The Bayern Munich bosses were never worried! All the brass spent a tense two weeks after the FC Augsburg defeat publicly defending their manager during an international break in which he had no opportunity to show improvement on the field. Now, Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern are back — and in style, thumping Leverkusen 4-0 and starting a slow climb back up the Bundesliga table.
“It was the first step in the right direction,” said CEO Oliver Kahn after the game, per FCBayern.com. “But we know not to get ahead of ourselves. We have to play like that in every game. If we do that, I’m optimistic.”
Indeed, lest we pronounce a crisis over prematurely, let’s first note that Bayern don’t even have the opportunity to reclaim first place in the league this week. At the time of this writing — prior to Saturday’s results — Union Berlin sit two points clear in first place and with a game in hand; Borussia Dortmund are also tied on points and yet to play.
Editor’s note: Union and Dortmund both lost. Of course they did.
And, if we are to regard Bayern’s rough spell as a window of time, Bayern didn’t show consistent weakness — but rather weakness in consistency. They powered to impressive Champions League victories over Inter Milan and FC Barcelona in the same time they trodded out to sluggish dropped points in increasingly lackluster Bundesliga performances.
Fortunately, a small respite is coming: the next two Champions League midweeks both feature Viktoria Plzeň, followed by an October 19th revisit to Augsburg. Bayern could entire their Octover 26th visit to FC Barcelona sitting handily top of the group.
So, keeping up the energy levels week in, week out, and midweek may still prove a stern test for the Bavarians. But a positive springboard from the Leverkusen game, and a slightly lower pressure schedule outside of Der Klassiker ahead, might help tide things over until the World Cup. Which will be a whole ‘nother challenge ...
... but that’s a worry for another day.
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