Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is not afraid to throw (figurative) punches with anyone on the pitch.
The first-year skipper in Bavaria has implemented an offensively-juiced hybrid formation at times, a back-three at times, and a true back-four at others. Clearly, Nagelsmann loves optionality when it comes to his formations.
Most recently, Nagelsmann opted for an offensive heavy lineup against RB Leipzig that ultimately led to a victory. Still, there were many instances within that match that showed the vulnerabilities of a “no risk it, no biscuit” approach. While the Bavarians were fairly dominant offensively, Bayern Munich was susceptible to quick counter-attacks, which has been a common theme over the course of the season. If a turnover occurred in the build-up or if one defender was slightly out of position, it almost immediately became a major threat to Manuel Neuer.
Despite the victory, some fans are wondering if this can work in the long run — especially against better teams. Nagelsmann’s hands are a bit tied at the moment, though. Without Leon Goretzka and Alphonso Davies available, Bayern Munich is missing two key parts of its over all quality as an on-pitch unit:
1: The stability Goretzka provides and how his partnership with Joshua Kimmich positively impacts the midfield play.
2: The dynamic offensive presence — and recovery ability of Davies.
Missing those two players has forced Nagelsmann to operate a bit differently, but the question remains regarding just how offensive of a line-up Nagelsmann can use without it being a detriment.
Even with Davies’ game-breaking speed and Goretzka’s box-to-box prowess, though, the duo cannot always get back in time to support the back-three in Nagelsmann’s hybrid set-up. Clearly, there is at least some issue — but is it one that would preclude Bayern Munich from winning the Champions League?
I’m not so sure.
Nagelsmann’s offensive heavy philosophy might make fans hold their collective breath more often than anyone would like, but it is extremely hard for a team — even a Champions League contender — to keep the Bayern Munich offense at bay for 90 mins.
Aesthetically, there are also some frustrating moments as Bayern Munich is often so high that it can crowd itself in the opponent’s box, but the question remains: Can anyone out-punch Bayern Munich?
Nagelsmann has a plan and he is as creative a coach as there is. To this point, there has been little reason to doubt his tactics given the results.
The question remains, though, how will this all hold up during the Champions League? Tell us what you think in the poll and the comments below!
Can Julian Nagelsmann’s offense-heavy approach lead Bayern Munich to a Champions League title?
This poll is closed
Yes — no one can outscore this lineup
No — it will only take a few mistakes to put Bayern Munich in a hole where it won’t be able to recover
In case you’re looking for some more Bayern Munich content, why not check out our postgame podcast? We talk extensively about RB Leipzig game, including the issues with the defense — which will no doubt get worse now that Neuer is injured. Listen to it below or at this link.
As always, thanks for listening and we appreciate all the support!