At FC Bayern Munich, it’s not just the Bundesliga team that’s in crisis. Things are going even worse for the fourth-rate reserve. The developments can also be traced back to a general rethinking.
Away games in Burghausen can be quite unpleasant affairs, as Martin Demichelis knows from his own experience as a player. In the summer of 2007, he narrowly escaped embarrassment in a DFB Cup first round match in the Wacker Arena. The third division team at the time forced FC Bayern Munich to shoot out on penalties: Demichelis missed before the current CEO, Oliver Kahn, made two saves to secure progress at the start of his farewell season.
15 years later, Demichelis returned to the Wacker Arena for a championship game in the fourth-rate Regionalliga Bayern. Not as a long-haired FC Bayern defender, but as a coach for the in-house reserve team. This time there was no easy escape thanks to Kahn, this time he left Burghausen beaten. And how! 0:5!
In fact, the embarrassment was not a one-off slip, but the confirmation of a worrying development. The reserve won only one of the last eight games. Makes ninth place in the table, ten points behind leaders Würzburger Kickers and title favorite SpVgg Unterhaching. While the crisis of FC Bayern’s Bundesliga team came as quite a surprise, the problems with the second substitution were foreseeable. They are the result of a general rethinking.
In the past season, immediate promotion to the 3rd division was still the primary goal. He was only just missed, in the end second place was behind SpVgg Bayreuth. And now? “Of course we’re trying to become champions,” said Demichelis to SPOX and GOAL in the summer. “But the priority is to develop talent.”
Bayern Munich: The thinned reserve
In order to guarantee the young talents more playing time, FC Bayern let the contracts of the experienced pillars Maximilian Welzmüller (32) and Nicolas Feldhahn (35) expire. The only remaining veteran is captain Timo Kern (32). But beyond that, the bloodletting in the summer was extreme, even for the second representation, which is naturally always plagued by high fluctuation.
Eleven of the top 15 players last season left the club. Some permanent, some on loan. Gabriel Vidovic, for example, was parked at Vitesse Arnheim, Torben Rhein at Austria Lustenau, Bright Arrey-Mbi at Hannover 96. In general, FC Bayern is currently increasingly relying on loan deals on the threshold between youth and professional areas, with twelve potential reserve players currently on loan.
The reason: Many talents are individually underchallenged in the regional league, but at the same time have no chance of regular appearances in the Bundesliga team. They can develop better with German second division teams or first division teams in smaller European leagues. It was different when the reserve played in the much more demanding 3rd division. For example, Jamal Musiala or Josip Stanisic recommended themselves as second substitutes for the professionals.
With a few exceptions, this year’s reserve team consists of substitutes from the previous year, newcomers and the juniors who have moved up. However, this one obviously has less quality than the previous generation, both at the top and in the width. It is not for nothing that he finished the past A-Youth Bundesliga season in the South/Southwest season in a very disappointing ninth place. The final tournament for the German championship was out of reach.
To make matters worse, Demichelis regularly has to send the best players from his already thin team to the U19 Youth League games. In the last two regional league games, Johannes Schenk, Justin Janitzek, David Herold, Angelo Brückner, Lovro Zvonarek, Yusuf Kabadayi and Lucas Copado were missing seven regular players from the starting XI. After appearances during the week at Inter Milan (2:2) and against FC Barcelona (3:3), they should be rested at the weekends.