Why Bayern are struggling
BAYERN MUNICH, after winning their first eight games under new coach Carlo Ancelotti (pix), are now winless in their last three matches.
Ahead of today’s Champions League match at home to PSV Eindhoven, here are five reasons the Bavarian giants are struggling following their 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid, then draws against Cologne and Frankfurt: ‘Bad attitude’ Ancelotti says his team suffered from a ‘bad attitude’, especially in the first half, during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with 10-man Eintracht Frankfurt, which left them two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table.
“We showed a bad attitude. We were asleep for the first 45 minutes and didn’t deserve to win,” admitted Ancelotti.
After going ahead, Bayern let Frankfurt equalise just before the break.
Frankfurt’s Szabolcs Huszti was sent off with 25 minutes left for a second yellow card, but Bayern again threw away the lead when Marco Fabian – unmarked at the far post – chested in Timothy Chandler’s shot. Ancelotti’s freedom Ancelotti’s predecessor Pep Guardiola kept tight control during his three years in charge, monitoring his players free time, dictating what they ate and gave them constant instructions.
He ran a tight ship, but Bayern always won the German league title by a canter.
Bayern’s stars have commented on the freedom they now enjoy, but there were blank faces after conceding the second equaliser in Frankfurt.
Ancelotti cut a calm figure on the sidelines, leaving his players to sort out the problems.
In contrast, Guardiola was often at his most frantic when things were not going Bayern’s way, directing his players and screaming orders. Changed system Under Ancelotti, Bayern’s defence sits much deeper.
Guardiola liked the team to defend away from their own penalty area, denying opponents the ball and pressing the defence when they lost possession.
Under Guardiola, Bayern enjoyed around 70% possession and made, on average, 700 passes per game.
Under Ancelotti, the pass rate has dropped to 665 per match and they had 62 percent possession – their lowest so far this – against Frankfurt.
It was the first time since October 2008 that Bayern twice gave away the lead in a Bundesliga game.
Under Guardiola, 12 percent of Bayern’s passes failed to find their target – the figure is up to 20 under Ancelotti. Slower attacking tempo Bayern started the season with some big wins against CarlZeiss Jena (5-0), Werder Bremen (6-0) and Rostov (5-0).
Since then, the pace up front has noticeably dropped, especially against Cologne and Frankfurt. Germany forward Thomas Muller is yet to score in seven German league games and Robert Lewandowski has failed to score in his last five matches.
Now the tempo has dropped, Bayern’s fleet-footed players are struggling to inject pace with attacks slow to build from midfield. Missing Sammer effect On the rare occasions Bayern played poorly under Guardiola, director of sport Matthias Sammer stepped in to admonish the squad in a good cop, bad cop routine.
Sammer stepped down in April, citing poor health, and has not been replaced.
The rant by chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after the Frankfurt result, ‘We don’t need excuses, we have only ourselves to blame. It was unacceptable’ was classic Sammer.
But without a director of sport to work with on a daily basis, Ancelotti may struggle to keep his star-studded squad in check. – AFP