Trying to wrestle a Bundesliga title away from the giants of Bayern Munich is a hard enough task when you are a really good side, but its a nearly impossible task when you’re a distracted side. One needs to only look at what’s happening to preseason Bundesliga title contenders, Wolfsburg, for proof of that.
With star player, and reigning Bundesliga player of the year, Kevin de Bruyne, the subject of constant rumors of a move to English Premier League side Manchester City, Wolfsburg’s 2015-16 season has gotten off to a rocky start at best.
A 2-1 win over mid-table club Eintracht Frankfurt in round 1 of the Bundesliga seemed uninspired at best for a Wolfsburg club that finished on 69 points last season and blistered the league with 72 total goals in 34 matches.
Further evidence came this weekend, as FC Köln held Wolfsburg to a 1-1 draw. Once again, de Bruyne and Wolfsburg looked wholly uninspired in the tie and it even got Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs to admit de Bruyne’s transfer rumors as a distraction for this side.
“It’s true, of course, that it’s having an effect on us,” Allofs told Sky Sport Deutschland, via ESPN. “But we must not start to complain.”
Allofs laid down the law following the game, making it known publicly that this distraction can’t be an excuse to the players or club as a whole.
“I will not accept that as an excuse. We have got to learn how to deal with these disturbances and this uncertainty.”
However, the uncertainty that Allofs speaks of is something of his own doing. Yes, the transfer window closes at the end of this upcoming weekend, but why does this transfer saga have to go down to the final days or hours?
de Bruyne has admitted to mental fatigue, having to deal with the constant rumors and pressure surrounding this potential move. Again, a self-inflicted wound for de Bruyne and his agents. If the player wanted to not have the stress or mental distraction either he can tell his team to sign the deal and get it done now or to tell Manchester City “thanks, but no thanks.”
It all feels like both sides are creating their own problem there, but there’s a simple solution to all of it — either sell de Bruyne for a crazy amount to Manchester City or simply stop it all by stating he is not for sale anymore.
Clearly the uncertainty surrounding de Bruyne’s status isn’t helping Wolfsburg’s chances of chasing down Bayern Munich, as the side sits fifth in the Bundesliga standings on 4 points and has eeked out just three goals in that time.
For a side used to scoring plenty, giving up few and winning a lot, this uninspired start is not very “Wolfsburg-like” if you will. Until the de Bruyne saga is settled, this club will continue to be unsettled on and off the pitch.