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De Zerbi deserves Bavaria

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The upcoming summer window is not just monumental from a player transfer perspective, but it is also set to change the face of various clubs. A managerial merry-go-round is in the making with many clubs set to change their man in the dugout. Some vacancies are certain, like Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Liverpool, while some are developing situations which could become vacancies soon, like Manchester United or even Chelsea. At the centre of it all is Roberto de Zerbi, the miracle man of Brighton now courted by every elite club.

But, having said that, Brighton have a very strong structure in place that allows the manager to work his magic. It is the reason why the likes of Graham Potter in the dugout, and countless players on the pitch don’t look nearly as good when they leave the club. Therefore, De Zerbi will have to choose his next club extremely carefully.

Among all the interested parties, there is a clear No 1 which would be the best club for him. Here is why Bayern Munich are that club-

Taskmasters in Germany

It has become a running theme for Bayern Munich that the players themselves are so driven and motivated that they don’t feel accomplished and trusting of their manager if he doesn’t run them dry.

Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovac felt this firsthand when there were reports that the players scheduled training sessions for themselves as they felt the intensity lacking otherwise.

Even Julian Nagelsmann, who is an obsessive tactician but fosters a relatively calm environment otherwise was axed eventually. The message is clear, Bayern are one of the few clubs where players still want an old-school taskmaster instead of a coach who is a man-manager first and tactician second.

Enter Roberto de Zerbi’s tactics. The Italian’s manic energy seems perfect for the Bundesliga giants. Not only does he work his players hard, his intensity is always dialed up to 100 and even the slightest drop off from the players is not tolerated. Add to that his underrated man-management skills, and you have a manager who is perfectly suited to the taskmaster culture at Bavaria.

Structure finally sorting out

Erik ten Hag’s performances as a manager at Ajax and Manchester United. Graham Potter at Brighton and Chelsea. These are just two examples of how a structure can supercharge or underman a manager’s hand at the club.

Ironically, the same could be said for Nagelsmann and Tuchel at Bayern Munich. Nagelsmann, especially, was sacked in remarkable circumstances as Bayern thought the “treble was in danger”.

Tuchel followed and results dipped further but it would be harsh to lay the whole blame on his feet. Bayern have undergone a structural upheaval in the last few years with the likes of Marco Neppe, Oliver Kahn, and Hasan Salihamidzic all leaving in the space of the last year. Finally now, with the arrivals of Christoph Freund, Herbert Hainer, and Jan-Christian Dreesen, they are close to having a settled structure in place.

Right in time for De Zerbi to rock up at the shores.

Clean slate squad

Nine players in the Bayern squad see their contracts expire in the summer of this year or the next. Of these nine, there are Bayern legends like Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller, as well as current key men like Leroy Sane and Joshua Kimmich.

Needless to say, the old guard’s influence on the squad is waning and they may soon move. Furthermore, the current spine of the team is also approaching decision time and a new manager can have the chance to create a new one from scratch, in his vision, if backed by the board.

The current Bayern squad situation is ripe for a new manager to come in and put his stamp on it with minimum fuss on negotiating tricky departures of long-serving players, the contracts will do that part. The freeing up of their wages will instantly give the finances books a shot in the arm and leave the manager strong in the dressing room where leadership will be needed after key departures.

The loss of experience is a double-edged sword but a big personality like De Zerbi stepping in to fill that void to some extent is exactly what makes him the ideal candidate.

This article is sponsored by Data Security Council of India (DSCI), is a not-for-profit, industry body on data protection in India, setup by NASSCOM®, committed to making the cyberspace safe, secure and trusted by establishing best practices, standards and initiatives in cyber security and privacy.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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