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Four observations as Bayern Munich II continues strong 2023 with a 4-2 win over TSV Aubstadt

While the senior team struggles, the reserves are enjoying great form so far this year

Dinamo Kiev v Bayern München - UEFA Youth League Photo by Stanislav Vedmid/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Here are observations on Bayern Munich reserve side Bayern II’s narrow 4-2 win over TSV Aubstadt:

The frustrating inconsistencies of Yusuf Kabadayi

This was perhaps the perfect match to demonstrate just how frustrating Yusuf Kabadayi is as a player. If one looks at the scoresheet and sees he scored two goals, one would think he had a good game. And he was clearly crucial to Bayern II. But, unfortunately, most of what Kabadayi did today was poor.

The young winger would consistently receive the ball on the left in a promising position, take too much time on the ball, try to take on his man every single time and eventually lose the ball or pass it back. Kabadayi suffers from overcomplicating things all the time, always looking to make the perfect play and dribble past his opponent rather than make the simple yet effective play. One moment exemplified this bad habit perfectly, where he had the ball in a lot of space in a central position in the penalty box and then tried to dribble past the last man, lost the ball and missed out on a massive scoring chance. It’s been an issue for years. He needs to get over this habit to progress as a player.

Noel Aseko Nkili’s disappointing season

When Bayern signed Noel Aseko Nkili from Hertha Berlin for a reported 1 million euros, it sent shockwaves through Germany. Nkili has been regarded one of Germany’s biggest talents for years, the defensive minded midfielder, the No. 6 Germany was crying out for-if his development went right. And there had been rumors than Nkili would be allowed to train with the first team in the near future. Bayern being able to convince him to sign for their U-19s was a big, big deal.

Unfortunately, this has been a mixed season for Nkili. Injuries have plagued the 17-year-old and he has had trouble bringing his form for Hertha to Bayern. He did end up getting promoted to Bayern II in the second half of the season and played fairly regularly, injuries permitting, but he hasn’t really recaptured that spark he had at Hertha yet. In today’s game, he also hobbled before half time with what looked like a serious injury. With four games left, it looks like it could be a season ending injury. Sadly, that seems a fitting end to an underwhelming season for the youngster. It hasn’t been bad, but both Bayern and he were likely hoping for more.

What a quintessential Bayern II performance this was

Bayern II has, over the years, been consistently inconsistent. Brave, fast, technically brilliant, capable of utterly dominating opponents and yet disorganized, easy to counter, frail defensively, prone to missing easy chances and collapsing in games. This was a perfect demonstration of all these elements. Bayern II dominated most of the game, spending a lot of time in the opposition half and forcing TSV Aubstadt to run after the ball while excellent technical players such as Arijon Ibrahimović, Grant-Leon Ranos, and Taichi Fukui left them chasing shadows. The team also created multiple phenomenal opportunities and scored four goals.

And yet, too often the team would get overeager and lose the ball in a terrible position, leading to frequent 2 v 2 and 3 v 3 counters for the opposition. Substitute Aleksandar Pavlovic made the silly mistake of trying to move his hand out of the way of an oncoming cross and only succeeded in moving his arm in the way of the cross, giving away a penalty. The team squandered an unforgivable amount of chances. And, after dominating so much of the game, the team collapsed in the final 15 minutes as the tension got to the team, with the opposition close to scoring numerous times. Of course, these frailties are natural when the team is young, yet they are no less frustrating.

The promotion dream is dead yet celebrations are exuberant at full time

The faint hope of promotion, kindled a few weeks ago, is now gone. Following a loss and a draw in the last two games, Bayern II are now nine points behind 2nd placed Würzburger Kickers (2nd place would likely be promoted due to the first placed team having financial issues). Only four games remain and only 12 points can be won. Overhauling Würzburger Kickers is now virtually impossible.

But the players still really cared about this game. Substitute Mamin Sanyang scored the fourth goal in stoppage time to seal the win for the team, having made a lung bursting run over almost the entire field. He just collapsed after that in exhaustion and relief, and the team and members of the staff crowded around in a mass celebration. Such a display of joy is rare for a team with virtually nothing to play for, but it is so impressive and underlined how much these players simply want to win football matches. It’s a phenomenal precedent to set.

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