The 2014-15 European season was a great one for Austria manager Marcel Koller. He led his team through Euro 2016 qualifying with relative ease and saw them book their spot in France with two games to spare. To top it off, his star players, Bayern Munich's David Alaba, was playing the bulk of his minutes in his "natural" midfield position.
Now, at the start of the 2015-16 season, things aren't going exactly the way that Koller wants any longer. Alaba has found himself back in defense, mostly centerback, for Bayern so far this season. Alaba is simply no longer needed in the midfield with the return of Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara from injury and the purchases of Arturo Vidal and Joshua Kimmich.
Alaba, like many defenders, fancies himself more of a midfielder and showed last season that he is truly an elite player there, also. Koller agrees.
"I see him in the center midfield position," the coach said. "With his running ability and game intelligence, he belongs there." Koller also sees Alaba playing at centerback for Bayern as "a small downside for us".
Ten of Alaba's nineteen Bundesliga appearances came in the midfield for Bayern last season. However, he's not going to play in the midfield for Bayern as long as the midfield isn't decimated by injuries this season. He's more valuable to FC Bayern coming out of the back.
This is a problem that will not going away anytime soon for Marcel Koller.