A lot has been written about Bayern Munich summer signing Sadio Mané and his suitability in the Bavarian’s line-up, but Sport 1 journalist Alex Steudel has taken the use of idioms to the extreme by saying the Senegalese fits into Bayern like ‘tofu in white sausage’.
Mané arrived at Bayern from Liverpool with a huge reputation but was really on a hiding to nothing from the start. Whatever he did, he was never going to be a like-for-like replacement for Robert Lewandowski and there was always going to be a period of readjustment- both for Mané and Bayern.
However, Steudel believes it more a case of right player, wrong club despite eight goals in 15 games so far this season in all competitions. “The man fits into the Bayern team like tofu in white sausage,” he wrote. “Mane messes everything up.
“Sometimes he plays on the left and, of all people, pushes Leroy Sane to the right, sometimes he plays in the centre of the attack, where he is hopelessly overwhelmed. Mane is the field walker who never arrives.
“And it’s been like this all the time, but nobody says it out loud: Mane for Lewandowski – who actually came up with this nonsense? He’s only playing because Serge Gnabry’s in trouble and Kingsley Coman was first suspended and then injured – and sometimes when Sane kindly swerved to the right.
“With Mane, the Bayern attack is in constant imbalance. Everyone can see it. The result: Worst start to the season since 2010. Mane is not solely responsible, but he bears a fair share of the blame.”
According to reports Mané is Bayern’s top earner on a whopping €22 million per year, but he is by no means their top performer. Many of his goals this season have come in hammerings against lesser teams (Bochum, Plzen) and he has struggled in the Bundesliga. In the defeat to Bochum Manuel Neuer had more efforts on target!
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann believes the striker will come good. “The performance is the responsibility of the coaching team to get him where we want him to be. To put you in the best position, in the process – and in the end it’s the player’s job to implement that.
“In the end he has to help implement the plan, then he is a great support. In the end, it’s the player’s job to implement what the coach tells him to do. Then he will quickly find his way back to top form, I’m in good spirits.”
The truth is Bayern Munich as a club are deeply ingrained with having a goalscoring number 9 in the traditional sense. Lewandowski is the shadow being cast over Mané, but down the years Bayern fans have been used to the likes of Mario Mandzuckic, Giovane Elber, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Gerd Müller to name just a few.
If you are comparing Mané with Lewandowski (or any of the others mentioned) then he is tofu to their Wurst, but Bayern need to realise what Mané is, not what he is not.
The tofu/ sausage comparison is harsh, but there are some valid points behind it. Mané is a different type of sausage- not Weißwurst in the traditional Bavarian style, but quality sausage nonetheless.