Youth teams in autumn 2017 – part 2
Seven league games, five wins and two draws. Wins against Dortmund in the Cup and Anderlecht in the UEFA Youth League followed by a draw against Paris Saint Germain. The start of the season for FC Bayern’s U19s team looks very promising moving forward.
The former U17s has already won four games with only a one-goal difference. This already was a quality in of the previous season, when the team showed up especially in close games. Regarding those two draws, it did not work out quite well. The team recklessly lost a two-goal lead, in both games against Freiburg and Mainz.
Unfortunately, they are currently suffering from some injuries. Alex Lungwitz has torn his ligament in his ankle for the second time and Jonathan Meier is still on his way back from his injury of the championship final last summer. As a consequence, Alex Nitzl had to play as left fullback from time to time. On the offensive side of the ball there are a lot of players, with the likes of Daniel Ontuzans, Can Karatas, Maximilian Franzke and Mathis Lange, absent at the moment as well. This makes the fact that the entirely unchallenged Oliver Batista Meier of the U17s team still has had no chance to proof himself on a higher level even more ridiculous. Because of the international duties of Alex Nitzl and Lukas Mai the upcoming three games are postponed. The only game in October will be the youth-league matchup against Celtic Glasgow.
An outstanding player of the current team is without a doubt Manuel Wintzheimer. He has scored 13 goals in 10 games, so far this season. He also played for the second team at the start of their season and scored three times in three games. We believe the coaches of the second team would have liked Wintzheimer to continue playing for them but the management decided to put him back in the U19s squad. It is going to be hard to extend his contract for another season, considering all of the much more attractive offers he will receive if he continues playing like this.
How far this team can go remains to be seen. Right now, they are two points short of the leagues-leader TSG Hoffenheim. On the 5th of November Hoffenheim comes to Munich for a direct matchup. Like we already said, the team has proven to be on point in close games. It will be interesting to see if they can continue that under coach Sebastian Hoeneß.
Coaches and management have been quite sceptical prior to the season regarding the U17s team. In the preseason, the team did not perform at all and the outcome was disappointing. However, their start was almost perfect. Eight games, seven wins and one draw. Right now the team of Holger Seitz is at the top of the table, together with VfB Stuttgart. There are three reasons it all worked out well. First there is the fact, that this team has taken on the clutchness of their precursors. So far they have won three games with a goal in the dying minutes at Karlsruhe (1-0), against Unterhaching (1-0) and at Frankfurt (2-1). The second reason is the defence. Only 3 goals conceded after eight games are outstanding. The third reason has one name: Oliver Batista Meier.
All experts had him starting for the U19s already this season. He was simply too good last season. He even took part in the preseason with the older ones and stood out there, as well. It was quite surprising that the management called him up to stay in the U17s squad. The concerns that he would be highly overqualified for this series can be totally confirmed. 12 goals and 3 assists in only eight games show his incredible performance level as a left wing. Every week he is expected to move up especially because the U19s team could use his help due to all the injuries at the offensive side of the ball. Maybe they are waiting to correct this bad decision in the winter break.
After some problems regarding his permission to play, Ryan Johansson who arrived prior to the season has found his role in the team. He benefitted highly of the injury of Moritz Mosandl (broken shinbone). Joshua Zirkee however, who came from Feyernord Rotterdam is still waiting for his permission. Regarding the goalie situation, Holger Seitz did not choose a number 1. Currently, he is switching between Jakob Mayer and Lukas Schneller. In the upcoming weeks the team faces of against VfB Stuttgart and TSG Hoffenheim. Both games are away from home games against those huge competitors. After these games it will be easier to determine a tendency for the rest of the season.