We continue our Interviews with football personalities this week as the Chief Editor of the award winning website bundesligafanatic.com, Cristian Nyari, answers some of our questions on the Bundesliga and German football in general. Besides his work on Bundesliga Fanatic (which recently won the European Blogging Award for the ‘Best Niche’ website), he also devotes his time as a reporter/writer for Goal.com’s International version and as an Opta Analyst. Recently he even wrote his first piece for the New York Times Soccer Blog ‘Goal’. You can follow Cristian on twitter
@Cnyari and his terrific website @Bundesliga4u.
Dortmund have won the last two Bundesliga titles, while Bayern have always been challenging, including running away with the title this season. Do you think the Bundesliga will continue to face a period of domination from these two?
Most probably, yes. But that shouldn’t necessarily be interpreted as a lack of competitiveness or a duopoly ala Spain. There is a hierarchy of power/success/influence in every major league or in sports for that matter and the same is true with Germany. You just have to look at the rest of the table and how close things are in the race for the final Champions League and other European spots. 6-7 teams can realistically qualify for Europe at this stage of the season and it’s like this every year. And it’s also good for the league as a whole for two or three clubs to consistently play in and do well in Europe so in that sense Dortmund and Bayern’s “dominance” will benefit German football.
Speaking of Bayern and domination, the current side have broken tons of records and are largely regarded as the strongest team in Europe at the moment. Is this title-winning side the best Bundesliga team of all time?
You can definitely make an argument for it although I would probably lean more towards “best individual season” as opposed to best team of all time. They still have a few years to go to match the great Bayern of the 1970’s who were successful domestically and internationally and consistently so. If Bayern can keep this level up in the next two years though they have a legitimate claim to that.
Schalke, Leverkusen, Werder Bremen are all teams that have been solid in the Bundesliga, threatening to challenge for the title and/or doing well in European competition, which team other than Dortmund and Bayern can you see winning the title in the near future, or indeed, mounting a serious challenge?
It’s hard to say because Bayern and Dortmund are a couple of levels ahead of the other but you never know. Stuttgart and Wolfsburg won unexpectedly without necessarily having better squads than some teams around them.
Football comes and goes in cycles and Bayern and Dortmund will weaken at one point or another but in the foreseeable future I can’t see any team in the league beat them to the title. Again, that’s not an indictment on the quality of the league because Bayern and Dortmund are no longer just German powers but two of the 5 best teams in Europe at the moment in my opinion.
There have been a couple of inconsistent champions as you’ve mentioned, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart, who have won the title but finished poorly in their defense season, why do you suppose that is?
Lack of money, foresight, management. It’s always a combination of several factors. Stuttgart slowly started losing some of their key players of that season like Pardo, Meira, Hitzlsperger and even Veh while their big money transfers didn’t pan out (Schäfer, Gebhart, Marica).
Wolfsburg were similar. They lost their three best players very soon after they won the league. Quality was concentrated, for Stuttgart anyways, and not easily replaceable when you have a tight budget and trying to break even. Wolfsburg had the budget but made poor managerial decisions. It’s really a matter of having a vision and long term plan and that has sometimes been lacking in the league for some teams but I believe it is something that is also gradually improving throughout.
We at OOTB regularly publish comprehensive Scout Reports on young talented footballers, who according to you (besides the obvious choices) is worth looking at?
I think Max Meyer at Schalke is a player to keep an eye on next season. He got his debut this year and he’ll get much more playing time next season. I am also looking forward to seeing more of Saed Kolasinac at Schalke and Antonio Rüdiger at Stuttgart.
It has been a promising season for the Bundesliga this season in the Champions League, and the rest of Europe is finally taking notice. Do you think the league has the capabilities of becoming the best league in Europe and staying there?
