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Is Rensing good enough to replace Kahn at Bayern?

September 23, 2008

Rensing reaction

I’ve blogged before about the wealth of youngish goalkeeping talent in the Bundesliga, a list headed by Rene Adler at Bayer Leverkusen, Manuel Neuer at Schalke and Bayern Munich’s new number one Michael Rensing.

While Adler remains first choice in Leverkusen, and Neuer will certainly regain the gloves from the 19-year-old Ralf Faehrmann as soon as he’s fit, Juergen Klinsmann might just be getting a bit worried about Rensing, who had a shocker in Bayern’s 5-2 defeat at home to Werder Bremen at the weekend.

Rensing was anointed as Oliver Kahn’s successor as long ago as 2004, when at the age of 19 he made his Bundesliga debut in a 1-0 win over Hamburg. From then on he made occasional appearances as cover for Kahn and always acquitted himself at least decently, and sometimes very well indeed.

When Kahn finally retired at the end of last season there was no debate at the club, Rensing would be the number one, but the transition has not been a smooth one.

His record of never having appeared on the losing side for Bayern in 27 previous Bundesliga games came to an end with a series of comical errors against Bremen but even before then (just see the Champions League game against Steaua Bucharest) it was becoming clear that his greater agility is not going to make up for the loss of Kahn’s great presence.

Klinsmann has pledged his support to Rensing and no one expects the coach to take drastic action any time soon. Still, Klinsmann’s decision to bring in the former Leverkusen keeper Hans-Joerg Butt as cover is starting to look an ever more sensible move.

PHOTO: Michael Rensing reacts during Bayern’s humiliating defeat by Werder Bremen in Munich, September 20, 2008. REUTERS/Alexandra Beier

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