Tactical Insights

Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich; Joshua Kimmich to help facilitate move to FC Barcelona?; Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus to MLS?; Is Thomas Tuchel’s baggage scaring off teams?; Mats Hummels throws good shade; and MORE!

What a dagger through the heart for Bayern Munich and its fans.

Bayern Munich was not good, but was in a position to pull off an improbable upset on the road…until it all spiraled out of control for a 2-1 loss (4-3 on aggregate) to Real Madrid:

There is a lot to say, so let’s get to it. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • As always, let’s start with a look at Thomas Tuchel’s lineup:
  • Swapping out Thomas Müller in favor of Serge Gnabry was not wholly unexpected, but Aleksandar Pavlović going in for Leon Goretzka was an absolute risk for Tuchel. The youngster has not been in his best form and Goretzka had actually done well. You have to think that the coach was riding what he saw in training in relation to the strategy/game plan he was going to use for the match.
  • Bayern Munich should have been down 1-0 just six minutes in, but no one on Real Madrid could get a foot on a ball sliding across the six-yard box.
  • In general, Bayern Munich looked unorganized for the first seven minutes or so. In fact, that would be a theme for most of the match.
  • A great passing sequence should have resulted in a goal in the eight minute, but Kane was slow in getting to the back post after Gnabry slid a cross through the box. It was a surefire goal…until it wasn’t. Lorry Kane was clearly hauling a load as he was painfully slow at times.
  • My guess is that Kane is nicked up or extremely fatigued. He did battle physically throughout the match, but did not have that extra gear he usually does.
  • Manuel Neuer saved Bayern Munich’s hide early on with a massive save in the 13th minute. Again, it was an unorganized sequence for the Bavarians.
  • A couple of things were at play: First, Bayern Munich looked like a team struggling to get its bearings against a more confident and calm side. Second, Bayern Munich’s lineup adjustments appeared to create some confusion and miscommunication.
  • After Real Madrid’s initial surge ended with no goals (that period covered roughly 20 minutes), Bayern Munich still could not assert itself. Early returns on Tuchel’s lineup changes were not good. There was just an overall lack of cohesion.
  • Gnabry ended up leaving the game with an injury in the 28th minute. He was hobbling and unable to sprint at least five minutes prior to that. I have no idea how the bench did not see that earlier as the normally fleet-footed Gnabry was laboring.
  • The solution was extremely questionable as Tuchel brought on the extremely out of form Alphonso Davies to replace Gnabry. In this case, however, the coach’s hunch would eventually work out.
  • Kane barely missed giving Bayern Munich the lead with a half-volley attempt in the 29th minute.
  • Real Madrid could have easily scored three goals in the first half, but came up empty.
  • Antonio Rüdiger seemed to make it a point to try and bully Davies physically. It was almost as if the Germany international knew Davies might be a problem at left-wing.
  • Jamal Musiala — playing at the No. 10 — reverted to some bad habits of holding the ball too long and dribbling into defenders. Musiala was not awful or anything, but I will forever wonder how much more effective he might have been in this match as a winger.
  • At least for the first half, Matthijs de Ligt and Neuer were the major standouts. No one else at Bayern Munich was impactful.
  • At halftime, it was scoreless, which was remarkable since Bayern Munich was generally a mess. For Real Madrid, it had to feel like a half of missed opportunities, while Bayern Munich had to just be happy to escape.
  • The opening of the second half was just more of the first half. Bayern Munich making mistakes, Real Madrid botching surefire goals.
  • Vinicius Jr. was just murdering Joshua Kimmich on Real Madrid’s left flank. They might as well take a chalk outline of Kimmich’s body and make it part of the game day pitch moving forward.
  • It just seemed like a matter of time before Real Madrid broke through. Bayern Munich looked weary and was playing with fire.
  • When Bayern Munich did get chances, the attack was out of sorts and unable to do anything.
  • Meanwhile, Neuer continued to be a monster (Spoiler alert: This ended horribly).
  • Leroy Sané gave Bayern Munich absolutely nothing. Zilch, zero….no energy…no awareness…nothing.
  • Then it happened…the most improbable thing went down. Davies pulled his Robbery impersonation. Kane found Davies with a long pass, Davies corralled it in, drove, cut-in, and unleashed a rocket of a right-footed shot (RIGHT-FOOTED!) to beat Andriy Lunin in the 68th minute for a 1-0 Bayern Munich lead!
  • Stunning, shocking, marvelous…no matter how you want to describe it, it was Davies’ seminal moment for the season (and most unlikely moment as a Bayern Munich player).
  • Minutes later, Nacho two-hand shoved Kimmich to the face to free himself for an easy goal that VAR (rightfully) disallowed. Somehow, Carlo Ancelotti thought this was a dive in his postgame presser.
  • In the 88th minute, all of Neuer’s good work went to hell. A short throw resulted in a turnover which eventually cycled into a shot, which Neuer spilled right to a crashing Joselu, who slammed the ball into the net to knot the game at 1-1. The sequence was spurred by Pavlović being off the pitch due to what appeared to be a cramp.
  • With the youngster hobbled, it made no sense to not bring in Goretzka to help weather the storm. Tuchel botched this moment.
  • All of a sudden, the squad had no Kane, no Sané, and no Musiala and the game was even at 1-1, but that was not even the worst of it.
  • Madrid did the unthinkable and scored again on a very questionable onside call where Joselu scored again just three minutes later.
  • Tuchel had gotten too cute with his subbing and went too defensive, too early.
  • Bayern Munich folded like a freaking tent and it was PAINFUL to watch. Bayern Munich looked as if it had nothing left in the tank, but it did make one last charge…which should have been a goal.
  • It looked as if De Ligt had knotted the game in extra time, but there was no review of the play as it was whistled offside. It appeared that Rüdiger’s arm had kept Bayern Munich onside. However, after De Ligt whistled his shot into the goal, a whistle sounded to stop play. It was all blown dead…a massive referee miscue cost Bayern Munich a tie game.
  • It was a collapse…just an utter collapse.
  • Overall, Real Madrid was the better team and probably deserved to win. However, that does not take away that Bayern Munich got screwed by the referees. When traveling to Spain, you can never let it come down to the referees…and the Bavarians did exactly that. The starting lineup was questionable, the squad was out of synch, and everything looked brutal. Nothing worked, and the awful performance from the referees just heightened the frustration of fans and neutrals alike. For all intents and purposes, the season is over…are you satisfied?

