You Need a #10 Mr Hoeness

Sombit BhattacharyyaContributor IAugust 24, 2009

20 Jun 2000:  Lothar Matthaus of Germany in action during the European Championships 2000 group match against Portugal at the De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam, Holland.  Portugal won the match 3-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Gary M Prior/Allsport

Bayern Munich's false start to the Bundesliga campaign has already triggered tremors in the dressing room.

Question is who is to blame? What has suddenly gone wrong for the side who seemed invincible only a couple of seasons back? Or is it all too expected.

First, letting go of Lucio; there was some strange logic floating around that the primary duty of a central defender is to hold fort in defence, he is not supposed to barge forward.

But did the honchos of FC Hollywood ever ask themselves why Lucio felt the need to go forward?—the goals had dried up from the once feared Klose-Toni combination—that is why!

In central defence, he had a formed a fiercely strong partnership with Micho Demichelis. Expecting young Badstuber to repeat Lucio's feat this eaarly would be unduly unfair on the promising youngster.

Second, allotting Rensing the no. 1 status: Filling in Oliver Kahn's mammoth shoes is a herculean task itself.

The plight is compounded if the press goes against you, the defence suspects you and lastly, if the manager himself is unsure of you. Michael Rensing is still in his learning phase and does not deserve an automatic selection in the first eleven of a side whose name is Bayern Munich. FCB's pursuit of the more mature Manuel Neuer died a slow death—a decision which they'll rue for the rest of the season.

Third, keeping Van Bommel as captain: MVB is no MVP, he is no Ballack—let Uli and Karl Heinze realise this! I still remember the audacity with which these individuals had proclaimed that Bayern did not need Ballack after he had, quite rightly, moved in search of greater heights.

Van Bommel might be a big bully and well nigh vocal but sadly these aren't good enough qualities to earn you the armband. Often, due to his lack of maturity, Bayern have had to play with less than eleven on the pitch.

Fourth, the immature handling of Prinz Poldi. Sadly, even Ottmar Hitzfeld did not get this right. Klinsmann could easily have taken a book out of Jogi Loew's book and given Poldi a permanent left wing role—Poldi shone in that position in Euro'08. Instead, Uli Hoeness continued to ridicule Podolski in public, eventually leading to the player's departure.

I could go on and on. But what surprised me most was the hollow system Bayern employed against Hoffenheim,Werder and Mainz. The central portion was absolutely blank with a huge gap between the frontline and Tymoschuk. The authority over the centre of the pitch was easily surrendered time and again and Bayern's only source of attack was along the wings.

It would be unfair to question Louis Van Gaal's tactics so soon. As a Bayern fan, I would still dream of their winning the league, given historic trends of terrible inconsistency of Bayern's rivals, but I cannot see them escaping the wrath of a big side in the Champions League; be it Chelsea, Manchester United or Barcelona.

It is rather unfortunate that Bayern would rather settle for a quarter final place in the champions league and declare it a succesful venture than invest in a "#10" and go one place higher in the pecking order. 

Football is a team game—I agree Mr Hoeness; one in which a team needs to fire collectively in order to succeed, but it is also about quality, and 'your' Bayern Munich lacks that quality.

You badly need someone to pull the reins in the heart of Bayern's midfield, Mr Hoeness.

You badly need a number 10!