This week’s edition is dedicated to Emre Can, a former player that is well known even among the youngest readers.
Emre Can was born in Frankfurt am Main (Hessia) in 1994. He joined the youth team of Eintracht Frankfurt in 2006, from where he took the next step to Munich three years later. He played in the German U17 and U19 youth teams and signed an amateur contract for the 2011/12 season. From then on, he belonged to the amateur team, for whom he debuted in August 2011. He was first called up to the first team in 2012 and received a professional contract for the 2012/13 season. His first game for the Rekordmeister was the German Supercup at the beginning of that season. However, he had to wait until April 2014 for his first league game, but in the following week he scored his first goal, as he deflected a Xherdan Shaqiri free kick into goal with his head.
Despite being part of the treble winning team, Can realized relatively early on that he would have little chance under Pep Guardiola – to everyone’s surprise, however, he wasn’t temporarily loaned, but permanently sold to Bayer Leverkusen. Whatever motivated the Bayern executives to this permanent move was hard to understand from the outside. They countered the emerging criticism with their contractual right to buy back the player. At Bayer Can quickly became a regular starter and showed that he certainly had potential for the Bundesliga. However, the switch to Liverpool only a year later came as a surprise. But Can proved his critics wrong and played a total of 27 games for Liverpool last season. This year, he is a regular starter and was moved into midfield again after the appointment of Jürgen Klopp. Can shows that he has the level to play in the Premier League – but continues to suffer from his seemingly arrogant and error-prone way of playing, which means that he is not too sorely missed in Munich.
Analysing the team’s performance in the “Hinrunde”
Alex Delmas wrote an article in the Perarnau Magazine about the defining characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of Bayern Munich in the season 2015/16 and concludes with rating Bayern as “the only one capable of keeping up with Barca at this time”.
A glimpse at Guardiola from the “inside”
Alex Truica, of “The Pep Episodes” fame, had the opportunity to interview Isaac Lluch for Grup14. Like Perarnau, Lluch is one of the few journalists that (seem) to have a good insight in the thought processes and motivations of Guardiola. The interview covers different aspects like the relationship of Guardiola with the German media, the reasons for his leaving in the summer or his tactical versatility.
#longread profile of Pep Guardiola
Matt Gault wrote an extensive profile about “the thinker who reinvented the modern game” for the site These Football Times, covering Guardiola’s time as a player (aka pupil) under Cruyff at Barca and his time as coach (aka teacher) in Barcelona and Munich.
Criticism about the training camp in Qatar
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that “a training camp is not a political statement”, but the media, politics and some Bayern supporters beg to differ. Yalcin Imre, of Fehlpass podcast fame, even cancelled his membership, because for him the “… decision for a new winter training camp in Qatar … was the straw that broke the camel’s back”.