The Bundesliga is in their starting blocks. The FC Bayern starts before the restart on matchday 26 as leader and clear championship favorite. While the rest of the season for chasing coach Julian Nagelsmann “feels like an EM” that he wants to win, FCB head coach Hansi Flick can look deeply relaxed at the remaining nine league games. Or not?
The fact is, Flick brought the Bayern gene back to Säbener Straße. Mia san mia is again the trump at the record champions. There is a symbiosis between success and attractiveness among the 55-year-old.
Creativity in possession of the ball, high pressing and controlled risk – these keywords could be used to describe Flick Bayern. Key words with which one not only sat at the top of the national team before the interruption, but also suddenly became one of the top favorites in the Champions League.
The impressive performances up to match day 25 and a four-point lead over the first chase from Dortmund are reason enough not to doubt the eighth championship trophy in a row as a Bayern fan. But under the special conditions of the restart, there is a real test for the Flick system:
Trumps and dangers in the Flick system when restarting
1. Trump: possession of the ball
Bayern also had a lot of possession under Flick’s predecessor Niko Kovac. But the signs have changed under Flick: With the duo Thiago / Kimmich, the FCB coach has a well-rehearsed and ball-safe headquarters, the full-backs are a lot higher and Thomas Müller can give the “free spirit” again. Overall, Bayern are therefore much more variable in their offensive game. The attacks are no longer stubbornly initiated by the wards – Serge Gnabry, for example, can move more frequently into the half-spaces and occupy the goalscoring spaces due to the advancing Pavard and Davies. Thiago and Müller in particular ensure increased danger through the center.
Even after the restart, the FCB can continue to exploit the new security and variability. Perhaps even more so since the defensive processes of the opponent are not as well coordinated as before the break.
A trump that stays!
2. Danger: high pressing
The offensive game under flick is largely characterized by aggressive behavior against the ball. High pressing, as was largely the case under Guardiola, is consistently implemented again. After losing the ball, Bayern try to conquer the ball as quickly as possible and as far as possible in the opposing half. Flick has managed to instill in the players the necessary aggressiveness and willingness. This was most clearly visible with Thomas Müller.
This strength will certainly remain with the restart. Question marks in terms of shape, fitness, and familiarity with the opponent could even potentiate the strength. In addition, it can be expected that most opponents will play even more waiting and deeper. Jürgen Klopp once said with good reason: “Counterpressing is the best tens.”
Well-rehearsed and fitness are also question marks at FCB. The high intensity in (counter) pressing costs a lot of strength. The team will have to split their strengths given the break.
A trump card in which many dangers lurk. Flick has to prove how he cleverly uses his beloved pressing!
3. Trump: good position play
A trump card that could also serve as a sub-item in ball possession and pressing. The position game at Bayern has shifted significantly: the higher position of the full-backs is not only important in own ball possession, it also makes it easier to quickly gain access to the opponent and to outnumber them when the ball is lost.
Another point that has already been touched on: the wingers (Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman) can move more often into the half-spaces and are therefore much more difficult to defend.
This trump card in the flick system does not change after the restart!
4. Danger: spaces behind the defense chain
FC Bayern presses up and pushes far with the defense. It is logical that there are large spaces behind the chain. In addition to “Manu, the Libero”, speed and anticipation of the central defenders are particularly important in this risky variant. David Alaba has almost mastered this. However, there are still question marks before the re-start as to whether Alaba / Boatang or Lucas Hernandez were able to implement this again so well. Even before the break, this was probably one of the biggest weaknesses in the flick system.
The upstanding chain of four could be an even greater danger!
5th trump card: 5 substitutions
Five substitutions will be allowed at the restart. Good news for Flick and his team: two more fresh players can come off the bench during the game. Especially in the attacking midfield and on the wings, this gives the FCB coach the chance to react to the wear and tear. With Müller, Gnabry and Coman there are alternatives with Perisic, Goretzka and Cuisance.
Perisic and Goretzka in particular can become real trump cards as wild cards!
6. Danger: sparse bank
With the failures of Coutinho and Tolisso, Flick no longer has too many alternatives in the squad. Especially since the risk of injury is particularly high at Coman and Perisic was absent for a long time, these positions are rather sparse.
Prominent failures on the offensive are difficult to compensate for with the current squad!
With the restart of the Bundesliga after a break of almost two months, the Flick system has undergone a special test of fire. The high intensity in pressing, the spaces in the counter game for the opponents and the thin squad are possible weak points at Bayern.
The shape of the players remains a question mark. But this applies to Munich to the same extent as to the rest of the league.
The weak points and question marks stand against weighty trump cards that continue to make FC Bayern an absolute top favorite! If Flick makes the necessary adjustments – which probably won’t have to be that deep, the FCB will be very difficult to stop.