According to a report by Sport Bild (which is annoyingly behind a paywall) the Bayern Munich brass are expecting big things from Julian Nagelsmann this season. Having fulfilled the coach’s transfer requirements this summer, the club bosses want to see a serious improvement in the team from top to bottom. There will be no more excuses — Nagelsmann is under more scrutiny than ever.
Per the report, here’s what the coach needs to do:
- Establish a brand new attacking system without Robert Lewandowski at the helm. With the signing of Sadio Mane and the recent extension of Serge Gnabry, the bosses presumably think Nagelsmann has more than enough resources to pull this off.
- New players need to be developed. Bayern Munich were active in acquiring young talent this summer — the likes of Matthijs de Ligt (22), Noussair Mazraoui (24), Ryan Gravenberch (20), and Mathys Tel (17) must be integrated into the team setup sooner rather than later. Last season, the coach got away with having minimal rotation and being stingy with minutes to younger bench players. That won’t cut it anymore.
- Finally, “only” one title will not suffice — Julian Nagelsmann must prove he can win more than just the Bundesliga, and especially prove his worth against Europe’s elite in the Champions League. Last season’s loss to Villarreal shook the club to its core, prompting the board to invest heavily in the squad. Another such disaster will not be tolerated.
With Lewandowski gone, Nagelsmann has been freed from one of his main critics in the dressing room. However, the senior players — Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, and Joshua Kimmich in particular — are reportedly keeping a close eye on the coach and the way he implements his ideas. Bayern Munich is a team where players are known to oust their manager, as in the case of both Niko Kovac and Carlo Ancelotti. Nagelsmann will be under the same scrutiny this season, and his efforts will be judged by his senior-most cadre of stars.
The coach, for his part, is responding to the challenge in kind. During the summer break, Nagelsmann communicated extensively with his squad, especially the senior players. Personnel and sporting issues were discussed — improvements, adjustments, changes, and criticisms of last season.
This year’s preseason started with an extremely tough training regimen to get the players fit. A points system has already been introduced, to combat complacency in training. Training performances and results of practice games are all recorded and laid out to the players in detail.
However, even as the coaching staff works with the players, the players judge the staff. Recently, the need for Konrad Laimer has been questioned by some within the squad.
The performances of Dutch midfielder Ryan Gravenberch have made some believe that the Austrian is not needed. Throughout the summer, Laimer has been mentioned as one of Nagelsmann’s chief targets for the midfield. It seems that his players don’t agree.
If your name is Julian Nagelsmann, your life is very complicated right now. The sky-high standards of Bayern Munich have not changed simply because Robert Lewandowski has left the club — if anything, last year’s disappointments have made the club and its fans even more demanding. The board spent significant money and now expect a return on investment. Meanwhile, the coach is being scrutinized by some of the most decorated players in the game — hyper-competitive freaks who expect to be at the pinnacle of the sport every single season.
If Nagelsmann can rise to the occasion, then Bayern Munich could be in for an amazing season. If not, however, his days at the club may be numbered — no matter what his contract says.