Bayern Munich have had a disappointing season by their own standards. Constant squad rotation and defensive frailties in poor performances undermined the start of manager Niko Kovač’s tenure at the club.
The German Bundesliga record winners are used to swatting away teams in the league such that by this stage of the season there’s a considerably wide gap on the league table between them and the rest of the chasing pack. 
Their issues this season have run so deep that several players became disillusioned with being unnecessarily dropped after a decent performance for the sake of squad rotation.
The damaging loss to league leaders Borussia Dortmund before last month’s international break seems to have jolted the Bavarians back to life, consecutive wins ensure they now sit third on the log –albeit nine points behind the leaders- after last weekend’s 3-0 dismantling of FC Nurnberg.

Kovač now knows his strongest team. Fielding the same starting XI for three consecutive victories in all competitions.

Joshua Kimmich has been restored to his natural midfield position to replace the previously-injured Thiago Alcantara and he and Leon Goretzka have struck up a balanced partnership.
Defence is where The Bavarians have had the most problems this season and a settled team has afforded Manuel Neuer his first league clean sheet in almost two months. Kovac has persisted with Niklas Süle and Jerome Boateng in the heart of defence, Matt Hummels loses out to Boateng here probably due to speed and Rafinha takes the right full back position vacated by Kimmich.
Talisman Robert Lewandowski continues to do what he does best, netting a brace over the weekend after his double in the Champions League whitewash of Benfica. 

Robert Lewandowski (Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The state of the attack has been greatly enhanced by the return of livewire Kingsley Coman after three months out since the opening day of the league season, getting him back to full match fitness would be instrumental for Kovač . He was greatly missed during his absence although veteran Frank Ribéry reminded us of his worth with his first league goal of the season.
With Kovač’s policy of keeping the squad happy by giving every player minutes on the pitch now dropped, some senior members of the squad would not be happy with being on the bench none more so than James Rodriguez. 

The technically-gifted Colombian attacking midfield player has been one of the major critics of his manager’s rotation policy, reportedly falling out with Kovač after growing unhappy with his playing time this season. A permanent bench role is unheard of for someone of James’ quality and there would be no shortage of suitors in the upcoming transfer window should he decide to end his stint with Bayern.
Things are looking up for die roten but a Bundesliga title tilt looks unlikely at this stage. Dortmund’s nine point gap looks insurmountable and The Black and Yellows continue to fascinate, winning the Ruhr derby 2-1 on Saturday.
 I’ve previously stated my support for Dortmund to win the title, with what we’ve seen so far they deserve it and it would be a fantastic achievement for Lucien Favre’s men. Bayern Munich finally getting their house in order just adds that much-needed competition and excitement.
Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
December 10, 2018
Tags: , ,

Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Meets Brand