You can subscribe to the Totally Football Show here…
In all the discussion about football returning, the strangeness of watching games behind closed doors and Bayern Munich’s relentless trudge to another Bundesliga title, it’s been easy to forget the rest of the world, and the power that football holds as part of wider society.
But events in America over the last few days, weeks and months ultimately couldn’t be ignored, and thankfully a few players didn’t in Germany this weekend.
Jadon Sancho celebrated the first of his three goals for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn by removing his shirt to reveal ‘Justice for George Floyd’ written across his undershirt. Marcus Thuram, son of Lilian, followed up one of his two goals for Borussia Monchengladbach by kneeling on the turf. And Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband featuring the inscription ‘Justice for George’.
“It was a weekend most notable for goal celebrations, and the importance and cultural relevance of them,” said Daniel Storey on this week’s Totally Football Show.
“It’s really pleasing to see these very young footballers who clearly have a sense of world awareness and a real duty or sense of responsibility to force change, or at least raise awareness of wider cultural issues.”
As for the football this weekend in the Bundesliga, Bayern took another step towards the title with a 5-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf that maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the table, while Dortmund took a while to get going but scored all their goals in the second-half as they beat Paderborn 6-1.
Daniel Storey said: “One of the things I’ve noticed [since the return of the Bundesliga] when teams play Borussia Dortmund and Bayern, there does seem a sense of once the first one or maybe two goals go in, a very obvious deflation and a [sense of] ‘right, let’s play this game at half-pace now, because we’re not going to push ourselves.’
“Teams seem to be thinking “we’re not going to get anything out of this game” and the effort it’s going to take to try isn’t worth it.”
Hansi Flick became the first Bayern manager to win 22 of his first 25 games in charge – better even than Pep Guardiola’s start there, and as James Richardson pointed out, they will surely be favourites to win the Champions League, if and when that starts up again. Bayern won the first leg of their second round game 3-0 at Chelsea.
“The key thing for the Champions League will be physical preparation and what shape teams are in,” Michael Cox said.
“It’s worth pointing out that the Bundesliga sides have actually only got five games remaining of this season, whereas the Premier League teams have nine or ten. It could be a situation where Bayern come into it a lot fresher than everyone else. I think that’s going to play a big role in how those remaining ties go.”
You can listen to the latest edition of the Totally Football Show here, and even better you can subscribe here. If you wish to reproduce any of the material in this article or from the podcast you are very welcome to, but please credit The Totally Football Show and include this link.