Nagelsmann has 'full backing of Bayern' as Salihamidzic expects return to form

By Sports Desk September 24, 2022

Julian Nagelsmann will turn around Bayern Munich's form after the international break and has the club's "full backing", sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has pledged.

A run of three draws in the Bundesliga for Bayern was followed by a 1-0 defeat to Augsburg before many of Nagelsmann's players headed off on national team duty.

Bayern sit fifth after seven rounds of games, five points adrift of early pace-setters Union Berlin, and they face Bayer Leverkusen next.

Leverkusen have made a much worse start than Bayern, with the team that finished third in the Bundesliga last season winning just once so far this term.

But almost all the focus is on Bayern, who have won the last 10 Bundesliga titles, and Salihamidzic has admitted the early form is a concern, but something that can be resolved.

Salihamidzic told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "Julian is very clear. He and his team of coaches know exactly what to do.

"Above all, Julian knows that he has the full backing of FC Bayern, that doesn't have to be emphasised again and again."

Bayern's shot conversion rate in the Bundesliga has dipped from 14.41 per cent last season to 11.8 per cent this term, and it would be easy to point to the sale of Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona and suggest that has been a factor.

It might well be; however, there are signs that Bayern are doing plenty right.

 

They have already hit the woodwork seven times in seven games, three times more than any other side, which suggests they have been unfortunate. Over 34 games last season, they hit the woodwork 21 times.

Their goal tally is closely tracking their expected goals (xG) score, and both being league highs can be interpreted as another healthy sign. Bayern have netted 19 from an xG of 17.48, so they are exceeding expectations, based on the quality of chances they have had, over the course of the seven games. Last season they finished with 97 league goals from xG of 96.67.

A worrying sign is that Bayern have twice conceded a goal when an error has been committed, having done so only three times in the 2021-22 campaign.

 

Salihamidzic said Bayern chiefs had spoken to Nagelsmann about "all aspects" of the opening weeks of the season, including the encouraging Champions League group wins over Inter and Barcelona.

What is clear is that Bayern expect greater tenacity from the team after the disappointing derby effort against Augsburg.

"We will appear differently after the international break. And I expect that too," Salihamidzic said. "Physical intensity, greed and the willingness to push yourself to the limit in every game are the prerequisites for success."

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