What's The Deal With FC Bayern?
Being an avid Bayern Munich fan, I tuned into to watch my team turn into the Bayern that was expected at the beginning of the year: a team that put on a record-breaking display in the Champions League round of 16, a team with world-beater Frank Ribery, a returning Golden Boot winner Luca Toni, and leading German internationals Philip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Instead, I saw a complete schooling by a team with maybe two or three players I have heard of and actually seen play.
This was just the latest instance of a team that seems to be bored. That is really all I can say about the attitude of this team. Klinsmann certainly does not seem to have the magic he worked in the 2006 World Cup as the manager of the German Squad.
Mark Van Bommel does not scream skipper to me. He is an average role player in my eyes. Anitoliy Tymoschuk and the summer transfer window cannot come soon enough whenever I see van Bommel hiding next to Lucio on the back line instead of supporting the attack.
Ah, the Bayern attack. Does any other team rely on one player as much as Bayern relies on Ribery? Perhaps Arsenal with Fabregas, or for a lower-scale, closer example, Diego with Werder Bremen. But Bayern cannot rely on one player too much. The loss of Klose exasperated this point recently. Toni is a talent but he is a somewhat selfish player without much pace or amazing technical skill. Klose is the perfect scrappy workhorse to complement the towering Toni. Without Klose, the Bayern options are an unhappy, disinterested Lukas Podolski or inexperienced Tomas Muller. Granted, Muller looked great against Lisbon, but that was a focused Bayern team.
When a team is unfocused, where does the blame go? The manager. Now I do support Klinsmman for the time being. I thing the additions of Tymoschuk and Olic will greatly enhance his tactics. But for the rest of this season he must do a better job of summoning the troops for the domestic league.
Klinsmann has done a great job, however, of leading the team in the Champions League. Bayern has a proud CL history, last winning in 2001 with the likes of Thomas Linke and Elber. They have really done the team proud this year, although they have a steep challenge with Barcelona in the next round. Klinsmann has accomplished the team's goals in the CL, so he must be given some leniency in regards to the Domestic League.
All in all, I think Bayern must be patient. Franz Backenbauer and Uli Hoeness seem up to follow through with this, although this can partly be attributed to the economy. Bayern must concentrate on progressing young talents like Muller, Toni Kroos, Breno, Sosa, and even established younger players like Shweinsteiger and Hamit Altintop. I realize the tone of this article may somewhat sound like I'm calling for a hack job to the roster; I feel as though denying other major clubs of Ribery should be enough. Health and depth is the key to Bayern beign successful domestically. The health of the attackers has really affected the team.
Some players also need to regain form (nod nod Martin Demichellis). Bayern still has a great shot at the league title, but their window is closing with each passing week; 5-1 losses to teams like Wolfsburg hurt.
Let's hope they can pull it together for mighty Barca.
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