Bayern Munich: Julian Nagelsmann eyes improvement in defense

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann wants improvement in defense after defeat against Augsburg. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann wants improvement in defense after defeat against Augsburg. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images) /

The competitive football resumed for Bayern Munich after a two-week long international break with the worst possible result on Friday. The defending Bundesliga champions succumbed to the second league defeat of the season as Augsburg clinched a 2-1 win in the Bavarian defeat.

The defeat in Augsburg mirrored Bayern’s issues over the past few weeks before the international break. The team has been conceding very poor goals due to individual errors at the back or the collective positioning of the defense.

The problems at the back were magnified during the 5-0 defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach in the second round of DFB Pokal. Die Roten did bounce back from that defeat to clinch wins against Union Berlin, Benfica, and Freiburg, but the team did look shaky at the back.

After the defeat against Augsburg, Nagelsmann did raise concerns about the team’s defending. While talking to DAZN (via sportsmax), the German coach insisted that work needs to be done to become a defensively solid unit.

"“I always stand behind my team. It’s a top team with top players. But we have to work on our weaknesses. We simply concede too many goals in a way that is too easy.”"

Bayern has been leaking poor goals in the past 18 months. However, they managed to win most of the games by outscoring the opposition. Rekordmeister ended up conceding 44 league goals last season, but the attacking prowess made sure that they won the league title by a canter.

Die Roten could still go on to win the Bundesliga this season, even if there are few problems at the back. However, they could find it difficult to go all the way in the Champions League if defensive issues are not sorted.

The best news for Bayern is that Nagelsmann has the quality and history to make the team defensively solid. RB Leipzig had conceded the least goals in the Bundesliga last season. They managed to ship in only 32 goals in 34 games. Moreover, there were signs of defensive improvements in the first two months of the season under Nagelsmann. Die Roten has conceded 13 goals in 12 league games this season. They are on track to have much better defensive numbers than last season, but work needs to be done to become the best team in Europe.

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The run of games until the winter break is crucial to set the tone for the title race in the Bundesliga. Nagelsmann will be getting more time with the players on the training ground since the next international break is in March. The next few weeks will be interesting to see how Nagelsmann tries to address this weakness. It could be either by changing the system or changing the personnel. Nevertheless, an improvement from a defensive point of view is needed quickly.