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Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

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Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby shwas55 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:51 am

When Marcell Jansen suddenly left Bayern in late August, rumor had it that the ex-Gladbach left-back had had a row with new coach Juergen Klinsmann. According to the rumor, Jansen was told that he had no place in Klinsmann’s squad, a statement that prompted him to lash out against the the Bayern management, calling Bayern a place where young talent needlessly goes to waste. At Klinsmann’s request, manager Uli Hoeness promptly made a deal with Hamburg and Bayern fans awoke on the morning of August 27 with news that their team’s starting left-back had transferred to HSV. It is true that any youngster will have a difficult time breaking into the Bayern starting eleven, but is there legitimacy to Jansen’s statements?
Let’s first take a look at Lukas Podolski, the striker once dubbed the “prince” of German football. On June 1, 2006, three days before his 21st birthday, Podolski announced that he had agreed to a contract with Bayern. Fresh off three stellar years at Koeln, Podolski formed a world-class partnership with Miroslav Klose and played an integral role in Germany’s successful run at the 2006 World Cup. For his efforts, Podolski won the award of best young player (ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, I might add), and appeared destined to reach even greater heights with Bayern. In his first season in Munich, Podolski earned a place in Felix Magath’s starting eleven, and frequently started after Ottmar Hitzfeld replaced Magath during the winter break. After they finished fourth in the 2006-07 Bundesliga, Bayern signed established superstars Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni as forwards, relegating Podolski to the bench. Since the arrival of Klose and Toni, Podolski has seen precious little playing time, and with the emergence of Patrick Helmes, has appeared to have lost his place as a starter in the German national team. Admittedly, Podolski’s poor attitude has greatly hindered his chances of starting, but it’s hard not to feel sympathy for him. Bayern’s signing of Klose and Toni—neither of whom was ever intended to be a bench warmer—was a slap in the face not of an 18-year-old prospect, but an established 22-year-old star. True, his performance during his first year at Bayern was below the standard he had at Koeln, but he had suffered several injury setbacks during the season and Bayern’s signing of both Toni and Klose was effectively a vote of no confidence in Podolski’s ability. When Roy Makaay requested a transfer to avoid competition with Klose, Toni and Podolski, his request was acquiesced. Podolski, on the other hand, has repeatedly demanded transfer for more than a year, but Bayern director Uli Hoeness has many times reiterated his intention for Podolski to honor his entire contract. Even as Bayern are showered with offers for their bench-warming striker, Hoeness maintains that Podolski will be at Bayern at least until the summer. Meanwhile, time ticks and Germany’s most promising young striker spends some of his best footballing years rotting on Bayern’s bench. And some say that Cristiano Ronaldo is a slave…
Next, let’s consider defensive midfielder Andreas Ottl, an often overlooked player who just could become the next Dietmar Hamann. Just a few years ago, the Munich native was considered a top prospect, and was called up to the “Team 2006,” an experimental group that served as Germany’s B team before the 2006 World Cup. At Bayern, however, the presence of Owen Hargreaves and Martin Demichelis as favored competitors in defensive midfield meant that Ottl was, until recently, frozen out of his role as defensive midfielder. True, in 2006/07 he had 23 Bundesliga starts, but he benefited greatly from Hargreaves’ propensity to get injured, and several times was forced to play in a wide role. When Hargreaves left for Manchester United and Demichelis moved to central defense, it seemed as though Ottl was set to become Bayern’s starting defensive midfielder. However, Ze Roberto’s return to Munich and subsequent conversion to defensive midfield spelled bench time for Ottl, as the Brazilian partnered Mark van Bommel in Hitzfeld’s lineup. Last year, Ottl saw some time off the bench, but his situation has become direr this year, as offseason signing Tim Borowski has apparently become Klinsmann’s favored substitute in central midfield. Consequently, Ottl notched just six starts during the fall campaign, and at this time has no chance of being called up to Jogi Loew’s Germany squad.
Third, let’s look at Jan Schlaudraff, who after a few anonymous years at Gladbach became a star at Alemannia Aachen. His heroics at Aachen earned Schlaudraff a call-up to Loew’s Germany, and before his transfer to Bayern, it appeared that Schlaudraff was set to make a breakthrough as a first-team regular. When Bayern signed him in January 2006, Schlaudraff’s competition was set to be an ageing Roy Makaay, Claudio Pizarro, and Podolski. However, following Bayern’s complete squad overhaul, there was no room for the versatile attacking midfielder/striker. In spite of numerous injuries to Toni, Klose and Podolski, Schlaudraff earned just one start last term, and only game off the bench seven times. Before leaving for Hannover, Schlaudraff mustered up a flourish of form as he scored 15 goals in five friendlies. Since arriving at Hannover, Schlaudraff has won a starting role, and has shown occasional flashes of brilliance, such as this beauty against Moenchengladbach. What he could have accomplished at Bayern will never be known, but what is certain is that his experience in Munich was a complete waste.
