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Bayern Munich: Kovac’s lacklustre troops to Flick’s well-oiled relentless machine

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Bayern Munich scripted history by becoming only the fourth team to win six Champions League titles. The Champions League also sealed the club’s second treble, a feat which was achieved in 2013 as well. While the seven-year gap was filled with domestic success, it was met with a gaping void of a European title to match with the elite. 

After being humbled by Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund at the domestic level and heartbreak against Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final, the Bavarian giants came out all guns blazing in the next campaign.

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Bayern Munich
Image Courtesy: Khel Now/BayernStrikes

The 2012/13 season embarked a shade of dominance which saw them waltz their way to the Bundesliga shield in just 28 matches. The season’s culmination could have been more sweeter for Bayern Munich as they sealed the treble with a win over Borussia Dortmund in the finals.

Guardiola and Ancelotti era left a lot to be desired

Pep Guardiola, the Spanish master tactician made his way to Bundesliga to ply his trade. Despite some promising signings such as Robert Lewandowski and Thiago Alcantara, the side failed to surpass the semi-final hurdle thrice under the Spaniard. All of Bayern Munich’s semi-final defeats came against the elite La Liga clubs.

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Thiago: Bayern Munich Are Still Benefiting from Work of Pep ...
Image Courtesy: Bleacher Report

After Guardiola’s departure to Manchester City, the club appointed Carlo Ancelotti in a bid to bolster the squad’s chance to their European trophy cabinet. But consecutive drubbing to Real Madrid in the early knockout stages of the competition led to the veteran manager’s sacking.

Kovac dragged Bayern Munich to a new low

Under Niko Kovac, the Bundesliga giants failed to make it to the quarter-final stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2011. Kovac had a major rebuilding job at hand with the departure of long-time stalwarts on the flanks, Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery.

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Bundesliga | Bayern Munich part company with Niko Kovac
Image Courtesy: Bundesliga

Kovac’s first season brought upon 2 domestic titles, but the team were drifting apart from the Champions League title picture. The manager’s time was brought to a halt after a humiliating 5-1 defeat against his former team Eintracht Frankfurt.

Flick cultivated the team from a bunch of skeptics to formidable near-invincibles

After Kovac’s departure, assistant manager Hans-Dieter Flick was given the reins of the team on a short-term deal. The interim coach’s work with the team showed wonders on the pitch. Versatility, tactical revamp, smart transfers and a perfect blend of youth and experience has been the recipe for success when it comes to the club’s recent fortune under Flick.

Flick was deservedly rewarded with a permanent manager deal in April itself as the board began to see the wonders the former Germany assistant manager was conjuring up.

Bayern Munich players love working with Hansi Flick
Image Courtesy: Bayern Strikes

Playing with a threatening attacking mindset, Flick’s Bayern Munich managed to rack up the Bundesliga with relative ease much like the previous years. However, the infuriating near-misses when it came to Europe’s most prestigious title seemed clear as day for the first time in a while for the German unit.

When Flick took over the team, there were shades of potential lurking through with a promising start to their Champions League campaign, which included a 7-2 win over Tottenham in London.

The German manager took things to the next level with his expertise by making the demolition of the opponent, a regular occurrence. The new-look Bayern Munich with a veteran goalkeeper in place, one of the best full-back pairings, a balanced midfield, menacing wingers and a ruthless poacher at the top began to strike fear in the hearts of the opposition.

For the first time in a while, Die Roten were labelled as the favourites of the competition after they decimated the group stage with zero losses and a staggering goal difference of 19.

Bayern Munich stamped their authority over England, Spain and France en route their way to the finals of the competition. A 7-1 victory over Chelsea spanned across two legs was overshadowed after the side handed Barcelona their heaviest European defeat.

The entire unit sprung up and united to display a wholesome performance to keep Paris Saint-Germain at bay to end a series of near-misses and script their name in history as the winners of the UEFA Champions League for the sixth Champions League.

The sky is the limit

The scariest aspect of the new-look team is that it is just the start. With Flick fully at the helm for his first full season, the best can be expected from Bayern Munich. The initial signs are promising after the acquisition of Leroy Sane for a reasonable sum.

Despite the imminent loss of Philippe Coutinho and Thiago, Bayern Munich have the pull to acquire new promising talents to turn Flick’s mildly purring engine to a full-fledged functioning unit.

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