Bunesliga Review #1487 (late)

Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern

Hans flick abruptly ended an incredibly dominant two-year run over by a Munich last season as he became the manager of the German national team. He won the treble in 2020, and if it wasn’t for an injury to Robert Lewandowski, he could have conquered the Champions League in back-to-back seasons. When he arrived, Bayern Munich was a dysfunctional mess; he got them out of it before winning big things in what was a historically dominant era at Bayern Munich. Bayern Munich knew they needed a suitable replacement to maintain their status at the top of world football. They had one name in mind and one name only. Julian nagelsmann, without a doubt the best young manager in World football. His work with Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig raised his status in the game. Even though he didn’t manage to win trophies with RB Leipzig, he got them to a Cup final and a Champions League semi-final. One day he will be the best manager in the world; that day hasn’t quite come, but the interest in the young manager didn’t come as to surprise. He was still under contract at Bayern Munich as the Bavarians had to pay 20 million to secure his services. Julian nagelsmann ultimately accepted has he returned to his hometown Club in hopes of maintaining the dominance in German Football. The first year under Julian nagelsmann was always going to have its challenges. There was immense pressure on him to continue to win and be a dominant force on all fronts. He was certainly tested throughout the first Bundesliga campaign. It had its challenges, but his style of football was still adaptive and very successful. It’s hard to say if there was a change in dominance from this campaign to last. Still, collectively I thought Julian nagelsmann did a terrific job of taking the team that Hans flick left, keeping Bayern Munich at a top standard and showing their Bundesliga superiority. It’s not necessarily been all roses; the matches against Hoffenheim, Bochum, Frankfurt, and Augsburg show that he still has room to grow. They also got bounced out of the Cup from Gladbach humiliatingly. However, within the Bundesliga and its totality, we saw significant growth under this regime. Leroy Sane had a career year, at least since he’s been in the Bundesliga. 20 + goal involvements Robert Lewandowski still hit similar standards as well as Serge gnabry. He had so many productive attacking options available, but we saw so many of them this season that it takes that extra step. The continued progression of Jamal musiala, the Bayern youngster, was something to see. He had to coexist without Alphonso Davies for much of the season. Defensively Bayern Munich was much improved and didn’t seem to have the issues of last season. In the Champions League, it was incredibly disappointing as they went out against Villarreal in the quarterfinals. Bayern Munich probably has the best starting lineup in the world; they lacked some depth, and that seemed to be the big problem with their Champions League campaign. Marcel Sabitzer didn’t exactly hit the ground running; it’s not necessarily like he had a clean slate, and it was a perfect season. However, All Things Considered, it was probably a little premature for him to take this job, but the positives outweighed the negatives, and he still managed to win the league title keeping Bayern Munich at the top of the pile. Julian nagelsmann is probably going to lose Robert Lewandowski and could lose Serge gnabry; however, with the suitable investment with Sadio Mane being linked and a team that he will build into something special. Julian nagelsmann one day will be the best manager in the world; he is unequivocally the manager take this team forward in his first season with a little bit of a transition, but he adapted to all the circumstances that were thrown his way. With some depth and a few key additions in the summer, Bayern will be right there with everyone else wasn’t the perfect season, but there’s no question about the strides he made in Munich.

