Nagelsmann will improve in Bavaria

Bayern Munich ran out of breath in the second half of the season. Despite the renewed championship title, athletic management and head coach Julian Nagelsmann is set to improve this summer. But where?

Despite the noisy beer showers and the obligatory praise songs, it seemed more like a consolation prize for FC Bayern Munich to win the 32nd German championship. The elimination from the Champions League against Villarreal still weighs heavily. It was not enough for the last four in the premier class, the claim is known to be different. For head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who recently had to take criticism from time to time, it’s now about improving the team selectively.

For it is undisputed that Bayern are still among the best teams in Europe. However, they ran a little out of breath between February and April, partly because the substitute bench was understaffed and Nagelsmann had few alternative crews. A first starting point in the summer must therefore be to strengthen the second row. Since players like Bouna Sarr, Omar Richards, Marc Roca and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting are not really options, the established regular players do not see their positions in the team threatened.

Bayern are only pushing on average

But there is much more to Bavaria than strengthening the substitute bench. The German record champions have recently shown significant weaknesses in pressure. Especially against top teams, it has not been possible to put them under constant pressure by aggressively defending. They have only occasionally proved that Bayern can do it. Nagelsmann urgently needs to work on defensive behavior and sharpen the processes there.

Julian Nagelsmann (left): Despite the good relationship, the Bayern coach is likely to find stronger replacements than Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (right). wish. (Source: Sven Simon / imago images)

Under his predecessor Hansi Flick, pressing was an important success factor. Compared to the previous season, Bayern have only scored half as many goals and scoring chances from early ball victories this season. The weaknesses of the press are not necessarily remedied by new employees, for Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski and their colleagues have previously shown often enough that they are first-class press players. It’s more about training work, coordination, automation and also the necessary strength to attack the opponents in front with intensive runs.

The attacker issue is the most important

Meanwhile, FC Bayern need to improve a personal position, namely that of the right-back. Benjamin Pavard usually accompanies this role and even became world champion as right-back with France in 2018. But the 26-year-old exudes a bit of offensive threat and is better suited for central defense. Opposing teams sometimes deliberately leave Pavard unmarked and want him to have a lot of ball contact in Bayern’s build-up because no threatening dribbles and advances can be expected from him. It comes as no surprise that Bayern are interested in Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui. The 24-year-old Moroccan is an attacking backer and even one who has the ability to score. With Alphonso Davies on the left and Mazraoui on the right, Bayern would have a really powerful wing pair.

Noussair Mazraoui: The right-back from Ajax Amsterdam would represent a significant reinforcement for Bayern.  (Source: imago images / Pro Shots)Noussair Mazraoui: The right-back from Ajax Amsterdam would represent a significant reinforcement for Bayern. (Source: Pro Shots / images)

The wing game has been in focus for the Munich team for many years. Most recently, it was Kingsley Coman who especially stood out, but before that also Leroy Sané and Serge Gnabry. But their abilities would not have come to fruition if it were not for Robert Lewandowski in front in the middle of the attack. The Pole creates gaps, is suitable for crossings and returns and often attracts the attention of the defense. Should the 33-year-old leave Bayern this summer, the record champions would have to adequately compensate for this loss.

It would require an attacker who is both physically strong and technically proficient. Only a few offer this complete package and they are either already taken (Karim Benzema, Dušan Vlahović) or are changing (Erling Haaland). Bayern may need to look away from the top leagues when applying. Names like Sébastien Haller from Ajax and Benjamin Šeško from Red Bull Salzburg are traded. But it is still doubtful whether they can then immediately bring the performance required by a Bayern striker. In this respect, the success of the Bavarian transfer summer stands and falls with the occupation of the attacking position at the beginning of the coming season. All other construction sites can be solved much easier in comparison.

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