Is the Bundesliga in danger of becoming far too boring?
After Bayern Munich pulverised Borussia Dortmund 6-0, the question arises as to whether the Bundesliga is too one-sided to be considered a great league. The ability to draw in neutrals to watch German games from afar would be reduced towards the end of the season if the biggest team, Munich, are playing dead-rubber fixtures having sewn up the title way in advance.
Some may point to the Premier League this season, and say it is the same with Manchester City who can wrap up the title with victory over rivals Manchester United on Saturday with five games left to play after that.
However, the difference is that City will be the fourth different team to win the English league in the time that Bayern Munich have won the last five (soon to be six) Bundesliga trophies. Of course one of these Premier League titles was lifted by Leicester City, which generated so much interest and enthusiasm because it was so unexpected.
In contrast, the Bundesliga is in danger of becoming as predictable as The Scottish Premiership in terms of guessing who will finish top of the pile before a ball is kicked. Celtic have won the last six Scottish titles and are currently 12 points clear of Rangers with a game in hand.
This is very similar to Bayern’s recent domestic trophy haul, yet Jupp Heynckes’ side are in an even healthier position right now; a lead of 17 points from second-placed Schalke. This sheer dominance is furthered when noticing a goal difference of 39 between the league-leaders and their nearest challengers.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) 1 April 2018
Pundits and fans alike will have to look elsewhere when looking for some late-season drama as the race for the top-four and the battle to avoid the drop are extremely close to call in contrast. For example, just six points separate Dortmund in third from Hoffenheim in seventh.
From a spectator’s point of view, a tight battle between those competing for a league title is what makes a season so exhilarating to watch. Think Sergio Aguero versus QPR at the Etihad in 2012 or Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp in 2014. Such moments of drama are why we love the Beautiful Game so much.
This is not to say the current Bayern Munich and Manchester City sides cannot be admired for their footballing artistry and skill. It is just that the league can almost fizzle out when the Champions have been confirmed so far in advance.
Nevertheless, it is an opportunity to promote young players and concentrate on other trophies such as the small matter of the Champions League.