The Strengths and Weaknesses Of FC Bayern

Sean MooreContributor IApril 18, 2009

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 08:  Coach Juergen Klinsmann of Bayern Munich follows his players during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium on April 8, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won the match 4-0.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Alright, so with the Bundesliga season nearing its end and Bayern's elimination from the Champions League, it seems to be a good time to evaluate the current players on the Bavarian squad.

The key to the summer transfer window will be keeping Frenchman Frank Ribery. He is the engine of Bayern.

However, Bayern must find pieces to surround Ribery to create a more deep and balanced team.

Manager Jurgen Klinsmann plays quite an attacking style, a departure from the score one and play defense style from his predecessors.



Michael Rensing was unspectacular as legend Oli Kahn's replacement. He had big shoes to fill, but he didn't do a horrible job. He is still young and learning. Rensing should improve and be an above average keeper in the Bundesliga.

Hans Butt is a decent veteran backup who can still push Rensing for time, as he has this year. Bayern would be wise to keep him aboard to keep a stable environment for the young Rensing.



Philip Lahm is one of the best left backs in the world, especially with his attacking skills.

Masssimo Oddo was brought in on loan, and has made little impact at his left back spot. Hopefully he returns to Italy.

Unfortunately, solid Frenchman Willy Sagnol had to retire due to injury this year. This led to Chrisitian Lell playing out of position at right back. His lack of familiarity with the position has, at times, been painfully obvious.

A long term solution must be found to resolve this position.

At center defense, Bayern has good options in veterans Lucio, van Buyten, and Demichellis, although the Argentinian has been very out of form this year. The young Brazilian Breno has played as of late, and his lack of experience has shown. Hopefully he will learn from this and be a solid player next year. I do not doubt Breno's potential, but as of right now, he is a shaky defender.


Center Midfield

Mark van Bommel is one of the worst captains in Bayern history. He is an aggressive tackler, but he gives little in attack. This is not due to his skill, which is solid but not spectacular, but seems to be more attributed to his lack of commitment to join the attack. He seemingly is standing with the back four for most matches.

Ze Roberto is still a good player, but he is aging and is out of contract at the end of the year. Hopefully he re-signs, because he is a good leader in the midfield.

Bayern does have promising youngster Toni Kroos returning from a loan spell at Leverkusen for next season, as well as Borussia M'bach transferee Alexander Baumjohann. Both players should get minutes next season as it seems Bayern is not willing to spend much money this summer.

Anitoliy Tymoschuk is coming! The Zenit captain should do wonders for stabilizing Bayern's midfield. He is a good tackler and a good option in supporting the attack. Hopefully this transfer pays off, and I think it will.



Obviously, Frank Ribery is the man for Bayern. Not much to say other than they better hope they can keep him.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has had a tough year. He is a versatile player that can play all over the midfield. Unfortunately, because of poor play at right back, he has had to cover for the defense instead of supporting the attack. If you watched Bayern last year, or Germany at Euro '08, you have seen what he can do for the attack.

Hamit Altintop had an injury for most of the year and is just getting back. He should be great for depth, as he can play all over the right wing, including right back.

Borowski has been disappointing, but he is still a good attacking option of the bench.

Jose Ernesto Sosa has finally gotten a chance near the end of the year, and he has impressed. He has made some great runs and had great linkups with others in the midfield. Hopefully he gets more time next year.



Miroslav Klose may be the second-most important player on Bayern. Just look at how dismal the attack has been since he's been injured. If he returns soon, Bayern's Bundesliga championship dreams may become reality.

Luca Toni is still a good option as a target man. But he is getting older and has not had the same form as he did his first year for Bayern.

Lukas Podolski is going back to Koln, but no worries for Bayern. They are bringing in Ivica Olic on a free transfer. The Croatian is one of the hardest working forwards in the Bundesliga, and he will make great partners with either Klose or Toni.

Toward the end of the season, youngster Thomas Muller has been called into the first team due to injuries. He has shown flashes, but he is not ready for a full-time gig on the big stage.

The last few weeks, Bayern has even been playing a one striker formation because of how decimated the position is by injuries.


Final Analysis

Manager Jurgen Klinsmann deserves one more year to deserve himself, barring a complete collapse at the end of the Bundesliga season. Injuries have really played a huge role, as you would expect for a club without much depth. They have decent depth for a Bundesliga side, but they cannot expect to compete with the best teams in Europe if Thomas Muller is your best attacking option of the bench.

The biggest glaring hole while looking at the Bayern roster is right back. Hopefully, Uli can bring a solid option that hasn't already lost a step (as Oddo clearly has).

Overall, more depth at the fullback and striker positions must be brought in.

The additions of Tymoschuk, Olic, and Baumjohann are solid and fill immediate holes.

Hopefully, the addition of Tymoschuk signals the departure of van Bommel.

Lucio or Lahm would both be great options for skipper.

This team should win the Bundesliga this year and the next. If they don't, Klinsmann's head will be rolling.



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