David Alaba , Bayernai??i??s first choice left back since February-March 2012 suffered a horrid stress fracture on his left foot during a pre-season friendly against Napoli in July. The resultant surgery has kept him out of action for a good 14-15 weeks now meaning he hasnai??i??t played for Bayern this season. Alaba came under the spotlight early this year (2011-2012 season) when Jupp Heynckes used him as a left back moving skipper Lahm to the right.

Alaba was largely used as a defensive midfielder or on the left wing before this, though he had made his debut in a Bayern shirt as a left back against ACF Fiorentina in March 2010. His inclusion at left back revived Bayernai??i??s 2011-2012 season which saw them finish as runners-up in three competitions.

Bayern Munich

Bayern’s left back

Bayern Munich have so far played either left-footed center back Holger Badstuber or young midfielder Emre Can (early this season) at left back keeping Lahm at right back. Bayern were unfortunate not to have the services of full-backs Contento and Rafinha who were also sidelined with pre-season injuries. Bayern barring their game at Minsk have been air-tight at the back to say the least. They have let in just 3 goals in all competitions this season with Neuer being a mere spectator in most games.

But this does not highlight Badstuberai??i??s miserable performance at left back this season. Memories of Valencia turning a young Holger (playing left back) inside-out at Old Trafford still haunts many Bayern fans and his recent performances at the same position brings back these torrid images. Bayern will be glad to have Alaba back since he provides a different aspect to Bayern both while defending and when on attack.

The 4-2-3-1 system that Bayern employ requires the full-backs to provide the necessary width and ball play in midfield during attacks. They play a crucial role in linking up with their wingers on either flank and also in providing crosses into the box. But in going forward, they must also be quick to track back when the opposition counters. Badstuber despite his excellent vision and ability to cross into the box lacks the pace to track back when there is a counter. The sublime understanding between Ribery and Alaba/Lahm on the left last season was also missing when Badstuber assumed the role. The lack of interplay and understanding with the full back this season has seen Ribery drift more centrally and a lot of times to the right flank as well. Alaba possesses both the vision and crosses of Badstuber in addition to his quick pace and should help Ribery be more adventurous on the left.

Another attribute the young left back brings into the game is his excellent ability to position himself and time his tackles. His performance against Real Madrid last season showed just why heai??i??s considered a top prospective full back. Alaba’s return against DA?sseldorf was fairly promising and this could see him returning to the starting XI pretty soon.

Mario 9 vs Mario 33

An injury to Mario Gomez last season would have worried the Bayern board with no able back-ups to substitute him. This season new signing Mario MandA?ukiAi?? has done well in picking up the baton. MandA?ukiAi?? has scored 9 goals in 11 outings so far this season and looks to have made a case for his inclusion in the starting eleven. But what when Gomez gets back to full fitness? Will Mario 9 be benched and brought on only as a substitute?

The playing styles of both Marioai??i??s differ quite a bit. Gomez is your classic burly center forward, a goal poacher. His key attributes include his clinical finishing, strength to hold off defenders, hold the ball up for his teammates and his powerful header. Gomez is often noted for his positioning and anticipation in the box. Heai??i??s not someone who would run back to retrieve the ball and pass it forward to a teammate nor can one expect him to dribble the ball past 2-3 defenders before scoring.

MandA?ukiAi?? on the other hand loves to drift to the wings allowing a wide player or a central midfield player to make a run into the box. Known best as an aerial threat, MandA?ukiAi?? also brings in his teammates into the play through clever passes and one-twos. Less of a physical presence than Gomez in the box, the Croatian does have a decent finish but is more often guilty of missing out on simple chances.

Mario MandA?ukiAi?? will get his playing time, but his starting role will be in doubt once Gomez is back and finds his scoring touch. After-all you donai??i??t keep a man whoai??i??s scored 79 goals in the last 2 seasons with 20 of them coming in the Champions league on the bench. Moreover Bayernai??i??s playing style makes Gomez more lethal in the six yard box than his namesake.

Gomez provides a definite focal point for the attack. He plays upfront knowing that on the wings and behind him, heai??i??s got enough creativity and pace to break open the opposition defense. His physique allows the ball to be held up-field and his finishing makes him one of the top poachers in the game today. MandA?ukiAi??ai??i??s constant movement does confuse the defense but on the other hand fails to provide the ball holding aspect and six-yard poaching as evident in Bayern Munichai??i??s defeat to BATE Borisov.

A better role for Mario number 9 will be to play the second striker role in the team, a position currently played by Kroos. Kroos becomes ineffective against teams that sit back deep to defend. MandA?ukiAi??ai??i??s movement and aerial ability can come in useful here to break through such teams.

Bayern Munich

New role for Mandzukic?

Overall, the return of Alaba and Gomez will add a new dimension to Bayern Munichai??i??s play and the Bavarians can be expected to be even more unforgiving for the rest of the season.

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5 Responses to “Bayern Munich ai??i?? Will Alaba And Gomez Return To Sit On The Bench?”

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  1. lucas says:

    i dont think your assessment of kroos is a good one. he’s a very intelligent player who cleverly adjusts his positioning to overload the opposition in a weak spot- he often drifts left to overload fullbacks, or drifts into space between the lines. he also drifts back into midfield to provide an extra man excellently- best example is both legs of bayern vs madrid semi finals last year. he adjusts his game to suit the opposition, and he isnt ineffective at all against deep defenses. he’s not a second forward, like muller plays in that position, hes an intelligent playmaker.

  2. Bojan says:

    I completely agree with you about holger badstuber not being able to play good at left back and that he is a slow piece of shit! What a terrible fucking player I can’t believe bayern let lucio go so badstuber could get a place in the team and for that matter Mats Hummels who is one of if not the best centre back in the world at the moment. Badstuber is terrible!

    • lucas says:

      he’s uncomfortable at left back but he has shown his quality in the center in the past year or so.

      • Siddharth Mohan says:

        Agreed on that Lucas. Badstuber is terrible at Left back but is quite good when he partners a strong and quick center back. Badstuber’s biggest attribute at Cb is his anticipation and positioning.

  3. Vyshakh venugopal says:

    Alaba is a wonderful kid with good pace and vision. Martinez have to improve. He has been not showing his class which he showed at bilbao. Muller should be regular in the team sheet and should be never away from the starting lineup.