Munich, Sep 28 (IANS) What was meant to be a duel of ideologies between two top-class football clubs ended up in a disaster for Bayern Munich and their head coach Carlo Ancelotti.
After their 0-3 humiliation by Paris St Germaine, it is not hard to predict that the club is beginning to have serious doubts in the three-time Champions League-winning coach. Meanwhile, it would be no surprise if the Italian leaves before the end of his contract that runs to 2019, reports Xinhua news agency.
Bayern insiders assume Ancelotti will get the sack shortly and his assistant coach Willy Sagnol might take over.
According to reports, Bayern leaders such as President Uli Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for long have been divided over Ancelotti. While Hoeness was critical, Rummenigge backed the Italian despite obvious problems with the team. Now, they assume, things have changed, and Ancelotti has lost Rummenigge’s support as the coach has lost his team’ s trust.
German tabloid “Bild” called the 0-3 thrashing “Ancelotti’s darkest night” and mentioned former Dortmund and current Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp would be the right man to solve Bayern’s coaching problem. Other rumours in Germany seem to indicate Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann will soon take over the job in Munich. Both are not available right now.
Bayern’s game, viewed by millions around the globe, seemed to be a flashback in football’s ancient times. It lacked speed and inspiration, and the players seemed unsettled. In a poor all-round performance, they left far too much space for Paris St Germaine’s fast attacking line.
For Munich’s defence, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani all appeared to have superhuman speed.
Ancelotti’s tactical attempt to stop PSG’s fast flowing game which involved omitting speed merchants like Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben (for 70 minutes) and the experienced defenders Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng was a strategic blunder.
“Bayern has no strategy when having to work against the ball. The team doesn’t know what to do. They accompany their opponents, but they don’t attack them. The problem isn’t new,” said the Bayern and Germany legend Oliver Kahn before continuing, “Bayern’s game lacks a clear structure. You have to ask the coach why he didn’t pick Ribery and Robben.”
Former Bayern captain Lothar Matthaeus predicts troublesome times for Ancelotti. “As I see things, Ancelotti is done with Ribery. I can’t see them coming together shortly. Leaving him out is a clear message,” Germany’s most-capped player summed up by saying, “The team has no rhythm, and no harmony.”
Ancelotti left out the team’s cornerstones commented Matthaeus. The “new team had no time to gel. (Goalkeeper) Manuel Neuer is out injured. That means one of the key figures is already missing. Then the coach leaves out Ribery, Robben, and Hummels,” the 56-year-old said.
After the game, Ancelotti claimed Paris’ first goal made it hard for the team. The Italian defended his surprising line-up. “I thought about the line-up for long. I still believe that it was a good one and I’m still convinced I made the right choices,” Ancelotti commented.
Bayern’s coach denied having a problem with Ribery. “I have no problem,” he said. “In Ribery’s case, it is like with all other players. Sometimes they have to be on the bench.”
The 0-3 defeat was Bayern’s biggest in a Champions League group game. Bayern’s first eleven was the club’s youngest for two years (26 years 182 days). Four of six away games in the Champions League under Ancelotti Bayern lost.
In the French capital, Ancelotti tried to stop Paris with a 4-3-2-1 tactic and tried to block Paris’ game through the middle with the attacking midfielder Thomas Mueller and James Rodriguez playing behind spearhead Robert Lewandowski. Both were supposed to more play through the centre than along the flanks.
In midfield, Ancelotti started with the three central midfielders Thiago, Arturo Vidal and Tolisso. In four-man defence, the inexperienced newcomer, Niklas Suele played alongside David Alaba who has just returned from injury.
Bayern had 67 per cent of possession and seemed to run the game after going behind in the second minute. But over 90 minutes, Ancelotti had to admit his team never got hold of their opponent.
“It’s no secret that there is a lot of tension in the club,” Matthaeus commented as the duel against Paris was always going to be the first real indication of Bayern’s potential.
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