Just a few weeks ago, music platform Deezer teamed up with Manchester United as a new sponsor, in a rather strange move. However, it seems that Apple Music have also seen an opportunity in music advertisement through the footballing world, as they themselves have now teamed up with Bayern Munich, as the club revealed today that the company are now a new sponsor for the club.
The deal will actually benefit fans in some ways, as it has already been revealed that Bayern Munich’s first team playlist will already be available, featuring bands that the players like such as that of The White Stripes, The Killers etc.
With the announcement coming from Apple Music, it has also been revealed that another music brand has also renewed it’s contract with Bayern Munich, as Beats by Dr. Dre has revealed it has agreed another 12 month partnership with Bayern as the official sound sponsor.
Some might think this a strange sort of partnership, for technology brands to start teaming up with football teams, but it paths a way for these paltforms to expand into the streaming world – something that many think may start happening, and will benefit these companies in expanding their reach greatly.
Real Madrid’s attacking trio; Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo, also known as BBC are world renowned for being some of the best attacking talent that football has to offer. Each of the 3 are players that any top side would be greatful to have and any of the 3 would walk into almost any team in the world.
However, reports are suggesting that Real Madrid have been contemplating the idea of breaking up the trio that have worked well together for the past few years in an attempt to try and bring one Bayern star that they have been trying to get for some time now to the Santiago Bernabeu.
The man who are they are after is that of Bayern’s talisman striker – Robert Lewandowski.
The offer that they are reportedly considering is sure to turn heads in Munich as not only will they but putting their own striker Benzema on the line in a straight swap, but also will be adding on a significant sum of cash – approximately €25 million.
The offer is arguably because of Benzema’s shocking form this season, with the Frenchman having only managed 5 goals in 15 La Liga matches. Although for some sides a 1 goal in 3 match goal return would be okay, a top striker who is Real Madrid’s first choice should be aiming for much more than this, and as a result, the Spanish side are now potentially looking elsewhere, with a keen eye kept on Lewy.
Ancelotti may be tempted by the deal, as the cash incentive being so eye catching, and the Italian was also able to get the very best out of the French forward during his time as manager at Real Madrid. Whether or not this is realistically is another matter, as Bayern often like to keep hold of their players, especially in the face of interest of the likes of Real Madrid.
Pep Guardiola is a man who has gone down at Bayern as one of the tougher coaches in football, with many of the players having revealed since his departure that the Spaniard was often much too hard on them both on and off the pitch.
A significant reason then as to why many of them might be such a fan of Carlo Ancelotti is that he is much more relaxed around the players. The Italian is known for his rather laid back approach, calm demeanor and light hearted attitude.
And whilst other coaches have used other methods, such as that of Pep, Ancelotti stands by his own ways of doing things where he is not so tough on the side, stating that he doesn’t want to ‘kill’ the players in training the hope of avoiding burnout later in matches or even the season in general:
‘I’m not a coach who kills his players in training,’ the Italian told Kicker. ‘Most of the drills we do involve the ball, I don’t like running a lot without the ball, but my players average 6,000, 7,000 metres. That’s enough.
‘In Spain there is a saying: ‘demasiada agua mata la planta’ – too much water kills the plant. It’s the same with training.’
‘The dosage must be right. You can train hard, but you have to give the body the chance to relax.’ Via dailymail.co.uk
Although we might be questioning this, with Bayern having not been at their best at many points this season – demonstrated by their most recent performance where a win against Werder Bremen was arguably scraped – we can hope that the benefits of these methods will shine through in the second half of the season. After all, Ancelotti is not a 3 times Champions League winning manager for no reason, and maybe much of this is put down to the fact that his players have the energy to perform at their best right through until the summer months.
The ongoing saga with Thomas Muller’s performances this season has been the subject of much debate and controversy, as the forward who is usually a man that Bayern look to for a significant number of goals has not been providing this this season.
However, with the media making a big deal out of this, Ancelotti has once again reiterated that neither he nor anyone else at Bayern is concerned about this, stating that the 27 year’s poor goal scoring form is not such an issue, as he contributes much more to the side than just through his goals:
“He’s more of a team player than a top goal scorer for us.
“He has always worked well for the team. Goals aren’t as important for me as his tactical focus and following my instructions.
“I’m very pleased with his style of play. He’s a very intelligent player. In our 4-3-3 system, he was one of the players that took up the position between the lines very well.
“Every attacker endures dry spells. But Thomas is absolutely reliable, professional and a complete team player. Nobody in the club is worried about Muller’s situation. He’s humorous and makes jokes all the time. He also isn’t thinking about it too much either. Thomas knows what he is doing.” Via espn.co.uk
Realistically, it would be ideal if Muller was scoring goals, but as along as these are coming from elsewhere and Muller is still contributing to the overall team effort in a successful and effective way then there really isn’t much to worry about. Despite only having one goal, Muller has set up another 5 so far this season – something which can often be overlooked.
