Why Bay­ern are strug­gling

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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

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