After watching the first half, I quickly finished off my recap on the players, published and then moved on to the second half, excited about the rest of the players that were available.
Due to the 11 subs allowed I am looking at each half individually. I will split the team into two groups – starters and youth players, and within that into three groups: good, neither here nor there, bad.
This is how the team lined up in the classic, boring, 4-5-1 again to start the second half:
Rafinha, Richards, Alaba, Meier
Robben, Jeong, Zaiser, Sanches, Coman
Kovac did a thing that I absolutely love. He used 10 of his substitutions right at the start of the second half to create a coherent time together for the players rather than them playing the whole half wondering when or if they have to leave the pitch. Juve on the other hand started trickling in their 11 changes from the 53rd minute every couple of minutes.
The main thing to say about the second half is that Bayern had 70% possession and 0 goals. This is a problem that we have had for a couple of years now – since Guardiola – and I can’t wait for Kovac to tighten the screws so that we do not just dominate the game, which isn’t even that important, but win it.
Sanches – the biggest presence in the second half for Bayern. Very commanding of the ball, everything went over him and when he was on the ball you got the feeling that something good was happening. Played with a similar passion to Ribery and had a real aura around him, which is incredible when you imagine that he is only one or two years older than some of the youth players. Very excited to see what he brings to Bayern this season.
Coman – Brought a lot of energy to the left, like Ribery before him, except that he had even better penetration. It was great to see him showing more confidence than last season and he was definitely more dangerous than Robben on the right. He could have topped it all off when he had a massive chance 1 vs 1 against the last defender but the keeper saved it. If he keeps going like this, he could also have a great season next year as part of our new wing pairing… Cobry? Cogna? Gnaman? Gnaco? we have to find a name soon I think.
Neither here nor there
Ulreich – well he didn’t mess up again in the second half, but he also didn’t have the chance to with virtually no attacks from Juve.
Alaba – much more settled in the second half, but also harder to judge because Juve sat very deep and didn’t attack the defence. What was very worrying was that Alaba pushed up way too far into midfield for a CB – one time all the way to outside the box to have a shot – opening up huge gaps defence. He shouldn’t have done this, especially because the second CB and covering DM were both youth players. Very bad decision making, he basically played like a LB but was supposed to be a CB.
Robben – very hard to stop by the opposition other than with fouls, but got frustrated too easily and didn’t create as much for others. Very weak set pieces. While I don’t have any worries about Ribery taking a step back into a rotation this season, I feel like Robben’s ego may be an issue – not great when the player doesn’t perform as great on the pitch – even though Gnabry was clearly better, against stronger opposition too.
Rafinha – fouls, out of position and generally not a great player. I haven’t been a fan of his for a while, not even as a backup (he proved me right in the Champions League), and when it feels like a player is a downgrade to a 17 year old…it’s probably time to go.
Jeong (18) – best, most active youth player in the second half. Great movement off the ball to get into good spaces and positions. Strong crosses and a lot of runs through the middle and over the wings, felt like one of the most active players. Managed to be at the right place at the right time several times, but clearly needs to work on his finishing because he missed the open goal.
Meier (18) – while Meier made nowhere near the impression Jeong did, there was nothing in his play that you could fault defensively – he even managed to use his body well against the bigger attackers. He did not make any real plays going forward until late in the game, but by then he seemed to have the confidence to go all the way into the box. Solid game.
Neither here nor there
Hoffmann (19) – played a couple of passes with the defenders but had no chance to make a save or concede a goal.
Richards (18) – good confidence, not scared to take responsibility. Felt like an upgrade to Stanisic in the first half, but you have to consider that Richards was attacked far less. One thing that he desperately needs to work on is getting caught / dragged way out of position, which happened several times, and he doesn’t have the polished tactical ability that his colleagues have yet.
Zaiser (19) – A bit hard to judge his performance because Juve didn’t attack so much, and he played it safe and stuck to his DM position rather than pushing forward like Will in the first half. The few times he was in action he did ok, although he was also bullied off the ball a couple of times, which is not great for someone at that position. All in all it was a good effort but sometimes he felt a bit lost an left to himself.
Wriedt (24) – started off more active than Wagner in the first half, but then stuck to the middle a lot, allowing the defence to remain static and in place. Compared to Zirkzee in the PSG game he was nowhere near as exciting, so I think that this might be his last preseason game / chance at the pros with Bayern. He also missed a couple of shots which didn’t help.
Altogether both halves were very interesting. Juve made it very boring in the second half, which was arguably Bayern’s better half and it would have been interesting to see how they would have matched each other if both had been dynamic and agressive. Instead Bayern got practice at what they will definitely face in the Bundesliga, and didn’t manage to make anything of their chances unfortunately. On the other hand it was really interesting to see some of the new players especially because Kovac put out two balanced teams.
Here my team of the game if I compare each first and second half player at the position:
Johansson, Richards, Martinez, Bernat
Gnabry, Jeong, Will, Sanches, Coman
I think that they are all pretty much self explanatory, there are just a couple of players I want to say a word to:
Ulreich – because the second goalie got no chance to prove himself
Bernat – was the hardest decision, but Bernat pushed up a little more from the beginning than Meier and combined better with his winger.
Wriedt – I would have preferred to choose someone completely different but out of the two not so good players Wriedt had more of an impact.
Next game to watch is our 2:3 loss to Manchester City.