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Sport

Talking-points from the Bundesliga weekend

(Reuters) - Talking-points from the Bundesliga weekend:

FILE PHOTO: FC Schalke 04 Photocall - Gelsenkirchen, Germany - July 12, 2017 Schalke 04's Alexander Nuebel during the official team picture at the Veltins Arena REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

NUEBEL’S TALENT BEING WASTED A BAYERN?

Alexander Nuebel is one of Germany’s most promising young goalkeepers yet on Sunday the 23-year-old did not even make Bayern Munich’s squad for the 4-1 defeat by Hoffenheim, raising the question: why did Bayern sign him in the first place?

Nuebel established himself as Schalke 04’s first-choice goalkeeper last season but in January agreed that, at the end of the season, he would join Bayern.

Yet, Bayern already boasted arguably the world’s top goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, with Sven Ulreich firmly established as his understudy. In May, Neuer extended his contract for another three seasons.

At the time, Bayern issued a statement describing Nuebel as “one of the best young goalkeeper in Europe and an important player for the future of our team.”

It could be argued that the move highlights the power of big clubs who can hoard talented players, preventing them from playing from smaller rivals, and the flaws in the transfer system which allow this to happen.

Bayern are already disliked by many because of their habit of picking off their rivals’ best players.

Coach Hansi Flick said after Sunday’s game that Nuebel was still in the settling-in phase and Ulreich was chosen as the reserve “because he knows our philosophy.” Meanwhile, Nuebel’s talent seems to be going to waste.

DABBUR’S HOURS IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION PAY DIVIDENDS

Hoffenheim forward Munas Dabbur had not played in the Bundesliga before this season but he was watched plenty of it and his hours in front of the television paid off with his goal in the 4-1 win over Bayern Munich.

Dabbur chipped the ball over Neuer for their second goal, a decision he said he made before the game based on his observations of the Bayern goalkeeper.

“Like everyone, I watch a lot of Bayern games,” he said. “I watch and see how difficult it is to score against (Neuer).

“A lot of strikers try to put the ball at his feet where he is very good. In my head before the game I was trying to focus, I thought that if I had a one-on-one situation I would try the chip.”

NO OBVIOUS REPLACEMENTS FOR WAGNER AT SCHALKE

Schalke 04 became the first Bundesliga team to part company with their coach when David Wagner was sacked after two games and the Royal Blues seem to have no obvious candidate for his replacement.

“It’s not about the big names. It’s about what type of coach this team needs,” said sporting director Jochen Schneider. “That is what we are scanning the candidates for. When it comes to the decision, quality comes before speed.”

Some names which have been mentioned include Manuel Baum, who coached Augsburg for three seasons in the Bundesliga, and Ralf Rangnick, a former Schalke coach and sporting director.

Frenchman Valerien Ismael, who last season coach Austrian side LASK Linz, is another potential candidate. Whoever it is will have a huge job, with Schalke winless in 18 league games.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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