There are quite a few exciting match-ups in the Bundesliga this weekend, but the best might be the Friday Night Football taking place in Mainz today.
Bayern Munich travel to the Rhineland in the rare position where they’re the ones who are attempting to keep pace with the leaders. Bayern’s recent slip-up against Dortmund allowed Leipzig to take over first.
Carlo Ancelotti has been criticized quite a bit in his opening season of Bayern. eIt’s harsh because a crisis for them is anything other than being top of the table. But still this is a big game for Ancelotti to show that Bayern truly are back on the right track.
And now on to today’s links.
According to Kicker, Dortmund will play a friendly against third division club Rot-Weiß Erfurt in January.
The match will take place on the 22nd, which is odd timing. The Bundesliga re-starts up after the winter break on the 21st, when BVB will be in action against Werder Bremen. So it’s highly doubtful that any first team players will take part in this friendly.
Reportedly the friendly is to commemorate the opening of Erfurt’s new stadium. The two teams last met in a friendly in July 2012 which Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund won 4-0.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan praised Thomas Tuchel in a piece for The Players’ Tribune.
There wasn’t much in Mkhi’s article about Dortmund, but there was one relevant passage.
I had many hard nights in my apartment in Dortmund, all alone, just thinking and thinking. I didn’t want to go outside, even to have dinner. But, as I said, fate can be interesting. A new manager, Thomas Tuchel, came to Dortmund before my third season, and he changed everything for me.
He came to me and said, “Listen, I want to get everything out of you.”
I was kind of smiling and laughing, because I thought he was just trying to make me feel better. I was doubting his words.
But he looked at me very seriously, and said, “Micki, you are going to be great.”
That meant everything to me. After the season I had, I didn’t think I could be a star. But he did it. He got everything out of me that season, and it was because I was happy again.
It was very nice of Mkhi, or whoever wrote this pretending to be Mkhi, to single out Tuchel. Mkhitaryan’s improvement from Year 1 at Dortmund to Year 3 was incredible.
He did well to make the best of a bad start at BVB, and for his sake I hope he can do the same at Manchester United.