Bundesliga 2019-20: Is Hansi Flick good enough for Bayern Munich?
After a shaky start to the season and a disgraceful defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank Arena, Bayern Munich parted ways with Niko Kovac. After the Croat resigned there was serious speculation about who would take control for the Bavarians. However, in the meantime, the difficult task was given to the assistant manager and ex-player, Hansi Flick.
As mentioned before, Bayern had an inconsistent year and a half under Kovac. Last season, the Bavarians were knocked out in the round of 16 of the Champions League and almost lost the Bundesliga title to fierce rivals, Borussia Dortmund.
Niko Kovac's departure was inevitable, however, there is still a big concern over Bayern's future. Is there a man that can take this team forward and bring them back to their glory days and finally win the desired Champions League trophy?
Hansi Flick has started his stint at Bayern quite positively by beating Olympiacos in the Champions League and smashing arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund in the league. To understand whether Flick can continue managing Munich we have to take a look at how he affected the squad.
Kovac left the Bayern squad at a time they were suffering from an injury crisis. In the game against Dortmund, Bayern started Alphonso Davies as the makeshift left-back, David Alaba and Javi Martinez as centre-backs and Benjamin Pavard as a right-back.
Flick knew that his defensive tools weren't capable of containing Dortmund for 90 minutes, so he implemented a pressing system that wouldn't allow Dortmund to create many chances. He lined up his side in a 4-1-4-1 formation to easily match Dortmund's shape. The two midfielders, Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka were tied to Axel Witsel and Julian Weigl respectively which prevented Dortmund from progressing the ball through the middle.
Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry pressed Nico Schulz and Achraf Hakimi repectively which prevented them from advancing high up the pitch and Joshua Kimmich, the defensive midfielder, was tasked to man-mark Julian Brandt and prevent him from finding space. This destroyed Lucien Favre's game plan and made it extremely difficult for Dortmund to create chances.
Offensively, Bayern Munich used the wider areas to score their goals. They created overloads on the wings to eventually cross the ball to Europe's hottest striker, Robert Lewandowski. Another way they exploited the Dortmund defence is by playing long balls in behind Die Borussen's backline. The likes of Martinez and Alaba played the ball long for the likes of Coman and Gnabry to chase.
Hansi Flick is a promising manager that has reacted well to Bayern's injury crisis and was able to put results on the table. Most importantly, the atmosphere within the dressing room seems to be positive again. If Flick is given time and money to build his squad, he is a great choice for Bayern.