During his first season at Bayern Munich, Matthijs de Ligt saw his squad experience a dramatic second half slide that endangered the club’s chances to win the Bundesliga.
Certainly, the combination of wear-and-tear from the World Cup, key injuries, a coaching change, and an overall lack of consistency all played huge parts in why Bayern Munich almost coughed up the league crown.
Now, De Ligt hopes that the experience of going through all of that will make this season’s version of Bayern Munich that much more resilient.
“The World Cup came and many players returned disappointed – the Germans, the French, me too. Plus a few injuries, long absences like those of Manuel Neuer, Sadio Mané and Nous Mazraoui. It was not easy. We drew three games and suddenly the pressure was there,” said De Ligt (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “Manchester City, for example, were nine points behind Arsenal in late autumn. At that point nobody thought that they would become champions again or even get the treble. But they were there when it mattered. With us it was exactly the opposite.”
De Ligt will be seeking to make sure that the team does not falter down the stretch this season. With Thomas Tuchel firmly entrenched as the squad’s manager, there should be a great sense of stability during the key phases of the season, but a crucial theme for the Bavarians will be to finish strong.
There cannot be a let up at any point. The Bundesliga is better, the European landscape is deeper and more talented; this will not be a season for the faint of heart.
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