In a recent interview with kicker, head coach Hansi Flick threw light on the integration of Bayern Munich novice Marc Roca into the first team. The youngster had a fine start to life at Die Roten, collecting ninety minutes in his debut against 1. FC Düren in DFB-Pokal. Since his first appearance, however, he has remained an unused substitute on the bench for four games in a row.
Speaking to the press after the match against Düren, Flick explained the issue encountered in Roca’s positioning. “Positioning is decisive, both with — and off — the ball,” the 55-year-old told the press. “Marc was sometimes too deep in possession yesterday. We will work on that.”
The #6 in football is typically a deep-lying playmaker is responsible for dictating the play and shielding the defense of his team. Naturally, positioning in this role holds immense importance, since everything with and without the ball is supposed to go through him.
Joshua Kimmich and Thiago Alcântara are two of the world’s finest midfielders to have orchestrated the show for German giants. After switching from Espanyol to the Bavarians over the summer, a period of adaptation will be needed for Roca to fit in their high-octane playing style.
“You need a little time to get to know the process,” Flick told kicker.
The coach, however, reiterated his praise for his mentee’s work ethic.
“He works very hard, is very diligent, and has a very good professional attitude, which is very positive,” Flick said before highlighting that the 23-year-old is a few training sessions short in order to fully blend into the team. “The situation to incorporate him has simply not yet arisen. We haven’t had too many training sessions with the entire squad. You have to train these types of things, too.”
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić also acquired striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, right-back Bouna Sarr and winger Douglas Costa on the transfer window deadline day. The trio have received ample opportunities and Flick justifies that it is because of the offensive nature of their positions.
“It is easier on offense because you just need the individual quality,” emphasized the former Germany national team assistant coach.
Once again, the importance of Roca’s position in the system needs to be taken into account. Both Roca’s positioning and decision-making directly affect the overall flow of Die Roten’s game.
The Spain U-21 Euro winner might not get significant minutes until the next international break, especially considering the blazing form midfielder Corentin Tolisso is in. During that period, however, the extra sessions with the coaching staff would surely help him in his integration to the team and his understanding of Flick’s demands for his position.