BARELY two weeks into the new football season, big, bad Bayern Munich is one dead-tired club.
The 4-1 thrashing at Hoffenheim in just its second Bundesliga match last Sunday, Sept. 27, cast no doubt that the newly crowned UEFA Super Cup champions are exhausted.
Shortly after Bayern’s 2-1 win against Spanish side Sevilla last Friday, Sept. 25, manager Hansi Flick tried to downplay the team’s fitness and rotation issues prior to the Hoffenheim match.
“There’s no point complaining about how exhausted we are. Even if you’re tired you can deliver a top performance,” Flick was quoted as saying.
Following the loss that saw a weary Robert Lewandowski benched for the first time in over two years, Flick can only say the team wasn’t “as efficient in attack as usual.”
Sunday’s loss put an end to Bayern’s incredible 32-game unbeaten run that saw them score 108 goals and win four trophies across all competitions, including the Champions League.
The streak had to end at some point, but the question now is whether Bayern would bounce back and sustain a winning form throughout the season, following key departures.
Despite the arrival of new signings Leroy Sane, Alexander Nubel and Tanguy Nianzou, the likes of attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, left winger Ivan Perisic and right back Alvaro Odriozola have ended their loan spells at Bayern, while central midfielder Thiago has moved to Liverpool for a cool €30 million.
All these departures have left fewer options for Flick, who now badly wants an extra right back, a natural winger and a midfielder.
Two upcoming tightly spaced matches could drain the club further: against hungry rivals Borussia Dortmund in the domestic Supercup final on Thursday, Oct. 1, and back to the Bundesliga four days later against Hertha Berlin.
Earlier, Bayern management was said to have downplayed the need for more signings, opting to wait around Christmas time to assess the situation.
The resounding setback against Hoffenheim has sent a clear message, but a loss to Dortmund could kick stingy management into action.