I think it’s already close and in some aspects it is already the best. But football fluctuates and and leagues/teams are always on the rise and decline. What is in the Bundesliga’s favor is its responsible financial and business models which will help it through the several financial regulations that will appear throughout Europe in the coming years. That alone will keep the league competitive in Europe. Along with its great youth development, which I think is the best in Europe at the moment.
Bayern Munich appointing Pep Guardiola is a win for the entire league. He will definitely aim to attract the best players into Germany. But where does the rest of the league stand, in your opinion, in its ability to compete in the transfer market?
I think the Bundesliga will always have to accept that its success will come internally rather than spending. Hence the emphasis on youth development and the academy system. I also think it’s the best choice in the current climate. Guardiola will offer a lot to the league in terms of creating a competitive atmosphere and new ideas but I don’t think that means the discrepancy between Bayern and the rest will have a negative effect on the league’s quality.
Germany also boasts one of the most exciting national teams, and prides itself on this. What according to you is more detrimental to the league- German players being tempted by offers abroad, or foreigners joining the domestic league?
Neither to be honest. I think it benefits German players to challenge themselves and go play in the best leagues. Özil and Khedira have grown tremendously in their time with Madrid and so would any of the young players coming up in the league right now.
And foreign players coming into the league would never threaten it in any way. The influx of Japanese players has actually made it better. It’s about quality control and maintaining your principles and a vision. German clubs continue to invest in their youth and in their scouting and the right balance there is the key to long term success.
A bit premature, but given the quality of the nation team, and past performances, what are the chances of Germany winning the World Cup? And who would you identify as the key personnel to do so?
I think the chances are as good as any. I think Spain will still be favorites with Brazil and Argentina, but Germany are right up there and always improving because of the constant integration of young talent. Brazil 2014 may come a bit too soon but with most national teams in transition it should be one of the most competitive competitions in a long time in my opinion.
Löw needs to continue to find the right balance between attack and defense, that has been a major shortcoming of the team in the last couple of years which is continually exploited. If he can do that Germany can go all the way next year.
Even though German teams are doing well now, and historically, there have been some legendary teams & players to come through, Bundesliga sides don’t garner the same attention and interest globally as compared to English & Spanish sides. What can be done to improve this?
It’s all about exposure and success. Winning is a simple way to get that and Germany have come close in the last two decades but never matched their peak or past success whereas other leagues have, at least at club level, been successful consistently in the last decade or two. The other leagues have the advantage of lucrative TV deals and marketing deals outside Europe whereas the Bundesliga is still catching up.
Bayern and Dortmund performing well in the Champions League and the continuing improvement of the national team should help that though because the tide in football seems to continue to tilt Germany’s way and networks outside Europe will pick up on that gradually.
Bundesligafanatic.com is one of the most respected Bundesliga sites around right now. What advice would you give to any blogger who is willing to popularise their site further.
Well, thank you for the kind words first of all. I really appreciate that. We’re grateful to have built such an extensive reach and audience in the last couple of years, it speaks of the quality of the subject and our contributors.
As for advice, I think the most important thing in writing or pursuing a passion is to stay true to oneself and why you got into it in the first place. If you lose sight of that it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose perspective. Hard work is of course a big part of it. To improve in anything, you have to continue working at it. In writing, reading as much as you can helps a great deal and in the world of online media it’s all about synergy and communication. Interact with your audience and build relationships with them and your peers and you will get the recognition you deserve.
100 to Watch
Interview: Brandon Fernandes on experiencing football outside India, a longer ISL, and FC Goa’s upcoming campaign
Outside of the Boot gets the chance to sit down with FC Goa’s talented midfielder, Brandon Fernandes There’s been a lot...
Scout Report: Steven Bergwijn | PSV Eindhoven’s rising star
Wang Yulin takes a look at PSV’s exciting Dutch attacker Steven Bergwijn When you think of the team ‘PSV Eindhoven’,...
Hanoi FC: The Vietnamese Champions struggling to connect with the locals
Trong Nhan Doan looks at the peculiar case of Hanoi FC Most of the time, the most successful team is...