Lewandowski is as ever in form, and if this continues, alongside goals coming from Bayern’s wingers, and if Muller’s form continues in the second half of the season, then Bayern will continue to kick on.
When you ask Thomas Muller to take a picture of you… 😅 pic.twitter.com/BK9ZIvfF05
— All Football News (@AllFootballLive) January 29, 2017
Bayern were drawn against Premier League side Arsenal for their Champions League tie, and it seems that many around the camp are relatively confident and happy with the fixture. This is not only because Bayern are considered to be of greater quality than Arsenal and have beaten them on multiple occasions, but also because the German side have just had the luxury of the winter break whereas their opponents have not.
Ancelotti has made no secret or excuses about the fact that the Winter break will provide Bayern with some level of advantage in the tie, as the players are likely to be feeling much more refreshed than their English counterparts:
“The winter break is definitely an advantage.
“Just like the fact we play only 34 Bundesliga games instead of the total of 38 in England, Spain and Italy.
“Additionally, there’s no winter Premier League break. There’s two cup competitions to play in too [in England] — more games mean extra danger of players suffering injuries.” Via espn.co.uk
As a result, Ancelotti is confident going into the tie, stating that Bayern do not have a huge number of injuries at the moment and will likely be looking all good going into the tie, with the expectation to progress if they are at their best.
“I don’t see us being at a disadvantage in the Champions League.
“Physically we are in good condition, especially as we have only a few injuries — although Jerome Boateng will still take a while yet.
“But we will have to give our all to progress. Arsenal has a strong, experienced team and a good trainer in Arsene Wenger.” Via espn.co.uk
As fans we will be confident of progression, even if Bayern have been rather lack luster in recent weeks, there should be the quality and the desire in both legs to overcome Arsenal as an opposition. It will certainly be a great disappointment and shock if we’re unable to progress to the quarter finals.
Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski expecting tough test vs. Arsenal https://t.co/bmmN7sNgSm
— Mark Lovell (@LovellLowdown) January 25, 2017
A perfectly executed free kick is always a delight to watch, and with the quality that Bayern Munich have, we’re lucky enough to see these on a fairly regular basis with a selection of free kick specialists in the squad’s ranks.
Most recently Robert Lewandowski has been the man who has successfully scored from such set pieces, but David Alaba proved this weekend that the forward is not the only one who is capable of scoring such goals, with his pin point effort against Werder Bremen.
With the game at 1-0, it was all still in the balance going into half time, but Alaba’s effort shocked many and allowed Bayern to go into the break with a 2-0 lead – something that pretty much secured the victory for the side, as it then finished 2-1.
Not keeper in the world would have saved the Austrian’s effort, as you can see from the video below:
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) January 29, 2017
Many of the Bayern players were very quick to slate Guardiola when he left the club to move onto new ambitions with Manchester City over the summer, however, youngster Joshua Kimmich was not one of them.
Guardiola is the man that gave Kimmich his first real break at Bayern, having brought him in and then played him at centre back where the 21 year old performed and impressed despite being played out of position.
However, although Kimmich has not slated Guardiola like others, as well as giving him the chance to really make a name for himself – something which has gone on to allow him to play on a regular basis for the side, the player has revealed that he does not miss the Spanish manager:
“I do not miss Guardiola. This is simply the way things go in football.
“I had a coach at Leipzig as well who really helped me improve, Alexander Zorniger. It is not a bad thing for a player to have a number of coaches, because that will teach you different things.
“I did not see Pep as my footballing father, that was just something impulsive he said. But of course, it was great that Pep believed in me. But he did help me become a better player last season.
“Ancelotti also believes in me. I got plenty of playing time before the winter break. But I have set the bar higher for myself. I joined Bayern from a 2. Bundesliga side last term. I am not a Germany international who played at the Euros.” Via soccerladuma.co.za
We can all agree that we have found a real young talent and a bit of a gem in Joshua Kimmich, and although many might feel he is overachieving, he is more than proving himself to be one of the best young talents that German football has to offer.
Although he might not be a German international just yet, he will certainly likely be given the opportunity should he continue to get game time with Bayern this season and continue to impress for the German side.
Bayern have already made two signing for the summer in a bit of a raid of Hoffenheim’s first team, with both Niklas Sule and Sebastian Rudy set to join at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.
However, it seems that one player at Hoffenheim is slightly jealous of his teammates opportunity to play for the dominant German side, as although Hoffenheim are showing their worth this season, currently sitting in 3rd unbeaten, Bayern is the club to be at in Germany.
That man is in fact a former Bayern player; Sandro Wagner. The player, now 29, actually came through the academy of Bayern Munich, but left due to the fact that he was struggling to get any real first team football. Having moved away from Bayern back then to join Duisburg, the forward has since established himself as a great Bundesliga player, having featured for the likes of Werder Bremen, Kaiserslautern, Hertha Berlin, Darmstadt and now Hoffenheim.
