Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick was not alone in seeing his defense struggle against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The 55-year-old manager only needed to check social media to know there was a world full of disgruntled Bayern Munich fans pointing fingers at the Bavarian defense for its overall sloppy play.
Flick, though, does not have the luxury of flying-off-the-handle to shred his players like the general public can on social media. The manager must delicately balance criticizing what he sees, addressing it internally with his players, and also building their confidence as the team heads into a key stretch of the season.
“If you look at our game, it’s noticeable where we have problems: That we don’t secure depth when we have possession of the ball,” said Flick to DAZN (as captured Tz). “We simply have to improve that. Gladbach was brutally efficient against our defense. Normally, when you’re winning 2-0, you go back to Munich with three points. Simple mistakes were punished today.
Like everyone else, Flick acknowledged just how big of a problem Jonas Hoffman was for his defenders and also explained why he did not opt to use his bench in hopes of solidifying the backline.
“Jonas Hofmann comes twice from deep and runs very well behind our defensive line,” Flick said. “On the second goal, David (Alaba) was one step too early. We are angry about the defeat. All of the players who were on the pitch tried their best. I decided not to make subs. This decision had to do with the course of the game and not with the quality on the bench.”
The foursome of Benjamin Pavard, Niklas Süle, David Alaba, and Alphonso Davies struggled in a major way. They were inept and slow-to-react defensively, while offering no threat in the offensive end. Simply put, it was a brutal game for the quartet.
Is it time to panic yet? Probably not and Flick certainly will not. The manager does, however, have to find a way to fix the consistent issues that have arisen on the back-line before the poor play snowballs any further.