Bayern Munich’s new Head Coach, Pep Guardiola has arrived at last season’s triple-Champions with hell of a fanfare.
Everybody was so excited about the news earlier this year – but after the German Giants finished off the season with a record breaking lead in the Bundesliga, a historic all-German Champions League Final in their favor and the sweet revenge in the German Cup final… All the hype has slowly faded and is instead replaced with confusion, high expectations from the fans and football experts, and a whole bucket of pressure for the Champion Coach from Barcelona.
Jupp Heynckes has left the Bavarians the best way possible by winning it all. There’s “virtually nothing left to do” for Guardiola anymore – aside from trying to defend their titles and be the first team to win the Champions League back to back since its new format and be the first team to get a triple back to back. Guardiola could even go as far as winning the Club World Cup in December, too. This is a Star Studded Bayern Munich line up where pretty much anything is possible.
Star Studded “Super-Bayern”
Bayern has some of the most effective, efficient and fluent midfield ever and fields arguably the best midfield in today’s club football. Let’s not forget the solid back four that Bayern displayed in the Bundesliga where they managed to collect the least ‘goals against’ in a season since the inception of the Bundesliga. Not to forget the two clean sheets in their 4-0 and 0-3 routes against Messi’s Barcelona.
Super-Bayern have taken it to a whole new level yet again with the arrival of two additional creative minds for their (offensive) midfield. The new arrivals Mario Götze from Bundesliga Runner Up and Bayern’s long time rival, Borussia Dortmund and Thiago Alcantara from the Spanish Giant, FC Barcelona are promising prospects for the future, but are probably not the right purchases at the moment. Why? The Bayern Midfield is full of quality players at the moment, they’ve got Ribery and Robben on the wings, positions that Shaqiri, Müller and even an Alaba can play competitively on as other options… then there’s the battle for the central midfield places that are taken up by Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, backed by Brazilian International Luis Gustavo, Emre Can and Pierre Høljberg.Then there’s the problem up front, with Mario Mandzukic, Claudio Pizarro who renewed for another year, and up-and-coming Weihrauch.
Götze seemed to be the perfect replacement for the less agile, and slow paced Toni Kroos on the “10”, but with another player in Thiago, who also seems to be highly favored by Pep Guardiola… it’s quite unsure how the midfield of Bayern will look like.
Rotation is the Key… but players stepping up, too.
The Key to Bayern Munich’s success last season was the superb rotation integrated by Jupp Heynckes. No matter what set of players were fielded at any time during the season, they all did their job very well. Rotation alone won’t give results or hand them over another triple, the whole team needs to cooperate and accept that not all of them can play at the same time.
The only thing that worries me though is, that Pep probably won’t have a “set” 11 players to go-to when necessary. Rotation is good, to give your players some rest and all, but they also need to get familiar with themselves, and that’s why the early Bundesliga games are going to be the most vital of them all.
Should this Super-Bayern rack in points early, then they will have lift a huge load of pressure off their Coach’s shoulders and can dominate the league as they wish… but should the adjustment period take longer than expected… then probably, their whole season will be affected by this.
Prediction and Expectations for Season 2013/2014
In a worst case scenario, I see Bayern Munich end up second, next to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga by just a handful of points, while staying stuck in the semifinals in the Champions League and still winning the German (DFB) Cup.
The best thing, that could happen, and what I ‘expect’ and ‘predict’ to take place is, that Bayern get a historic back-to-back triple, while winning the Club World Championship along with it.
The formation that I expect to see is the following.
Ribery – Thiago/Götze – Müller/Robben/Shaqiri
Schweinsteiger/Luis Gustavo/Høljberg – Martinez/Can
Alaba – Dante – Boateng/Kirchhof – Lahm
What do you think? Can Bayern make the impossible possible, once again?