One can blame the problems on a single player and certainly argue that not a single winger is in form, Alonso’s not the same anymore and conjure the Müller crisis. However, observing the playing style of the record champion more closely, you can’t look past the obvious structural problems anymore.
As soon as pressure is applied on Bayern’s build-up play, the number of misplaced passes, tackles and fouls increases. Ancelotti’s team quickly goes into panic mode, is all over the place against the ball and loses every bit of control in the centre. There’s a lack of support in possession, but also against the ball. The other teams in the Bundesliga recognize that.
Teams are not in awe against the reigning champion anymore, the courage to risk more is back. Schalke, Ingolstadt, Frankfurt, Hoffenheim and Dortmund have mercilessly exposed the weaknesses.
The graphic clearly shows how Bayern doesn’t have any solutions at their disposal once they’re facing pressing traps. Cologne could be added to that list of the more courageous opponents, however, Stöger’s side only played aggressive for a short period of time.
Bayern are allowing to be pushed back too easily, create much less good chances and start being rather careless with their passing. All of these problems are attributed to the poor positional play. Because of this, the dependence on individual quality extremely increased.
The most aggravating part about this development is the lack of changes. Ancelotti isn’t adjusting and he doesn’t show any negative reaction. Especially in a phase like this one, where FC Bayern have to recover quickly, it’d be desirable that someone takes a stance and recognizes the explosive nature of the situation in its roots.
While Bayern were a perfect symbiosis of tactical flexibility and individual elemental force in the past years, currently they’re at most a collective of players hoping the other guy is getting it done.