To say Mario Götze hasn’t really shown anything in Bayern Munich uniform so far would be an understatement, but there’s just too much talent between the young German’s feet to hide for much longer, and now that the injures have wore off, suddenly the European champions find themselves with a player who doesn’t need more than a second to set up the likes of Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic with easy scoring opportunities.
Götze came on in the second half as Bayern Munich were finding their way after a sluggish first half performance, trailing 1-0 against Mainz. It ended in a 4-1 victory, with Götze finishing with two assists and providing most of the build up in another goal in his best 45 minutes this season.
It wasn’t all on him that Bayern managed to come back. Guardiola made the right changes by putting in David Alaba for Dante, creating a much more attacking side, especially down the flanks. Götze himself came on for Rafinha, pushing Philipp Lahm back to his original right back position, and simply creating an overload of attacking players in the midfled, orchastrated wonderfully by Bastian Schweinsteiger, recently celebrating his 100th cap for Germany and Götze himself, getting excellent response and movement from the front trio of Mandzukic, Robben and Alaba.
Although it did look like Bayern Munich had the complete team last year, Mario Götze is something they haven’t seen before, at least not playing for them. Thomas Muller can play the attacking midfielder role, and so can Toni Kroos or even Franck Ribery. But Götze is completely different in his skills set. He doesn’t have the long range shooting and defensive abilities of Kroos, nor does he possess the versatility and off the ball movement of Muller. But he has the kind of magic that made Bayern give up so much money for him, not to mention being the best passer on the team by far.
More headaches for Pep Guardiola in choosing his lineup? What manager wouldn’t give up an arm and a leg to have these kind of selection problems, although it won’t be surprising to see some egos being hurt and affected at some point. Arjen Robben felt insulted because Thomas Muller took the penalty kick, as things can’t go down completely quietly at FC Hollywood. But this is nothing new at Bayern, who have won championships and European titles with players fighting each other behind closed doors. Out on the field, it seems that their talent and professionalism trumps everything.
Götze isn’t going to enjoy the status he had at Dortmund. Bayern is a much bigger pond with big fish as well, and Götze is just another cog in the Pep Guardiola machine. However, even if it has taken him some time to find his place in the team that once again can’t stop winning and doing it with style, at least for some part of the match, there’s no doubt that Götze has the talent to make it big on Europe’s (currently) best team, and even become a leading player for them in a very short time.