If you missed our Initial Analysis, Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast give them a look or a listen:

As always, we appreciate all the support!

Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich could be open to helping facilitate making a move to FC Barcelona:

Barcelona have made bringing in a midfielder who can sit in front of the defence their number one priority this summer, and two names stand out as preferences for Xavi Hernandez: Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi.

While Barcelona received bad news regarding their hopes of bringing in Zubimendi following a meeting with his agent, the forecast for Kimmich is much brighter. The chief problem of his price tag, one which Bayern have not set for a player they intend to renew, remains. The 29-year-old has a year left on his deal though, which forces the issue, even if Bayern are intent on retaining him, and are already trying to persuade him.

As per Sport, Kimmich will make life easier for Barcelona though. The German metronome is willing to wait for the Blaugrana to put together the money for a bid this summer, one that will surely rely on sales happening first. Kimmich is open to trying a new experience, and so is open to do his part to make that happen.

Until Barcelona make those sales, and likely ‘painful ones’, their hopes of bringing in Kimmich are hypothetical, as is the case for Zubimendi. Bayern are unlikely to make things easy for Barcelona either, as they found out when pursuing Robert Lewandowski, which ended with them paying €50m for a 32-year-old, and given Kimmich is three years younger, it’s not hard to imagine them demanding something in that region.

Kimmich’s status in Bavaria seems a bit tenuous these days. Nothing is certain at this stage, but whoever the club’s next coaching hire is will likely play a massive role in determining what happens with the Germany international.

Borussia Dortmund legend Marco Reus could be headed to MLS:

Where Reus ends up in MLS will be pretty fascinating if the move goes down.

