Bayern Munich’s start to 2023 could be a lot better. Three straight draws in the Bundesliga have left the club struggling for answers both on and off the pitch. Many are already expecting a sad end to not only the Bundesliga campaign, but to the Pokal and Champions League as well.
However, coach Julian Nagelsmann is not willing to call it a “crisis” at the moment.
In an interview with ZDF, as captured by @iMiaSanMia, Nagelsmann said: “We definitely have to get better results, but crisis is a very hard word. For actual crises, you can watch ‘Heute-journal’ (news program) for example. We want to play better, but talking about a crisis is too far.”
One would think Nagelsmann would prefer to use the word “crisis” to describe, say, what’s been going on in the Ukraine for the past decade. It’s true that in the current world, football is probably one of the least important things to be concerned about. After all, it’s just a silly game in which 22 idiots kick a ball around and the Germans always win...oh, wait.
Anyway, the motive behind Nagelsmann’s words remains unclear. Maybe it was an attempt to remain calm in the midst of poor results. If that was the case, credit to him for trying to reassure the fans and the team that everything will be alright. It has to be a tough job to maintain serenity in such circumstances. Or maybe he’s just in denial, which seems unlikely.
However, despite Nagelsmann’s words, three winless games in a row could well be called a crisis at a club like Bayern, especially when two of those games were at the Allianz Arena, which used to be a fortress. Whether this is just a slight dip in form due to post-World Cup rust or if it’s something more serious remains to be seen. If it’s the former, Nagelsmann will have been very right in downplaying the “crisis” term. If it’s the latter...well, we’ll get to that later.
All eyes are on Nagelsmann and his team as they travel to Mainz for a do-or-die Pokal clash on Wednesday. We shall see what happens.