As the VfL Wolfsburg bus pulled away from the Allianz Arena late last night after coming within inches of securing an unlikely 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich, everyone on board would have undoubtedly felt sick.
Not because they would have subtracted food poisoning from the elegant pre-match banquet put on by the hosts in the face of the official Bundesliga opening party, but because they came within inches of ruining the occasion.
Although Bayern were initially 2-0 up and looking exceptionally comfortable with 40 minutes of the second half left to play, Wolfsburg inevitably like so many teams before them finished the game knowing that they could have beaten the German champions.
Wolves retreat with regrets
Striker, Ivica Olic, once of Bayern, pulled one back with an exceptional effort from just outside the box, which flew quite spectacularly past a stranded Manuel Neuer. Late on substitute Junior Malanda somehow spurned a glorious chance to equalise with the opposition goal gaping wide at his mercy.
Bayern were teased and tormented in the second half, and the only thing which saved them from suffering the hammer blow and facing a stern media inquiry in the face of losing their opening fixture, billed as a must win, was the fact that Wolfsburg failed to implement the end result.
Wolfsburg missed out because big name striker to take advantage of midfield creativity, (no offence to the absent Lord Nicklas Bendtner) who could have made things exceptionally ugly and embarrassing for Bayern by finishing of the chances which they should have scored with their current attack.
Summer of frustration searching for a striker
Although the Wolves have spent over €70 million on new recruits during the last two transfer windows, they have only managed to one striker for free, in the name of one Bendtner, whilst at the same time indulging in new midfielders.
Don’t get me wrong, Wolfsburg did the best thing by strengthening their previously shaky midfield by spending just under €40m to acquire the services of Luis Gustavo and Kevin De Bruyne from both Bayern and Chelsea respectively, but they have neglected their attack.
At the grand age of 34, Olic has gone around the block more times than you can wave a stick at, and despite scoring a fantastic goal yesterday, looked rather sluggish alone up-front, whilst Dutchman Bas Dost only managed to score four goals in 13 Bundesliga appearances last season.
Bendtner not the answer
To then add Bendtner who became something of a joke in England, for all the wrong reasons will unlikely be able to solve the club’s long-time striker crisis.
Once were the days when Wolfsburg were able to call upon the services of the “dream team” a phrase coined to describe the dated attacking partnership of Edin Dzeko and Grafite who together single-handily gifted the Greens their first ever Bundesliga title in 2009.
The formidable partnership which originally dated back to 2007 managed to help themselves to 54 of the 80 goals scored by Wolfsburg in their title winning 2008-09 campaign, an incredible statistic which showed the Greens off as the ultimate attacking machine.
However, since the air departed for Manchester City and United Arab Emirates side Al-Ahli respectively, the former East German outfit have struggled to sign strikers of a similar calibre, thus opting for cheaper and safer bets.
Champions League a realistic target
From Friday’s performance it is obvious to see that Wolfsburg do mean business as they set their targets on finishing in the top three whilst also qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in four years.
However, to do this in a League where clubs have to heavily rely on their strikers to score the goals needed to finish in a favourable position come the end of the season, Wolfsburg will have to spend a decent amount of money to land a frontman.
It is proven that Hecking’s side who are heavily subsidised by German car manufactures, Volkswagen, have the money to sign a quality striker, but they have often stuck their nose up to the crème dela crème of the attacking world on a few too many occasions.
Could Podolski provide the answer?
In the past two seasons alone, Wolfsburg have been linked with the likes of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea misfit, Fernando Torres, but only to at the last moment go against these signings.
The Volkswagen Arena outfit are in definite need of a striker with a proven goal-record and every single Wolfsburg fan are no doubt hoping that they will sign the next big frontman that they have been rumoured with.
Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski is the next big name that the Bundesliga outfit have been linked with, and although the World Cup champion is not the most prolific of goal-scorers, at just €10m he could be a bargain.
Although with time running out and the transfer-market closing next Sunday, it will be interesting to see if the Greens do indeed sign the striker they have been craving years for.
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