Bayern’s self-inflicted mess could cost them the Bundesliga


four weeks left in the race Meisterschale and anyone who only casually follows Bundesliga assume they know what’s going to happen Bayern Munich next.

Yet outright assurances that an 11th successive title is now virtually guaranteed have not allowed themselves into the ranks of Bayern supporters. far from it. This weather is too unpredictable, too whimsical. In other words, it’s not very “Bayern-like” (an English-sounding expression that worked its way into the German language).

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Watch the last few match days, right in advance Bayern bosses sacked Julian Nagelsmann in favor of Thomas Tuchel, The lead at the top of the table has changed hands at least five times. from bayern Borussia Dortmund From Bayern to Dortmund and back to Bayern again. It sounds like football’s answer to musical chairs. Who will be sitting on the winning seat when the music stops on May 27?

Bayern have a one-point lead but the arithmetic still means a single draw recordmeister Could hand the title to the Black and Yellow. Given Bayern’s drama on and off the pitch, it’s not a comfortable position to be in.

You could make a coherent argument that of all the remaining fixtures for the two title protagonists, Bayern have the thorniest. RB Leipzig May 20 at home. Leipzig may desperately need a win to try to mold itself into next season Champions LeagueA minimum target for them.

How did Bayern get themselves into this precarious position? Much of it has been self-inflicted, and right now, the decision to fire Nagelsmann in late March seems more than questionable. put it down after panic and time bayer leverkusen Bayern overtake just before March’s international break, on the back of a Dortmund hammering FC Cologne Which catapulted BVB to the top spot for the first time in three and a half years.

The events of the next few hours were swift and remarkable. Nagelsmann’s move away from skiing didn’t sit well and it so happened that the highly regarded Tuchel, a man Bayern was already more concerned about, was available there and then.

Nagelsmann allegedly “lost the dressing room” in the minds of the higher-ups, but there seems to be little evidence of this; Indeed, his ideas and methods were a good fit for Bayern and influenced players such as Joshua Kimmich And Leon Goretzka, They only lost three Bundesliga games all season (against FC Augsburg, borussia monchengladbach and Leverkusen), were still alive in the Champions League and DFB-Pokal and were about to face their main rivals.

The two primary decision-makers – sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and CEO Oliver Kahn – took a gamble that certainly didn’t suit Bayern’s old self. But Tuchel’s availability and the threat of losing him for a second time, coupled with his own doubts about Nagelsmann, set in train a chain of events that no one could have imagined just a few weeks ago.

There has been no new-manager bounce: Bayern are 3W-2D-3L since Tuchel took over. Even the 4-2 win over Dortmund was more down to a dreadful night at the office from their opponents. Confidence waned after that game, with a series of erratic performances and a noticeable decline as most of Bayern’s players exited the Pokal, twice against Manchester City Just one point in the Champions League and against two Bundesliga games TSG Hoffenheim And Mainz,

Tuchel has so far been absolved of responsibility, with polls showing the bulk of Bayern fans blaming Salihamidzic and Kahn for the Bayern crisis. A six-minute summary of the 3-1 defeat in Mainz on ZDF’s weekly TV feature, das aktuelle sportstudio, featured 11 closeups of the stunned pair, variously smiling, shouting or generally looking ready to explode. Were staying After all, they were the ones who created the mess when there was no clamor for Nagelsmann’s departure.

A few months back, Salihamidzic was praised for his excellent squad-building work, with the signing of a world star sadio mane Seen as a jewel in the crown. Now, Bayern looks like a collection of good and in some cases very good individuals, but part of a flawed mix and taste that is missing key ingredients.

When robert lewandowski left for barcelonaMost were confused by the idea that Bayern could succeed without a top-quality centre-forward, instead focusing on a fluid, versatile and dynamic attack which included Mane, leroy sane, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Muller And Jamal Musiala, That mistake, the absence of an established finisher, must now be addressed this summer. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Is a good backup and is well-liked in the dressing room, but a team of Bayern’s ambitions needs a top-performing striker.

Tuchel also wants a true defensive midfield specialist next season, a slight indictment of the Kimmich-Goretzka partnership. Goretzka has not been in form for weeks and will miss Saturday’s trip werder bremen (at 12:30 p.m. ET, Live Stream on ESPN+, through suspension. To be fair to Kimmich, he did put up a two-assist performance in a nervy win over Bottom Club on Sunday hertha berlin,

For various reasons, the jury is still out on summer signings Nussair Mazroui And ryan gravenburchbut fellow off-season arrival matthijs de ligt Has been a huge success and regularly displays his defensive and leadership qualities. yan sommerout of necessity in January due to season ending foot fracture manuel neuer suffered while skiing after world CupIt was always going to be difficult to compare a guy whose goalkeeping position is difficult to explain.

Overall, Salihamidzic gets the best passing grade for personnel management available to Nagelsmann and now Tuchel.

Bayern is in day-to-day mode at the moment. A big cloud hangs over Salihamidzic and Kahn, while Tuchel is charged with getting the Rekordmeister to the finish line. Kahn casually says that he will stay despite There are suggestions that his fate could be sealed at a supervisory board meeting later this month.

The story of Bayern’s faltering is very real, and although they now have control of the table again, no one can say with absolute confidence that their last four games (at Bremen, against home) Schalke 04 and Leipzig and as far as Cologne) would end in victory. There has been very little “Bayern-like” in recent weeks at Germany’s biggest, most successful club.

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