FC Bayern Munich (FCB) suffered through a tough season in the 2010/2011 campaign. The club had to deal with major injuries to both Franck Ribbery and Arjen Robben. Both players missed multiple games of the season and are key players for FCB. FCB also lost captain Mark vanBommel during the winter transfer window to A.C. Milan. The final lose for FCB came with only a few matches left in the season as coach Louis van Gaal was relieved of his duties with the club. Van Gaal had lead the club to the Bundesliga title in the 2009/2010 season and the Champions league final in the same season. Yet the clubs poor form and the early exit from the Champions league was his undoing in the 2010/2011 season. At the time of his release FCB was not even in a qualifying spot for the Champions league. The Champions league final being held in Munich in the 2011/2012 season put added pressure on Van Gaal.
For the 2011/2012 season FCB secured the services of Jupp Heynckes the former coach of Bayer Leverkusen. As the coach of Bayer Leverkusen in the 2010/2011 season Heynckes lead the team to a second place finish in the Bundesliga. FCB also secued the services of the best goal keeper in Germany, Manuel Neuer. Neuer was secured during the summer transfer window from Schalke 04, where Neuer had a 20 year career. That is right a 20 year career. Neuer was signed by Schalke 04 at the age of 5 and split time between their first and second team. FCB out bid Manchester United for the best keeper on the market during the summer transfer window.
Heading into this new season the club will be looking to rebound from what is viewed as a poor season last year. Even though the club finished strong and was able to qualify for the Champions League. Hopefully FCB will be able to make the Champions League final and play in-front of the home crowd in Munich! The Bundesliga will be just as tough this year or tougher than last year. Borussia Dortmund has looked strong in the preseason and looked outstanding in their opening game. The Borussians will not want to just give away the title that they won last year.
FCB has a squad full of experienced and talented players that are ready to take back the title. There is already some question about Franck Ribbery's health in the preseason. Hopefully Ribbery will become fit soon and the Frenchman will be back causing problems down the flanks for FCB. Thomas Muller has looked great during the preseason, the tactics of Heyckes have seemed to free up Muller to play a more open game. Look for Muller to have a big increase in both goals and assists this years for FCB. The club will do great this year and look to compete for all trophies. The first game of the season was a minor blip on the radar and nothing of major concern. Take heart FCB fans, the Bavarian Giants will do fine this season!
*To the Ends of the Earth*