Marco Rose Sacked as Dortmund Still lack the Minerals

The Marco Rose experiment was trial by fire. It turned out to be a disaster domestically and in Europe. Marco Rose arrived with many expectations coming from Gladbach, having had a good run of form there. He was now under the microscope, expecting to win at a high level. We know that Dortmund hasn’t won the league since Jurgen Klopp secured back-to-back titles. However, there still was the expectation of closing the gap at the top between themselves and Bayern Munich. Marco Rose wasn’t necessarily expected to win trophies in his first season, but there should have been a sense of improvement. Dortmund the previous season made to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, nearly knocking out Manchester City, and were victorious in the German Cup final. Jadon Sancho Departed, but for the most part, it was a very similar team from the previous season. They brought in a couple of additions into the team that was expected to take Dortmund at least in a space where they could compete with Bayern Munich. Erling haaland is coming off a 40-goal season in all competitions, not to mention the returning pieces in the Midfield, such as Julian Brandt and Marco Reus. From top to bottom, the yellow wall had significant talent at its disposal. They can rival almost anyone in terms of talent capacity in the Bundesliga. Dortmund always seems to lack that winning mentality; when the pressure is on them, they fold and collapse. Marco Rose desperately wanted to change that mold. It was going to be easier said than done and what happened this season isn’t entirely his fault, but by the end of the season, he had to fall on his own sword. Dortmund has reached a state of mind that they don’t have time or energy to take a step back. Giovanni Reyna and erling haaland dealt with injuries but did not excuse their season. There were opportunities for Dortmund to get into the thick of it with Bayern Munich. They simply did not suffice. It was very close between Bayern Munich and Dortmund as both got off to a scorching start to the Bundesliga season. A loss at signal iduna Park ruptured their campaign. A five-goal thriller ending with Robert Lewandowski scoring a late penalty to secure the points for Bayern Munich. Immediately after that tough defeat, they go it and drop points against Bochum. Every time Dortmund gave themselves within distance of Bayern Munich, they choked under pressure as they always do. They lost to Hertha Berlin in a pretty critical part of the season every time; there was a little moment pushing them until they fell apart. However, in a vital part of the season, they did manage to beat fsv Mainz to put them within distance of Bayern Munich with still a second match against them. However, right on schedule, they drop points against cologne. Got spanked at home against RB Leipzig, mutually sabotaging to any chance. They lost Bochum, then had to watch Bayern Munich beat them at the Allianz Arena to secure the title. Their Champions League campaign was disastrous; they finished third in their group after Ajax and Sporting Lisbon Advanced to the round of 16. In the Europa League, they lost at their first opportunity as a significantly less talented Rangers sent them home. They failed miserably in the Bundesliga and in Europe; even though Dortmund still manages to finish second in the league, performance this season has been unacceptable; with all the injuries of erling haaland, he still finished 3rd in Bundesliga scoring; there’s no excuse to be made they fell flat on their face and now the losing erling haaland Marco Rose was let go at the end of the campaign and rightfully so. Erling haaland is leaving to join Manchester City Dortmund now will have to bring in the right signings to get this team back on track so they can challenge for the title once again. Building around Julian Brandt is the obvious solution, but given Dortmund’s history over the last couple of years, they probably will find some way to mess it up.

Insane European Races

I’ve already written about this numerous times but the Champions League race in the Bundesliga was just that good last season. There was so much drama in regards to the European places, not necessarily just the Champions League. Everything essentially comes down to the previous match day of the season. As so much was decided by individual moments as the final match day was winding down exchanged the European picture multiple times on the final day. There was an interest in the Premier League La Liga Champions League race; there was even more interest in Italian football that could rival the European Chase we saw in the Bundesliga. However, it’s hard to imagine any league in Europe hitting the level of drama scene in the Bundesliga European races. Three teams more or less secured themselves early in the season; it was clear that Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Munich were going to be a shoo-in for the Champions League. However, the rest of it was just Mayhem. Even though the Champions League picture ended the way many would have predicted, at least to a certain extent, it was a long journey to get there. RB Leipzig still managed to capture fourth, but they had to do it on the last day of the season, overcoming adversity to do so. Jesse Marsch turned out to be a poor choice at RB Leipzig; he has done significantly better with Leeds United; however, in Germany it just didn’t pan out. He was dismissed halfway through the season. When he left his position, big acquisition Andre Silva wasn’t firing, the team wasn’t playing well, and they were all the way down in 10th. Dominic Tedesco came in to try to turn things around; that’s exactly what he did. Since the start of 2022, not the best form in the league has the best player this season, and Christopher Nkunku had a team that was relentlessly fighting for Champions League football, ultimately getting it on the last day of the season. Right below them was Union Berlin, who stole the final Europa League spot from Friedberg on the last day. They kept themselves in the European picture all season, but there was a point where it looked like it was going to fade. Max Kruse left Union Berlin to join what was a sinking ship in Wolfsburg. From that moment, they struggled to find their way but hit their stride at precisely the right time; it looked unlikely that they would get Europa League football, but eventually, a late surge got them precisely that. Beating Bochum late to get the edge over Friedberg. Freiberg had one of the most remarkable seasons showing great improvement from the previous campaign. They went from 10th to 6th, an incredible improvement from the prior season; however, the ending of The Campaign will leave a bitter taste in their mouths. Nearly qualified for the champions league but unfortunately was given a tough last match of the season against Leverkusen at the Bay Arena. Friedberg had one of the best defenses in the Bundesliga that had a very underrated attack with several key components that helped them in big-time games. They were incredibly difficult to play as they overachieved extensively. Making the champions league would have been such an incredible moment for them; they’ve only been in Europe twice in club history; they have to settle for sixth place this season which doesn’t reflect the season that they had but still a tremendous growth under Christian Streich who has been at the club for over a decade. Getting them back into Europe shows the significant progress that he made this season. They were so close yet so far from it that they made the German Cup Final and lost to Leipzig on penalties. Bitter luck at the end but doesn’t undermine their incredible season. Then in 7th and 8th was cologne and Hoffenheim. Unfortunately, only one qualifies for Europe even though they probably both deserve to. Hoffenheim missed out on Europe but were comeback kings in the Bundesliga with 21 points earned from losing positions; then, cologne managed to qualify for Europe for the first time in five years. Capping off a beautiful season. Fsv Mainz also made the top 10 just like cologne; they went from nearly relegated to a top-10 finish with incredible progression over this last Bundesliga season. In addition to that, Frankfurt won the Europa League as they will be joining the top 4 in next year’s Champions League. It turned out to be an incredible Bundesliga campaign with eight teams qualifying for Europe; it was so close up until the end; this is what made it so gratifying.

