In league leaders Bayern Munich, there are currently more players with an unconditional starting potential in eleven positions than in eleven: coach Julian Nagelsmann faces a difficult task that appears to be very difficult for him.
First, Julian Nagelsmann licked his lip with his tongue, then ran his hand across his face. You can literally feel how I shook him in the press conference after the 2-1 win over the previously undefeated Freiburg, how he was looking for the right words and wanted to buy time to think. Subject: competition. Question: Who was sitting on the bench and why and who was standing on the bench and why.
“There is no reason to perform. There is a reason to have so many players on the team who all have the right to play,” Nagelsmann said finally. There were no decisions against one player, but there were always decisions against another player. “Today, 90 percent of the players on the bench are off the bench for no reason when it comes to their performance.” Nagelsmann kept interrupting his remarks for a while, breathing deeply in and out. The topic seems to bother him.
For FC Bayern, dealing with more players with 11 unconditional starts from eleven positions is a well-known topic, but for Nagelsmann it’s more of a new one. From his previous coaching positions at TSG Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, he didn’t know this at such an extreme level. Suddenly he has to make decisions that he can’t reasonably explain.
Nagelsmann on Gnabrys Bankplatz: ‘I’m sorry’
I noticed it even before the Freiburg game, when Nagelsmann was asked about Serge Gnabry’s bank seat. Together with Benjamin Pavard and Jamal Musiala, he was one of the most difficult cases of hardship. There is no “reason” for Gnabry’s values to ultimately “match” with those of competitor Leroy Sane: “I’m sorry. These aren’t fun situations. They’re welfare issues, but they’re not fun.”
Sane played in the three-man offensive line behind Robert Lewandowski alongside Kingsley Coman and Thomas Muller. Muller got a break in the 5-2 win over Lisbon Benfica for the first time this season. Against Freiburg, Musella sat next to Gnabry on the bench, who has only made around 35 per cent of his playing time this season. After the Benfica match, Nagelsmann said “I’m disgusted” if that value didn’t increase by the end of the season: “Then we’ll end up promoting him very little.”
Of course Musiala should have loved hearing that. If he doesn’t increase his playing time soon, he can finally take on Nagelsmann with that statement. In a sense, the coach put himself under pressure without much need. Public handling of the issue of competition is difficult.
Nagelsmann will soon be available to all field players
In Musiala’s attack zone, the competition is currently the toughest. In fact all candidates are in excellent condition.
Lewandowski scores goal after goal: he made it 2-0 against Freiburg, in general he is already 23. Thomas Muller gives pass after pass: Leon Goretzkas played 1-0 against Freiburg, and he is already twelve. With two more than Sani, who in turn prepared Lewandowski’s goal. Just like Gnabry and Coman, Sunny currently shines with his dribbles, passes and ideas. Then another injured, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, celebrated his return as a substitute.
Once midfielder Marcel Sabitzer has treated gastroenteritis, Nagelsmann will be available to all field players for the first time this season. So far, several decisions have been made regarding injuries or illnesses in the starting lineup: in addition to Chupo-Moting, Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Corentin Tolisso and Koeman, they have also been out of the squad for a longer period of time.
Bayern Munich: The player with the lowest playing time in the German League in 2021/2022
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Bayern Munich: There are currently six undisputed regular players
Only goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, left back Alfonso Davies and midfielders Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Muller of der Zen and Lewandowski in the center of attack are the only undisputed. Just as on the flanks, there is stiff competition with an open result in both the interior defense and the right-hand defence.
If Musyala appears to be the loser in attack, it is Pavard and Tanguyi Nyanzu in defence. When asked about Nyanzu’s presence as a reserve soldier, Nagelsmann recently had a reason: With young French, the error rate is very high.
A little later, Hernandez and Sule pulled out at short notice, which is why Nianzo unexpectedly slipped into the starting lineup against Benfica. This is often the case in football: many competitive fights are automatically resolved because one of the candidates is simply injured. As is known, this kind of thing happens especially during international breaks. As always, almost all Bayern Munich players are on their way to the next match.
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