3 things that must happen for Bayern Munich to consider 2020 a success
Bayern Munich have had an extremely successful decade. With 7 consecutive Bundesliga titles and 4 German cup titles, the Bavarians continued their dominance in the domestic circuit throughout the decade. They also broke the record of most points won in a season by amassing 91 points in 2012-13 season.
The German giants were ever-present during the later stages of the Champions League for a large part of the decade. They became the first German club to win a treble by winning the Bundesliga, Champions League and the German cup under Jupp Heynckes in the historic 2012-13 campaign.
After that historic campaign, Pep Guardiola took over the club with the vision of continuing the domestic dominance and achieving more glory in Europe. Bayern were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals for 3 seasons under the Spanish manager.
The last few years have seen the club continue to win titles domestically but they have struggled for consistency in their performances. Both Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovač won the league titles but failed to improve Bayern's performances in Europe. They were both sacked after a little over a year managing the club.
Bayern were the favourites for the Bundesliga title at the start of this season. But they started the season badly which led to the dismissal of manager Niko Kovač. The Bavarians have recovered their form under Hans-Dieter Flick but they still find themselves 4 points behind the league leaders RB Leipzig.
Bayern would be eager to maintain their grip on the Bundesliga title and improve their performances in Europe this year as they look to maintain the high standards set at the club. On that note, let us have a look at 3 things the Bavarians would look for to consider 2020 a successful calendar year.
1. Win the Bundesliga
Any season without winning the Bundesliga can not be considered a success for Bayern Munich. After signings big players like Lucas Hernandez and Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window, Bayern were expected to comfortably win the league to continue their domestic dominance.
Bayern Munich's performances were inconsistent at the start of the season as they struggled with injuries as well. They have improved their form after the dismissal of manager Niko Kovač which has seen them climb up the table to the third position. But they still find themselves 4 points behind league leaders RB Leipzig.
The Bavarians can not be counted out yet as they look to reach the summit of Bundesliga in the second half of the season. They have the pedigree and the squad to reach the top again as they look to win one of the most tightly contested Bundesliga in recent memory.
2. A deep run in the Champions League
Bayern Munich is one of the most successful clubs in Europe. They have been the flag bearers of German football in Europe for the longest time. Bayern is also the last German club to win the Champions League when they won it earlier this decade.
However, their performances in Europe have been underwhelming in recent seasons compared to their usual high standards. They have reached the semi-finals 4 times after winning the Champions League but they seem to have fallen behind the other European giants in recent seasons. Last year, they were beaten comfortably by Liverpool at the Allianz Arena in the round of 16 to knock them out of the competition.
The Bavarians need to make a deep run in the Champions League to prove that they can still challenge the Spanish and English clubs in Europe. The early signs look promising for the club. They became statistically the strongest team in Champions League group stage history after winning all of their 6 group games, scoring 24 goals and conceding just 5 times. The German club will look to continue this form in Europe as they look to go one step further than last year when they face Chelsea in the round of 16 this time.
3. Appointing a long-term manager
Bayern Munich got the nickname of FC Hollywood for tending to find trouble and strife where no other team would. They had some highly successful and trouble-free season under Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, but, recent seasons have highlighted this tendency again.
Niko Kovač was made the manager last year with a long-term vision in mind by the club's board. He led the club to a Bundesliga title and a DFB Cup in his first season. The team struggled to perform as per expectations at the start of this season. Kovač also fell out of favour with many key members of the squad which led to his dismissal and the club forced to abandon the vision.
The club has appointed Hans-Dieter Flick as manager till the end of this season but they have been linked to various managers since sacking Kovač. The two names which have been linked most strongly to the club are Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag. Both these managers are young and implement a playing style that suits Bayern.
The German club needs to find stability again if they are to replicate their success from this decade in the next 10 years. The issues Bayern is facing this season are the result of the instability caused due to changing managers in the last few years. The club's board must hire a new manager in 2020 while keeping their vision for club in mind as they look to build a solid foundation going into the next decade.Published 05 Jan 2020, 17:16 IST