Tiki-Taka in Bavaria? How Bayern's attack might line up under Pep Guardiola
As if Bayern Munich’s midfield wasn’t stacked enough, new manager Pep Guardiola has issued in the signing of 2 big name playmakers: Mario Götze and Thiago Alcântara.
With a midfield already featuring the likes of Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribéry, and Toni Kroos, how the German side will line up has been discussed at great lengths recently.
We understand Guardiola will bring his famous “tiki-taka” style of play to the German League. With a plethora of talented attacking players at his disposal, this transition can work very well for the Germans. Let’s start with the midfield of the expected 4-3-3 formation.
First up in the middle would be Bastian Schweinsteiger. He is the heart of everything Bayern does and is the complete midfielder. No matter who comes in or out, he is one of the first names on the team sheet.
In the second central midfield role, the choices are Luis Gustavo, Thiago Alcântara, and Javi Martinez. Luis Gustavo, while dependable and a very good back-up option, will lose out the Spaniards in the role most times. The new boy Alcântara and Martinez, no strangers to the Spanish style of play, have similar skill sets. However, Martinez just wins out for now, having a bit more defensive prowess than his fellow countryman.
There is a ridiculous amount of talented attacking playmakers in this Bayern squad, but for now our choices in attacking midfield shall be Mario Götze and Toni Kroos. Toni Kroos is a very gifted playmaker, it must be said. And his long range shooting ability is a plus too. However, the former Dortmund boy wins this one. Götze has torn apart the Bundesliga in the past few seasons, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t continue.
Well, starting in September, if reports that the young playmaker will miss the start of the season due to a hamstring injury are to be believed. Maybe that could be Kroos’s chance to cement a starting spot. But overall, expect Götze to feature often this season in the attacking midfield role.
Next are our wingers. Another position that isn’t exactly lacking in depth. The traditional wing duo of Robbery (ROBBen and RibÉRY) scares full backs enough, but last season Müller started over Robben and it seemed to pay off. Müller’s innate ability to read the game and find space is fantastic. His lack of one-on-one dribbling ability may turn you off to him at first, but the young German will rip a team apart so subtly they won’t even notice it until the Ribéry & co are off celebrating by the corner flag. Just ask Barcelona. I prefer Müller’s spatial awareness to Robben’s dribbling on the right wing, and I think Guardiola might too.
Ribéry was one of Bayern’s stand out performers last season, and there’s no reason why he would be benched. He starts over talented young winger Shaqiri, who had a good season in his own right, but will find it hard to get into the first team this season. Kroos and Götze are familiar with the wing also, in the event of an injury crisis.
If the Bavarians are lacking depth in any attacking position, it would be up front. Once star striker Mario Gomez found it hard to get regular playing time last season, and was sold to Fiorentina for around €20 million. Mario Mandžukic is the man that took his place, and looks to be the starting striker next season. However, the transfer window is far from over, and Bayern might be in for a new striker. Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski have been linked with a move in recent weeks. While it seems Lewandowski will stay in Dortmund for another season, Suarez is looking for a move away from Anfield, and he would thrive under Pep Guardiola’s management.
The team expected to line up at the Allianz week in week out this season is a scary one. It will be interesting to see how Bayern’s “German efficiency”, which won them the treble last season, will mix with Guardiola’s short passing that won Barcelona numerous honours over the years. If things go wrong with the squad they have, Guardiola could be looking for another job. Done right, it could be another treble winning season for FC Hollywood.
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