Bayern Munich in trouble

Bayern Munich
COLOGNE, GERMANY – MARCH 04: Kingsley Coman of Bayern Munich in action during the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Koeln and Bayern Muenchen at RheinEnergieStadion on March 4, 2017 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What is going on in Germany?

Usually by now, Bayern Munich are winning matches relentlessly, scoring for fun while the other teams behind them are dropping points on a regular basis and just can’t compete. This season is completely different.

The champions and the Goliath of the Bundesliga are not the winning machine of old. Since the restart, they have just drawn three league games in a row 1-1, against Koln and Frankfurt at home and away at Leipzig. They are usually slow to start after the winter break but this is worrying because coach Julian Nagelsmann’s team is not playing well, not defending well, and as a result is not winning.

And the tensions are not just on the pitch. Serge Gnabry was reprimanded and benched for going to the Paris Fashion Week on his day off. Tony Tapalovic, the goalkeeping coach and Manuel Neuer’s best friend, was let go last week in a power move from Nagelsmann. And Neuer is out until next season after breaking his leg skiing while on holiday after the World Cup.

In the meantime, the competition is gearing up for more misery for Bayern. Union Berlin, the surprise of the season, are second just a point behind the leaders. Then Leipzig, rejuvenated by manager Marco Rose, are just one behind Union with Freiburg and Dortmund another one behind. The top five of the Bundesliga within three points of each other in February has never been seen before, and it puts all the more pressure on Bayern.

It is very exciting — unless you are a Bayern supporter, of course. Their next game is on Wednesday away at Mainz, a team that sits 11th in the table. The pressure on Thomas Muller & Co. will be massive, indeed. –Julien Laurens