Lothar Matthäus is never short on opinions and let’s just say that the German legend is not ultra-fond of Bayern Munich’s depth.
While not denying Bayern Munich’s top-notch starting XI rules the Bundesliga, Matthäus has reservations about the team complimentary players.
“FC Bayern have the best first team. The best squad is RB Leipzig. If we move away from the first eleven, twelve, and 13 players and then compare the players, in my opinion Leipzig can react best in times of crisis — in the event of injuries, suspensions, overload,” Matthäus told Sport Bild. “That doesn’t mean that the best squad will become champions, but FC Bayern must hope that certain things will be spared. I see the broader squad not only in Leipzig, but also in other teams.”
Aside of RB Leipzig, who else? You might be surprised to find out who Matthäus rates higher than the Bavarians.
“Borussia Dortmund definitely, but I also see Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach better positioned across the board. Again: The first team from Bavaria is top European level,” Matthäus remarked. “We have been discussing the squad at FC Bayern for 13 or 14 months now. When the club won all titles in 2020, Bavaria was extremely well positioned across the board. At the Champions League tournament in Lisbon, every substitute was given new impulses, giving regular players a break. That was no longer the case last season. And with (David) Alaba, (Jerome) Boateng, and (Javi) Martínez, three more players have broken away. Players who were important not only on the pitch but also for the dressing room. For the hierarchy, FC Bayern still has very good leading players, but everything has to grow together again atmospherically. Because the climate in the locker room is important in order to achieve top performances and titles over a whole year.”
Matthäus seems to think the sense of chemistry, collaboration, and locker room atmosphere at least has the potential to go sideways with Bayern Munich.
“Because of the departures, this climate (in the locker room) is not necessarily given at Bayern, it is a completely different squad. The newcomers have to find each other, even if a promising central defender has surely been added in (Dayot) Upamecano,” Matthäus said. “But he has to get used to the club first. There have been a lot of players who took a while. In addition, the bad luck with injuries started in preparation. That would have made a qualitatively broad squad important. There are also other aspects.”
Other aspects, eh? Well, Matthäus thinks the wear-and-tear that Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski have accrued over the years could start to catch up to them.
“I firmly assume that Thomas Müller will play in the national team in the future, will have more stress and will therefore most likely not perform as in the past two seasons. I also don’t think Robert Lewandowski will score 41 goals again. These are little things that will affect the overall picture. It is only logical for me that FC Bayern has to reinvent itself due to the many change,” Matthäus stated.