Bayern Munich rocked the footballing world at the tail end of last month with their decision to sack Carlo Ancelotti following a run of terrible form. After a frenzied spell of rumours speculation, Bayern Munich opted to invite Jupp Heynckes back to the Allianz Arena for his fourth stint in charge of the German champions.
A quick look at the numbers
Jupp Heynckes recently took a break from his illustrious managerial career, which is why his appointment came as a shock to many. However, the Bayern Munich faithful certainly haven’t forgotten him.
The German manager is very well respected across the globe. His run as a manager is hard to top. He has been applying his trade for just under 40 years now, so he certainly has the experience. Not only does he have experience with Bayern Munich, but also across all of Germany. 19 of his 38 years as a manager have been spent in Germany, with only 6 of them being spent with Bayern Munich, so he is intimately familiar with many of the clubs in the German top flight.
These years haven’t been pointless either, and he has quite the trophy count to prove it. In his 38 years spent as a manager, Jupp Heynckes has culminated 12 trophies, includinging two Champions League triumphs. Astonishingly, the German has won 8 trophies during a total sum of 6 years spent with current club Bayern Munich, and he’ll certainly be looking to make this stat even more impressive now that he’s returned.
The 2012/13 season is one that will always stick in the minds of Bayern Munich fans, as their team absolutely dominated both Germany and Europe with Heynckes at the wheel. They became the first ever German side to win a treble, winning the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and the Champions League that season.
This goes to show the winning mentality that he has, and his experience will serve this lethargic Bayern Munich team well.
I’m not saying Bayern have had the worst start to this Bundesliga campaign, because I would be lying if I said that. At the time of writing this, they currently sit in second place behind Borussia Dortmund. I guess that says a lot about the standard of Bayern Munich that we consider that to be an underachievement. However, their problems lie elsewhere.
In the last game of Carlo Ancelotti’s reign, Bayern Munich suffered a 3-0 loss at the expense of a high-flying PSG side. This defeat was the heaviest the club has faced in the Champions League group stage for over 20 years. They suffered some heavy blows during pre-season too, which is what set them up for a shaky start to the 2017/18 campaign.
However, it’s not too late to change the outcome of this season and a fresh face in charge will certainly help steer the club in the right direction.
What does this mean for Carlo Ancelotti?
Many have been speculating upon which route Carlo Ancelotti will now take. There aren’t many options for him, with near enough every super club coping well with their current managers.
Personally, as an Arsenal fan, I have to throw the name in there (I mean, come on). When a world renowned manager like Carlo Ancelotti becomes available, there’s always a glimmer of hope in the eyes of all Arsenal fans. Perhaps that’s just naivety, because I personally can’t see him replacing Arsene Wenger.
For now, he’s technically unemployed. Not to worry though, Carlo, I’m sure that huge lump of cash should do you well for a few years. Back on to Jupp Heynckes now, and how he will look to set up the team…
Jupp Heynckes tactics
Last time around, in that treble winning season, Heynckes often lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, which relied on fluidity. Mario Mandzukic, now of Juventus, was key to this philosophy. We see him playing primarily on the left flank nowadays, and this all stemmed from his days with Jupp Heynckes. He played as a striker under the German, but you would commonly see him drift off wide when pressuring defenders.
It will be interesting to see how this is adapted with Robert Lewandowski, whether it’s a player based adaption or a managerial kind. We all know how clinical the Polish marksman is in and around the box, so it will be intriguing to see how this works out.
Heynckes had a solid line of three behind Mario Mandzukic, with Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben supplying the width and Toni Kroos sitting in behind. The two wide-men were experienced and knew how to play the striker role whenever Mandzukic floated out wide.
It won’t be too different this time round, with Robben still available to Heynckes, but there’s a lot more youth available on the front line for him this time round. Kingsley Coman is one player in particular I would be looking our for. He will be eager to impress his new boss and show that he can fill the void left by Franck Ribery.
Bayern Munich played with a pivot during that season, commonly occupied by Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Javi Martinez’s athleticism and versatility played a key role as he was able to vacate the role in between the two centre backs during counter attacks.
The back four along with Manuel Neuer was perhaps the most important area for Jupp Heynckes in that season, as he held a relatively high line with Neuer acting as the sweeper keeper he’s still known as today. Jupp Heynckes has quite the challenge on his hands to get this current team up to the standard he set in his last stint as Bayern manager, even more so in a European climate that is becoming heavily dominated by Real Madrid and highly improved French teams, PSG and Monaco.
Personally, I think it’s a great appointment as it shows a sign of intent. Jupp Heynckes will now look to prove to the world that it’s never too late to turn around a season, and I’m certainly backing him to do so.