Opinion: Bayern Munich′s complacency could cost them - at home and in Europe | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 24.09.2017
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Opinion: Bayern Munich's complacency could cost them - at home and in Europe

For most clubs, dropping five points in six games would be no big deal. But Bayern Munich aren't most clubs. Their lack of focus could cost them, with Dortmund looking ominous and PSG looming, says DW's Matt Pearson.

As Bayern's players trudged disconsolately off the pitch on Friday night after throwing away a 2-0 lead against a mediocre Wolfsburg side, there was a measure of anger among the disbelief.

The post-mortem brought some frank admissions.

"We were lacking that 100 percent commitment," said Mats Hummels.

"We were slow, not compact enough and had no intensity. We'll have to play differently in Paris," said Carlo Ancelotti.

This isn't the first time Bayern's Italian coach has described his team in such terms, admitting they "were not fully focused" in their loss to Hoffenheim earlier this month.

DW journalist Matt Pearson

DW's Matt Pearson

One game may be excusable, but two such examples just six league games in is inescapable evidence of complacency. Five years without a sustained title challenge from an opponent can do that to a team.

A coaching problem?

Ancelotti takes some of the blame. For all his merits - and his trophy collection proves there are many - he gives off an air of indifference. His inability to implement a system of his own has been shown up by forward-thinking young coaches like Julian Nagelsmann.

Dortmund's Peter Bosz also belongs in that category and, though they are far from flawless, BVB are off to a flyer and looked devastatingly effective in their 6-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday. Despite being in charge for a year less than Ancelotti, Bosz's fingerprints are already evident in the short possession game that's proved so effective so far.

Fußball TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga (Imago/Thomas Frey)

Carlo Ancelotti's team haven't quite gelled

Still title favorites

It's far too early to talk about the emergence of a genuine threat to Bayern's domestic dominance. Bayern have the best players, most money, and most experience - so much so that these early slips are, at the minute, just that. They're still overwhelming favorites to win a sixth straight Bundesliga title.

But they don't have the luxury of early slips in Europe. As Ancelotti pointed out, they'll need to show much more when they face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday, with the winner of Group B likely to be decided by the pair of matches between the two.

European glory has become the increasingly obsessive objective of the Bavarians in the last few years. But they can't keep their eyes constantly on the big prize. They must get them back on the match at hand.


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