Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid, Champions League Semi-Final 2014

Posted on April 29, 2014
bayern munich team 2014 ucl

Bayern Munich 2014

I watched the Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid Champions League semi-final game yesterday and it was obvious to me that the Germany players do not understand the tikitak/short game that their coach wants them to play.  The game wasn’t so much about how good Real Madrid is, but more about how poorly Bayern Munich players understood and executed their coach’s new style of play.

How do you make a run-and-gun team play in small triangles when their whole lives the smallest triangle they’ve made is 10 yards.  How do you make a team change from forceful players into soccer’s version of well dressed chess masters?  How do you make a one dimensional team come up with a creative way to create goal scoring chances and break down a different kind of defense and respond to an intelligent opponent?

To be successful with tikitak their triangles need to be as small as 2-3 feet and one touch, ala Lionel Messi!  It’s a big difference and I don’t think Bayern Munich’s players can adapt to Pep Guardiola’s latin style.  They just don’t understand what it really means, how to do it, and how to create scoring chances from a slow buildup and play in really tight spaces.


Cristiano Ronaldo vs Bayern Munich in 2014

Sure they can beat inferior teams in Germany easily, but Real Madrid deals with teams who can’t play the tikitak week in and week out in La Liga.

Where Bayern Munich excels is in their speed, height, physical strength, and midfield power.  The entire Bayern Munich team is built for speed and quick execution.  They are good when they have physical domination and play tough and strong and fast but when they try to out-flair the best Spanish team it makes Arjen Robben look like a poor-man’s Cristiano Ronaldo.  The slow build up game is just not what Bayern is good at as their squad is full of run-and-gun type players, not pass-it-around tikitak type players.  They are really trying to please their coach but it’s just not in the psychology of the Germany players to slow down and play soft.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?  It doesn’t look like it, in this case, with Bayern Munich.