The record German champions are arguably one of the best football clubs present in the world at the moment.With 5 champions league trophy and other titles they have a very rich history to back their present success stories too. Bayern Munich side represent one of the most prolific attacking side and are often revered by opponents who have to face them. Bavarian easily are a great representation of their National side.
But recent seasons, especially post Heynckes (2011-13), the team seems to have a slight dip in their potency. Pep Guardiola, who took charge after Heynckes, was considered to be the one of the best managers in the business was quiet not able to resonate the same success he had at Barcelona. Pep era saw Bayern fail in the semifinals of Champions league 3 consecutive years and all of them to Spanish opponents. Having failed to deliver in Europe’s highest competition Guardiola leave the club in end of 2015-16 season and was followed up by Carlo Ancelotti. Having previously won the Champions league as a manager with 3 champions league title with 2 different clubs, the hopes where high for Munich to even win the competition in his very first tenure as the clubs manager. Yet, the club again stumbled as it faced Real Madrid in the quarter finals and bowed down for a 6-3 aggregate failing in both legs. Even if the game had many controversial refereeing decisions gone against them, Bayern was not quiet able to silence their opponents as they had many a times before. To consider that a team which had humbled the Barcelona for a 7-0 aggregate in the same competition few seasons ago, the continuous loss to Spanish side in the competition is a cause for worry. A closer look can reveal some of the problems the German giants are facing.
Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in Europe with the likes of many successful clubs like Schalke, Werder Bremen, Monchengladbach etc. But for past few years it have been Bayern at the top and Dortmund trying to catch up with them. Klopp’s Dortmund was a force that have taken many titles from the hands of Bayern and is its biggest rival. But in the recent times they have been highly inconsistent and are not able to put up serious competition both in domestic league as well as in the cup matches regularly. This lack of competition have backfired for Bayern. What was supposed to be a boon turned out to be problem after all. This reduced competition have actually mellowed down the Bavarian side. With clubs like Wolfsburg challenging titles but are not able to keep this over multiple seasons and with Dortmund facing injury trouble and its inefficiency to hold on to major players during transfer window have made them not able to give Bayern a healthy competition. This reduced resistance in the domestic league becomes a great menace when they face tougher opponents in Europe.
Bayern have some great experienced p[layers in the likes of Lahm, Alonso, Robben and Ribery . They bring with this experience coolness and composure in the game. but the aging players also means slower legs. Alonso for an example is sitting way deeper compared to his earlier positioning, and the explosive runs from Ribery and Robben are also lacking that potency and that dash of speed.With Lahm and Alonso hanging up their boots at the end of season it becomes vital for the club to find suitable substitutions.
While football has seen the big clubs spending pile of money for bringing in new players to the team, Bayern seems to step down a bit. Transfers made often seems to be from the Bundesliga itself. This reduces the competition within the league and also the club lacks players with external exposure. Gotze, Lewandowski are great examples of Bayern buying players from their local competition itself. While clubs are buying proven players for a quick and easy fix, Bayern is tending to lag behind in this.
Bayern has great players like Robben,Ribery,Muller,Lewandowski,Douglas Costa who are excellent when it comes to attacking. But a closer look reveals that Lewandowski might be the only proper central striker in the team. Muller who can be termed as an attacking all rounder but lack that clinical nature and physicality of a proper central forward. He has also been out of form in this season hence not being able to regularly find a position in Ancelotti’s starting lineup. To make matter worse lately we have seen a higher dependence on the number 9, Lewandowski , with him having scored almost 17 goals more than the next Bayern player in Bundesliga this season. The problem gets evident especially when Lewandowski misses matches due to injuries and Bayern dips in their form.The first leg of quarter final of Champions league this season was a great example for this, when Bayern was not able to capitalize lots of chances they created because Lewandowski was missing due to an injury .Lack of an alternate central forward is hence a lingering problem of Bayern which they must confront in the future.
Whats in store for Ancelotti
With this seasons European dream ended, and the Bundesliga title just few wins away, Ancelotti and men must focus on the next season. Replacing Lahm and Alonso, strengthening the squad, keeping their major players and finding and incorporating young stars to their lineup must be the priority. Above all Bayern must bounce back to their former glory and get back their killer instinct that made them a serious contender for being the Europe’s best. Having proved his ability in numerous occasion Ancelotti will be the best man for that job.