The season has perhaps ended for German giants, Bayern Munich, with only their fifth consecutive Bundesliga title to show for it. The Bavarian may be cursing their luck after being eliminated at the quarterfinal stage of the Champions League, in controversial circumstances, at the hands of Real Madrid. The European powerhouse could also feel a bit hard-done-by after a thrilling, yet unrewarding loss to Borussia Dortmund in the semifinal of the German Cup, DFB-Pokal. Manager, Carlo Ancelotti, may be celebrating a league title which makes him the first manager to win four of Europe’s top five leagues (Serie A, EPL, Ligue 1, Bundesliga). However, for the board of directors and many fans in Bavaria, this season has been a huge failure.
Ancelotti opted for just two summer signings in the form of ex-Dortmund skipper, Mats Hummels, and Portuguese starlet, Renato Sanches. However, the latter hasn’t had the kind of impact expected of him. Injuries to Douglas Costa, Jerome Boateng and Kingsley Coman for extended periods have derailed their season and exposed signs of an aging team. For much of the season, Ancelotti had to ask Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben – both in their 30s – to cover the ground on either side of the pitch and their loss of a yard of pace as well as the necessary stamina to fulfill such tasks showed just how fragile Bayern Munich is. It was extremely important for Costa and Coman to perform well this season because the demands of the modern game is such that players the age of Robben and Ribery must be managed carefully as they should not be asked to roam up and down the pitch week after week.
While they may be the elder statesmen of the club, the likes of Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Ribery and Robben are still the best in their respective positions. However, they no longer have the legs to handle the rigors of the modern game, and far too many times they have been found wanting over the course of the season. To complicate things a bit further, Lahm and Alonso are hanging up their boots this summer, leaving huge holes to fill not just on the pitch, but in the dressing room. CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has already acquired highly rated young German defender, Niklas Süle. from Hoffenheim along with his teammate, the versatile Sebastian Rudy. Despite these early moves, there is without a shadow of a doubt that the Bavarians will need to sign at least three more players in the summer.