Julian Nagelsmanns experienced a changeable competitive debut as coach of FC Bayern Munich in the 1-1 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach. What did you notice? Three realizations.
1 .: Nagelsmann deprives himself of his preparatory ray of hope
“Upa and Tanguy have developed well and both improved,” said Julian Nagelsmann, praising Dayot Upamecano and Tanguy Nianzou after the game against Borussia Mönchengladbach. But not after the 1: 1 at the beginning of the Bundesliga, but about two and a half weeks before after a 0: 2 defeat in a friendly against the same opponent.
FC Bayern have had a preparation that could hardly have gone worse. The EM drivers were on extended vacation, injury followed injury, no test match was won and in the end the DFB Cup match against Bremer SV had to be postponed. One of the few bright spots was that Upamecano and Nianzou could play their part in central defense.
Both the 19-year-old talent, who was injured last season, and the € 42.5 million new signing from RB Leipzig did not make it into the French EM squad. Both were available from the first day of preparation – and in the final three test games together in the starting line-up. There weren’t many alternatives: Jerome Boateng and David Alaba left the club for free, Lucas Hernandez was injured, Niklas Süle was on vacation.
Quite surprisingly, Nagelsmann blew up the well-rehearsed duo for the Bundesliga opening game. Instead of Nianzou, Süle started next to Upamecano, who was not used in a single test match. “I chose Niki because he is a seasoned Bundesliga player. Tanguy had very little rhythm and was injured last year,” explained Nagelsmann. It is interesting that Nagelsmann apparently weighted the rhythm of the past season higher than that of the preparation.
In any case, the decision was not worth it, because the central defense presented itself against Gladbach as one of the major weaknesses of FC Bayern. The coordination between Upamecano and Süle left a lot to be desired, especially at the beginning and at the end of the game, which led to Upamecano’s three major mistakes. Before Alassane Pleas 0: 1 he defended too carelessly and in the final phase he afforded two penalty-worthy (and curiously unpunished) fouls on Marcus Thuram. “It is absolutely clear that the defensive is an issue and that we want to improve there,” said Nagelsmann.