Carlo Ancelotti has been fired and Bayern Munich looks broken
In recent memory, Bayern Munich have been one of the dominant forces in European football. Top managers, top talent on the pitch, and a large budget to keep reinforcing the club lead to a team that’s dominated the Bundesliga and became a constant force in Europe — but this season, that feeling of Bayern being a special, dominant team just hasn’t been there, and on Wednesday, that was starkly apparent as they got humbled by Paris Saint-Germain in a 3-0 loss.
Now, this year’s PSG team is incredibly powerful themselves, but Bayern still looked completely outmatched and outclassed. It was bizarre to watch them get picked apart so ruthlessly by a team that it feels like they would have beaten a year ago, but it also really served to highlight some of Bayern’s problems. That bad result has cost manager Carlo Ancelotti his job.
Bayern still have the talent to be elite
It’s not like the squad’s talent or depth is the problem for Bayern Munich right now. They have one of the best squads in Europe, headlined by stars like Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Arturo Vidal, Franck Ribery, and Arjen Robben. They’ve got big young talents like Kingsley Coman, Joshua Kimmich, and Niklas Süle to help keep their future secure. The likes of James Rodriguez, Sebastian Rudy, Mats Hummels, and Sebastian Rudy give them incredibly valuable depth in the here and now, impact players who would be nailed-on starters for dozens of other big clubs, but are mostly in the rotation for Bayern instead.
But a lot of those major stars are getting up in years. Neuer is 31, Vidal is 30, Robben and Ribery are 33 and 34, respectively. Müller, Boateng, Lewandowski, and Hummels are all between 28 and 29, but have more games on their legs than most 32 year olds. Injury issues have plagued all of them at times over the last couple of years, and many Bayern fans wonder just how long they can be relied on — Robben and Ribery have already seen their roles vastly reduced, and several of the others are starting to get “managed” more closely to try to keep them healthy.