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Six observations from Bayern Munich’s somewhat pedestrian 3-1 victory over FC Augsburg

Make no mistake, this is Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern Munich.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga
The Bayern Munich fans made a lot of noise in their team’s first Bundesliga game.
Photo by Franz Kirchmayr/SEPA.Media /Getty Images

Bayern Munich won against Augsburg. This is not the most surprising news of the day. However, yet again, the performance raised some question marks, at least in the first half.

Boring, really boring Bayern in the first half

When Louis Van Gaal came in 2009-10, he changed the way that Bayern played for the better. Ever since then, Bayern Munich has seen exciting soccer at the Allianz Arena, whether it was Hansi Flick’s high scoring side, Pep Guardiola’s one touch soccer or Jupp Heynckes’s expansive side. Now, Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern plays a slow style reliant on individual brilliance. It is not eye-catching most of the time. It wasn’t appealing at all in the first half. This game is about winning, but Bayern Munich’s football in the past decade has been about substance and style. It was eye catching in the second half; whether that will be the norm, remains to be seen.

Thomas Tuchel’s game plan

The assumption is that Thomas Tuchel wants to see Bayern’s passing improve and Bayern play at a quicker pace. However, one Phillip Quinn pointed out that Tuchel’s game plan is to slow the entire game down unless Bayern is countering. The idea that Tuchel wants all of Kinsgley Coman, Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry on the team is a difficult one to agree with when Bayern Munich plays at a snail’s pace with the ball most of the time.

No clear #10

There was no clear #10 today. A distributor of immense class was not necessary today. Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané and Kingsley Coman interchanged roles today and took turns at the #10. A better answer might be necessary in upcoming games against the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig. However, a team can only beat the opposition placed in front of them. That’s what Bayern did today.

Alphonso Davies & Leon Goretzka off to a wonderful start

Since Leon Goretzka was reintroduced into the team, Bayern’s midfield has looked far more stable. Goretzka showed true box-to-box qualities today and was unlucky not to score a goal. Alphonso Davies’s passing and connection with Harry Kane took Bayern fans back to 2019-20; he was brilliant again today and was one of the only bright spots when Bayern lost to Leipzig in the Supercup.

Augsburg makes an admirable change

Augsburg is moving away from the long ball game they relied on for most of their 13 seasons in the Bundesliga. They played out from the back numerous times. Arguably, they might have done better playing with long balls today. The first goal they conceded came from a very unfortunate error from Felix Uduokhai and the second another unfortunate hand ball from Niklas Dorsch. On another day, Augsburg might have opened the scoring. They will get better with practice. The goal they scored was well deserved. Mergim Berisha is a wonderful player and goals will come from him and through him.

A word on Thomas Müller

When Müller came on, as usual, the Allianz Arena gave him a welcome worthy of a hero. He hasn’t started either of the two games this season and Thomas Tuchel left him out for a vital Champions League quarterfinal tie against Manchester City last season. The indication seems to be that Tuchel does not want a team reliant on Müller to create. If that is the case, it is not a case of Müller losing his abilities but rather Tuchel wanting to shift in a different direction; it is unclear what that direction is as of yet. It is too early to say but for plenty of fans, as demonstrated by the Allianz crowd, Müller has long been the living, breathing embodiment of Bayern Munich. Fans can be forgiven for not liking Tuchel if indeed, he ends Müller’s time at Bayern, arguably, a bit prematurely.

Interested in a more in-depth review of the game? How did each player fare, and what is going on with Benjamin Pavard? We talk about all that and more in our newest podcast episode! Listen to it below or on Spotify.

As always, we appreciate all the support!

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