With the season well and truly over, it’s time to take a look back and evaluate the performances of each and every single individual player on the Bayern Munich squad. Today, as part 1 of a three-part series, we’ll be looking at the defense. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
Minutes played: 4,190
Goals conceded: 55
Clean sheets: 14
Manuel Neuer conceded more goals this season than he’s ever done in his entire life. This sets the tone for the rest of the article. Neuer really couldn’t help the goals he conceded, but a poor performance against PSG in the first leg and the overall number of goals conceded lands him a relatively low rating. He’s still better than most of the others on this list.
Minutes played: 360
Goals conceded: 4
Clean sheets: 1
He barely played, and when he did ... he was okay, I guess? Nubel needs a loan.
Minutes played: 2,579
It’s been a tough season for Alphonso Davies. Like most young players, he suffered a small slump in performance early in his second year, and then immediately got injured. His comeback was slow, and it wasn’t made better by the chaos in the backline around him. He more or less turned it around near the end the season, but we know that the Canadian can do better.
Minutes played: 2,914
Pavard started the season very slow, possibly due to the injury he got at of 2019/2020. In the first half, he was totally out of sorts and a big source of Bayern’s defensive problems on the right. The Frenchman eventually returned to peak form in the last two months of the year, setting him up for a good Euros and hopefully a much better start under Nagelsmann.
Minutes played: 874
Bruh. Just bruh.
Minutes played: 3,783
David Alaba gets a rather harsh rating this season, but he honestly deserves it. As the leader of the defense, he’s responsible for almost every goal Bayern conceded this year. The incredible performances we saw en-route to the treble were nowhere to be seen, and fans were left frustrated seeing the Austrian continuously start over Lucas Hernandez. Perhaps his expiring contract proved to be a distraction. In any case, this was a forgettable year for Alaba in a Bayern jersey — not the way he wanted to sign off, I’m sure.
Minutes played: 3,075
Boateng was the most experienced member of the Bayern backline last season, and he showed it with mostly consistent performances. However, his partnership with Alaba left a lot to be desired, and he was often off-pace in many situations which led to goals being conceded. While the veteran defender did an incredible job shutting down Neymar and Mbappe against PSG, one performance can’t save his season.
Minutes played: 2,506
Coming back from a season long layoff due to an ACL injury, Sule clearly wasn’t in form for much of the season. Add to that his numerous fitness issues, and it was a difficult year for the big defender. In terms of positives, he showed a remarkable ability to play right-back, which keeps this season from being a total washout for him. Sule needs to do much more if he wants a contract extension at Bayern.
Minutes played: 2,681
Bayern’s best defender, who Hansi Flick inexplicably kept on the bench or shunted out at left-back for much of the season. If Lucas had started more games in his preferred position, maybe Bayern wouldn’t have conceded half as many goals.
If you want a look at his highlights, just watch him versus Neymar in the second leg vs. PSG. It was one of the best defensive performances by any player in a Bayern shirt for the last five years. Hernandez has the perfect blend of pace, physicality, and defensive intelligence to justify his 80m price tag. Now it’s up to Nagelsmann to use him better.
Not rated: Tanguy Nianzou, Chris Richards.
Overall defensive rating: F
Bayern Munich conceded almost 60 goals this season, which simply isn’t good enough. Dumb goals were the culprit behind eliminations to both Holstein Kiel and PSG, and they cost the team a number of easy wins in the league too. Barely a single game went by without some kind of calamitous error at the back.
Nagelsmann’s first task in charge of Bayern Munich will be to fix the defense. As things stand, this team won’t make it far in Europe with such a leaky back line.