Last, but certainly not least, consider Toni Kroos (pictured), the midfielder who just may be Germany’s best young talent. In 2007, a then 17-year-old Kroos led Germany to a third place finish at the U-17 World Cup. His ball control, playmaking vision, and lethal accuracy were unparalleled at the tournament and, for his five goals and four assists, Kroos was awarded both the Golden Ball and the Bronze Boot. Last year, Kroos managed some playing time in the first half of the campaign, and in his first two outings provided an astonishing three assists and one goal in just 27 minutes of play. And yet, he remained a benchwarmer, in spite of the horrendous form of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Jose Sosa, as well as the unavailability of the often-injured Hamit Altintop. Many have speculated that the Bayern management was wary of putting too much pressure on the youngster, lest he go the way of Sebastian Deisler and cave under the weight of Bayern’s expectations. Granted, the Bayern management will always be careful after what happened to Deisler, I fail to see how the pressure of starting in a world-class Bayern side is at all comparable to having the weight of a nation’s footballing hopes riding on one’s shoulders, as was the case with Deisler. At any rate, Kroos rarely played during the second half of last year and only made seven league appearances for Bayern this fall, five of which came after sitting on the bench for a half or more.
In Bayern’s 3-1 victory over Arminia Bielefeld, Kroos came on as a second-half substitute, with the primary purpose of delivering set pieces. His accuracy was, as usual, flawless, and he prompted three headers that either hit the post or were stopped by excellent saves. But his superb performance against Bielefeld wasn’t enough for Klinsmann, and Kroos spent most of the rest of the term on the sideline, even as he played phenomenal football with the German U-21s.
I can’t help but opine that Bayern’s treatment of Kroos is borderline criminal. The development of midfielders, especially #10’s, is a delicate process that requires experience and opportunity that simply will not come at Bayern. Understandably, Bayern cannot build their team around a talent as raw as Kroos: they have aspirations of winning the Champions League, and cannot depend on a player who has yet to prove himself. But, by the nature of the position, a #10 must be a refined talent and a leader, neither of which comes without real match experience. The simple solution is to loan Kroos to a struggling team that can play a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, and see if he can steer that team out of the relegation zone. This year, Karlsruhe seems to be an ideal destination! But instead, the Bayern management has apparently decided to hold onto their now 19-year-old talent, for no apparent reason other than to keep Podolski and Ottl company on the bench. Meanwhile, Bojan Krkic, who Kroos beat to the Golden Ball at the 2007 U-17 World Cup, continues to find playing time at Barcelona, the most competitive environment in the world, at least for a forward.
Perhaps most alarming is what happens to Bayern youth products when they leave Munich, if only for a short period of time. Jose Paolo Guerrero and Piotr Trochowski, who both left Bayern for Hamburg, have since developed into excellent players. After standing in the shadow of Rafael Van der Vaart for three years, Trochowski has realized his potential, and appears to have solidified a starting role in Jogi Loew’s Germany. Then there’s Philipp Lahm, who was loaned to Stuttgart for two years before returning to Munich and becoming arguably the best left-back in the business. Central defender Mats Hummels has been on loan in Dortmund for a year, and this term has won a starting role alongside Neven Subotic, relegating the ageing Robert Kovac to the bench. It must have been, realizing that Hummels didn’t stand a chance competing against the likes of Lucio, Martin Demichelis and Daniel van Buyten, that Hoeness figured a better place for Hummels to develop was a less-competitive Dortmund. But why not use a similar strategy for Kroos, Ottl, and (now that Landon Donovan is at Bayern) Podolski?
To the Bayern management, my plea is this: if you have no intention of playing a young talent, loan him out so that he can develop. It’s unforgivably selfish to hold onto a supremely gifted 23-year-old striker for the sole purpose of having a third forward; to keep a talented 23-year-old midfielder just for the sake of having a fourth choice in central midfield; to suppress the development of a 19-year-old playmaker just because he may, occasionally, be useful as a deliverer of set pieces. The bench is no place for a budding star as he enters his best playing years. And yet, it isn’t too late: Podolski, Ottl, and Kroos are still young, and if given match time, could be contenders in Loew’s 2010 squad. So please, Mr. Klinsmann, either employ a real rotation (a la Barcelona), or loan your talented benchwarmers.

