July: A Confident Start...
If our season turns out like our pre-season has then we are in for a very successful season full of silverware at the end. The draw against Metalist was a strange one. All the new signings were given their debut and it was clear from their performances that they would need time to gel into the new club and my style of football. The only concern I had in the game was that I had made pre-season too long, which meant that the players had hardly any time to rest. My justification for this was that the new players would get time to settle in in preparation for the season ahead. It did mean however that by the end of the Metalist game, the lads were shattered. I took the decision to cancel two of the friendlies in between this one and Zenit in order to give the team chance to recuperate which is what they need to desperately do.
This decision was justified by the result against Zenit as we hammered them in front of the FC Bayern München faithful. We dominated the game from start to finish with new signing Giampiero Rinaldi not taking any time in opening his FC Bayern München goal scoring account. A number of youngsters were given a chance in the next game, which was a very strange one but one that became all too familiar last season. At one point against GroBaspach we had led the game 5-1 so how it ended up 6-3 when there had only been seven minutes left to play is beyond me. It was clear that I would need to settle on a regular back line of defence who would get use to playing with each other. If I was to do this, then surely we would plug the leak at the back which had cost us some points last season.
The trip to America had to be cut short too due to fatigue but it is another decision that I don’t regret. We had intended to do a tour of the U.S.A but the players needed the rest and with the Super Cup match up against HSV fast approaching, it was clear that they needed a time out. It was another decision vindicated as we beat D.C. United and then went on to get my next piece of silverware with FC Bayern München. It was a very comfortable game that saw a lot of the retained players starting the game. The only new player who started the game Olivier Richard, who in the other games during pre-season, had put in some excellent performances in the central attacking midfield position. I cannot see anyone else in the side budging him out of this position as he has just been outstanding. I have to pat myself on the back for that signing! My hopes for the season are to simply win every competition that we compete in. I usually don’t care about the domestic cup competitions; however, we did not get knocked out very early on last year so I would like to make amends for that disappointment. I hope I can come back to you at the end of the season and say we won the lot and that FC Bayern München really are the future of football.