When Jupp Heynckes departed as head coach from Bayern Munich in June 2013, it was thought that new incumbent Pep Guardiola would find it difficult to replicate the achievements of his predecessor. Having claimed the 2012-13 Bundesliga title by 25 points plus winning both the DFB cup and Champions League, it was considered that the Bayern team may have attained a level of performance which could not be emulated in the following season. Yet Guardiola has silenced those doubters as his team dominates German football to an even greater extent.
During the 2012-13 league campaign, Bayern Munich only lost one match when succumbing to a late winner when losing 2-1 at home to Bayer Leverekusen. Four other matches were drawn as they accumulated a record 91 points from 34 games in the Bundesliga.
For the current campaign, two away draws at Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg in the opening eight fixtures have prevented the Bavarian team from establishing a 100% league record for the season. The Bundesliga title has been claimed with seven matches to spare which is another record and the team has not lost an away fixture during the two most recent league campaigns.
Add into the equation that another DFB cup win is still possible and a Champions League quarter-final tie against a troubled Manchester United team is looming, there is a general consensus that this Bayern team has yet to peak.
After clinching three La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies during his spell as manager of Barcelona, Guardiola seems intent on further enhancing his coaching credentials in Germany and surpassing the performance of his predecessors at the Bayern club.
With such a strong squad at his disposal and weekly performances suggesting that the appetite for further success is as strong as ever, the Spaniard’s attacking options will be further strengthened next season when Robert Lewandowski moves from Borussia Dortmund to the Allianz Arena.
For now, Guardiola will be hoping that his team can extend their current winning sequence of 19 league games until the end of the season while at the same time retaining the Champions League in which more demanding ties will be forthcoming as the competition enters the semi-final stages.
Should Bayern Munich achieve the targets set by Guardiola for the remainder of current campaign, it will be an even more difficult act to follow for next season. Having already claimed nine domestic titles during this century, the Bavarian team appears set to dominate their home league for the foreseeable future but maintaining this impressive sequence of form must surely end at some stage.
German domestic football may suffer the consequences of a long-term Bayern stranglehold on the game but that will not worry Guardiola as he seeks to stamp his legacy on European football.
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