08-09 Preview

The 2008-2009 season of Bayern Munich will be started with the DFB Pokal this Sunday, 10th Aug. The major change of this season is Klinsmann takes the coaching job, succeeding Ottmar Hitzfeld, who is now coaching Switzerland national team. Before the start of the season, I would like to make some briefs of the team.

Defence: The major change is Oliver Kahn is already retired and be succeeded by Michael Rensing. Rensing has potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in Germany. His consistency can convince Klinsmann and the board of directors that he can take the job well. Bayern had signed Hans-Jörg Butt as the second goalkeeper and it can bring an adequate cover. The key of the defence will be the centre backs. Lucio is not very consistent in the last two season, he made mistakes when he was holding the ball too long in the back field. Moreover, the whole defensive line sometimes lose concentration and the opponents have chance to score goals. Since the lineup has not changed, the problem may still remain this season. Martin Demichelis (picture) and Philipp Lahm will take the job on stabilizing the defensive line and assist in the attacks. Key player: Martin Demichelis.

Midfield: The midfield is the strongest part of the team. Mark van Bommel is confirmed to be the first foreign captain of the team history so he will sit one of the four spots of the midfield. He will be the vital part of the central defense as he is very aggressive in tackling in the middle of the park that helps the team to keep the possession. Franck Ribery (picture) will be the most important in the offense. However, the team last season were too concentrated on him so when he was injured or suspended, the midfield attack has lost the variety. So the team must do now is to find the second man to organize the attack. Bastian Schweinsteiger is the good choice after his excellent performance in Euro 2008. His runs can bring variety of the attacks and help to relief Ribery. However, the competition of the starting place in the team is really intense, it is not guaranteed he will be the regular starter. He needs to work extra hard to gain his place. Key player: Franck Ribery.

Offense: The biggest change of the team is the forwards. Jan Schlaudraff has gone to Hannover 96 this summer in order to save his career, the team only have 3 forwards under the circumstance that the team hasn't pruchased any new forward. Luca Toni will be the regular starter, and his only prupose is scoring goals. Miroslav Klose may take the second spot. However, he is not fit at all in 2008, no matter in the second half of last season and the Euro 2008. Lukas Podolski is challenging his place as he picked up the scoring feeling in Euro 2008 and the pre-season warmups. Moreover, the wunderkid, Toni Kroos (picture) may act as the position of second striker of the team. The recent warmups showed that he played well in the middle of the park, far better than playing at flanks last season. So I believe he will be assigned to play at the center for the attacks when the team needs some changes during the match. Key player: Luca Toni, and Toni Kroos.

Overall: The past experience in World Cup 2006 told us that Klinsmann (picture) is the coach who dares to try and gamble. I believe he will bring the new breath and passion to the team, which the team never had in the last few seasons. He prefers player to have courage and passion during the game, it can be proven by appointing Mark van Bommel to be the new captain. Also, it can be predicted that the players like Lukas Podolski, Christian Lell, Toni Kroos, and Andreas Ottl will have more chance to play compare with last season as Klinsmann is the coach that believes in rotation system. It can help the team keep fresh and unpredictable to the opponents comparing with last season, as Hitzfeld only used about 16 players out of 25. However, it is doubtful about his tactical knowledge. As the team going into the Champions League, which requires him lot of tactical variation, it seems he is still a newbie in this chess game. To wrap up, it should have not a problem to achieve success in the domestic competition, but in the Champions League, the key point will be his passion and his dares can cover up the tactical problem to achieve success.

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