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Bayern Munich’s past shows that a roster upheaval may be due

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Legendary Bayern teams have gone through massive changes in years past, so why hasn’t there been one since the 2013 Treble?

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

FC Bayern Munich has had many iconic moments in its 118 year history. Over this span, Bayern has been German Champion 28 times, with 27 of them coming in the modern Bundesliga. Bayern has also won the DFB-Pokal 18 times and the UEFA Champions League (or its predecessor, the European Cup) five times. In order to stay competitive and compete in one of the worlds top leagues, Bayern has always need to make changes. There are two examples that come to mind as highlighted by TZ this week, showing why an upheaval following recent success may be due now.

The 1970s

Many call the 1970s the Golden Era for FC Bayern. Legendary names such as Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier, and Gerd Müller led the team to arguably the most successful decade in team history. They only won the league three times and the cup once, but most impressively, they won the European Cup (predecessor to today’s Champion’s League) three times, back to back to back.

After the success in Europe, some of the stars began to leave. The team suffered in the Bundesliga, finishing as low as twelfth in 1977/1978. Although the team struggled, some new faces were pushing their way to the fore. Now familiar faces such as Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and Uli Hoeneß came into the team and soon put Bayern back on the right track.

Early 2000s

In 2001, Bayern won their first Champions League trophy in 25 years. This was another remarkable team led by the legendary Oliver Kahn. Shortly after the victory, though, team officials began paving a way for more changes. They knew that time was swiftly catching up with these players and wanted to make room for some young talent. This process began 16 years ago this week when two more legends made their debut in same Champions League game: Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger. This iconic duo would go on to play together until 2015. Bayern went on to win the Double (league and the cup in the same year) five times in the decade.

When is the next upheaval?

In 2012-13, Bayern had its most successful season to date, winning the Treble. Lahm, Schweinsteiger, and company were the first German team to win the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal, and the Champions League in one season. Since then new players have come and other players have retired or moved on to other teams. Coaches, too, have come and gone (and even come back!) but the core players of Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery, and Arjen Robben are still here.

After last week’s loss to Dortmund, Uli Hoeneß warned that an upheaval is coming. Hoeness promised to “change the face of the team” and further declared that whether players stay or leave (kicker),

...depends on how they play. You have to tell the players that they are under pressure for the next three or four months. And then we’ll have to see who we can use and who not.

Who knows what this upheaval or revolution will look like or when it finally takes place? Bayern is currently faltering in the league after winning six straight Bundesliga titles. Could the front office shake things up to renew the club’s Bundesliga domination — or even chase more European success? A changing of the guard may just be due.