UEFA Champions League: Pressure increases for struggling Bayern ahead of Lazio duel
Berlin (Germany), Feb 13 (IANS) Dismantled by league rival Leverkusen, the coach and officials of Bayern Munich were busy getting bits and pieces together over the past few days. Ahead of their UEFA Champions League encounter against Lazio in the Round of 16 first-leg, cause analysis ended up detecting a leader problem in the Bavarians' squad.
Intending to trigger leadership power, Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel is most likely changing his line-up relying on the experience of silverback Thomas Muller.
So far, the 34-year-old hasn't been his first choice, having only been appointed in eight of 21 league games. When it comes to the Champions League the 2014 World Champion enjoyed only one starting eleven nominations, reports Xinhua.
Following his failed tactics implementing a back row of three against Xabi Alonso's side, the Bayern manager is expected to return to a row of four aside from calling for Muller and Joshua Kimmich.
Unrest has taken hold of the entire club while the 2024 German national title has gone out of sight due to a five-point setback. A disappointing performance in the Champions League is said to increase the pressure on the Bavarians' coach while other reports speak of significant squad changes in the upcoming summer.
While Tuchel is facing criticism from former stars such as Stefan Effenberg and Lothar Matthaeus, mainly Munich's active personnel are being pilloried. Effenberg spoke about a quality problem regarding leaders and regulars.
Muller's harsh analysis delivered only minutes after the final whistle in Leverkusen is regarded as a desperate wake-up call. The German international admitted to being highly annoyed due to a lack of responsibility takers.
"We don't play with free heads, we pass on the ball without a plan; It's enough; it's on us players to turn things for the better; it's not the time to talk about the coach," the star striker stated.
Statistics might speak for Bayern when crossing swords with the Serie A side as the Germans remain unbeaten in the recent eleven last-16 duels in the Champions League. This time, considering the sportive setbacks, the issue is turning into a do-or-die issue. To get the instability under control, Tuchel is said to return to a 4-2-3-1 system, which the side has been relying on over many years.
Having to replace the injured Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman the disputed Goretzka and Kimmich will have to kick the can down the road while Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane, Muller, and Three-Lions captain Harry Kane need to improve up front. The Bavarians' attack force has been far off the performance level delivered before the winter break.
For the moment, the clash against Lazio is keeping minds in Munich busy while changes regarding the coach and the squad are postponed as new sporting director Max Eberl is joining the club from March 1 on.