In what is one of the key talking points across the European football landscape as the 2022-23 season progresses, German giants Bayern Munich have begun to struggle mightily as Julian Nagelsmann’s Rekordmeister succumbed to a shock 1-0 defeat in a Bavarian clash with FC Augsburg at WWK Arena.
Boasting over 76% of the ball and crafting more chances than Fuggerstädter managed to muster, Augsburg boss Enrico Maaßen earned a valuable win - the club’s second on the bounce and third on the season - to push the club into a three-way tie for ninth in the table.
But for Bayern, who have sprung to a quick six-point from six return in their Champions League group including a win over Robert Lewandowski’s Barcelona, the situation on the domestic front has become concerning for the key figures at the club while Nagelsmann now has plenty to consider going into the international break.
Nagelsmann continued to comment on the situation regarding his squad after recent domestic results have revisited the debate regarding whether or not the club adequately replaced Lewandowski this summer in the wake of his departure to Catalunya.
“What will change if I said yes or no? If I say no, people will say he doesn’t want to recognize the problem - if I say yes, they will say he misses Lewandowski. We had a #9 today on the bench in Choupo, otherwise, we don’t have another classic striker.”
Though it is unlikely the Bayern hierarchy would part ways with the former RB Leipzig tactician and young managerial prodigy, club director and former defender Hasan Salihamidžić voiced his concern nevertheless; “We haven’t won in four games. I’m a bit concerned. We didn’t finish several chances and conceded few chances. We can’t win like that in the Bundesliga. We have problems against physical teams. Now there are no more excuses, now we need wins.”
The former Bosnian international also shut down speculation surrounding the possibility of Bayern dipping into the transfer market in January while throwing down a gauntlet for current players to step up and finish the wealth of chances the club continues to create; “Why should I think about that when the transfer window is closed? We can do that (scoring goals), we have the players for it. We should just finish our chances better.”
That sentiment was echoed by Bayern and German international midfielder Leon Goretzka in the aftermath of the loss to Augsburg; “We had a few situations where we had to score. Our finishing wasn’t good. They play primitive football but to perfection. We fell asleep once and conceded. We have to start winning games again. That was our goal today, but it didn’t work and that’s bad.”
With table-topping Union Berlin coming to grips with VfL Wolfsburg tomorrow while TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and SC Freiburg clash in a top-four fixture with huge implications, Bayern could find themselves not only further away from top spot but also outside of the top four going into the UEFA Nations League break in play.
Thus far, it could very well be that Lewandowski may have the last laugh if the situation does not correct itself over the coming two months before the World Cup in Qatar.