Bayern Munich have officially entered a slump, which means it’s time for the media to begin dogpiling on every flaw they can find. It’s annoying when the criticism is poorly argued and barely researched, but it’s even more annoying when that same criticism has a point.
In hindsight, it’s becoming very clear that Bayern Munich did NOT have a good summer window last year. Despite winning the treble and securing Leroy Sane, the Bavarians missed out on Sergino Dest and lost the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Ivan Perisic, and Philippe Coutinho. Replacements were signed just before the window slammed shut — Buona Sarr from Marseille (Michael Cuisance was sent the other way), Douglas Costa on loan from Juventus, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting on a free.
Now, as AZ helpfully points out, it’s becoming clear that those last-minute signings were a mistake. Now, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you don’t need an analysis from AZ to tell you that. The main takeaway from the article is that the German media is really starting to pile the pressure on Bayern’s bosses.
Hasan Salihamidzic probably enjoyed his brief respite from media criticism following Bayern’s treble win. There was little to criticize back then, especially with the runaway success of Alphonso Davies and the prospect of Leroy Sane joining from Manchester City (announced shortly before the UCL mini-tournament). However, now that things are not going well on the pitch, it won’t be long before he finds himself in the crosshairs again. And let me tell you this, unlike online criticism, media criticism tends to have an effect.
There are already accusations that the board failed to back Hansi Flick last summer. Of course, everyone understands that things are difficult with the pandemic, but money hasn’t exactly been spent wisely. After all, we just saw Bayern haggle for months over 5m euros in the Dest transfer, only to turn around and sign a 28-year-old Buona Sarr onto a 4 year contract.
Closing deals has been Brazzo’s major weakness since he arrived at Bayern — most of his transfers have been either freebies (Leon Goretzka, Alex Nubel), youth players (Alphonso Davies, Jamal Musiala), or release clauses (Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard). When it comes to negotiating for talent, things have been ugly.
The Sane saga took well over a year and cost a pretty penny, the Hudson-Odoi saga ended with Chelsea rejecting Bayern’s bids and then (somehow) signing him to a new contract, and the Dest saga ended with the club getting gazumped by the financial and sporting catastrophe that is FC Barcelona.
Meanwhile, you have key players like Thiago Alcantara and David Alaba being allowed to run down their contracts to the last year. Is it any wonder that they decided to leave when the prospect of leaving became so much more tantalizing?
At the moment, the bosses, and Brazzo especially, have a lot to answer for. If Bayern keep struggling, their decisions will start to get more scrutiny from the media in their home country.