Losing a friendly match 5-2 to FC Nürnberg certainly isn’t how Hansi Flick wanted to end Bayern Munich’s winter training program after their week-long camp in Doha, Qatar. While it was only a friendly match, there’s still cause for concern after a level-pegging first half ended 1-1 with most of Bayern’s first-teamers starting the match and a second-half team of Bayern’s reserves giving up 4 goals in the second half.
Despite an utterly disappointing display on the whole, Flick sees no need to overreact or read too much into the result itself. After an intensive training camp in Qatar and a long flight to Nürnberg just 24 hours prior to kick-off, Flick suggested that there was perhaps a bit of over-exertion among the squad, especially some of the younger, reserve players (Bild):
The game had different presages. We had a week of intensive training camp behind us, had a long flight yesterday. I can’t be satisfied with the result. But in the first half I saw some things that I liked. Also this or that that I didn’t like. In the second half, we were a bit overwhelmed. But it was important to me that no player was injured. I won’t view the good training camp in a negative light on account of this game.
Specifically, he felt that his side didn’t do a good enough job staying organized after they would lose possession, and Nürnberg’s opening goal came as a direct result of a counter attack after Bayern lost the ball (kicker):
We did not defend this or that situation forward well; we left the opponent too much space. Those are things that we should do better. If we lose the ball, we have to have better organization and better control.
Joshua Kimmich also highlighted all of the unnecessary mistakes that Bayern made in both halves and said that tiredness in the legs most likely had a lot to do with it:
In sum, we made many simple mistakes, especially in build-up play, also in midfield. Of course you bring the opponent into the game that way. We have work to do before next week. We also had a certain fatigue in the legs and in the head.
Losing the friendly by such a wide margin could prove to be a blow in morale for Bayern, but they still have a week to prepare for the opening match of the Rückrunde against Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion. Niklas Süle, Lucas Hernandez, Javi Martinez, and Kingsley Coman are all unavailable for the Berlin match, and Serge Gnabry remains a fitness doubt with his Achilles problem. Options are running thin for Flick and his coaching staff as the injuries have mounted. Flick said he intends to sit down with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic to discuss whether they need to bring a player or two in before the winter transfer window closes:
We’re traveling home now and will sit down together again. Hasan and I will analyse things together, what is doable and what not. There’s no reason to fall into a panic. We currently have two or three week we have to get through before the next player is back. We’ll decide now whether something still happens.