Created on 14-10-2009 at 00:00 AM
Bayern hoped for a better start to the league season than eighth place after eight matches, but there is a long way to go yet. And the early part of last season was far from ideal too, but Munich set off on a thrilling chase and remained undefeated until Christmas, going into the winter break level on points with leaders Hoffenheim. No-one at the Säbener Strasse would have anything against a repeat of those events this term.
“I’m not worried about the gap to the top, because it’s a very early stage of the season,” observed Christian Nerlinger at the beginning of this week. The Director of Sport reported a “good feeling” about Bayern’s forthcoming matches, as the team, despite a disappointing goalless draw at home to FC Köln last time out, was “heading in the right direction. The coach is making his mark on the team. We simply have to start picking up points in the Bundesliga.”
No need to panic
“If you think about the early games compared to the way we’re playing now, it’s a great deal better, even though we’re only eighth” agreed Mark van Bommel. The situation in the standings was “no reason to panic,” the fit-again captain insisted. “I’ve had a really positive feeling since the new coach’s very first day,” Van Bommel continued, reflecting on life under Louis van Gaal.
Bayern now face a packed programme of seven matches in 22 days, including challenging fixtures away to VfB Stuttgart and at home to Schalke. The sequence of games, which also features the Champions League double-header against French champions Girondins Bordeaux, and the DFB Cup third round tie away to Eintracht Frankfurt, will offer a number of pointers as to the club’s sporting fate this season.
Always on top
“We dominate our opponents, we’re always on top, but we’re not scoring,” lamented Van Bommel. Bayern have won only three league games so far. “But we know we’re playing pretty good football – and the points would normally follow automatically.” Just like last season, this term’s ‘Fall Frenzy’ could provide a great leap forward for Bayern.