After the victory against SV Rodinghausen, Bayern Munich has now won four consecutive games. Everything seems going great and Bayern is out of its notorious crisis — but only on paper. Last night’s performance may have put Bayern in the next round of DFB Pokal, but it also raised questions and criticism about the players and management.
Without a doubt it was a shaky performance, and some would say that Bayern was lucky with the result. After every recent game players showed hope and had some positive takeaways from each game, but after last night nobody was optimistic. Moreover, nobody seems to know where and why did Bayern’s play went so wrong or how might it be fixed (or whether could it be fixed).
Manuel Neuer was visibly disappointed and unhappy with the end result, saying, “This was not Bayern-like!” (Bild) The fans were equally displeased, and other players and staff were also critical of the narrow win. Niko Kovač is again under criticism.
There are some mitigating factors: Bayern had several players injured (Boateng, Hummels, James, Coman, Tolisso, Urleich and Robben), and it rained heavily throughout the game. But still, the main players were there and they performed well under Bayern’s standards. Who is to blame?
Goretzka said, “Its hard to say. After (the missed penalty) we missed many of the things that we did well in the beginning. We just took one step too little here and there. Of course, that should not happen.” Sule said what we all have noticed: “For 25 minutes, 30 minutes we had everything under control. It was a good performance — and then it was as if it had been demolished. It was even a bit worse than the Mainz game!”
Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern’s 41-year-old sporting director, likewise had no answers. He was completely at a loss for words (TZ): “Every one of us expects more. Everyone is just a bit ... yes, ... no one can explain it.” Salihamidžić searched for reasons but ultimately concluded: “Well, we’ve won the game and gone through the next round. Now we have to see that we improve our game. But that was not good today.”
In light of his perplexity over last night’s game, Salihamidžić may come in for more criticism than Niko Kovač himself. Brazzo, of course, is one of the main reasons why Niko Kovač was brought to Bayern, but especially since his appearance at the notorious press conference alongside Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness, many are questioning whether he is really up to the task of being the sporting director of such a big club. As recent events have helped the Bosnian’s image as little as Bayern’s itself, the same question rises for Salihamidžić as it does for Kovač — is he the right man for Bayern Munchen?
Time is running out for Bayern. Whether they are in a crisis or not, in ten days they will play against the table-leaders BVB in Dortmund. With the latest injury status, it will be interesting (and nerve-wracking) to see how Bayern cope with a very much in-form Borussia Dortmund.