Bayern's instability causing concern
Berlin (Germany), January 8: A thin blanket of snow has turned Bayern Munich's training ground into a winter landscape for the club's preparations for what is said to be the true German Classico.
Ahead of its clash against seventh-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach this Friday evening, memories of past encounters against the "Foals" come flooding back, especially as they are now once again one of the Bundesliga's top outfits.
Whilst Moenchengladbach is on the up, the 2020 treble winners from Bavaria are busy solving internal problems.
The well-oiled squad that dominated European club football last season is experiencing a greater amount of instability than expected. If they are to repeat last season's success, the club will have to navigate successfully through an increasing number of games against top-quality Bundesliga and Champions League opponents in the second half of the season.
Leaking 21 goals (the highest number of the league's leading six clubs) might tell a story apart from the impression that Bayern's bench doesn't contain the required quality to compensate for injuries and loss of form.
"Bayern still has a world-class squad, but there is a significant gap after the top 14 or 15 players," said former German international Lothar Matthaeus. League rivals RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund have more strength in depth.
The former Moenchengladbach and Bayern player is not only referring to Bayern's unsolved right-back problems.
As Benjamin Pavard is currently not fully fit, Joshua Kimmich had to help out at the back leaving the midfield without one of its sources of inspiration.
Bayern coach Hansi Flick rang the alarm bells after his squad had to make up for a setback in their last 8 games. "Always having to fight back requires too much energy in the long run. We need to go in front in our games to make things easier for us," Kimmich said.
To again win the Champions League and the national championship, Bayern has to regain stability quickly.
But several new arrivals have fallen short of expectations. Leroy Sane might be the most prominent example aside from Douglas Costa, Bouna Sarr, Marco Roca, Tanguy Nianzou, and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
The future of defenders such as David Alaba and Jerome Boateng remains uncertain.
Frenchman Pavard has been in the firing line after Flick spoke about his disappointing performances. This after the coach pointed to Sane, Suele, and Alphonso Davies' struggles in finding form.
"Things are not going smoothly at present. Most games are hard work despite us winning," Thomas Mueller said before adding that things must change if they are to cross the finish line.
Rumors speak of possible new arrivals, but high-quality players are currently not readily available or are exceptionally expensive in the current transfer window that is open in Germany until the end of January.
As for the away game in Moenchengladbach, statistics don't favor the Bavarians. No other club has won so many points against Bayern than Borussia (five wins) since 2014.
Things might still look pretty good for Bayern as the side is leading the league, but the upcoming two-game a week schedule caused by German Cup and the Champions League (Lazio) duties will soon increase the load Flick's team is under.