Back 3? Back 4? Whatever it was worked really well
Bayern Munich started their game against Fürth with three players who are primarily center-backs, and two full-backs, in what resembled a 3-4-3/5-2-3 hybrid. However, as the game progressed, it was unclear whether this was a three-man or a four-man man backline, with Davies playing more as a winger. To me, this looked somewhat like a back three experiment, something Nagelsmann probably had to resort to due to the dearth of wing personnel. And it worked like a charm.
Yes, it was against the Bundesliga bottom-dwellers, and yes, they didn’t do themselves any favors, so I’m going to save my judgments for this lineup for bigger games. It was all set to be another comfortable clean sheet for Bayern, until...
Benjamin Pavard, Bayern’s previously trustworthy RB was sent off for a very poor last man challenge in the second half. It was poor decision-making and positioning from him, and the player hasn’t been doing much to justify a starting role this season. One of the key pieces during Bayern’s treble-winning season, Pavard has fallen out of grace super fast, and boy has it been a steep fall. At this point, there is no reason why Stanisic shouldn’t start over him on a regular basis.
Since Kimmich moved from RB to midfield, Bayern hasn’t had a permanent solution for the RB problem. And if Stanisic doesn’t make the cut (I sure hope he does), the club might have some spending to do next summer.
Short, smart bursts of pressing
Julian Nagelsmann is one of the most talented coaches in the world. He’s not called a coaching genius for no reason. And the changes he’s implementing in this Bayern side are becoming more and more apparent with every passing game. One strikingly obvious aspect of his tactics is Bayern’s smart pressing approach. This involves players charging at the opposition player with possession in twos or threes to try and quickly dispossess the player or force an errant pass.
The players don’t run at opposition defenders and midfielders like madmen anymore. This well concerted, compact press means the entire team doesn’t have to just press like crazy for 90 minutes. This would enable the players to conserve energy and also push forth on the other flank to receive the ball in dangerous areas.
Good job, coach.
Chances, chances, and more chances
Yet another trademark feature of Nagelsball that we all love. Bayern are creating countless chances, and this simply means that the number of goal opportunities would also rise, leading to more goals. The team has scored 23 goals already in just six Bundesliga games, which is almost 4 goals per game, a crazy statistic. Granted, tougher games will come, but if Bayern keep scoring rampantly, you can back this team to blow past the 100 goal mark this season in the BuLi.
Lewandowski marked? No problem
Greuther Fürth managed to keep Robert Lewandowski quiet on the goal scoring front. This was his first game in a long, long time where he failed to score. The opposition constantly had 3 players marking him, thinking that they’d be able to stop Bayern from scoring that way. How naïve.
This fell right into Bayern’s turf, with Müller and Kimmich both getting on the scoresheet. Kimmich has scored three goals in his last two BuLi games, and this is a good sign. Bayern has a lot of attacking weapons outside Lewandowski, and they can all step up in combinations to grab the goals if their talisman is well-marked or having an off day. This team looks really scary for the rest of Europe right now.