Bayern in the Champions League: Everything just a slip-up?

Bayern in the Champions League: Everything just a slip-up?
  • On Tuesday evening, Bayern meet in the Champions League on Ajax Amsterdam.
  • After the recent winless games against Augsburg and Berlin, coach Niko Kovac says he identified chances as the main cause.
  • Arjen Robben says that one should not be persuaded of a supposed crisis.

FC Bayern, which is important since Monday at the latest, plays against Borussia Mönchengladbach this weekend. Then it goes against Wolfsburg, Athens, Mainz and SV Rödinghausen, then the opponents Freiburg, again Athens, Dortmund, Dusseldorf. And this Tuesday evening, Bayern still plays against Ajax Amsterdam.

These are the ten closest opponents of Bayern, and you should know them at least since coach Niko Kovac on Monday has made a prediction. He said, "It will not happen that we lose the next ten games."

No, FC Bayern is currently in no so-called mini-crisis – this impression Kovac in the press conference before the game against Ajax want to convey. But secretly he already knows: This duel on Tuesday evening (21 clock) will not only decide who leads the Champions League Group E in the future. It will also be a game of humor and knowledge, a kick that could show what these recent Bayern games against Augsburg (1-1) and Hertha BSC (0-2) actually were: minor negligence on a side that had won everything before would have? Or hints that the same crew is dragging two or three bigger problems into the fall?

Bayern have two strange weeks behind them. In the first of the two, he was the Bayern that people thought he would probably lose again in April (probably against Real or Atlético Madrid). He was the club that had once again won one game after another, in the Bundesliga, in the Cup (against Drochtersen-Assel), in the Champions League. Then followed the games against Augsburg and Hertha BSC, and suddenly the FC Bayern was not quite so untouchable.

Where Kovac presented a simple solution on Monday for the recent weaknesses: You just have to take advantage of the opportunities. Kovac said, "When the chances go in, we (the journalists and Kovac, d. Red.) Are not discussing whether we're going to be heavily attacked or not." Previously, a reporter had asked him if the high pressing of the opponents was responsible for the problems of the Munich. Kovac referred to his time as coach of Eintracht Frankfurt. Since he put the Bayern early under pressure (which was successful in the DFB Cup final). But there are remedies against it, he said, to establish, "We will always create our opportunities."

What one could do to exploit them, Kovac was asked, and he used an aphorism from the Gulf. Since he was in Munich, Kovac said, he has "very, very regularly" training Torabschlüsse. In golf, people say, "The more I practice, the luckier I am". What Kovac wanted to say: At some point they will meet again. Sometimes, he said, he would want someone to "chew the ball" over the line.

The reference to the exploitation of opportunities was, in this sense, a practical admission of weakness, which was none. That always sounds like when it comes to the exploitation of opportunities: those who have opportunities are fundamentally superior, and will see them in the long term – see Golf. The truth is, however, that opportunities can have a different quality; and that the Bayern especially against Hertha BSC did not have excessive chances of the highest quality.

There have been many attempts in the past few days to explain this oneness against Augsburg and the Nullzwei in Berlin. The continual rotation, the not-too-large squad, the unfinished upheaval – all this was called (besides the chance exploitation). The game against Ajax could now, depending on the outcome, provide further evidence for this or that statement – or quickly end the discussion on the so-called mini-crisis. One should not be "persuaded" about a supposed crisis, said Arjen Robben, who will probably play from the beginning. If his team starts a series now, "everything will look good again".

A trainer for the professional audience

The highly acclaimed Dutchman Erik ten Hag once coached the U23 at Bayern – now he is in the Champions League with Amsterdam in Munich and is already under pressure after a defeat in the league.

By Benedikt Warmbrunn



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