Bayern Munich might be in third place in the Bundesliga table behind the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart, but that is through no fault of Sven Ulreich. Bayern has shown no signs of not being able to score goals at the attacking end, but defensively, they definitely need improving upon and have not been aided with the number of injuries Thomas Tuchel has had to deal with in his back line.
Either way, Ulreich has stood firm in Manuel Neuer’s absence and probably never expected he would be getting this many matches as Bayern’s first choice keeper if you would have asked him at this stage last season. The strategy of finding a Neuer replacement during the summer transfer window eventually turned to just getting an Ulreich backup, as the club’s front office started to show faith in the keeper and ultimately signed Daniel Peretz as his backup. They did explore options in the transfer window to act as Neuer’s stand-in, but the right opportunity did not fully present itself.
Now that Neuer is back fully fit and has been given the green light to feature, Ulreich is more than well aware that he going to be relegated backup to a bench role for Bayern. This is something he said he always knew was going to be the case, and that there are absolutely no hard feelings towards the situation. “I’m always happy to play, but as I’ve said before, I know my role at FC Bayern. Manu has fought his way back and I’m happy for him because it was a long way. If Manu plays at the weekend, then he will have a good comeback and I’ll be happy for him. I’ll then sit on the bench, even though of course it’s a pity when you sit on the bench,” Ulreich told Sport1 (as per @iMiaSanMia).
Neuer has not played since Germany’s 4-2 win over Costa Rica at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but he was deemed ready enough to play a part in Bayern’s 3-1 win at Mainz. For that match, as well as Bayern’s 3-1 win over Galatasaray in the Champions League, Tuchel had still gone with Ulreich, and he made a handful of key saves in each of those respective matches.