It was a hot afternoon at Singapore where Bayern Munich faced Liverpool FC. While the game had its ups and downs for the Bavarians, they managed a 4-3 victory and bagged the prestigious Singapore Cup. Here are some of the main talking points from the game.
Inconsistent defending galore
Early in the game, the Bavarian defense was practically asleep, letting Cody Gakpo simply waltz through the middle of the pitch and score in the second minute. While players like Kim Min-Jae and Alphonso Davies were doing a fine job by themselves, there seemed to be an overall lack of cohesion. A poor performance from Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard’s seeming unwillingness to put in any work let the defense down. In due time, the situation improved, as Bayern managed to keep things under control.
The set-piece defending too left a lot to be desired but it’s hard to remember the last time we were even remotely satisfactory in that area.
Again in the second half, the defense was not cohesive at the start, but it wasn’t too bad. A completely new set of players in Matthijs de Ligt, Josip Stanisic, Arijon Ibrahimovic and Noussair Mazraoui struggled to find rhythm but managed to get things under control soon enough.
The general problem is that there is an evident lack of communication in the backline that needs to be worked on.
The problem with Thomas Tuchel
The Tuchel system simply doesn’t suit Bayern, who are used to pressing like maniacs since the beginning of time. His tactics involve a weak or practically nonexistent press. This low-energy, quiet style of play lets most teams rip us apart with ease. Tuchel seems keen on implementing tactics that are not practical for Bayern, but it doesn’t end there. The kind of teams that Bayern face — whether it be German sides or teams in Europe, necessitate that we play an intense press and suffocate them with narrow spaces until they give up the ball and we score 5+ goals past them as Hansi Flick watches with a disappointed look. That intensity is missing under the current coach.
Joshua Kimmich had perhaps one of his worst games in recent times and it has everything to do with Tuchel. Playing an unfamiliar position isn’t the only trouble — there seems to be next-to-no cohesion in midfield. This provides a weird contrast from the start of preseason when Kimmich and Konrad Laimer gelled quickly and played their appropriate positions with ease. Laimer, despite a poor performance, was not subbed off early.
Tuchel seems intent on maintaining his seemingly preconceived assessments of the other midfielders, who have barely played since preseason began. He continues to repeat the same mistakes he made at Chelsea. The best way to proceed at Bayern is to let the players play the system that the club and the players themselves are familiar with and the manager must realise that soon enough.
Praise where it is due
Though there was a lot to complain about this game, praise where it is due to the excellent performers!
Jamal Musiala continues to evolve into a fantastic Thomas Muller replacement, with feet that were perhaps kissed by God. He adds the magic to our attack, and along with Kingsley Coman and Mathys Tel made the attack watchable. Serge Gnabry seems to be turning a corner as well, though he still isn’t reliable enough.
Kim Min-Jae is the best signing this season so far and has been nothing short of promising. Noussair Mazraoui and Ryan Gravenberch were rather solid as well. Josip Stanisic continues to fight for his position, with an exceptional performance and a goal. The last-minute goal from Frans Kratzig gives me hope that our youth system was absolutely magical and the youngster had yet another solid outing, continuing from his cameo against Kawasaki Frontale.
Interested in more analysis of the game? Then why not check out our postgame podcast? Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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