Expected Goals: A Pioneering Method of Analysing Football
The Football Code has a look at expected goals, a new metric set to revolutionize statistics-based analysis of football Football...
Tactical Analysis: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid | Clash of two organised sides
Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week La Liga clash that ended Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid The clash of two organized...
Tactical Analysis: Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich | Ancelotti’s men secure hard fought win
Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week Bundesliga match that ended Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich. Schalke: Fahrmann, Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic, Caliguri, McKennie...
2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 5 Young Keepers – Edition 1
Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe, with those featuring in...
Déjà vu on Tyneside: Why Newcastle are being left short-changed by familiar failings
Jeffrey Gamby-Boulger looks critically at Newcastle’s repeated failings in recent years and why Mike Ashley is the root of those problems. ‘It’s the same...
Hipster Guide 2017-18: UEFA Europa League | Part Two
Oliver McManus takes us on a journey through some of the more obscure parts of Europe as he tells us...
Tactical Philosophy: Leonardo Jardim
While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...
Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Pietro Pellegri and Joshua Kimmich feature
A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...
Tactical Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City | Tottenham’s half space focus against Swansea’s compact block
Ryan Tank provides a tactical analysis of the Premier League game that finished Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City Tottenham attacked...
Scout Report: Maxwel Cornet | Lyon’s latest starlet
Josh Sippie breaks down Maxwel Cornet, Lyon’s dynamic attacker. Olympique Lyon just have a knack for plucking supremely talented youth...
Scout Report: Marcos Llorente | Real Madrid’s young midfielder
Karan Tejwani provides the lowdown on Real Madrid’s talented midfielder, Marcos Llorente. Real Madrid have made smart purchases from Spanish...
Scout Report: Eddie Nketiah | Arsenal’s academy talent
Josh Sippie takes a look at highly-rated Arsenal academy striker Eddie Nketiah. Arsenal’s youth ranks are always going to be...
Scout Report: Douglas Luiz | Girona’s skilful midfielder
Anderson Moura analyses Girona’s (via Manchester City) talented Brazilian, Douglas Luiz. When Pep Guardiola accepted the Manchester City job, he...
Tactical Analysis: RB Leipzig 1-1 AS Monaco | Dynamism and the 4-4-2
Kaushik Goswami tactically analyses the 1-1 draw between RB Leipzig and AS Monaco in the Champions League With most of...
Tactical Analysis: Nice 4-0 Monaco | Favre’s efficient approach
Ross Eaton has a look at the Ligue 1 clash between defending champions Monaco and fellow title challengers, Nice. After...
Scout Report: Bartlomiej Dragowski | Fiorentina’s talented Pole
Josh Sippie breaks down Fiorentina’s talented Pole, Bartlomiej Dragowski. It’s funny how different nations are renowned for their ability to...
Scout Report: Mikel Merino | Newcastle’s dynamic Spaniard
Josh Sippie lays down the law on Newcastle’s metronomic Spaniard, Mikel Merino. Borussia Dortmund are another one of those teams...
Talent Radar Award History
Subscribe via Email
Young Player Rankings 17-18
More on Outside of the Boot
Specials3 weeks ago
Analysis: Mourinho’s Manchester United defence and the 4-4-2
Talent Radar1 month ago
La Liga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Opinions4 weeks ago
FC Barcelona and their Transfer Recruitment Circus
Tactical Analysis3 weeks ago
Tactical Analysis: Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal | Klopp Exposes Wenger’s Stubbornness
100 to Watch in 20179 months ago
100 Best Young Players to Watch in 2017 | Part 5 | Midfielders
Talent Radar1 month ago
Serie A’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Talent Radar1 month ago
Bundesliga’s 10 Young Breakthrough Players to Watch in 2017-18
Tactical Analysis1 month ago
Tactical Analysis: Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona | Real’s Pressing Excellence