Football

How will Bayern Munich set up under Guardiola?

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Guardiola will be refreshed after a year-long sabbatical  (©GettyImages)
Guardiola will be refreshed after a year-long sabbatical (©GettyImages).

"I love attacking. This is my philosophy," Pep Guardiola told reporters at his introductory press conference earlier this week.

The one thing we know about Bayern Munich next season is that they will attack.

Speculation has arisen on how the club, which spectacularly humiliated Barcelona, might play under Guardiola.

The spectacular, and for many surprising outcome of this Champions League semi-final showed the world that Bayern was - at that moment - the team to beat. 

Now, with new coach Pep Guardiola in charge, the question as to how this team will play next season is omnipresent, despite Guardiola having said that he will not change very much.

But the coach known for his meticulousness and his deep knowledge of tactics is likely to inject his Bayern squad with his Catalan football mentality in order to stay at the top of German and European football.

But where could there be room for improvement in a team which defeated its opponents with such style as it did last year? 

The squad based around the formidable midfield partnership of Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger, as well as the speedy wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and the world-class goalkeeper Manuel Neuer wants to launch a new era.

And with Mario Gotze, Bayern have made a formidable signing - a player who is polyvalent, meaning that he can play many positions.

Guardiola himself said that the system is irrelevant and that he had to base the system around the qualities of his players.

And with players like Gotze, Ribery, Robben, Xherdan Shaqiri, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller in attacking midfield, he certainly has a lot of quality and a lot of choice.

Guardiola asked Ribery if he could play as a central attacking midfielder, rather than on the left wing, where he has been playing under Heynckes.

One could interpret this in many ways, but one thing is for sure: the flexibility, which Bayern will possess next season, will be immense. 

Players like Muller, Gotze, Shaqiri and Ribery are all highly versatile, and this will be useful in a long campaign.

Apart from Ribery on the 10, Shaqiri could find himself in a more prominent role next season, as his tactical flexibility could be a useful asset to him.

Speculation has also arisen to the possibility of Gotze becoming Bayern's Messi, in other words playing as a striker who enjoys complete freedom.

Gotze certainly possesses the technical ability to play in such a position, and his strength, small size and good finishing ability could help him in such a position.

Muller, in the meantime, could be important with his work which he does without the ball.

This work without the ball was a key element of Guardiola's Barca side, and Muller has already been seen making some intelligent runs.

This could make him vital for the side, as he is, in other areas, not as gifted as players like Ribery, Gotze and Shaqiri.

In Barcelona, Guardiola did not have classical strikers such as Mandzukic, Pizarro and Gomez, whose future is uncertain, at hand; everything there was more centred around Messi, who is obviously a different type of player.

In defence and in goal, the options for Guardiola are quite straight forward, with Philipp Lahm, Dante, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba being likely to form a defensive partnership infront of Manuel Neuer, with competitor Holger Badstuber being sidelined for the next few months due to an injury.

It will be, then, an interesting season for Bayern, and it will be interesting to see if and how the team will develop further. 

Bayern want to start a legacy, and with Guardiola, they have the right man for the job. If all goes well, then Bayern's qualitatively superb side will be a threat for years to come.

 

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Topics:
Football
Bayern Munich
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