Few would fail to recognize that FC Bayern Munchen are having a great start to the season and are probably the team to beat in Europe this season. With eight consecutive Bundesliga wins, FC Bayern have written history and made the best ever start to a Bundesliga season. One might wonder what are the reasons for this superb start, as for me, they’re clear:
After ending the last season in the most dramatic way, FC Bayern have realized that they need to have depth in their squad.
Two injuries to their midfield-dynamo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, meant that Bayern had to drop in form and give up on an eight points lead on Dortmund after seven league games and end up eight points away from the champions in May. Not only that, FC Bayern’s lack of alternatives meant that Bayern had to use an un-fit Olic in the Champions league final to replace the injured Ribery. You all know what happened next.
In last season, Bayern would’ve suffered if they had Gomez, their best striker, missing. In this one, it isn’t a problem as Mandzukic has proved to be a good asset scoring 7 goals and leading the Bundesliga’s top-scorer chart.
The best game to prove this point is FC Bayern’s game against Mainz. FC Bayern had to start the game without Robben, Ribery, Gomez & Alaba. No Robben, Ribery, Gomez & Alaba? No problem. In came Shaqiri, Kroos, Manduzkic & Dante. FC Bayern went on to win the game with ease, 3-1.
2. The competition for places is getting the best out of the players.
With new players arriving to the team, FC Bayern player’s started feeling the heat and many of them have raised their game in order to challenge for a 1st team position.
The Muller case: With Shaqiri arriving, Robben’s presence and Heynckes preferring Kroos in the playmaking position, many would’ve felt that Muller had to be satisfied with off-the bench appearances and with a shy role in Bayern’s season. How did Muller respond to this? He has bagged 6 goals and assisted 5 other in 7 Bundesliga games this season making him the best player of the season, so far.
The Gustavo case: With Martinez moving to Bayern for a record-sum, Gustavo’s chances of holding on to his starting place were decreasing. Although he has been recognized by the Bayern fans as one of the best in his position, a lot doubted that the Brazilian could challenge the 40 million Euro man. Gustavo responded with style as he has improved his game.
In comparison to last season when Gustavo scored one goal and assisted another in 28 games, Gustavo has already scored 3 goals and assisted one in only 7 Bundesliga games. He has also managed to help Bayern defensively as Bayern has only conceded 2 goals making them the best defensive team in the league.
3. Heynckes-Sammer combination.
Many experts in the world of football have doubted that the two can work together. With the two being big-heads, it seemed to everyone that they will crash at a point of the season. However, FC Bayern knew what they were doing.
Heynckes helped improve Bayern and put them slightly back on track. He seemed to do everything right, until the Champions league final. Prior to the penalty shoot-out, FC Bayern players didn’t have the confidence needed to take penalties. Tymoshchuk & Kroos refused to take penalties & Contento didn’t offer his services despite the “Alaba” story that Heynckes said.
The problem was clear; Heynckes had dealt with everything except the “motivation” part.
Solution? Mathias Sammer in.
Sammer is well known for his “never-say-never” philosophy, & that’s exactly what FC Bayern needed. In an interview last month, Kroos explained it all by saying: “Matthias Sammer radiates something that is especially important for young players. He is the one who can get the last few per cent out of us.”
In short, Sammer is motivating the players and getting the last few percentages out of them. With this philosophy only will Bayern reach their goals.
Eight games have passed, 26 games are left. FC Bayern still have a long way to win the league, but what’s sure is that they’re on the right way to winning titles again.
Written by Mohammed Hamdan
Follow him on Twitter @BayernoHolic
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