FC Rotor Bayern Munich off to a record start

Jupp Heynckes was well-pleased after Bayern Munich’s best ever start to the season but for a fleeting moment the highly experienced coach was a little uneasy ahead of the upcoming matches. “We’ve got a game every three days. And now there’s also the Oktoberfest,” said the 67-year-old after the 2-0 (0-0) away win at FC Schalke 04 on 22 September 2012. Behind Munich lie seven competitive matches, four in the Bundesliga, and one each in the Champions League and the DFB Cup plus the national Super Cup final against Borussia Dortmund. All seven matches have been won – with 12 points and a goal difference of 14:2 in the Bundesliga, they have even set a new record for Bayern’s 48-year stay in Germany’s top division. In the first real test of the season at Schalke 04, who finished third last season, Bayern were impressive when totally dominating the home side. 

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner
Four goals in four Bundesliga matches plus three assists: Thomas Müller (to the left) was not only in top form against Schalke’s Christian Fuchs. (Photo: Firo/Augenklick)


 
The club’s German international players stood out in a team that oozes confidence. With national coach Joachim Löw watching, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger and the two goal-scorers Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller all shone. It all came only a few hours after the 179th Munich Beer Festival was opened on the “Wiesn” fairground and it all made for the perfect day. Things can carry on in the same vein but Heynckes has a couple of worries. His players, who are employed by one of the world’s richest clubs, have a multitude of off-pitch duties to fulfil what with the continual activities for sponsors, marketing and media said Heynckes. In addition there’s naturally the main action on the pitch – and since 22 September also the events on the grassy “Theresienwiese” fairground site where the Oktoberfest is held.

A quite special atmosphere will now prevail at every one of Bayern’s home games for the duration of the world’s biggest beer festival until 7 October. The players themselves, traditionally dressed in leather breeches, will have to appear at the enormous festival site at some stage. Whereby, for the fans, wins are far more important that the team appearances in the beer tents.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner
A visit to the Oktoberfest belongs to Bayern Munich’s programme every year. In 2011, Philipp Lahm turned up in the traditional Bavarian costume with his wife Claudia.(Photo: Rauchensteiner/Augenklick)


Sammer and Rummenigge both warn of excessive euphoria

3-0 at newly-promoted Fürth, 6-1 in the southern Germany derby against Stuttgart, 3-1 at home to Mainz, 2-1 in Europe’s top competition against Valencia, 2-0 in Schalke – the results of the first five games since the start of the league season. They were preceded by the 4-0 cup win against second division Regensburg and the 2-0 defeat of Dortmund in the Super Cup.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner

Top spot in the table was their reward and it has been combined with a perfect start to the Bundesliga season. Twelve points and a goal difference of 12 goals was last matched by FCB, as the club is also known in Germany, in 1972/73 when they however scored fewer goals (13:1 as against the current 14:2). But Director of Sport Matthias Sammer reminded everybody: “A good start is only beneficial when we carry on in the same vein.” Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge raised a warning finger. Though speaking of the “big points” won in Gelsenkirchen against powerful opponents and “title candidates”, he added: “We have to go about handling the success in a serious way and not be euphoric. We were eight points ahead of Dortmund last season and we all know where we ended up.” As championship runners-up.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner
Bastian Schweinsteiger (to the left) is back in form after his injury problems. In the 3-1 win against Mainz he got past Nicolai Müller and scored a goal. (Photo: Firo/Augenklick)

Hopes they are well on track are big at the record champions who face a hot autumn schedule of matches against Wolfsburg (25.9.), in Bremen (29.9.), away at Bate Borisov (Champions League, 2.10.), against Hoffenheim (6.10.), in Düsseldorf (20.10.), at OSC Lille (Champions League, 23.10.), against Leverkusen (28.10.), against Kaiserslautern (DFB Cup, 31.10.) and in Hamburg (3.11.). Taking stock after the excellent start, it is obvious that, after the summer signings, Bayern has a top class squad. It’s why Heynckes is turning the FC Bayern Munich club into FC Rotor Bayern Munich.

The coach is emphasising rotation – a continual swapping around of the team is a part of his concept more than ever. A regular first team, a permanent starting eleven, is something he spurns as the Munich team should have varying line-ups. “One has to counteract exhaustion amongst the players by rotating,” said Heynckes after the win against Schalke. “Everyone has to put his ego on hold, even when they are on the bench. It’s the way I’ll be putting it across so that it’ll work.” He is no longer prepared to explain why he hasn’t selected players. Permanent changes from match day to match day are essential if they are to challenge Dortmund for the championship title. “It’s one of the lessons we have learnt from the past season,” said Heynckes. However, the fact that Javier Martinez, Bayern’s record signing when they bought him for 40 million euro from Athletic Bilbao, initially took up a place on the bench for the matches against Valencia und Schalke was still a big surprise.

On the beer tables at the October Fest, discussions will be loud as to whether the 22-time league champions will sweep away all in their path on their way to winning yet another title.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner

The lead over main rivals Dortmund is already up to five points. The players have confirmed that Heynckes’ strict rotation principle has goaded them into better performances. And thanks to Thomas Müller, whose four strikes and three assists amount to exactly half of Bayern’s 14 goals, Munich, who finished second in the league in the previous two seasons, are on course again to winning the title. The 23-year-old, who set up Kroos’ goal in the game against Schalke and who scored the second goal himself, was forced to sit out the game against Valencia three days earlier. He who was only playing in Gelsenkirchen as Franck Ribery was out injured with muscle problems.

ContiSoccerWorld, Conti, Continental Tires, Tyres, Soccer, Football, World Cup, DFB,DFB-Pokal,DFBpokal, FCB, FC Bayern, FC Bayern München, Germany, Sponsoring, German Engineering, Conti Stars, WC Tickets, World Cup Tickets, Tickets, FIFA Partner
Toni Kroos showed he is in outstanding form against FC Valencia when scoring for Munich in the 2-1 win. He was also on the score sheet in the 2-0 away win against Schalke. (Photo: Firo/Augenklick)

Müller admitted that the club’s excellent squad of players has given him a boost. “One is under pressure to succeed but the pressure is, if anything, helpful for my performances.” Another German international in top form is, according to Heynckes, also better because his rivals are breathing down his neck. Toni Kroos has to be continually “reminded that it’s not just about stroking the ball around.” The 21-year-old has taken Heynckes’ preachings to heart. He hit the back of the net three times in the three games against  Mainz, Valencia and Schalke.