Former Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath has warned Pep Guardiola his rotation policy could cost the Bundesliga leaders Champions League glory this campaign.
Guardiola surprisingly opted to bench Thomas Muller for the first leg of Bayern’s semi-final tie with Atletico Madrid, having previously left out star striker Robert Lewandowski against Benfica.
The Bayern coach’s gamble at the Vicente Calderon did not pay off as they were beaten 1-0 and Magath has urged Guardiola to stop experimenting in big games.
“Atletico surprised Bayern early on because of all the changes to Bayern’s formation and starting XI,” Magath wrote in his column for TZ.
“Making a few changes to the team generally does not matter against weaker teams, like in the Bundesliga and the group stages of the Champions League. But it could cost you against teams that are at the same level or close to your level. And it always remains to be seen how a team copes with such changes. Too many changes can be harmful.
“It is possible to prepare a team in such a way that they can play 50 games per season. And Bayern do not have to give 100 per cent every game. A lot of changes could endanger a certain consistency and quality that you need in the big games.
“You need a set formation where all the players know what is expected from them. It’s hard to develop automatisms if changes are made in key positions week after week. Jupp Heynckes understood that in the season Bayern won the treble.”