5 Flaws Will Prevent Bayern Munich From Filling Trophy Case
5 Flaws of Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich has always been near the top of the Bundesliga, but only recently has their European position been so grand.
Their team is filled with international superstars that would have their pick of litter when choosing a club team to play for. They have a manager who was coveted by all, depth better than most teams' starters, an endless checkbook and a good mixture of youth and veterans.
Their style of play can be classified as technical with stereotypical German grit. On paper, they have it all and in the preseason, Bayern Munich set a goal to win all four major trophies. Bundesliga, Champions League and two German Cups.
With 12 games remaining in the Bundesliga season, Bayern has all but won the first of those trophies. Now their attention is shifting to the other three. A beating man would favor them to win all three and across Europe it is an accepted fact that Bayern is the best team.
But they will come up short on their goal this season. They have a lack of depth at one important position, a manager who will be blindsided by his own hubris, players in the wrong position and an unfavorable fixture list. So it is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when”.
Bayern’s major flaws will loom largest in their upcoming fixtures and be the reason for their demise.
Click through the following slides to see which of Bayern’s flaws are the largest and where potential issues lie.
The most talented team in all of Europe is sure to suffer from complacency. They play globally televised midweek games versus other Champions League teams and on the weekends are a forgotten team. Don’t blame Bayern, it is the Bundesliga. While the league is widely respected for its quality of play it is hardly publicized. We would even venture to say that most American soccer fans have seen less then five in-league games. The same can also be said, and to a further extent, about the two inner-German tournaments. Bayern is sure to slip up against a mid-table Bundesliga team in one of these competitions. When compared to their other matches these simply do not grab the attention of their players.
Lack of Center Midfielders
Besides Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bayern lacks a true center fielder. Schweinsteiger, currently returning from injury, has been injury prone in the last two seasons and is hardly a sure bet to finish the season healthy. When he goes down, there are few options outside of Javi Martinez. Martinez, a defender by trait, is a fine fill in against the bottom teams in Bundlesiga, but otherwise can be considered a liability. Consequentially, manger Pep Guardiola insists on playing Philipp Lahm in the middle. But like Martinez, Lahm is far from capable of dealing with what Barcelona, Real Madrid or Juventus would throw Bayern’s way. If Guardiola’s Philip Lahm experiment does not end soon, then it will surely bite Bayern at the most inopportune time.
Weak Central Defenders
Bayern is notorious for holding possession and controlling the flow of each game. Their outside backs act more as wing backs and their center backs like holding midfielders. But there will come a game when Bayern is matched for possession and their backs must defend. At that point in time the defensive prowess of Dante, and whoever is beside him, will be called into question leaving their lack of defensive capabilities exploited.
Too Many Fixtures
When youth players are promoted to the first team they typically fade towards the conclusion of the season. As a result of the demanding schedule, their legs fatigue at astonishing rates resulting in unimpressive performances. While Bayern do not have many youth players getting games, they do have a large number of games that will drain the energy out of the players. If Guardiola does not find ways to rest his players in upcoming fixtures, then the trend will surely catch up with them at an inopportune time. Expect to see a semi finals loss as one of the more talented teams in the domestic cups come in with an energy and freshness Bayern cannot match.
Guardiola, like Jose Mourinho, is cocky but talented. Those attributes win each a number of games, but soccer is not a cocky man’s game. Consistent winners are exceptional at valuing risk and would rather keep a 0-0 draw then go for a 4-3 victory. This stubbornness, that got Pep fired from Barcelona, is sure to show up sooner rather than later.