But having seen his fair share of the Bundesliga, the striker has expressed his dream of returning to Bayern one more time, stating that the club will always be his club:
“Bayern are my club and will always be my club.
“That is why I can very well imagine myself returning to Bayern at some point.
“But I do not know whether I will return as a player or in another position.” Via goal.com
However, although Bayern aren’t showing much sign of interest in the forward, other clubs in the Premier League have been expressing some level of interest – something which Wagner has not ruled out:
“I have had offers in the past and I am still receiving offers. I am happy with the interest being shown in me.
“That is recognition for what I am doing on the pitch. And I cannot rule out a move to the Premier League at some point.” Via goal.com
In terms of whether Wagner would be a good addition or not, he would hardly be the worst signing in the world. Of course Hoffenehim would be unlikely to want to let go of one of their key players, and the forward is also getting on a bit at the age of 29, but with Lewandowski being the only real out and out striker at the club, Wagner would hardly be the worst signing to make – I think we can all agree on this.
One frustrating thing for me as a follower of Bayern, is that we are constantly being linked with players that we do not need, and yet we are never being linked with a striker – something that arguably we do need, as if Lewandowski is injured then Muller will have to play up front out of his favoured position and then there will be a whole rearrangement of the side. Therefore, in my opinion, someone like Wagner would be a welcome addition.
— Allsportsnews (@Allsportsnews24) January 26, 2017
Bayern Munich have loosely been linked with Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam as the defender’s contract is set to expire in just over a years time. As a result, the German club, amongst others have shown an interest in the player, who could become available over the summer.
However, having said that, the defender has revealed that he hopes to stay at Napoli, as he currently get’s a significant amount of first team game time with one of Italy’s top sides. All that needs to be settled is the contract negotiations, and this so far is what has prevented the player from being kept at the club for the foreseeable future, as he has not been too happy with what he has been offered yet.
With this in mind, the clubs of Europe have all been keeping a close eye, including not only Bayern but also Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain. But according to reports, it seems as if Bayern are the favourites to have first dibs on the player should be fail to sign a new deal with Napoli, as the Algerian international apparently is favouring a move to Bayern Munich over the other options available.
So would Ghoulam be a good additon?
Well, as a left-back, Bayern hardly need someone in the at position. The likes of David Alaba and Juan Bernat already occupy this position and are both of the highest talent. If Bayern were to sigh Ghoulam as a third option to play in that position, then the full-back would certainly have his work cut out to challenge for a first team spot and unlikely get any first team football here.
Having said that, both Juan Bernat and David Alaba have been linked with moves away from the Allianz and should either of these players leave, the 25 year old looks to be a solid replacement.
Faouzi is also renowned to be a great utility player. He has proven in the past he is capable of playing anywhere across the back line and also in midfield, and if Bayern are looking for someone to fill this type of gap, then the Napoli man could be the right option. Furthermore, with Philipp Lahm set to leave the club in the next couple of years, the left-back could be converted into a right back to replace the skipper.
But in terms of immediate signings to look for, although he could be nabbed away from Napoli on the cheap, Faouzi Ghoulam isn’t really someone that Bayern need at this current moment, even though it seems the club are showing keen interest.
— Napoli News 24/7 (@napolinews247) January 13, 2017
Pizarro currently hold’s a record that almost any forward would be proud of, being the top scoring foreign player that the Bundesliga has ever seen, with his 190 goals. However, although the player clearly has quality, much of this is down to the fact that the striker has been playing in the Bundesliga for such a long time.
Now 38, the player is currently serving 3rd, yes 3rd term with Werder Bremen, having spent the significant majority of his time in the Bundesliga. To put this in perspective, he first joined Bremen back in 1999!
In terms of this record remaining in tact, many are starting to wonder whether Robert Lewandowski will be able to challenge it. The Polish forward already has 61 Bundesliga goals in 80 appearances just for Bayern, as well as 74 goals for Borussia Dortmund. Therefore, with the striker in the peak of his career and having signed a 4 year deal keeping him at Bayern Munich, many are starting to think that the forward could potentially begin to challenge Pizarro for his record in a much shorter time period.
However, the forward has taken a modest approach when questioned about this, stating that Claudio’s record is very admirable and he feels that he will not be able to take the prize off of him. With the Polishman having scored 7 goals in his previous 5 matches, he feels that he will not be able to keep this up for years to come.
“Claudio has played in the Bundesliga for almost his entire life. I would have to continue playing for a very long time. The question is how long I will be able to score that many goals.” Via sites.alriyadh.com
As fans of FC Bayern we can appreciate both Pizarro and Lewandowski, with both forwards having offered their services to the club successfully as leading strikers. However, in terms of the present, we can hope that Lewandowski does end up breaking Claudio’s record, as it will mean a lot more goals for Bayern in the following few seasons.
— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) January 24, 2017