Bayern Munich search for glory
Just like the drought that has swept across America, there’s a trophy drought tormenting the most popular and successful club in Germany, Bayern Munchen. Last time they won the Bundesliga title was the 2009-2010 season.
This lack of trophies is mainly due to an instable backline. The central defenders are their major weakness, and in a league where teams are mainly concentrated on offensive play, a lack of stability at the back can cost dearly. Both their regular central defenders, Jerome Boateng and Holger Badsturber are 23 years old. Nobody can say they lack experience, but through their shaky interventions and poor positioning, opponents realize they aren’t ripe just yet.
Replacements for those positions are at the other extreme: Daniel Van Buyten 34, and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk 33, are slow and far from agile…
But it seems that coach Jupp Heynckes is not looking to strengthen that department and is instead focusing on the midfield. They’ve brought in (among others) young Swiss talent Xherdan Shaqiri (right winger) for 10 million pounds and forward Mario Mandzukic for 11.5 million pounds. The problem is that neither of them will get to be regulars. Arjen Robben is and will be their right winger (as long as he’s fit), while Mario Gomez is a solid rock up front for Bayern.
It is true that they transferred in a central defender, Brazilian Dante from Borussia Monchengladbach, but he’s not the kind of player to have the adequate skills for a team with Bayern’s ambitions.
After letting Daniel Pranjic go to Sporting (free transfer) they were interested in Bilbao’s Javi Martinez. The asking price: 40 million euros, the answer: “an indecent price”.
Bayern aren’t big spenders, especially after seasons in which they didn’t achieved their objective. Maybe solidarity with the austerity measures imposed throughout Europe is the cause for that or maybe it is pure pragmatism.
They are ranked 4th in the top richest football clubs, while their main sponsor, Deutsche Telekom is ranked at 75 in the top 500 companies, with a revenue in 2011 of almost 60 billion euros… so it’s not the case of funds for Bayern. Besides, the club is administrated like a joint stock company, but privately owned. The supervisory board (the representatives of the powerful German auto industry included there) is deeply connected with the ruling coalition in the German parliament: CDU + CSU + FDP, coalition led by Angela Merkel. It is known that Bayern’s president Uli Hoeness is close to the German chancellor and often speak to each other. So unless Germany turns socialist over night (however strange it may seem, there are chances for that to happen), the club is assured of political support.
Robben will once again be their main performer, even more dangerous than top scorer Gomez, as Robben’s boots aren’t only responsible for converting but also for building and creating.
It will be hard for Bayern to regain supremacy in Germany and unless they will strengthen their central defense a tough battle for the title (with Dortmund) is foreseen. The outcome of this battle will depend entirely on new transfers throughout the season, new players that can give assurance to the rest of the team, assurance that they are lacking for 2 seasons already.