Bayern Munich: Benjamin Pavard reveals one key change under Nagelsmann

Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard reveals key tactical change under Julian Nagelsmann. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard reveals key tactical change under Julian Nagelsmann. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images) /

The Hinrunde came to a successful end for Bayern Munich as they enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 win against Wolfsburg. The Bavarian club is nine points clear at the top of the table after 17 games in the Bundesliga. The German Champions had a strong end to the year as they won four Bundesliga games in a row before the Christmas break.

Benjamin Pavard started all four games as he also ended an underwhelming year strongly. The French defender has been inconsistent for Rekordmeister in the last 18 months after enjoying a terrific debut campaign in 2019/20. However, the last few weeks have seen a steady improvement in Pavard’s performances.

The victory on Wolfsburg was special for Pavard as he marked his 100th appearance with the club by collecting all three points. The French international delivered a good performance against Wolfsburg, contributing well at both ends of the pitch.

In the build-up towards his 100th appearance for Rekordmeister last week, Pavard revealed the key tactical change under Naglesmann that has helped him this season. While talking to L’Equipe, Pavard admitted that playing as a central defender with the ball suits him a lot.

"“We play three at the back when we have the ball. I really like that because centre-back is my favourite position. You can feel I’m more comfortable on the pitch. I have more responsibilities. I like that because I never want to hide.”"

It is not surprising to see Pavard welcoming this tweak from Nagelsmann. The French defender has always identified himself as a center-back. He reportedly wants to play in the heart of defense in the long run.

However, playing as a center-back in the current squad at Bayern will be difficult for Pavard. Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Sule, and Dayot Upamecano are first choice center-backs under Nagelsmann. For now, playing as a third center-back in a hybrid back four will certainly allow Pavard to enjoy a good run of form under Nagelsmann. Most importantly, this tactical tweak will also help in hiding Pavard’s weaknesses as a full-back.

Pavard’s wish to play in the central defense can be fulfilled next season if Sule leaves on a free transfer and Rekordmeister buys an attacking right-back. A permanent shift to back three under Nagelsmann could also help Pavard to get consistent playing time in the heart of the defense.

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Benjamin Pavard also revealed that COVID also had a big impact on his performances during the second season at Bayern. The French defender is now somewhat back to his best with a crucial second half of the season ahead of him. Nagelsmann and the Bavarian faithful will be hoping that Pavard once again becomes the consistent player that he was in the 2019/20 campaign.