It seems only five minutes ago that the Bundesliga season ended, and with a brand new set of Bayern Munich preseason friendlies kicking off in the coming days, a fresh butterfly effect is about to be set in motion.
Love or hate pre-season tours, this is always a crucial time for any club. With the dying moments of 2022/23 being a prime example, consider the fine margins by which some title races are won and lost. Would Bayern now be targeting a 12th straight Bundesliga title had they slacked off in pre-season? It’s very doubtful.
Without a good pre-season, who can honestly say that Jamal Musiala would still have mustered that extra yard of stamina to score an 89th-minute championship winner against Cologne in May?
Of course, pre-season is also a vital part of any big club’s agenda when it comes to maintaining an international presence. More than ever, consistent participation in so-called ‘friendly’ tournaments can have a positive commercial impact. They range widely, from increasingly generous prize pots to finding an under-the-radar superstar, or even attracting financial interest from abroad.
Granted, Bayern Munich aren’t in desperate need of such perks, and they look set to enjoy dictating terms in the Bundesliga for generations. Yet, success invariably breeds success in any setting, and a few friendly wins can only boost morale ahead of the opener against Werder Bremen on August 18.
So what can be expected from Thomas Tuchel’s charges in Japan and Singapore, and the opposition that lies in wait?