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Opinion: Bayern Munich’s problems run deeper than the coach

The bitter truth.

FC Bayern Munich Photo by Felix Hörhager/picture alliance via Getty Images

There’s much more to Bayern Munich’s woes than just the coach. So then, What actually are the problems? Here is a list for you to consider. Ready for It?

A ‘rotten’ core of players

A lot of players have inflated egos and too much power in the team. Is it possible that they view that the coach is their elder brother or friend, not their boss? Every now and then, there are also reports about the dressing room ‘turning’ against the coach.

There is usually little truth to such reports by media outlets trying to garner clicks, but the number of similar reports over recent years means there has to be a certain level of reality to them.

There are reports that the players are unhappy with the coach, his communication, his tactics, and so on. There was one such report right after Julian Nagelsmann’s dismissal and there have been countless ones about Thomas Tuchel.

The players seem to think they know better. This cannot happen in a team. The players are not (and should never be) in any position to criticize the coach, no matter what.

Another big problem is the player hierarchy and status. Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, and Leon Goretzka, amongst others, seem to hold too much power within the club.

Kimmich is very stubborn about his role as a DM even when he is clearly not able to fill in that No. 6 role. Yet he is adamant, and this seems to get his way. The same could be said with Goretzka who has been starting regularly for performances that are regularly sub-par. Serge Gnabry, too. They have been causing way more bad than good recently, both on and off the pitch.

There was recent talk about contract renewals and how players ‘expected’ contracts or pay rises. As a player, you should be lucky you’re getting a contract at all. Players like Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich also need to understand that playing for this club is a privilege, either pledge your loyalty or leave, no in-betweens.

Whenever there seems to be a disagreement between the player and the club (manager), the player always seems to prevail: be it about the player’s wages, or the position he wants to play, or even the coach he likes. No player is ever above the club, but recently it seems as if they are.

Simply put, the players are unable to perform and back up their ego or their enormous wages: all while being set in a hierarchy detrimental to the club itself. These players have too much power: some even more than the coach.

Identification with the club

Like Kerry Hau said: the players have failed time and time again to identify with the club’s values. This batch of players does not have that determination and motivation you need to play for FC Bayern.

They get upset with criticism from the fans and public criticism from the coach. Maybe try putting your head down, performing on the pitch, and not giving them a reason to complain and criticize you! They have a weak mentality, and it shows.

Before this season a key feature missing from this Bayern team was the winning mentality. To win every game despite all adversaries and fight for three points. This was particularly evident after the 2022 World Cup, where the players were hardly fighting to win games, Thomas Tuchel has, however, managed to change this to an extent. Bayern are back to winning scrappy games, which is a must for a team to succeed.

A lot of these players do not have what it takes and are not cut out to be a player for FC Bayern. They are unable to recognize what this club stands for.

The Board

The squad is one of the thinnest we have seen, and that’s completely on poor squad planning. Prioritizing having positive finances over a moderately deep squad. Being net positive is good as long as the squad is good too, but it’s not. We don’t need to sit here and detail how thin the squad is, the lineup against Dortmund will be proof enough.

The key leaders have failed (who would’ve thought when their combined ages are 139). Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge need to move on. They are clearly no longer in touch with how the modern football world works, and Uli’s statements are particularly disturbing. “The squad is fine” when it clearly is not.

Newly-appointed board members need to pull their socks up too. To compete at the highest level in Europe, you need a capable squad.

What about the coach then?

The thing we will critique the coach for is games where a pressing structure is totally invisible (RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen) and teams are able to cut off all our chances with a well-drilled formational set-up, not allowing Bayern’s usual ball circulation. Otherwise, his football can be considered ‘boring’ but really works: and with the right players it could work even better.

Even despite a thin squad, Tuchel has managed a great record in the Bundesliga and Champions League. People seem to think sacking Tuchel will magically solve everything when it clearly will not.

Who would we even bring in if we sack Tuchel? Flick? His stint at Germany proved that the 2020 success was down to his man-motivation rather than tactical brilliance. The tactics were good enough to take teams by shock, but as soon as teams figured out how to counter them, we began to falter. More so, he seems to be losing his touch with the players.

Xabi Alonso? Sounds like another Julian Nagelsmann situation brewing.

Tuchel can get sacked if it gives our fanbase peace, and other coaches can come in. Maybe Tuchel should get sacked for his own good, and so the fans will realize eventually that the problem is not just the coach.

The sextuple was the worst thing to ever happen to the club

This is the most controversial take. The argument is that all these issues are the result of a constant downward trend since 2017, the sextuple fooled us and set unrealistic expectations.

Let’s slow down a little. There is no doubt whatsoever that Bayern were the best team during the sextuple season. But that season itself was unorthodox, and dare I say, a fluke of strange circumstances. There are reasons that despite retaining pretty much a lot of the same key players, Bayern has not been able to go past the quarterfinals of the UCL.

The sextuple gave a lot of our players an unhealthy ego and sense of achievement while setting expectations for Bayern to win the treble every year. While winning should always be the aim at Bayern, we also need to be realistic.

Our sextuple squad was never as good as it seemed. It was simply better than the rest that year, and now that teams have better squads than ours (part of it is failure to build up on the sextuple triumph), we seem shocked when teams play better than us.

Conclusion: Is this all too reactionary?

Maybe. It is just one loss this season, but the drama surrounding the club has gotten to a boiling point. Everywhere it’s Tuchel getting blamed (when he certainly deserves part of it) but people overlooking the key problems with this entire set of players and the club itself.

That said, there is a great deal of frustrated people around our club. You, the reader, likely are frustrated too. What do you think? Tell us in the comments below.

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