Die Folgen: Bayern’s 2-1 victory over Werder Bremen (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich was able to down Werder Bremen 2-1 in the Bundesliga and snare three very important points for the league title race.
Like many of its recent efforts, however, Bayern Munich did not play up to the quality that it possesses on the roster. There is no killer instinct on the pitch right now for the Bavarians, but that does not mean that everything was bad. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- As always, let’s start with a look at the lineup:
| STARTING XI— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) May 6, 2023
Here's how we line up for a big away day! ⚪#SVWFCB pic.twitter.com/ugWjxxWxgl
- It looked like we were getting the return of the 4-2-2-2, but it looked like a 4-2-3-1 for major stretches. Maybe that’s why the team is scuffling to get on the same page. There seems to be a lack of organization for large stretches.
- There were some interesting choices that included spots on the bench for Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané, which was puzzling (even if you listen to Tuchel’s pregame explanation of why Müller was benched).
- As for Sané, it is extremely peculiar that Tuchel continues to roll out underachieving attacker Sadio Mané in favor of the Germany international. The rest of the lineup made sense logistically, but the formation was an odd call in a game that really could have come back to bite them in the backside. Regardless, Bayern Munich continues to look like a team struggling to find its identity under Tuchel.
- Bayern Munich came out with some jump and good energy, but were very inefficient early on. It still seems like things are not fully clicking under Tuchel. Werder Bremen looked like in was in major trouble, but Bayern Munich just could not get in sync with its attack.
- The backline continues to be a strong point for the Bavarians as Matthijs de Ligt and Benjamin Pavard did an excellent job centrally, while Noussair Mazraoui did his job adeptly on the outside.
- I feel strongly that the club needs to assess this strength and determine if the best way forward is to use to the max by running a back three-based system. A lot of that will probably depend on whether or not Pavard inks an extension, but right now, the defense is light years better than the attack or the midfield.
- I do worry that a back-four with Alphonso Davies and Mazraoui operating as outside-backs will lead to Bayern Munich will get counterattacked to death with just two center-backs. That sound you hear is me talking myself into a back three being the only solution for next season.
- Joao Cancelo was okay...not terrible, not great.
- I thought Ryan Gravenberch was decent-to-good. He kept the ball, but was not on it enough as much as I would have like him to be. I would have liked to see a little more activity from during this time out there.
- Gravenberch was also good in his duels, which was a plus for me. It would have behooved him to not complain to the media. Overall, it was a good showing for him, but he didn’t seize the opportunity as much as I would have liked for a player who has been so vocal. Baby steps, though, right?
- Joshua Kimmich was very, very good again against Werder Bremen. This has been a really strong stretch for Kimmich when the team really needs him to be at his best.
- Serge Gnabry stayed hot with a goal (and had a nice game overall), while Sané made the most of his substitute appearance with a goal.
- The combination pass from Mazraoui and run by Sané on the goal was phenomenal.
- I felt like it was another ineffective game from Jamal Musiala. I get the rationale to keep running him out there in hope that he breaks out if this funk, but he is struggling and might need a week off. He’s just not that good right now.
- Niklas Schmidt’s goal for Werder Bremen was an absolute rocket.
- Overall, I have trouble psyching myself up too much from this win. I have doubts about the roster and the coaching staff because I consider the last few matches to be lackluster results against subpar competition. I am trying to find the way forward to get a glimpse at what is actually going on with the club at this juncture, but I can’t see any of it clearly. Are they just trying to what is necessary to win the league before enduring a reboot or are they genuinely just playing down to the level of their competition after humiliating early exits from the DFB-Pokal and Champions League? I get worried when I don’t see an evident direction that the team is going in. It felt like this under both Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovac (Heck, if you want to go way back, you can say it was just as directionless under Jurgen Klinsmann. I’m not saying we are in Klinsmann territory yet, but damn, it needs to be better. This roster is far better than the one Klinsmann has as well). Something is off internally and I’m not sure there is complete alignment with the sporting department and the coaching staff or if the players are not comfortable with how everything has played out this season. Whatever the case, the season cannot end soon enough.
If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look or a listen:
Sabitzer dishes on Casemiro (@Plettigoal)
Bayern Munich loanee Marcel Sabitzer likely saw the rumors linking his Manchester United teammate, Casemiro, and gave his thoughts on the former Real Madrid star.
“He is an experienced player who has won everything at global level that can be won. And he has done it several times,” Sabitzer told Sky Sport journalist Florian Plettenberg. “There’s no need to talk about his value, because he’s an exceptional player, he holds the team together. He’s a leader on the pitch. I think we have extremely high quality in midfield right now. That’s why we’re in the position we’re in now.“
Neymar might be limiting his options (@ManagingBarca)
Lionel Messi is reportedly willing to lower his salary demands in an effort to go back to FC Barcelona. Sport is reporting that Neymar is not willing to do the same:
Unlike Messi, Neymar is not willing to reduce his salary to join FC Barcelona this summer. @sport pic.twitter.com/TfZOV8SfGf— Managing Barça (@ManagingBarca) May 5, 2023
Bavarian Podcast Works: Weekend Warm-up Podcast Season 2, Episode 43 (Bavarian Football Works)
It has been another crazy week for Bayern Munich as rumors are flying everywhere and fans are generally focused on next season while the 2022/23 squad is embroiled in a title chase.
These are clearly crazy times and that is exactly why Bavarian Podcast Works is here — to help sort through the mess like Luke Skywalker in that trash compactor during Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Per the norm, there is a lot to talk about, so let’s get to it:
- The latest Sadio Mane drama.
- How Lionel Messi throwing a grenade into his relationship with Paris Saint-Germain could lead FC Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski back to Bayern Munich.
- The official nail in the coffin on that Harry Kane rumor and why I’m starting to come around on Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic.
- A look at the “leaked” list of Bayern’s plans for each player during the off-season.
United to buck up for Martinez? (Football Insider via 90Min.com)
Inter Milan finally seems set on selling Lautaro Martinez and Manchester United could be ready to shell out the big bucks to get a deal done:
Inter are prepared to cash in on Lautaro Martinez this summer, with Manchester United interested in the Argentina striker.
Chelsea thinks it can retain Mount (Football Insider via 90Min.com)
Chelsea FC attacking midfielder Mason Mount has been linked to Bayern Munich, Arsenal FC, and Liverpool FC in recent weeks, but the club is confident that it can retain him:
Chelsea are confident that Mason Mount will snub interest from Bayern Munich and Liverpool in order to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
I still doubt Thomas Tuchel will get Mount, but it will get a little interesting if the manager puts a full court press on the personnel department to bring in a player he might really want.
Lukaku back to Chelsea? (Daily Telegraph)
Romelu Lukaku was so much of a bust for Chelsea FC that they shipped him away to Inter Milan. Now, the cluelessness will continue in London as the club might give him another chance:
Sticking with Chelsea, the Blues will give Romelu Lukaku the option to be reintegrated into the first team under prospective new manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Belgian is currently on loan at Inter.