Accordingly, there was a lot of blame to go around after Bayern Munich’s 3-3 draw with RB Leipzig. The area of the squad that was in nearly everyone’s crosshairs was — you guessed it — the backline.
Bayern Munich defenders Benjamin Pavard, Jerome Boateng, Niklas Süle, and David Alaba made, well, a lot of mistakes yesterday. If you had a mental list of things that went wrong, it probably looked like this:
- Poor positioning
- Terrible decision-making
- Rampant unawareness
- Too many communication breakdowns
- Overall sloppy play
That either sounds an unfortunate prom night or a really, really bad defensive performance.
Anyway, the point of this is that one bad — okay, brutally awful — performance does not define an entire unit of highly-skilled individuals. And sure, the defenders are struggling...and here’s why:
- Injuries: At different points Pavard, Boateng, Süle, Bouna Sarr, Lucas Hernandez, Tanguy Nianzou, and Alphonso Davies have been injured. Davies’ season was stifled early, while the rest have picked up nagging knocks along the way. With so many injuries, it is tough build up any type of cohesion.
- Constant rotations: Due to the insane schedule, Hansi Flick has been very cautious about trying to keep his boys healthy. Not only has Flick had to navigate through the injuries above, but he has also integrated young talent like Nianzou, Chris Richards, and Bright Arrey-Mbi into the rotation at different points in hopes of giving his regulars a break.
- No rest: Bayern Munich has been putting to the medal for months on end and with so many national team players on the roster, it is not like the top Bavarians are even getting proper rest during those ghastly international breaks. These boys need a break!
I know, I know...you are probably picturing me drinking my morning coffee just like this guy below, but I really do think this will all work itself out:
And you may be wondering if — with all of those seemingly huge factors above in play — I am concerned?
Maybe a smidge.
But, am I worried?
Once the schedule slows down a bit, and the players get healthy — while also actually getting some rest — things should get a lot better. It does not mean that there aren’t other extenuating circumstances that still might play a role with this group (uncertain futures for Alaba, Boateng, and now Süle come to mind), but if we have learned anything in the past year, it’s that Flick will figure it out.
He always has...he always does.
So, put down the torches and pitchforks...there is no need to chase anyone out of town just yet. It’s a long season...and it stills feels like this team has only just begun to figure things out.