Rising Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen reintroduced themselves as a force in the Bundesliga last season when no one expected it. Very quickly becoming one of the Elites in German Football. A team with the quality and depth to regularly be a consistent force. Bayer Leverkusen finished fifth last season; they showed their qualities but certainly lacked the consistency to qualify for the Champions League. They went through an Incredibly inconsistent season. It still turned out to be a fight until the end, but something seemed to be missing. Before this season, they changed their manager and lost some significant pieces, such as Leon Bailey, that had such great importance on the Leverkusen over the last couple of seasons, especially the previous campaign. It was expected to be somewhat of a drawback considering some of the changes that were going on at the club at the time. However, it went the opposite way; the surge of Bayer Leverkusen was one of the most intriguing part of this Bundesliga season. Their Champions League status felt secured in the first couple of months. Last season they lacked the stomach to win big games. Bayer Leverkusen was top of the league at Christmas, lost late to a Robert Lewandowski winner, and were never the same. Very tired campaign from that point forward, they just hit rock bottom; they were sort of demoralized by the way they lost that game that they couldn’t recover. Ultimately leading to all the decisions being made going into last summer. Patrik Schick scored eight Bundesliga goals last season after arriving from Roma; he ended up with 15 in all competitions but just wasn’t enough for a player they spent 27 million on. At the 2020 European championships, Patrik Schick caught fire, scoring five goals in the tournament and winning the Golden Boot. He then took the form he showed and the tournament into Bayer Leverkusen. This entire team became such a force largely depended on reform that the Czech Republic talent displayed regularly. With Moussa Diaby still there as one of the most underrated players in the league. Florian Wirtz, the Bundesliga young player of the year, shows that he is the best player in his age group in World football; he did so much and had so much influence within the Midfield creativity and laying up with the attack. Patrik Schick was the most efficient striker in the Bundesliga and scored the second-most goals in league with 24 last season. The jump made from where he was last season to this season was incredible. He wasn’t as effective in the Europa League, and that was some significant injuries throughout the season, and he still ended up with 24 goals. Realistically speaking, he had a robust case for player of the season. He stepped up in the big moments against Elite competition, played a huge role, and then qualified for the champions league for the first time since the 2015 16 Season. The last time Bayern Leverkusen qualified for the Champions League, Julian Brandt was leading the Midfield Chicharito was their Striker up top, and Kai havertz hadn’t broken into the first-team yet. That’s how long it has been. The influence and the new regime under this manager have been exactly what was needed for this team. Patrik Schick recently extended his contract Florian Wirtz had one of the best seasons out of a young player with double-digit goals and assists. Not to mention the depth they have now, they brought in Sardar Azmoun from Dinamo Kiev, which is expected to be a serviceable number two to Schick; they have an incredibly well-balanced Midfield with defensive properties and a very good goalkeeper. This is unlike last season; you could have imagined them collapsing; it’s hard to imagine this team not being right here again next season. We don’t know the Acquisitions that we will see them making in the summer, but if they continue to build this team up, they will be such a menace to deal with. With Moussa Diaby Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick, this team will be a problem for years to come. They will have to balance Champions League football next season, but certainly, this is a team that will possess some serious difficulties among European opposition next season; what they went on to do this last campaign it’s quite remarkable; they had the talent always been there but to finish in the top three after losing what they lost is incredible this team is only going to rise up. If you think about the factory of talent they have there, the back pocket in the Bundesliga, in addition to all the pieces they already have, we could see another young Talent emerging; it’s a team that is undoubtedly driving in the right direction.

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