The Miasanrot Mailbag #3

In this edition of the Miasanrot mailbag, we answer your questions regarding lots of young players and the state of the Bundesliga while settling the old argument of the best striker.

Welcome to the third edition of the Miasanrot mailbag. This feature allows you to ask whatever Bayern-related question is on your mind and have it answered by our local lunatic. If you want to see your question answered in the next edition, either send it to us in a tweet @miasanrot_com, using the hashtag #MSRmail or, if you don’t believe in that Twitter voodoo, just leave us a comment down below.

Which way forward?

To me, the best striker right now is Luis Suarez. To me he’s the most complete striker and probably the only one who’s as good as part of a functioning team as he is as a one-man show. All four are good choices. Aubameyang’s development from vertical Saint Etienne forward to finishing man of a ball-dominant Dortmund side in particular has surprised me, even though I’ve been a fan of him for quite some time:

But yeah, Suarez. Then either Lewandowski or Aguero, depending on what you’re looking for. I’d choose Aguero but that might be caused by seeing Lewandowski every week and thus being more aware of his weaknesses. Aubameyang is a decent fourth (or fifth if we also count Benzema). Not much more to say about this one really. It’s Suarez, unless someone can convince me of something else.

Boredomliga

There’s two issues in play here.

The first issue is that the gap within the league is too big. How do you fix that? The reality is that you can’t really. Revenue sharing within the Bundesliga is already incredibly fair, the main share of extra money comes from individual sponsorship deals, ticket money and international competitions. While it’s remarkable and great for the competition that Augsburg make only €15-20m less than Bayern in terms of TV money, that effect vanishes the second Bayern receive their (hard-earned) Champions League fees of €50m or more. The only way to fix that without breaking European laws (or the league’s playing level) is to make the entire Bundesliga so rich that another €50m more or less don’t make much of a difference anymore. Kind of a Premier League situation where there’s so much money within that system that you have a bit of a saturation – just with an even bigger gap to the rest of Europe. Theoretically, the Bundesliga would be capable of that. But it won’t happen.

The second issue is that matches are boring. Why are they boring? Because it’s predictable. And I’m not talking about the results. When most teams have the exact same approach, they all neutralize themselves. When they all decide to park the bus against Bayern and Dortmund, those matches get boring because the events can be predicted. That’s a big Bundesliga issue. Clubs and coaches are so focused on avoiding mistakes and losses that they willingly reject a higher probability of winning in order to minimize the probability of a thrashing.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge once said that football isn’t math. The Bundesliga proves it again and again. Because if they used basic math, they’d realize that achieving one win and one loss is better than recording two draws. Because, and I hope I don’t have to break it to anyone, three points are more than two points.

Take more risks. So what if you lose by seven goals in Munich? Use the same strategy in Hamburg or Frankfurt and you’re suddenly a lot more likely to beat such limited teams. You think it’s a coincidence that the team with the most draws is at the bottom of the Bundesliga right now?

Young Hearts Be Free Tonight

Kinda tricky to answer this question a month later. Turns out that it was simply due to the injuries. But it would’ve been either way because both Kimmich and Coman are reasonably reliable players who shouldn’t be seen as young talents to grow but as real parts of the squad. Bayern have a clear 23-man squad and there are exactly two players you need to be picky about: Sven Ulreich and Jan Kirchhoff. The “bottom” of that squad (Coman, Kimmich, Rode, Bernat…) is a reliable group of players, all of them capable of playing competitive matches without being a massive risk. And before anyone mentions Bernat, that’s just a form crisis that will disappear again, completely normal. The struggles only start when those guys are required to break down opponents on a weekly basis because the creamy top of the squad has fallen apart again. Even then, they’re good enough to keep the team within Europe’s top 5.

Buildup Babies

I know which of these I like the least: Johannes Geis. Goretzka is #3 for me, deciding between Weigl and Kimmich is tough. Different roles within their squads, often different roles on the pitch. They might even work together, I’d certainly love to find out.

Since you won’t accept that as an answer…at this point I have to give it to Weigl as he’s proven consistency on such a high level. In terms of their careers, Weigl is a step ahead right now. That being said, I think Kimmich’s ceiling is a bit higher. The big question is whether he will reach that ceiling. I have yet to spot a weakness in Kimmich that’s unlikely to disappear sooner than later. Of course that doesn’t guarantee success as he’ll have to find his role and learn to contribute week after week.

Pierre-Emile!

Hmm…

They might be. I hope they’re not but they might be. As everyone and their grandmother could predict, his Schalke loan is turning out to be a disaster. He might’ve collected more playing time at Bayern than he has at Schalke. What a young player who’s struggling to make the next step forward needs is a coach who trusts him, needs him and can teach him. I’m fairly certain that Breitenreiter doesn’t offer a single of those things.

Whenever I’ve seen him play for Schalke, I’ve spotted the big potential. Some bad decisions, often unlucky, but the guy has offered nice verticality and decent midfield support. I’d love to see him return to Munich next year, as a depth option with occasional opportunities to prove himself. Højbjerg has the talent. Although he’s not the typical Bayern midfielder of this time and could improve his technical abilities, he’s capable of offering a lot.

We wish you all a happy 2016, hopefully with lots of Kimmich, Højbjerg, and Lewandowski finally surpassing Suarez.

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