Bayern Munich is coming off a loss to VfB Stuttgart, preparing to leave for Spain to face Real Madrid in the Champions League, dealing with multiple key injuries, assessing its roster for the offseason, and, oh yeah, looking for a new head coach to replace Thomas Tuchel.

That was a mouthful, but also means there is plenty to talk about on this week’s edition of the Bavarian Podcast Works Show. Let’s take a look at what we have on tap for this episode:

  • Peeking at those rumors indicating that Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola could consider a return to Bayern Munich.
  • Eyeing the injuries and form of Bayern Munich ahead of the Champions League match against Real Madrid.
  • Another round of Florian Wirtz rumors…is Bayern Munich planning a major splurge for 2025? If so, what does that mean for Jamal Musiala?

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel does not know where he is going, but his options might be limited because of his, well, reputation:

Thomas Tuchel is set to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the 2023/24 season, and he will be the most coveted manager on the open market, with Manchester United reportedly keen on hiring him as a replacement for Erik ten Hag.

The final verdict on ten Hag isn’t yet submitted, but the majority of Man United fans would love to see change in manager at the conclusion of the season, especially if Man United do indeed finish outside of the top seven European places.

Tuchel looks like a slam dunk hire on paper. Unlike his predecessors at Manchester United, Tuchel has success at the elite level of European football to speak of, winning the Champions League in 2020/21 in his first season with Chelsea after taking PSG to their only final in the previous campaign.

However, there’s a chance not everyone at Old Trafford sees Tuchel as a 100 percent slam dunk. Per a report from the Daily Mail’s Chris Wheeler, there are some within Man United who are concerned that Thomas Tuchel is too abrasive as a personality.

Those would seem like valid concerns but only at a surface level. Tuchel rubbed people at Dortmund the wrong way because he wanted to sell beloved players and did not seem to fit the spirit of the club.

At PSG, Tuchel had a falling out, though he was ultimately proven right after the club’s lack of ambition and transfer market fumbling set them further back after the German coach’s departure to Chelsea.

And then at Chelsea, Tuchel was ousted by Todd Boehly under the guise of being too abrasive, yet, in the end, it was Tuchel who had the last laugh.

Finally, Tuchel has been pushed out quietly by Bayern Munich, only to have rumors circulate that the club wants him back due to both his success in the Champions League knockouts and the fact that so many managers, including even Julen Lopetegui, have rejected the club.

Basically, Tuchel may come with baggage, but if executives and owners are held to the same standards, then virtually everyone from Aki Watzke to Todd Boehly at all the other clubs Tuchel has worked with should be criticized heavily for being difficult to work with.

Borussia Dortmund center-back Mats Hummels thoroughly enjoyed BVB’s incredible — and unlikely — run to the Champions League final:

I always liked Hummels for a number of reasons, but this is a great way to throw some shade. The defender has been right about a few things in his career, including how Niko Kovač was not going to work out at Bayern Munich.

For leadership and experience alone, Hummels should be a part of Julian Nagelsmann’s 2024 EURO squad for Germany.

Bayern Munich traveled to VfB Stuttgart for a Bundesliga match, which was the focus for the weekend, but with a date with Real Madrid in the Champions League on the horizon, things were always going to be dicey for the German Rekordmeister.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel had injuries to account for, worries about wear-and-tear on key players, and just overall how to best keep his team fit for Wednesday’s UCL showdown.

As expected, it was not easy and VfB Stuttgart would come away with a somewhat unlikely 3-1 victory over the Bavarians. There is plenty to discuss, so let’s get down to it on this edition of the Bavarian Podcast Works Postgame Show:

  • A look at Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI.
  • A rundown of the scoring and substitutions.
  • If this was an audition for Chris Führich, he did well for himself
  • Eric Dier’s toughness has helped adjust the mentality of this squad.
  • The fall of Alphonso Davies has been drastic — and we took a blowtorch to him. Listen in, you won’t want to miss it.
  • Where things stand heading into Bayern Munich’s Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.

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