Bayern Munich started their season off with a flyer. They dismantled the likes of Frankfurt and Leipzig when everyone thought they would change without Lewandowski. But the first two games once again made an impression that the Bavarians would be their usual self. But recent results show much more than that. They have drawn their last 3 Bundesliga games. The only win came against a Barcelona side that ran over them in the first half. Any team other than rebuilding Barcelona, it would have been curtained down for the Germans. A deeper dive into their performances tell a much different story.
Bayern lines up with a 4-2-3-1 on paper but on the pitch, it can be seen as a 4-4-2 formation. There is no traditional No.9 like Lewandowski. at the club anymore. So, the 4 attackers have a combination of two No. 10’s namely Musiala and Muller. The other 2 are Sadio Mane and Gnabry/Sane who are the traditional wingers. The creation of chances is pretty central with Nagelsmann’s Bayern team. With this structure, Bayern were able to limit the impact of Dembele and Raphinha by doubling them up. This ensures a more safe defensive and a narrow central attacking play.
Both the goals against Barcelona were a result of Bayern Munich attacking centrally. The first one came from a corner which came as a result of Goretzka’s shot from outside the box. The second one is even more central than the first. It was a combination play between Musiala and Sane with Muller dragging Araujo away from the center. It created enough space for Sane to run through the center and score past Ter Stegen. With Lewandowski at Bayern, the objective was to spam crosses with the Polish striker’s finishing and aerial threat visible. Julian Nagelsmann is very clear of how he wants his team to balance the defensive structure and offensive play of the team.
Is Nagelsmann the right coach for Bayern Munich?
Doubts are piling up fast with Bayern not getting results for the past month or so. The last three matches in Bundesliga were draws and the latest one was a defeat to Augsburg. In between came a win against Barcelona which was more fortunate than anything. The team is not able to score to its true potential. And the defensive structure is also left open by the so-called ‘weaker teams’. Hansi Flick created a team that was a well-oiled machine. His team was ruthless from the wings as well as centrally.
The same cannot be said about Julian Nagelsmann. The German would be feeling fortunate to still be the coach of Bayern. One can say that Bayern’s success in the transfer market surely would make them favorites for everything. But apart from Barcelona, no real test has come in their way. opened their defense and pressed them till they ran out of space. It was a performance that other European giants surely would fancy watching. This Bayern Munich team does not look the same as it was some time ago.
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