Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga title, but did not have a banner season for a number of reasons.
There was inconsistency on the pitch, a coaching change, turmoil off the field, a front office nuke job, and just an overall sense that things were not nearly as good as they could have been for large swaths of the season.
ESPN took a run at releasing its Best XI and Worst XI for the Bundesliga and, surprisingly (or maybe not), Bayern Munich was better represented on the Worst XI than the Best XI.
Let’s take a look...
ESPN’s Bundesliga Best XI
The Bundesliga Best XI only featured two Bayern Munich players, midfielder Joshua Kimmich and attacker Serge Gnabry:
Goalkeeper: Frederik Ronnow (Union Berlin)
Defenders: Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen), Willi Orban (RB Leipzig), Nico Schlotterbeck (Borussia Dortmund), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Manager: Urs Fischer (Union Berlin)
From a Bayern Munich perspective, Matthijs de Ligt might have better than any defender listed. Perhaps, it was his slow start in league games that cost him some recognition and while those defenders definitely had “good” seasons, De Ligt was “great.”
You could argue that Benjamin Pavard or Yann Sommer could have made the cut as well.
Kimmich was well-deserving, despite this not being his best campaign, while Gnabry glazed over bouts of consistency by registering 14 goals and six assists in 34 Bundesliga games. That was enough to put him at fifth in the league for goals scored.
ESPN’s Bundesliga Worst XI
Meanwhile, the Bundesliga Worst XI from ESPN, however, did have quite the Bayern Munich look and feel to it:
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Defenders: Jonjoe Kenny (Hertha Berlin), Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maxence Lacroix (VfL Wolfsburg), David Raum (RB Leipzig)
Midfielders: Julian Weigl (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Sadio Mané (Bayern Munich), Sardar Azmoun (Bayer Leverkusen), Patrik Schick (Bayer Leverkusen), Alassane Plea (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Manager: Daniel Farke (Borussia Monchengladbach)
As for the Bayern Munich boys, it is a little harsh to throw Gravenberch on the list. Realistically, he was never going to play a lot, so there should not have been an expectation from him or anyone that he would. His numerous complaints to the media probably put a target on his back.
As for Mané, he was a bust this season. There is no sugarcoating that fact. Manuel Neuer’s fateful ski trip probably played a big role in his inclusion on this list.
Where did ESPN get it right...where did they get it wrong? Tell us in the comments below!