After the 1-0 defeat by Augsburg, nobody from FCB wants to go to Oktoberfest. Coach Julian Nagelsmann in particular is annoyed – and playing a dangerous game.
Those who can’t end their dry streak at Oktoberfest should stay home. Even more stupid when you have to go there. Like FC Bayern on Sunday, the club’s own brewery sponsor had it all planned long ago. It was a very special visit: Welcome to Oktoberfest in crisis!
Julian Nagelsmann had expressed his displeasure most clearly. FCB’s coach explained after FC Augsburg’s 1-0 defeat that there was no point in meeting in a beer tent. “I will also tell the club,” said Nagelsmann. And then he added, “Basically, I don’t feel it.” Just frustration. Because the measure is full.
For the first time in 87 matches without an own goal
FC Bayern made a great start to the Champions League with two 2-0 wins at Inter Milan and FC Barcelona. But in the Bundesliga, the goal is gone. The last four games without a win were more than 20 years ago, and FCB were without a goal for the first time in 87 Bundesliga duels. No wonder sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic also showed up at Wiesn with a hangover: “The feeling is depressed. Three points from four games – I don’t know if I like it.” Especially when the coach’s way of handling problems annoys many.
Julian Nagelsmann was able to put himself unconditionally in front of his team, feed the stars, calm the environment. But the coach does the opposite. After the Augsburg game, which was preceded by three draws against Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-1), Union Berlin (1-1) and VfB Stuttgart (2-2), he unequivocally criticized his attacking department. “Many opportunities just flow out of the stadium. We definitely had 20 situations where we played the ball carelessly,” Nagelsmann said, also explaining the basics of soccer to his pros: “We have to use our one-on-one situations in front of the goalkeepers to close games to win. Pretty simple actually.”
Does not want to self-criticize
conflict? No stats given (last only four hits on 34 shots). And yet Messrs. Mané, Sané, Gnabry or Müller do not like to be dismissed like schoolboys whose coach proves to have chosen the wrong shooting technique on many occasions. Especially because there should be voices in the team who would like Nagelsmann to have a slightly clearer tendency towards self-criticism. In Augsburg, the coach said he just wanted to think about the events comprehensively: “I’m going to think about it. About me, about the situation, about everything. Then we’ll see what happens next.” It happened the next morning.
Nagelsmann appeared at the club’s premises on Säbener Straße at 8:17. He wanted to have as many crisis talks as possible before the Oktoberfest visit and the international break. According to Salihamidzic’s slogan: “What we have shown is not enough. We are all in demand now.” And quick answers are needed.
imbalance in the team
Converting opportunities is miserable. All the forwards are involved here, but one name is mentioned especially often. Sadio Mané has been waiting for a goal for five matches and also missed a mega opportunity in Augsburg. The Senegalese from Liverpool FC lacks ease, confidence and understanding of the game. In this form, he will not be able to replace goalscorer Robert Lewandowski (to FC Barcelona). Which leads to the next problem: The new, flexible attacking play system has already been figured out, but FC Bayern only have a trained center forward in Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. Manuel Neuer provided the best evidence of his imbalance in Augsburg – the goalkeeper was the most visible Bayern attacker in the final stages of the two-header in the FCA penalty area, with Rafal Gikiewicz brilliantly saving the second attempt. Asked if Lewandowski should not have been replaced by another classic back nine, Nagelsmann replied with irritation: “If I say no, that means he doesn’t recognize the problem. If I say yes, everyone says he misses Lewandowski. It doesn’t matter what I say.”
Thomas Tuchel would have time
It is logical that conversations cannot be captured in this way. Vice versa. Nagelsmann has fueled debate about whether he can lead FCB’s star-studded group and unite behind him. This is not without risk, especially since there is a prominent counterpart in Thomas Tuchel who would be available at Chelsea after his release. Some tabloid media has already called his name. FCB CEO Oliver Kahn (“Of course we’re all in a bad mood”) got something positive out of the Wiesn visit: the chance to support Nagelsmann. “We’re not dealing with other coaches right now,” Kahn said, “we’re completely confident in Julian.”
So he said and went to the beer tent. Wash away the frustration.