I got my first extended view of the rebuilt Bayern Munich soccer (er, football) team on Saturday in their German Cup preseason tournament win against Werder Bremen (4-1).
Bayern brought in 8 new players in the offseason, highlighted by the world class triumvirate of Luca Toni, Franck Ribery, and Miroslav Klose. Due to injuries, Luca Toni didn’t play and neither did a few of the other new players.
Compared to last season, this team already looks much more imaginative and they are playing a much more attacking style of soccer. Last season, it seemed that they were happy keeping control of the ball and making a bunch of passes around the periphery and then lobbed a cross somewhere near goal, hoping for some kind of lucky goal.
This season, they seem to be much more inclined to make a bunch of short passes and use some individual skill to break down the opposition. New signign Hamit Altintop looked great and absolutely drilled a shot from well outside the box. It was this sort of daring shot that Bayern didn’t seem to take last season.
Though Bremen had some key injuries, they were easily outclassed for the majority of the game by Bayern.
I’m very eager to watch Wednesdays game against last season’s Bundesliga champions Stuttgart. Stuttgart played great last season and they essentially have the same team back with a great core of young players at the core with a few savvy veterans thrown in as well.
Of course, I expect a Bayern win (let’s say 3-1) but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Stuttgart pulls out a win. The players at Bayern are still getting used ot playing with one another whereas the team in Stuttgart is entering its second season with this group of players.
But this entry isn’t about Stuttgart – it’s about the warning shot that Bayern fired across the bow of the rest of the Bundesliga. Easily beating last season’s second place Bremen team has to begin putting fear ni the hearts of the rest of the bundesliga and, eventually, the rest of Europe.