Bayern Munich: Fear of insignificance – sport

The 3-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld in the final fifth game of the season was just a few minutes away when midfielder Joshua Kimmich penned a comprehensive summary of the season. “Too early end to the Cup” and “too early end to the Champions League” “may not have been enough” for Bayern Munich’s claims, he said, “We imagined more”. The fact that a tenth consecutive title against Borussia Dortmund could already be perfected next Saturday is only limited consolation. “We’ll attack again next year,” Kimmich, who was still a warrior, said when suddenly realizing that perhaps things shouldn’t be expected much. “I didn’t want to end the season with that,” he pardoned his hasty-sounding summary.

But that was not in a hurry. In the German FA Cup and the Champions League, it is difficult to return Bayern to the current competition by means of a wild card, and he will use nine points in the Bundesliga against Dortmund, if not already next Saturday, then certainly in Mainz or against Stuttgart. win the title. The current season actually holds few surprises for Bayern Munich. “The remaining matches of the season are no longer about big development steps, it’s only about results,” says coach Julian Nagelsmann. The 2021/22 season is already taking place in Munich; Absolutely sure with the championship title, but at the same time with bitter disappointments in other competitions. This is why Kimmich is not the only one talking about next season on TV, they are also extensively discussing the mid-term future behind closed doors for the club.

Amidst the uncertainty, Salihamidzic should have good news

On Sunday afternoon, CEO Oliver Kahn appeared on a TV talk show, and for the first time admitted with such clarity that central striker Robert Lewandowski was starting to think after all his successful years with Bayern Munich and was considering whether he wanted to stay. in Munich. His contract expires in 2023; This summer will be the club’s last chance to generate fees. Although Bayern are determined to go into next season with the striker, it is difficult to estimate the dynamics that will emerge in the coming days and weeks if necessary. “We want him to stay as long as possible,” said Kahn of Lewandowski, who did not score in Bielefeld but at least set up Jamal Musiala’s goal to make it 3-0.

The same contractual terms apply to Serge Gnabry, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller. Gnabry, the team’s 2-0 lead scorer, said succinctly on Sunday night that there was no news. For him the situation seems as uncertain as Lewandowski’s, and better news can be expected from Neuer and Muller. “In good conversations, both sides want it, and I think eventually a solution will be found. How, when and where: you’ll find out then,” Mueller said in Bielefeld. It is rumored that the execution could be reported in the coming days; Mueller and Neuer are likely to sign new contracts until 2025.

“For me, the question is always: Where do you want to go in the long term?” says Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann. Serge Gnabry (centre) may be asking himself this very question.

(Photo: Martin Meissner/AP)

Muller then elaborated that the finish against Villarreal will always be annoying “for later”, but that you have to “accept it at some point. It has to go on”. Exactly how, however, is the big question. The club suffers from certain fears of growing international irrelevance, and in the midst of that big question, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic announced supposedly good news at Bielefeld: “We will not put the club at risk by taking the risk.”

Heart lovers could have laughed spontaneously and thought freely: Thank God, he does not endanger the club! But then some may suddenly stop and ask themselves: But what does this mean for Bayern Munich’s future sporting ambitions?

These thoughts also plagued the coach. “For me, the question is always: Where do you want to go in the long term?” Nagelsmann said after the win in Bielefeld when asked what he thought of Salihamidzic’s seemingly indecisive comments. Once the sports director said they wanted to increase the quality of the team, again they wanted to compliment each other above all else.

Nagelsmann respects the club’s financial limits: “We have a difficult situation, we have the pandemic and financial conditions that are generally different from English and Spanish football,” he said. “That’s why we have to go in creative ways and find solutions that may not come to fruition after next year, but only in six, seven or eight years.” This was also a reaction to the fact that Bayern Munich cannot afford and does not want Erling Haaland from Dortmund.

“I have my thoughts,” Nagelsmann says of the team’s direction

But then Nagelsmann issued an urgent warning: “You shouldn’t miss so many hauls because you don’t have that many, and this is also the case in the private sector: if you want to get a premium product in the end, then you should also use the best materials In production. And we have to make that decision if we want to be in the top four in Europe for the long term.” Nagelsmann will likely not make a clearer announcement to sporting director Salihamidzic and Chairman Kahn. Basically, he did not even formulate a requirement, but advises decision makers to define the requirements: “Where do you want to go?”

For Kimmich, one of the most important players in FC Bayern’s future planning, the answer is clear when he says: “We will attack again next year.” It does not mean the German League, but rather the Champions League. However, Nagelsmann is openly questioning whether Bayern Munich still considers itself one of Europe’s top four clubs in the future.

The Bavarians returned home from East Westphalia with such heavy thoughts, contemplating their future role in international competition. It appears Nagelsmann is awaiting signals from the board in this regard. “I have my ideas,” he says of the team’s direction. “Now let’s see what comes out of it in the summer.”

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