Bayern Munich and winning the Bundesliga seemingly goes hand in hand but this has been a difficult season for the German champions who have sacked Niko Kovac this season after a slow start.
His replacement has been Hans-Dieter Flick who made an immediate improvement where the club climbed from 4th and are now in 2nd place and from his first 11 games, Flick has won 9 of them. His win rate is an astounding 81%, and that has proven fans and pundits alike in Germany wrong. Indeed when Flick was appointed there was a surprise because he hasn’t managed a club side since Hoffenheim back in 2005.
So what was Flick doing in that 14 year gap? Well he was the assistant for the German national team which of course included winning the World Cup in 2014, so he has hardly been on an extended holiday.
Currently Bayern are four points behind surprise league leaders RB Leipzig and it seems only a matter of time before Bayern eclipse them, or will they?
There have been quite a few stories circulating in the German media that Bayern much like Manchester City in the Premier League want to focus more this season on winning the Champions League. Bayern have not captured Europe’s greatest prize since 2013 and there is a feeling in doing so the club will reestablish themselves as one of Europe’s great teams. That they are is always questionable to an impressionable youth one that now has less and less attention spans. Perhaps they don’t see past Real Madrid and Barcelona and Bayern will want to remind everyone of their status.
The German giants have of course advanced to the knockout stages of the competition and in their two group stage matches put 10 goals past Tottenham who also managed to qualify for the last 16.
Bayern will play Chelsea in the knock out rounds which, of course, will be a repeat of the 2012 final when Chelsea scrapped through on penalties. The league of course will be important for the club but the situation as it stands is that Flick can’t really lose. He has come in to pick up the pieces and a deep run in cups and maintaining 2nd place even if they don’t win the league shouldn’t affect his job this year.
The rallying cry has been led by Philippe Coutinho who said: “We want to do our best, survive the next round and win the Champions League at the end of course. I think we have the quality.”
So if Bayern drop more points in the league which could happen once the Champions League starts up again in a months time, don’t be surprised, there is a focus and it is not on the league title this year.