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“Everyone has to work defensively” — Julian Nagelsmann’s warning to Leroy Sané, Bayern Munich

The manager didn't single out any player specifically, per reports — but he didn't need to.

FC Bayern München v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Bayern Munich have been hitting their stride ever in the month of October — even battling against a rising tide of injuries and Covid cases along the way. The Rekordmeister, ever their own fiercest critics, had a serious self-examination of the ills that had started to derail them before that.

And when dropped points reared their unwelcome head again against Borussia Dortmund, Julian Nagelsmann and the team acted fast to ensure it was an aberration rather than a return to form. A window into the process:

Indeed, it would hardly have been fair to single out Leroy Sané totally — on a play where there were multiple lapses, and in a game with more than one unnecessary late concession. Nagelsmann’s scheme requires relentless energy throughout, and switching off at any point can be killer. That it happens more than once, and in more than one game, requires a message to be sent to the team as a whole — and pointedly to an individual as an example rather than as a singular indictment.

The tactic seems to be working, as Bayern have been back to their imperious best ever since. We’ll see if the Bavarians can keep up their good streak heading back to the Champions League and to FC Barcelona.

Interested in a preview of the game? Then why not check out the latest episode of our podcast? We talk about the emergence of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as a legitimate striker option, as well as what Barcelona have in store for us. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

As always, we appreciate all the support.

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