This article from goal.com

I happen to agree with this article (especially when it comes to Kroos and Ottl).we are just killing these young talented players we have. We should be loaning them like we did with lahm so they get some playing time to realize their potential, and then we can bring them back when they are ready . Some sense here will go a long way for Bayern and for the German football in general.
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby MrLinky » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:07 pm

When you look at recent years its an obvious fact that young - not just german players - havent done well at Bayern.The reasons for that are very hard to locate for us on here (and the guy that wrote this article too) , cause none of us is close enough to the club nor the players.My guess is that when a young kid moves from a relatively small club - Koln , Monchengladbach , Aachen , some club in South America - where almost every teammate plays for him , to a prestigious 300 million euro world brand everything is different - a bit of a "cultural shock" for the player.The media attention is huge , the expectations for (at least 2) titles are present every year , and they're not the star players and the "logo" of the whole club , young players tend to show instability and lose their confidence.As the matches go on and the young kid sits on the bench every week things are gonna get worse.The easiest resolution to this problem would be getting only the best talents (Pato , Aguero) and not the mediocre talents (Sosa , dos Santos) and do a better job in integrating them at the club and giving them the feeling that they're needed and that they're a valuable part of the squad also.If they dont get that recognition they relatively fastly feel like they're not good enough and you again have to deal with an unhappy player and lots of millions of euros floating down the "Isar".
With German talents the resolution is a bit harder , cause Bayern already gets the biggest German talents.Just not getting them until they are proven top-international quality (not just in the BL) would be the one thing they could do (we would probably have to pay a lot more for the player then , but at least you know that he's gonna strengthen the team from the first moment on).Or just loan them out like we did with Lahm , that worked out pretty well.A young player needs playing time to get better , something that he's not gonna receive at Bayern unless he really is the talent of the century or something , ergo send him to another club for a year or two and then get him back if you feel like he now is ready to be a vital element of the starting team.
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby shwas55 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:44 pm

I think if we Bayern cant guarantee more playing time for Kroos next season, we should release him on loan, so he can get the experience needed and then we get him back in a year or 2.
I really wanted Marin at the club, but now im not so sure, because i really want him to develop(alongside Kroos, and many other young talented German players) for the good of the national team
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby reiniksrobis » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:58 pm

And what about Schweini, Lahm, Rensing, Demichelis, who is playing in starting 11? They all started to play in starting-XI at very young age! Kroos is fantastic and HE should get more playing time. Signing of Borowski was killing Kroos and Ottl! :( But, then again, MvB and Ze may leave us after season! And I think, that only one transfer will be to replace them. That means, that ONE place will be free. Probably, Ottl,Kroos,Borowski will fight for that place.
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby shwas55 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:30 pm

Rensing hasnt been proven yet, Lahm was loaned out for 2 years to Stuttgart before we get him back, Schweini is the exception of the rule, and i dont think he would have gotten much playing time to prove himself if Altintop havent got injured. Demi didnt start playing regular football for us till 2005 (he was 25).
What im trying to say is, you dont see players who are 18-22 in our starting line up, or even as regular subs.
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby reiniksrobis » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:41 pm

Why Basti is exceptional??? He is player just like others and he plays for Bayern! And when he was young, he played too!
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby shwas55 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:57 pm

reiniksrobis wrote:Why Basti is exceptional??? He is player just like others and he plays for Bayern! And when he was young, he played too!

what i said was Schweini is the exception of the rule, and he wouldnt have got the chance to prove himself week in week out because of injuries to other players.

Hitzfeld didnt use to like rotation, and Klinsi isnt doing it either in as a result younger players arent getting the chance to prove themselves, and then when they ask to be loaned (a la Kroos) we refuse to release them.
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby xevi » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:04 pm

i think sosa will leave and will have tymoschuk and ottl (and ottl) "fighting" for the place in DM.
altintop, schweini and ribéry will be the starters in the mid and the subs will be borowski, zé roberto and kroos.

---------------------------tymoschuk
----------------------------ottl/van bommel

atlintop-------------------schweini--------------------ribéry
borowski-------------------zé roberto----------------kroos

maybe we shouldn't get so much young players cause after if they don't do well it's hard (for me) to sell them, like jansen, schlaudraff, maybe sosa. also if we get players who are 25-28 they are proven and bayern are better.
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Re: Is Bayern A Pitfall for German Youth?

Postby shwas55 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:12 pm

Im not saying we should field an arsenal style team 25 y.o and below, but players like Kroos dont grow on trees.

As good as Ze have been this year, i dont think we should renew his contract cuz if we do that will mean another year of Kroos on the bench. Ze will be a one year max 2 years player, Kroos will be 15 years player. We have to think about the bigger picture.
If We dont want to spend like other big clubs and buy ready made players, then we have to develop our own young world class players and hold on to them.
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