Bayern reserves in a crisis
We already mentioned the first set-backs in our September episode. These set-backs have evolved into a first crisis. The Bayern reserves didn’t win any of their last five games. Even in the two games against the teams at the bottom of the table, Heiko Vogel’s team only managed to bring back one point (0-1 in Hof and 2-2 in Schalding-Heining).
In the meantime, the team dropped to the fifth position in the table and the situation increasingly resembles the one from last season, as the results faltered after the highlight game in Regensburg and only seven points were collected from the last eight games before the winter break. The team seems to be totally insecure and unimaginative in possession. Similar to the last season, almost no player is able to show a personal development. The times under Erik ten Hag, when players like Alessandro Schöpf, Julian Green, Ylli Sallahi or Lukas Görtler made a lot of progress, seem to be over.
Those responsible will have to assess why, for the second year running under Heiko Vogel, neither the individual players nor the team as a whole is able to make full use of their potential. The reserve team will play an increasingly important role in the upcoming years, due to the quantity of promising talents currently moving through the ranks.
Players leaving a good impression is very important for two reasons: The regular player sales help finance the costs for the youth academy and the reserve team being a stepping stone into professional football is a valuable argument to be able to acquire promising youth talents.
Under-19s also disappoint
The situation at the Under-19s doesn’t look much brighter. After our last episode, the team surprised with a 3-1 win in the Youth League at Atletico Madrid, but it should also be mentioned that two out of three goals were scored after huge individual errors by the Spanish players. A 3-0 win against FC Memmingen in the Bavarian Cup was followed by a 2-2 draw at home against 1.FC Nürnberg. Both goals were scored by Adrian Fein, using his individual quality to move past multiple defenders.
In the 0-2 loss against PSV Eindhoven, the team had a good start into the game but, after conceding the goal in the 28th minute, completely lost control of the game and thus deservedly lost against a team that wasn’t that strong overall.
Followers of the Bayern youth teams regard the current Under-19s team as one of the strongest in recent memory. Especially in offence the team has many players who impressed during their time in the Under-17s team, like Wintzheimer (23 goals, 8 assists), Crnicki (15 goals), Hadzic (19 goals) and Tillman (8 goals, 15 assists). Thus it’s even more surprising that the attacking game is the big problem in the Under-19s team.
If one of the Under-19s teams games would be analyzed based on the “Packing” metric, the results for our players would probably be devastating. The predictable passing game doesn’t get the ball into dangerous areas. It is a lack of creativity that was already visible in the second part of last season under Holger Seitz and which was considered impossible considering the high individual quality of the team. If the negative trend will go on, it will be another issue for those responsible to draw the right conclusions.
Under-17s are great fun
In the summer of 2015, Bayern made a lot of transfers. Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa, Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman came to Munich. One transfer that, according to the media, cost Bayern Munich a friendly against the Karlsruher SC was the acquisition of Karlsruhe’s youth coach Tim Walter. It is possible that, in ten years time, the transfer of Walter will have the same groundbreaking effect for FC Bayern like the one of Kimmich.
For the second straight year, the Under-17s under Tim Walter fascinate with their great football, which deservedly put the team at the top of the league table. Last weekend, the team secured a 2-2 in the top game against the second-placed FC Augsburg. Despite the draw, the game was a testament on how technically superior the Bayern team is compared to the rest of the league. The Augsburg team didn’t have an answer to the dominance of the Bayern team, but rather benefited from their clear physical power and thus relied on long balls from the back to their two strikers. It’s no coincidence that both conceded goals came from headers after corners.
Tim Walter seems to get the maximum out of the team, again. Players like Daniels Ontuzans or Can Karatas already show an impressive individual development. One can only hope that Tim Walter, who is currently working on obtaining the highest-ranked coaching licence (Lizenz zum Fußballlehrer), will stay at the club for a long time and won’t get lured away by the perks of professional football.
Under-16s are holding up against the older competition
One league beneath the Under-17s Bundesliga, in the Under-17s Bavarian league, you can find Bayern’s Under-16s team playing despite the age gap. Since the Under-17 teams of 1.FC Nürnberg and SpVgg Greuther Fürth were relegated to the second tier last season, this year’s Bavarian league is very competitive. Thus our Under-16s team faces the older Under-17s teams from Nürnberg, Fürth and FC Ingolstadt.
Until now our team was able to perform very well, despite some injury problems. They impressed with a clear 4-0 win against FC Ingolstadt, but lost 1-3 against Fürth. The next opponent will be 1. FC Nürnberg, who have won all six games so far. This will be a real test of strength for the young Bayern team.
Overall, the class of 2001 is regarded as a very balanced team with good players on every position. The boys could be a lot of fun to watch in the next years!
Still ahead of the local rival in all age groups
The Under-15s compete in the Regionalliga South/South-West and have established themselves in the top group. Last weekend’s 0-1 home defeat against FC Augsburg was a set-back. Currently, the team coached by Peter Wenninger is third in the league just behind Eintracht Frankfurt and VfB Stuttgart.
The new Under-14s team fulfils expectations in all regards. All four league games were won, the top game against 1.FC Nürnberg even with a 6-0 blowout scoreline. Side note: Nürnberg’s Under-14 team won the other 4 league games with a goal difference of 34-0.
The remaining Bayern youth teams (Under-13s, Under-12s, Under-10s, Under-9s) are all top of their leagues.
Additionally, it is very noteworthy that all youth teams are better than the teams of the blue local rivals. Furthermore, Bayern’s youth teams are also ahead of most other teams from Bavaria, which is a sign of successful scouting having taken place in the last few years.