Bayern Munich has done exceedingly well even in the absence of Robert Lewandowski — this is of course the general consensus, but Felix Magath does not think so. The 69-year-old was the manager from 2004-07, tasting success in the form of two Bundesliga titles and one DFB-Pokal title.
Lewandowski, after his move to FC Barcelona, struggled to find his footing for a bit but then got back to his old form, serving his new club extremely well and receiving lots of praise.
Every Bayern personnel, from the players — notably Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller, to the coach Julian Nagelsmann and even the higher-ups like sporting director Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić and Oliver Kahn have spoken enough about Lewandowski and naturally wish to move on from the topic and focus on Bayern. However, the saga is seemingly endless — the former Bayern manager accuses the Rekordmeister of putting off the plans to find a successor to Lewandowski.
Bayern has played with conviction for most of this season so far, until the Bundesliga fixtures against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Union Berlin — both performances have sparked criticism from pundits and fans alike for the disappointing performances and the resultant score-lines.
Per Tz, Magath spoke on what he would have done if he were the manager — find a Lewandowski replacement years in advance anticipating his departure at some point in time. “If I had been Bayern coach three years ago, I would certainly have tried to solve this problem. But the problem has been shifted to this season,” he lamented. “Such a striker who has guaranteed goals for the team is not that easy to replace. Bayern are noticing that now,” Magath declared.
Of course, Bayern went down the route of investing in Sadio Mané, who has a completely different profile in terms of abilities, role and physique but this all worked out anyway — Julian Nagelsmann has changed the Bayern attack to be more variable to accommodate two attackers up front instead of just one.
Magath finds the primary problem rather evident, the lack of a replacement for Lewandowski’s rhythm and presence, which matched the team perfectly. “In a system that has worked, it is difficult to find a replacement. Mané has to integrate now,” he explained.
He believes that while Bayern have nothing to worry about their chances at the Bundesliga, it is their chances at the Champions League that is a cause of concern. ”Even after two years, I don’t see any danger for Bayern that they won’t win the championship. They have been warned about the Champions League,” he proclaimed.