Bayern form falls despite winning title
By NICK PAPADIS
College Contributor Network
Though Bayern Munich is one of the top names in world football, the German side has been in a streak of terrible form since clinching the Bundesliga title for the 25th time in their history.
Since claiming the title, following Wolfsburg's 1-0 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach on April 26, Bayern has not won a game in all competitions.
This terrible streak of form is very uncharacteristic from one of the world's most star-studded teams. With established names such as Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribery and more recent arrivals such as Robert Lewandowski and Xabi Alonso, the club's recent form is a bit shocking.
While they have already won the Bundesliga, they still have a lot of work to do in the Champions League. Bayern's hope at reclaiming Europe's top prize looks bleak after they suffered a 3-0 loss in Barcelona in the first leg of the semifinal.
Often teams become less driven once clinching their league title, but do not suffer a complete loss of form. This raises the question of what is happening to Bayern.
The only explainable solution in my opinion is that in addition to winning yet another trophy in Germany, there are questions about the future of manager Pep Guardiola.
Players surrounded by transfer rumors often have a loss of form, and it is possible that the rumor of Guardiola leaving may have resulted in a loss of form for the entire squad.
However, it would seem that a seasoned team such as Bayern would not experience such a dramatic loss of form solely due to the possible loss of one man. While this should hold true, Guardiola has a huge impact on his team.
The style of play Guardiola encourages his teams to use is very methodical and deliberate. A style such as this requires constant practice and tweaking in both games and training.
If Guardiola is not fully focused on every aspect of Bayern's game, it could have a dramatic effect on his side. It is a little tough to believe that he has lost his focus given his talent and experience.
In his final season at his former club Barcelona, he was very successful all the way through his departure from the team.
Though he clearly never lost his focus while at Barcelona, it is hard to put the responsibility of Bayern's losses on anything else given their extreme talent and four-game losing streak.
The most significant of these losses was their loss via penalty kicks to Borussia Dortmund, in which Bayern failed to score a single penalty kick. Mistakes such as this cannot be blamed on Guardiola, but the fact that Bayern was unable to to beat a struggling Dortmund side in regulation is troubling.
Bayern will hope to find their form in the second leg of the Champions League Semifinal as Barcelona travel to Munich. Die Roten will have to score three or more goals to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
Guardiola, who is rumored to be headed to Manchester City next season, will need his side on top form as they face his former side.
Nick Papadis is a sophomore at American University majoring broadcast journalism and broadcasts AU Men's Soccer amongst other sports. Nick is an avid Liverpool fan. Follow him on twitter @NPSoccerTalk