Bayern Munich: What can Julian Nagelsmann do to improve defense?

Julian Nagelsmann has a lot of work to do in training to improve the defensive aspect of Bayern Munich squad. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images)
Julian Nagelsmann has a lot of work to do in training to improve the defensive aspect of Bayern Munich squad. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images) /

The last few weeks have seen Bayern Munich struggle defensively. The German Champions suffered two defeats in the past six weeks, but every game did highlight that things need to improve defensively to become the best team in Europe.

Julian Nagelsmann voiced his concerns about the team’s bad habit of conceding poor goals after the defeat against Augsburg on Friday. The German manager will be looking to rectify things from the next game itself. Let us look at possible things that Nagelsmann can do to bring defensive solidity.

Implement three at the back at Bayern Munich

Nagelsmann had successfully utilized the three-man defense at RB Leipzig. It was not a go-to system for him, but having marauding wing-back in Angelino did make sure that Nagelsmann reverted to this system at Leipzig.

At Die Roten, Nagelsmann has a marauding wing-back in Alphonso Davies. After a quiet season last year, the Canadian winger has been back to his best this year. Davies is looking much calmer in the final third, with his pace and trickery causing all kinds of problems for the opposition. His decision-making has also been much better than last season.

Meanwhile, Nagelsmann can deploy Kingsley Coman or Serge Gnabry on the right flank in the wing-back role. Both of them can hold the width and provide dangerous crosses/passes from this position. The defensive side of the game will need polishing, but there is certainly scope for them to succeed in this role. Along with these two forwards, Josip Stanisic can also be moulded into a sound wing-back. The Croatian defender has shown promise in the limited opportunities he has got this season. In the center-back positions, there is a plethora of depth in the current squad for Nagelsmann to use in this system.

Give Benjamin Pavard a break

Benjamin Pavard has struggled to find consistency in his performances. He started well after recovering from a serious injury at the start of the season. The French defender has struggled in the past few weeks as center-back and right-back. He is going through a poor run of form for club and country. Getting him out of the fireline would be the best thing for player and team instead of trying him to play into form.

Niklas Sule has been the best performing center-back for Die Roten this season, so he automatically starts in a back three/two. Dayot Upamecano and Lucas Hernandez can form the defensive unit, while the above-mentioned options can be used in wing-back positions. The overall shape of the team could be something like this:

"NeuerSule-Upamecano-HernandezGnabry/Coman/Stanisic- Midfield- Davies/RichardsForwards"

Defensively, Leipzig was the best team in the division last season under Julian Nagelsmann.  They defended well collectively to concede the least number of chances. The German coach can definitely coach Die Roten into a good defensive outfit, but it will need contribution from the entire team along with the above-mentioned tweaks.