1. A bad display in a game where the most important thing wasn’t winning
No one got hurt. That is a small victory in itself.
Starting the new decade, Bayern continues its recent trend with having an enormous injury list. In a friendly, another injury is the last thing the team needs. Although I feel bad for the Bayern supporters who had made the effort to watch a frankly embarrassing loss to one of their main rivals, I take an embarrassing friendly loss and no injuries than a comfortable win but another two long-term injuries.
The first-team squad played one half, albeit a very poor one, making Bayern fans questioning how jet-lagged they were after their Qatar trip. Flick played a high-press and Nurnberg ran through it with ease in the first half and was unlucky not to go into the half-time with a lead. Bayern’s biggest surprise package of the last year, Canadian revelation Alphonso Davies, scored but it was clear that every player played in fourth gear. Nurnberg, who currently sits at 16th place in the Zweite, was more inspired and motivated with the home crowd supporting them. They needed a good result more than Bayern, and they got one.
The second half could be epitomized by youngsters having their first real taste of what professional football is like. Although the second-half team should have been more motivated than the first, they seemed overwhelmed and the only bright spot was 17-year-old Nurnberg native Malik Tillman.
A poor first team that seemed to lack motivation, a scared second team that did throw away their chance to impress the boss but, most importantly, no one got hurt.
2. Failures of summer 2019 starting to show
Even Bayern’s first-half team is far away from their best one. As it was in the last games of 2019, Bayern struggled to fill a whole starting eleven with senior players and that is a big worry. I don’t believe in panic buys and I’m not going to claim that Hasan Salihamidzic needs to open his wallet, but I will make the statement that Bayern shot themselves in the foot this summer.
The year Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery left Bayern should have been followed with a well thought of a plan of how to regenerate a new squad. The generation swift did start when Bayern bought in players such as Niklas Sule, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry but many, including myself, really thought that the summer transfer window of 2019 was going to be one of the most drastic in terms of personnel and economy in Bayern history.
Bayern failed to sign Sane due to misfortune but failed to reinforce the team in terms of squad depth.
When comparing the squad depth between the 2013 treble season and now, the difference is staggering.
I realize these thoughts could be seen as premature and should only feature in an opinion article, but I couldn’t help but think back to what went wrong this summer when Robin Hack rolled the ball into an empty net to make it 5-1 to Nurnberg.