Bayern Munich has finished the Hinrunde on top of the Bundesliga table and progressed to the Champions League round of 16 with flying colors, completing a perfect record in the group stages. The Bundesliga losses to Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Augsburg along with the DFB-Pokal loss to Borussia Monchengladbach in the second round were the only real blemishes on what’s otherwise been relatively smooth sailing for Julian Nagelsmann and company.
It was always going to be increasingly difficult for Bayern’s front office to navigate their way through all of the financial troubles caused by the coronavirus pandemic, especially with the amount of players that have to have new contracts negotiated. There are now a plethora of complications and roadblocks in the transfer market for Bayern, but Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic are both still really pleased with how the club has fared in the first half of the season. “We are absolutely on track in the Bundesliga. We have won all the games in the Champions League. So you can be very satisfied with the sport,” Kahn said in a TV appearance before Bayern’s 4-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg (Abendzeitung).
Defensively, there have certainly been problems for Nagelsmann to sort out, and he’s had to toy between a back-four and a back-three, but collectively, he’s done quite well considering the amount of injuries and coronavirus quarantine situations he’s faced. Bayern’s trip to Kyiv in the Champions League typified just how thin the squad was at one point, when they were only able to list a total of six substitutes on the bench, two of which were backup goalkeepers Sven Ulreich and Christian Fruchtl.
Salihamidzic echoed Kahn’s sentiment, in his assessment that Bayern has enjoyed a decent first half of the season. “We are initially very satisfied. We mostly played good, attractive football, won a lot of games, are ahead in the Bundesliga and played really well in the Champions League,” he explained.
For what it’s worth, with the form Bayern has been in for most of the season and the fact that Nagelsmann fielded a strong starting eleven for the occasion, Brazzo still doesn’t quite know what went wrong in Gladbach for the 5-0 DFB-Pokal second round loss. The performance is the exact opposite of what they’ve showed for the most part this season and, ironically enough, Die Fohlen have really struggled in the Bundesliga since then. “To this day we haven’t understood what happened to us in the cup,” he said.