By Douglas Smith @DFresh39 on April 30, 2014
Since winning the Bundesliga title, Bayern Munich has looked like an average team. Then, Real Madrid won going away to reach the Champions League final. The run of form has exposed many issues for Pep Guardiola's team. With only the DFB Pokal left as a meaningful match, it is time to focus on the adjustments that must be made for success next season.
Bayern Munich is a team full of stars, but some like Franck Ribery seem to have a longer leash. He was highly ineffective against Real Madrid and was given too much time on the pitch. While it may not have mattered in the second leg, Ribery should have been on the bench in favor of Mario Goetze. Guardiola needs to be willing to send a message to all of his players.
Pep wants possession and he wants to maintain a high back line. This does not create a balance as it leaves a sluggish defense susceptible to a quick counterattack. Teams like Real Madrid or Dortmund know this and can exploit the back line. Trust the attacking players and take away the counter.
To go along with the comment of form effecting the stars just as much, Pep must be willing to use different tactics against different teams. So far, many of these changes work together. If tactics must be changed, then it means changing players. Tiki-taka can be abandoned in certain games with the right players on the field to execute the new game plan. For example, Javi Martinez should have started in the Champions League to form a pivot.
Everyone knows that Toni Kroos and Guardiola had issues this season. His quality has slipped over the last month. It is time to separate and allow Kroos to move on. He is obviously a great player, but at times he has not fit with the team effectively. If Kroos is sold, there is more flexibility with lineup selection to put the most amount of talent and teamwork on the field.
For months, many have pointed at the center-back pairing as the biggest weakness for Bayern. The lack of defending on set pieces against Real Madrid reemphasized this issue. Bayern should bid on Ezequiel Garay or Mehdi Benatia to shore up their defense, especially with veteran Daniel Van Buyten most likely leaving. Depth must be built in this position and a splash signing is needed.
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