Jupp Heynckes is back at Bayern Munich and everyone expects some sort of radical change. But what exactly should the 72-year-old tweak to resurrect the Bavarians’ ailing fortunes?
A lot has changed since Jupp Heynckes steered Bayern to that historic treble in 2013. He now has to work with an entirely new crop of players with a different mentality. A fresh backroom staff as well, albeit the men upstairs remain the same. Plus a far more competitive Bundesliga than it used to be. So, therefore, it would be utter foolhardy approaching things as he did four years ago.
Bayern finds themselves in an unfamiliar place; second in both the Bundesliga and Champions League. While a daunting DFB-Pokal fixture looms at RB Leipzig, just a little over two weeks time. Yet, things may get even worst should Heynckes fail to resolve the lingering problems at the club.
Here are four can of worms awaiting the new manager.
1 – Dreadful defence
Heynckes’ first mission should be an attempt to fix Bayern’s dysfunctional defence. The Bavarians haven’t been the same since he handed over the baton to Pep Guardiola. On numerous occasions, they’ve been guilty of naive defending, particularly in the Champions League. That’s not to say it’s been any better in the league. Already, they’ve shipped in seven goals, same as bottom-placed Werder Bremen. However, that may not be too much of a task for the veteran whose philosophy promotes stifle defending.
2 – The Muller conundrum
If anything personifies Bayern’s struggles at the moment, it is the plight of certain experienced players. One of whom is Thomas Muller. Muller isn’t that same player Jupp Heynckes used to know. Not that the German star has totally lost his touch, but his confidence level seems to have crumbled due to lack of game time. Having spent a better part of last season on the bench and maintaining that run this term. Now, Heynckes must find a system that will accommodate the 28-year-old. Either up front or on the flank, Muller just has to play. Being the manager who brought out the best in the talisman, that may be an easy one.
3 – Underperforming newbies
So far so good, none of Bayern’s four new arrivals has really made much of an impact at the club. Homegrown pair Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule, who joined from Hoffenheim haven’t done so. More so foreigners, Corentin Tolisso and James Rodriguez. But of the quartet, it is Rodriguez who has laboured the most. Perhaps reason being the Colombian doesn’t speak German. Exactly where Heynckes can make the difference. The 72-year-old speaks fluent Spanish having coached Tenerife, Athletic Bilbao and Madrid. Blending Rodriguez and other new lads will certainly give the club more options in all aspects.
4 – An unhappy Lewandowski
For all we know, Robert Lewandowski is an unhappy man in Munich. The one-time calm Polish superstar has suddenly become blunt, hitting out at everyone that comes his way. Last season, he bit his teammates heads off after losing the league’s top scorer race. Then in the summer, he called out the club’s hierarchy over their recruitment policy. All these points towards one direction; an imminent exit for the 29-year-old. Though the forward has notched eight league goals, he could do much better should Heynckes make him fill more at home.