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Sports psychologist analyzes the state of Bayern Munich heading into Villarreal showdown

Is Bayern Munich mentality ready for Villarreal?

FC Bayern München v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

You can take these comments with a grain or two of psychiatric sea salt, but a prominent sports psychologist sat down with Tz and attempted to analyze what has been going wrong with Bayern Munch ahead of the big Champions League showdown with Villarreal.

“Arrogance! For many years, Bayern had discarded the attitude that ‘we’ll beat them in passing, today 70 percent is enough.’ Unfortunately, this sloppiness is back. The attitude can only be: ‘We’ll give our best. And if we then lose, we don’t need to reproach ourselves, because then we know: Today we had nothing left to give’ — and they simply owe it to their fans to give their best,” said Dr. Matthias Herzog.

FC Bayern München v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga
Joshua Kimmich’s mentality seems fine, as he put his son on skates before the FC Augsburg match.
Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

When asked if the issues were mental, Herzog acknowledged that was likely the case.

“Yes, unfortunately. These fluctuating performances throughout the season can only be explained by the head. It’s not as if the players have the skills of world-class players in one match and have forgotten how to play soccer in the next. The basic skills are always there. The only question is whether they can call them up in their heads. And that’s where Bayern is having an extremely hard time at the moment,” Herzog remarked. “Some of the players currently seem rather resistant to advice. I also doubt that they are all really willing and hungry. That’s a shame. Because that’s the only way to win big titles. You don’t need all that for the championship title in Germany, because the opponents are honestly too ‘stupid’ and beat themselves. Mediocrity is enough for Bayern. But to win the Champions League, the qualities I just mentioned are crucial.”

Ouch.

So, what can Bayern Munich do to turn things around on Tuesday?

“By realizing why the title is so important to them. When the why, the desire to win titles, is great, a pull is created. When the Bavarians know again what they are doing it for, and by that I don’t mean money, because everyone has enough of that. To concentrate on their own strengths and thus develop the self-belief again that they can beat anyone. In the first leg, they were far too busy reacting to the opponent’s style of play instead of imposing their own game and thus forcing the opponent to react. That’s a sign that they lacked confidence,” said Herzog.