No discernible style
Bayern look, at times, like they have no idea what style of football they want to play. They obviously dominated possession today, as they usually do, but once again, they didn't create the number of chances you’d expect of Bayern going against a fourth-division side. When they had the ball around the Rödinghausen penalty area, they often times looked like they were lacking ideas, relying on individual moments of brilliance to create danger instead of interplay and movement to get the defense out of position. While they did do that at times, it was few and far between, and they made things too easy for the Rödinghausen defense.
A lack of focus
One thing that stood out during today’s game was the inaccuracy of the passes played by Bayern players. Far too often, passes were weighted poorly or simply inaccurate to the point where they stopped forward momentum or led to turnovers, whether that be through an interception by the opponent, or the ball going out of bounds for a throw in.
Bayern fielded a rotated side in comparison to the last number of games. Sandro Wagner, Franck Ribery, Renato Sanches, and Rafinha all came into the side and should have been burning for an opportunity to impress and play themselves into Niko Kovac’s plans. Instead, none really stood out. The team as a whole seemed to lack focus and concentration. Bayern would have run into their fair share of dangerous counters had they been playing better opposition. Their poor passing may not have haunted them today, but it will in the future if it continues.
The tactics in the midfield
Bayern’s midfielders this season, outside of Javi Martinez and Thiago, have taken up incredibly high positions on the field, and today was no different. Renato Sanches and Leon Goretzka were, at times, positioned at the height of the penalty area alongside Sandro Wagner while possession was kept back in front of midfield by Thiago and the defenders. It makes the opposition’s job much easier, as there’s less space they need to cover. It also makes the build-up play much harder for Bayern and puts responsibility for advancing the ball solely on Thiago and the fullbacks. It hasn’t worked so far, and the team looks better when a second midfielder drops back to support the build-up play alongside Thiago.
When Bayern find a way to move the ball forward into the final third (usually out to one of wingers), the positioning of Sanches and Goretzka left the fullbacks and wingers on an island playing the two-man game. Playing 2 vs 2 in the opponent’s corner is tough, and it more often than not resulted in a backwards pass to Thiago to recycle possession to the other side or back to the fullbacks. Using one of Sanches/Goretzka to offer support would allow for more interplay on the wings and open up space in the box for our attackers.
Though Bayern have gotten back on track in terms of results, there remains plenty of work to be done to get Bayern playing the way they should.