Local Boy at Helm
Bayern Munich are on a record breaking nine Bundesliga titles streak, and look to continue that and reach double figures. This time, the responsibility to manage this team is given to a local boy who has been talked about for years now in the footballing world. 33 year old Julian Nagelsmann dubbed as “Mini Mourinho” by many people, has already impressed a lot of people and caught everyone’s attention when he was only 28 years old and was given the job to manage Hoffenheim, making him the youngest Bundesliga manager.
He excelled there and was ready to take his career to next level and decided to move to Leipzig to coach his first “big club”. Taking his club to a Champions League semi final was probably his biggest achievement and this was enough to impress the board at Bayern. He has always made it clear that being the manager of Bayern Munich was his dream job and when he got the offer, he was never going to refuse it.
Big shoes to fill
Bayern Munich has won an unprecedented nine straight Bundesliga titles, five German Cups and the Champions League twice in the past decade. To measure the weight of expectations at this club, some people don’t find this enough. Their last manager, Hansi Flick was one of the most successful manager this club has seen. Being the manager for only 18 months, he was able to win every single trophy there is to win.
Flick was able to deliver the prestigious treble, being only the 9th manager in the history to do so. He left the club to become the National Team’s manager which ultimately paved the way for Nagelsmann to earn his dream job. Evidently he has a good squad to work with, there are still some areas he needs to fix and work on.
New Era, New Faces
Nagelsmann has a tendency to back his young players and has developed a lot of young players already in his career such as Niklas Süle, Jonas Hoffman, Davie Selke, Nadiem Amiri, and Sead Kolasinac. We can expect the same from him when he takes charge of Bayern. The squad have a lot of youth talent who will develop into world class players if given the chance. Jamal Musiala, who is only 18 years old has played for the National Team at the Euros already and has impressed everyone with his performances.
He will be one to look out for and would be looking to get more playing time under Nagelsmann. Some new talent might brew up as well from the academy and can get a chance under Nagelsmann. A certain prodigy from US, Chris Richards would be one to watch out for.
How they will be Lining Up
Under Hansi Flick, Bayern Munich played a 4-2-3-1 system with the central defenders keeping a very high line and the offensive players pressing the opposition throughout the game. Although it proved to be very successful, it took a toll on player’s fitness. With the covid situation, the breaks were minimum and the players had to play in this system throughout which resulted in their season collapsing due to several injuries. Being consistent is good but being predictable isn’t, under Nagelsmann Bayern are expected to operate in a 3-4-2-1 formation like he did when he was at Leipzig. If a manager is compared to Mourinho, he is expected to rely on his defenders a lot and that is what Nagelsmann does. Although Mourinho prepers deep defensive blocks, Nagelsmann likes a bit more defensive fluidity. At Leipzig, we have seen him change his tactics from game to game which brings a certain flexibility this Bayern team desperately needs.
With Lewandowski leading the line, Muller is always placed behind him but in this formation he will get a bit more support in the form of Leroy Sane, who desperately needs to get back in form and a new role under new management might just be really helpful for him. To counter any chances of narrowness in the attack, the attacking wing backs come into play. With Davies being the left wing back, he has the pace and the trickery to excel in this position and on the right side, Nagelsmann can put Serge Gnabry who has played under him as a right wing back at Hoffenhiem. Although not his preferred position, this gives him more playing minutes as the competitors for this position are much less than for the wingers.
Seeing the success Angelino and Dani Olmo enjoyed in this system, Gnabry and Davies are expected to do great things. Coming back to middle of the park, the two familiar faces will combine to form a solid defensive midfield, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. The three center backs not only fixes a major defensive flaw Hansi Flick’s system had but also gives a chance for wide players to move further forward and join attacks more frequently than before. Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Sule and the new signing Dayot Upamecano are expected to complete the defence. This season is a big chance for Sule to silence his critics, as he will be getting to play in his preferred position but also will get a lot of chances now after the departure of Boateng and Alaba. He will be someone to watch out for. Between the sticks, to round up the team will be the ever reliable Manuel Neuer.