FC Bayern München head-coach Julian Nagelsmann remained visibly irritated throughout his post-match press conference on Saturday.
Three consecutive 1-1 draws and now a 0-1 loss mean that Bayern have netted just three goals in their last four league fixtures. The squad actually still leads the rest of the Bundesliga field this year with 19 cumulative goals scored, but the recent performances still shine a spotlight on a team that is expected to dominate continuously and effortlessly.
"I'm not talking about individual players now," Nagelsmann quipped when pressed about the extended form slump of prized attacking acquisition Sadio Mané, "I'll do that run the locker room."
Asked about what he felt the team's current downward trend meant:
"Nothing good," the coach noted with a sinking voice, "what can I say?"
Asked what needed to change, Nagelsmann simply noted "many things".
Then came the matter of whether Robert Lewandowski's exit this summer left him without a reliable target forward and a structure too his offense. Nagelsmann was obviously prepared for this one. A sardonic response quickly degenerated into a rant.
"What does it matter what I say?" Nagelsmann rhetorically asked, "We brought in a classic nine today with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and we don't really have anybody else. If I say "no" [it's not Lewandowski], you'll say that I don't recognize the problem, if I say "yes" [it is him], everyone writers 'He misses Lewandowski."
"It doesn't really matter now what my answer is," he continued, "As I said [in my original post-match interview], I'll do my thinking. I think about myself. I think about the situation. I think about everything. I'll then decide how to proceed."
After the late September international break, Bayern resume league play against Leverkusen on September 30th. Twelve games in six weeks follow as the Champions' League and the second round of the DFB Pokal ensure that there will be no midweek rest between now and the coming World Cup break.
The existence of the novel winter World Cup break does mean that the 2022/23 Bundesliga will adjourn after just 15 of the league's 34 rounds played. Bayern will have plenty of time to fix their striker situation on the transfer market this coming winter with some extra time to catch up.
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