In the first few weeks, the boss relies on innovative technology. Julian Nagelsmann recently installed an electronic free-kick wall at FC Bayern’s training ground, which his players can use to practice standard situations around the penalty area. The dummies are software controlled, an opponent’s jump is simulated. The wall is likely to be used again and again in the future.
Nagelsmann has big plans for the summer. Today (8:30 p.m., Saturday 1st and DAZN), his team begins the second half of the season with the match at RB Leipzig. Top of the table against third in the table – it’s an explosive start to the Bundesliga season 2023. The Munich team will continue Tuesday with the home game against 1. FC Köln. Should the German football record champion win against RB, he would already have a nine-point lead over previous pursuers Leipzig after 16 matchdays.
Many fans and pundits believe that the German championship would have been decided by then. For Max Eberl, who has also been talked about as FC Bayern’s sporting director, this is the first league game as Leipzig’s new sporting director. This is a very special game for several reasons.
“Leipzig is a major contender for the championship. It’s an important game, also in the table,” Nagelsmann said. “If we win the game, it’s not completely new or decisive, but nine points would be a good cushion for such a good team.” In the event of a defeat, his FC Bayern would be “much more under pressure”. Champion Thomas Müller said: “It’s a game that sets trends – Leipzig are already one of our main competitors for the league title, that’s pretty clear – we don’t just want to lead by example, we also want to stand out in terms of points.”
One player in particular will be the center of attention: Yann Sommer, Bayern’s new goalkeeper. The 34-year-old arrived in Munich on Wednesday evening with his wife Alina in a private jet. He passed the medical examination and was already training with his new team on Thursday afternoon. In the afternoon, Bayern traveled to Leipzig with him and confirmed the transfer. The champions had reached an agreement with Borussia Mönchengladbach on the transfer on Wednesday afternoon and will pay eight million euros plus up to 1.5 million euros in bonuses for the Swiss national goalkeeper.
“If you don’t take me, I will go to Bayern”
In more mature professional age, Sommer begins the great adventure of football, among other things, the prospect of prestigious titles with Bayern attracted him. “He called me and said if you don’t take me, then I’ll go to Bayern,” Leipzig coach Marco Rose said with a wink when asked. he was still in contact with Sommer. Both have already worked together in Mönchengladbach.
“I’m proud to be part of FC Bayern now,” Sommer said. “We have big tasks ahead of us. I’m really looking forward to getting started with my new colleagues and everything that’s to come. I would like to thank Borussia Mönchengladbach for eight and a half great years and for making this transfer possible.”
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said: “After Manuel’s failure, we had to react. We have big goals for this season that we want to achieve and that’s why we hired Yann Sommer, who, in our opinion, is one of the best goalkeepers in Europe Yann has been a goalkeeper for the Swiss national team for many years, has experience in the Champions League, he is a goalkeeper who plays and integrates very well in our team with his ambition and character.
Sommer’s contract runs until 2025, Neuer’s until 2024
After Alain Sutter, Ciriaco Sforza and Xherdan Shaqiri, Sommer is only the fourth Swiss player at Bayern. Moreover, he is only the fourth non-German goalkeeper with them, after Jean-Marie Pfaff (Belgium), Arpad Fazekas (Hungary) and Pepe Reina (Spain). Sommer is due to replace the long-injured Manuel Neuer in the coming months – and is already playing at Leipzig. Nagelsmann doesn’t expect it to take him long to get used to. “15 minutes” need a new goalkeeper to be able to play with the team. “There are also keepers who are only used to hitting long balls, so I would say 35 minutes. It’s definitely not rocket science, what you have to study for six months.
Yann Sommer is under contract until 2025. From next summer there could be a competition between him and Neuer. After breaking his lower leg, it’s unclear when Neuer will be able to train again. Neuer was injured on a private ski tour in early December. The captain of the national team is probably no longer fixed after his return. His contract with Bayern is valid until June 30, 2024. The situation around the goalkeeper position could become explosive.
If Neuer is fit again this summer, Bayern want to sit down with Yann Sommer and discuss the future, according to BILD. Sommer should therefore leave the club for the same amount, Manchester United being the last interested party. “In Manu we have an outstanding goalkeeper this summer who hopefully will return healthy once the injury heals, which I suspect will,” Nagelsmann said. But he doesn’t want to think about it before the summer. “As a coach, you are very measured by day-to-day business. It’s my job to organize the second half of the season so that I’m well on my way this summer,” said the 35-year-old. . “For me, it is important that we have good stability in all positions for the next few months.”
Fellow manager Rose said a win against Bayern requires “a brave performance and a bit of luck at the right time”. He will be without injured top scorer Christopher Nkunku. National player David Raum is fit but not a candidate for the starting XI. Timo Werner, injured for two months, could attack from the start.
Where is Thomas Müller’s place?
Apart from Neuer, Bayern are also missing Lucas Hernández, Sadio Mané and Noussair Mazraoui, who are also injured. Nagelsmann has already occupied six of the 11 starting positions in his thoughts for the game in Leipzig, the coach said on Wednesday. Offensive positions must also be open. There may be difficult cases. Where is Thomas Müller’s place?
“Thomas is an extremely important player, we are very much in exchange,” Nagelsmann said. “He’s smart enough to see that Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has done very well, but he’s also smart enough to know that he’s world class in a variety of positions. He’s not limited to just one position and will continue to play a key role for FC Bayern enough game time'”, says Nagelsman.
The coach will be measured this season mainly on international performances. In just over three weeks, his team will face Paris Saint-Germain in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Matches against the star set around Lionel Messi are already a factor in Nagelsmann’s speeches and plans.
“The problem is that we have a big task ahead of us there and the path to get there may require appearances,” he said. “If we set up the content in the Bundesliga well in advance, we will also be prepared for the matches against PSG. The duels with Paris will be at eye level”, where the current form also decides. You can work this on the way in Bundesliga and DFB Cup matches.
It is a clear requirement for his team for the breakthrough game in Leipzig.
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