Time seems to be running out for struggling Bayern Munich to get in shape ahead of their delicate UEFA Champions League duel against Paris Saint-Germain.
With only two weeks to go, the Bavarians’ club leaders and coach Julian Nagelsmann are avoiding the word crisis, but concerns are growing that the reigning German champions will fail to go toe-to-toe with the French giants.
While Nagelsmann is talking about a need to gain confidence, chairman Oliver Kahn has spoken of a post-World Cup trauma.
“I see two teams, the one we had in advance of the World Cup and the one we have after the tournament,” the 53-year-old stated after his side drew their last three matches, against RB Leipzig, Union Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Bayern lost their pre-World Cup flow and delivered their worst restart after a winter break since 2007. Three disappointing draws last hit the club in 1978, reports news agency Xinhua.
Their lead in the Bundesliga disappearing to only one point ahead of Union Berlin might be one thing, as “there is not much time to turn things to better” as Nagelsmann said.
The Bayern coach revealed a speed problem up front, in addition to turbulence in defense.
“We don’t get our power onto the pitch,” Kahn said, adding that what makes Nagelsmann concerned is “that you have to be successful in the so-called little games to do the really big ones right.”
Some indefinite burden seems to rest on the shoulders of Bayern’s attackers, as Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane, Jamal Musiala, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting seem stuck in a creative crisis.
Not to speak of Thomas Muller, who seemed to have lost his place in the starting eleven, but returned this weekend without having the desired effect.
The German Cup duel against Mainz this Wednesday turns into a trendsetting issue from the perspective of Kahn and Muller.
While Kahn spoke about the right game at the right time as a “do-or-die” contest, Muller demanded to turn on the “anger machine.”
The team and coach are highly annoyed, the striker added.
After several cases of indiscipline, Kahn said the club is demanding performance “as players enjoyed enough vacation to recover from the World Cup.”
Kahn admitted to being disturbed “as we don’t nearly create as many chances as we did in the first half of the season when facing a period of poor results.”
The Bayern boss said the crisis of the German national team might have affected Bayern.
Reports speak of Nagelsmann coming under pressure to find solutions shortly to secure his future as head coach.
The duel against Paris Saint-Germain might deliver the first answer, aside from getting back on track in national competitions.
The 35-year-old said he is optimistic as “we know what is going wrong” while admitting that “We need a can-opening experience to rediscover our confidence and power.”