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Review of 2007 II: Missed targets usher in major revamp

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Review of 2007 II: Missed targets usher in major revamp

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:40 pm


The year 2007 featured many highs and a clutch of lows at Bayern, including failure to qualify for the Champions League, a comprehensive overhaul of the first team squad, an uninterrupted run at the top of the Bundesliga in the current season, a farewell to two gifted footballers with contrasting personalities, and a string of injury concerns. <b></b> reviews an incident-filled 2007 at the club.

<b>Review of 2007, part II</b>

<b>31 March 2007:</b> There is little movement among the Bundesliga’s top four as the run-in begins. After 27 games, Bayern are still reading water in fourth, two points behind VfB Stuttgart. The Reds defeat leaders Schalke 2-0 Schalke and draw 1-1 with second-placed Werder Bremen, but suffer a shock 1-0 away defeat to struggling Eintracht Frankfurt, prompting Hitzfeld to rule his side out of the race for the title. “Our focus is totally on qualifying for the Champions League. We’re not there yet, and until we are, we’re not aiming at anything else.“

<b>7 April 2007:</b> Bayern show huge resolve in the Champions League quarter-final first leg away to AC Milan, twice coming from behind to seal a 2-2 draw ahead of the return at the Allianz Arena. Centre-half Daniel van Buyten is the hero on the night with his first brace for the club. “We’re favourites for the return now, as I rate our chances of getting through as greater than 50 percent. We have a better set of crads,” general manager Uli Hoeneß declares. However, it is a night to forget for right-back Willy Sagnol, who hobbles off injured after 68 minutes with cartilage damage which will keep him out for the next eight months.

<b>11 April 2007:</b> In a repeat of the 2005-6 campaign, AC Milan end Munich’s 2006-7 Champions League adventure. The ruthless <i>Rossoneri</i> win 2-0 at the Allianz Arena as Bayern fall short of the semi-finals they last reached in 2001. “We’ve all seen they’re one of the best teams in the world. Milan deserve their place in the semis,” Hitzfeld summarises. Milan go on to defeat Liverpool 2-1 in the final in Athens. Uli Hoeneß is impressed: “What a great team. You need to be at the peak of your game to beat them.“

<b>21 April 2007:</b> FCB are now free to concentrate on a Champions League qualifying finish, registering 2-1 victories in Hanover and at home to Leverkusen to set up a do-or-die showdown for third place on matchday 30 away to VfB Stuttgart, who still lead the Reds by two points. However, the eventual Bundesliga champions ease to a 2-0 triumph after Bayern produce what Hitzfeld (pictured) describes as an “abominable“ performance. The coach is still fuming the following day: “There’ll be big changes for next season. We’ll bring in six, seven or even eight new players, more than half a team. It’ll be a major overhaul.“ Bayern now lie five points off third place, and are in “extreme danger” of missing out on the Champions League, warns captain Oliver Kahn.

<b>28 April 2007:</b> Just a week after the debacle in Stuttgart, the men in red lose 2-1 at home to Hamburger SV, their tenth defeat of the campaign. “The season’s over for us,” thunders Hoeneß, “we’ll send out a very different team next season, because we won’t put up with this any longer.“

<b>19 May 2007:</b> Bayern conclude the domestic campaign strongly with a 1-1 draw against Gladbach, a 3-0 win in Cottbus, and a 5-2 thumping of FSV Mainz, but the Bavarians cannot do better than a fourth-place finish and miss out on the Champions League for the first time in a decade. Ahead of the final match, the club officially bids farewell to Hasan Salihamidzic (Juventus), gifted veteran Mehmet Scholl (retirement), Claudio Pizarro (Chelsea) and Ali Karimi (Qatar Sports Club).

<b>7 June 2007:</b> Just three weeks into the close season, a huge crowd of reporters gathers at the Säbener Strasse to witness the unveiling of star signings Franck Ribéry and Luca Toni. “We’re proud we’ve succeeded in bringing two world stars to Munich", a delighted Hoeneß declares. Miroslav Klose (Bremen), Marcell Jansen (Gladbach), Jan Schlaudraff (Aachen), Hamit Altintop (Schalke), José Ernesto Sosa (Estudiantes) and Zé Roberto (FC Santos), back in Munich after a one-year absence, complete the all-international roster of new arrivals. Owen Hargeaves (Manchester United), Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn), Roy Makaay (Rotterdam), Andreas Görlitz (loaned to Karlsruhe) and Julio dos Santos (loaned to Almeria) are the men on the move from the Säbener Strasse.
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