Sigh. Definitely not what anyone expected to happen, was it? And coupled with Borussia One and Borussia Two wins over their opponents on Matchday 22; Bayern Munich now sits third in the table: four points behind Dortmund and one behind Moenchengladbach.
“I’m mystified by this performance. The first half in particular has left me very pensive. It seemed as though a few of the players haven’t grasped what’s at stake. We lacked basics like aggression, attitude and work-rate." - Christian Nerlinger.
In fact, the only two players who had a good 90 minutes were Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng. This central defending pairing is a small spot of brightness in what was a mystifying Bayern performance not only for Nerlinger, but pretty much every Bayern supporter across the world.
“We invested much too little in the first half. We weren’t prepared to run hard enough, we weren’t aggressive enough, we didn’t show up in fact. We have plenty to discuss over the next few days. Today’s result is a huge setback. Before the weekend, it was in our own hands, but we’ve thrown away that position now.” - Philipp Lahm.
Oh, Captain! My Captain! Where have you gone?! Philipp is saying the right things, but where is the conviction of seasons past? Oh, that's right... He's too busy covering his ass to provide motivation for the rest of the squad. I'm going to say something unpopular here, and postulate that Bastian Schweinsteiger be given the captain's armband when he returns from injury. And no, not because he's my favorite person ever. He commands respect. He's got fire, drive and passion. And also happens to play a position on-field that is best-suited to running the team. When is the last time you saw Philipp Lahm bark at anyone?
Many people have dogged Mario Gomez' performance in this match. But, when Ivica Olic came on, he was just as ineffectual. You can lay that at the feet of Toni Kroos and David Alaba. Both had well-under-par performances: There were far too many off-target passes that left Gomez with a measly 13 touches on ball. He can't score goals if you can't get the ball to him.
And, touching lightly on Franck Ribery's shameful yellow for diving... Ugh. It's distasteful to me in the extreme. Back in my playing days (admittedly, eons ago), I was taught to play through the whistle. Weren't you? This team collective mentality of "We're Bayern Munich and should be getting all the calls" has got to stop. And the entire team is guilty of it. Enough with the throwing up of the hands. Enough with the running up to the referee and yelling. Statistically, bigger and better teams get more calls in their favor. Let the statistics work and stop being Spain. Or Italy.
Where does this all leave us for our Champions League away tie at Basel on Wednesday? “We have to get our act together as fast as possible and present a different face. We need fundamental changes very quickly indeed, or it’ll be a very disappointing season for Bayern Munich", says Nerlinger.
The key word here is "fundamental". This starts with a change in attitude. Continues with playing to your strengths. Getting the early goal. Attack. Attack. Attack. Trust in our newly solid central defense to shut things down going the other way. Play 90 minutes of football at St. Jakob's Park and everything will turn out fine. Period.
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