Football has long lost its virtue of patience and with Germany’s greatest Bayern Munich enduring a three-match winless run across all competitions, the world has taken upon itself to label Bayern’s current mess as a huge crisis.
And by the standards Bavarians did well enough to set themselves over the last couple of years, one might say the public opinion is spot on.
Hindrance of Hindsight
Perhaps the Bayern Munich fans have become too relaxed, but to offer some validity for their fears and anxiety, there is a fact that Bayern Munich are no longer top of Bundesliga – for the first time in last 14 months.
It is very well the first mini-crisis for Bayern Munich in nearly half a decade, but the problems keep piling up on Ancelotti’s team.
The Italian is unwillingly and unconsciously making former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola look better and better in retrospect as Ancelotti goes around with three defeats already, losing back-to-back games for the first time since May 2015.
It is the second time under Ancelotti that Bayern have gone three games without a win as FK Rostov piled pressure on the Italian manager with the unlikely 3-2 Champions League on Wednesday night.
Coming fresh from their Der Klassiker loss which allowed RB Leipzig to take over the throne, Bayern succumbed to yet another slump in Russia with sub-zero temperatures both on the pitch and in Bayern fans’ hearts.
The Wednesday’s defeat was a far cry from Bayern’s reverse 5-0 triumph as Russians went on to double their total Championsl League goal tally in just 25 minutes against great Bavarians.
Looking back at Guardiola’s dominant Bayern Munich, Ancelotti’s side lack the same vigour, defensive organisation and style of play which revolved around attack-oriented system, always pushing upwards to goal.
Is Ancelotti the Culprit?
The story writes itself.
Four months into his Bayern Munich tenure – one he somewhat jokingly hoped would last for 24 years – Carlo Ancelotti is under great pressure at Bayern’s helm.
Constantly measured up to Pep Guardiola’s achievements, the Italian faces an uphill battle of winning over the cold German hearts.
Taking over a firmly established side from a manager who set the strong foundations, accepting the Bayern Munich role appeared the easiest job in the world. But only on paper.
Backed by financially strong structure and presented with a star-studded squad, additionally boosted during the summer transfer window, Carlo Ancelotti had it all laid out in front of him on a red carpet.
He however found it hard to gain footing as Bayern Munich sit in an unusual second both domestically and internationally.
In a bid to state his own case and guard off from Guardiola’s legacy, Carlo Ancelotti refuses to change. Having attacked Borussia Dortmund with three forwards upfront, Ancelotti stuck with his system despite the Saturday’s defeat ahead the trip to Russia.
With Costa instead of Muller, and with Ribery keeping his place up ahead alongside Robert Lewandowski, Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich ended up falling short to a surprisingly attack-oriented 5-3-2 from the Russian counterparts.
One could argue that Guardiola’s Bayern would rarely go out to underestimate the rival and drop their guard in defence, but that is exactly what Ancelotti’s Bayern did. Lacking passion, composure and character against the nominally weaker opponents, the Bavarians were left undone by their own fault.
The Italian has no time to rest, however, with Bayer Leverkusen knocking on the door.
The Bavarians play host to Roger Schmidt’s men on Saturday and are given the betting odds of 2/7 to win, which are simply disrespectful towards the unpredictable Bayer’s side, which are well capable of pulling a surprise at the Allianz Arena.
The limelight is firmly set on the Italian however as Carlo Ancelotti himself faces a one-man fight against the world.
The Italian’s enigmatic facial expressions – with one eyebrow above the other in protest – can get hard to read, but the emotional outbursts – one of such would have arguably made a difference this time out – simply go in contrast to Ancelotti’s nature.
The fire-fighting mode is something Bayern are not familiar with but it is up to Ancelotti to wake his inner animal.
Hopefully a tiger.
Or at least a wolf, if he is keen to avoid being eaten by one like in that cult fairy-tale.