Summer-Round-Up: Boateng is leading the way
In the summer round-up we’ll keep you up to date every week with Bayern’s national players.
When we wrote that Kingsley Coman became the youngest player who played for France in a major tournament a few days ago, we forgot to mention that the same also applies for Renato Sanches in Portugal. The 18-year-old broke the record that was previously set by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was 19 at his tournament debut. In the second group stage game the Bayern signing did not play. Portugal played 0-0 against Alaba’s Austria on Saturday. Cristiano Ronaldo missed from the spot to put his team up front. The three points would have been deserved, but in the end the Portuguese were not able to convert their chances and put the ball in the net of the outstanding Almer in goal. Alaba had another mediocre performance and even made more mistakes than in the first match against Hungary. Austria’s captain and main player seemed a bit tired, overwhelmed and unable to take control of the game. Thus it was no wonder, when Koller took him off the pitch before the 70th minute. From an FCB point of view, it might even be helpful, if the 23-year-old won’t collect that many additional minutes in this tournament. He played 3,992 minutes for Bayern alone last season.
Kingsley Coman is the complete opposite to Alaba. He is fresh, highly motivated and fit. The Frenchman celebrate his European Championship starting XI debut in the second game against Albania. He became the youngest player who was in the starting XI for the French in a tournament ever. Deschamps rotated in the second game and brought in Coman an Martial for big names like Pogba and Griezmann. Unlike Martial, who didn’t use his chance to impress, the Bayern player was totally convincing. Certainly there were some scenes where his flanks or the last action were not good, but was the best French player on the pitch besides Payet. Coman’s dribblings (6 of 7 successful, team best) created dangerous situations. Considering these numbers it was quite surprising that the French still ran 43% of their attacks down their left flank, although their most dangerous winger played right. Coman was also very effective in the counter pressing and against the ball. He recovered the ball five times. Coman had two shots, almost scoring one goal. Additionally he had two key passes, one chance was missed carelessly by Giroud. It was an overall good performance by Kingsley Coman and an absolute recommendation for the next game, although Deschamps stopped his action early by substituting him off. Among the Bayern players the French debutant is among those who make the most fun at the international tournaments so far.
Both had an extremely difficult day against the well defending Poland, but nevertheless the German offensive did not get into gear so far. Götze and Müller have to take part of the blame. While the Götze seems to be overwhelmed, slow and unlucky as a striker, Müller is not able to have an impact on the German game from the wing. Müller is simply not well integrated into the German offensive game. From Höwedes he rarely gets overlapping runs and the connections to the midfield a non-existent. In addition, the Bayern striker has to do unusually much defensive work, which takes away some of this offensive power. Joachim Löw must start to think about solutions how to bring his best striker back in the offensive centre. Müller has not had a single shot on goal. He also had a long season with Bayern, but this should not count as an excuse. Toni Kroos e.g. has collected as many minutes last season and is able to show convincing performances. The biggest problems are most likely the different role as well as the lack of support from certain parts of the team. With Götze, however, it is quite clear to see that he is out of form. After a disappointing Bayern season, he is not only missing match practice, but also the necessary luck for his actions. He dribbles into dead ends, loses a lot of balls and is simply not dangerous. One can’t deny that he is trying, but currently with only little success. It is only logical that Löw will change his striker set-up in the next game.
Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Müller and Lewandowski. The list of top strikers who have not scored, is unusually long. Both Bayern attackers haven’t even had a shot on goal, yet. Lewandowski doesn’t even play bad. He is able to the secure long balls, makes good runs for his partner Milik, leads his team and is important against the ball. Nevertheless, he lacks the big moments. Against Germany Lewandowski also was unlucky to face a Jerome Boateng in absolute top form. After two game Boateng is among the best players of the tournament. His strengths are well known, but it is amazing how strong and consistent the 27-year-old can prevent opponent’s scoring opportunities. He appears more self-confident and clearly leads the way for his team. Boateng loudly criticizes his team-mates, is always there when needed and also finds exactly the right words in the post-game interviews, even without using the usual player’s phrases. He is the “captain on the field” and made a leap forward again in recent weeks and months.
His CB partner was Mats Hummels. The Bayern signing had a few starting problems and lost the ball lightly three times, each time without consequences and Hummels eventually found his game. In the end it was a successful rehearsal of the future Bayern centre-back duo. Hummels won 60% of his duels, opened the game wisely and made no more mistakes in the second half. The two defenders did their job so well that Manuel Neuer’s gloves remained untouched. Poland had their chances, but Milik wasted two great opportunities. Kimmich sat on the bench the whole game.
Thiago’s constitution keeps on worrying. At the 3-0 victory of the Spaniards against Turkey the midfielder was not even subbed in. This is in line with the declining form curve of Thiago in the last weeks of the Bayern season. His form was so bad that even Guardiola often left his favourite players out of the starting XI in important. Now Thiago also doesn’t play an important role in the Spanish national team, even tough Cesc Fabregas is neither in great shape Spain is expected to go far in this tournament. Whether Thiago will collect substantial minutes along the way is questionable after this start. Perhaps not the worst thing from a Bayern perspective.
Vidal, however, doesn’t seem to tire. At Bayern, he played more than 3,200 minutes and barely had time to recover, especially in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, he leads the way with Chile and shines in the important moments. His team reached the semi-final of the Copa America with a 7-0 victory against Mexico in the night from Saturday to Sunday. Vidal assisted two goals and had two more key passes, won 16 of his 25 duels, had four shots and also made, especially in comparison to recent games, significantly less errors. However, Vidal collected one yellow card to much and will miss the semi-final against Colombia. Colombia won against Peru on penalties. Should Chile make it to the finals, Argentina could again be their opponent in the final, just like in their Copa win last year.
In this and the last edition of the round-up we have explained why Jérôme Boateng is so important for the German national team. He is our Bavaria-player of the week, because he is not only putting up exceptional personal performances, but now also takes responsibility for the team. A unique development that we want to underline.