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Bayern’s 2-5 Defeat to Bremen in Historical Perspective

Klinsmann’s Not SmilingHaving had the time to digest Bayern’s 2-5 mauling by Bremen (no need to rehash things here, if you need a refresher check out the excellent post at Deutsche Welle’s Ballspiel or the video highlights at 101 Great Goals), I wanted to know exactly how bad it was for the Bavarians. No matter what your feelings regarding the team, it’s difficult to argue with the dismal performances by the entire team from Rensing forward. But simply acknowledging this poor display as such and moving on wasn’t enough. As a (future) historian, I gleefully dove into the archives of previous seasons looking for something, anything, comparable in shame to what happened in Munich. I didn’t have to look too hard. Over the past decade Bremen have hammered a number of teams by at least four goals away from home, so Bayern’s 3 goal deficit shouldn’t look too bad. In chronological order:

In 1999/2000 Wolfsburg went down 2-7
In 2001/2002 Hamburg were shutout 0-4
In 2003/2004 Hannover scored only a single consolation goal in their 1-5 defeat
In 2006/2007 Both Frankfurt (2-6) and Bochum (0-6) conceded six to Bremen

See, Jürgen, it could be worse. Wait, what’s that? Bayern had lost only 9 times at home to domestic opposition over the last 10 years? And then not by more than two goals in any of those defeats? Bremen have now defeated Bayern 4 times (with 3 draws) in Munich since the 1998/1999 season. As you might imagine, that’s best record against the Reds in the league.

So, how far back must one go to discover a display of comparable ineptitude by Bayern at home? Set the radio on your time machine to the Bee Gees and Donna Summer we’re off to the 70s. Back to the 1978/1979 season where, in anticipation of Disco Demolition Night later that summer, Bayern were, well, themselves demolished  4-0 on an inglorious March afternoon at the Olympiastadion. It would not be unreasonable to assume this drubbing came at the hands of Hamburg, the eventual champions, and home to European Footballer of the Year Kevin Keegan. Not quite. Actually it was Arminia Bielefeld (!), relegated at season’s end, who came away with three points and four goals that day.

So Jürgen, I warned you earlier this summer that the Bayern board doesn’t look kindly upon failure. So while it may still be early in the season, a historic loss like this doesn’t bode well for the rest of the campaign. You’ve got the personnel in the squad to seriously challenge for the title. Either revamp your “tactics” or use part of your large paycheck to outsource the coaching aspect of your job. Otherwise results like this will no longer be considered anomalous, but routine. And that’s bad for your managerial health.

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  1. Mark

    September 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Mark don't do analysis, but if he did, it'd probably be the best analysis in the world. Anyway, that's your sphere. I like to play with numbers instead.

  2. DoublePivot

    September 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Excellent piece. I'm about half way through my analysis of the game and might not be able to do it now 😛

    Nah, I'll still do it.

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