Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller’s season went from bad to worse after the German international missed a gilt-edged chance to earn his side all three points in Saturday’s Bundesliga clash with in-form Hoffenheim.
With minutes remaining, Muller lashed a volley against the post from just yards out, and has now gone 682 minutes without scoring in the league, while costing Bayern a much-needed win to go clear at the summit.
No longer commanding a starting place and struggling for form, can Thomas Muller turn things around at Bayern?
Muller unable to shake poor Euro 2016 form
Thomas Muller greatly underperformed for Germany during the 2016 European Championships. He failed to score a goal for his country despite playing in attack, instead being overshadowed by striker Mario Gomez. Germany were knocked out in the semi-finals, having scored one or less goals in three of their six outings and the lack of contribution from Muller didn’t help.
In games, Muller missed chance after chance and it was clear his confidence was shot as a result. Expert at getting himself in dangerous positions in the final third, Muller didn’t have trouble making opportunities for himself, but his marksmanship was notably absent. And given the 27-year-old was coming off the back of 20 goals scored in 26 Bundesliga starts, his barren run has been a surprise.
Influence at Bayern waning due to stiff competition
Matters aren’t helped for Thomas Muller given the attacking players Bayern Munich have at their disposal. The German forward operates as a wide right, given the freedom to find space in the final third to score and create chances. He links up with the striker and provides an option from midfield, but hasn’t been commanding a starting place due to his poor form, coupled with the talented attackers ahead of him in the pecking order.
Bayern Munich have the likes of Arjen Robben, Douglas Costa, Franck Ribery and Kingsley Coman as options in attack this season, and if Muller isn’t scoring he’s shown to not be much use. Manager Carlo Ancelotti has brought on the German from the bench in two of his last three appearances and doesn’t appear to trust him in the Bundesliga.
If Muller starts, he’s been brought off in the second-half. And when named on the bench, he’s been afforded little other than 20 minutes to prove his worth – contrasting to last season where he was one of the first names on the teamsheet. Bayern Munich are 1/14 to win the Bundesliga title given their superior resources and squad strength, but can Muller turn his form around to play a part in any success?