Bayern Munich have had a tricky season, but it was always going to be with club saviour Jupp Heynckes departing and being replaced by former player and promising manager Niko Kovac. That said, the club have recovered and are now level on points with a stuttering Borussia Dortmund, and you would be foolish to bet against the quality of Bayern winning a seventh straight Bundesliga title.
Favourites for the league, cup and one of the front runners in Europe, Bayern Munich are a great side to start your Football Manager 2019 journey on. With some aging players in their squad, there is enough of a challenge here to take Bayern back to being one of the best sides in the world. RealSport gives you the blueprint for success as you take the helm at the Allianz Arena.
There are a few philosophies you need to follow as Bayern Munich manager, and on the pitch, you must play possession football. You will also need to sign young players for the first team and develop players using the club’s youth system.
The expectations are high at Bayern, and it won’t be a surprise that you need to win both the Bundesliga and German Cup in your first season in charge. The German Supercup may be marked as unimportant, but in Europe you must reach the semi-finals of the Champions Cup. Targeting a spot in the final will grant you an extra £6 million.
There are a few options you can choose for your tactical style with Bayern given the attacking talents you have available. With one of your philosophies being to play possession football, it makes sense to go with control possession, but you can also use tiki-taka, vertical tiki-taka or wing-play.
The 4-2-3-1 fits perfectly in the control possession tactical style, and with one of the finest number 10s in world football, James Rodriguez, it's almost a no-brainer. We have tweaked this slightly to have Javi Martinez in a deeper role to offer the back four more protection. Possible alternatives for the formation include a 4-3-3 or a 5-3-2.
Manuel Neuer takes his spot in goal, with the back four in front of the captain involving Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba.
Javi Martinez is in defensive midfield, with Thiago slightly further ahead in a deep lying playmaker role. James Rodriguez is the number 10, operating between Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery whilst marksman Robert Lewandowski is up front.
On the bench go for Sven Ulreich, Niklas Sule, Rafinha, Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry. Due to France winning the World Cup, Tolisso will not have returned from holiday before the German Supercup.
Bayern are a world class outfit, with their top players among the best in the world. Some of them are starting to age however, so make sure you line up some youngsters to fill the void in the years ahead.
Manuel Neuer – CA 4.5 star (186), PA 4.5 star (193)
Despite a couple of years hampered by injury and shaky form, Manuel Neuer is still one of the finest goalkeepers on the planet. Aged 32 however, this could be his last season or two at the top, so you will want him to show the form this season that has help him win six Bundesligas, four German Cups, a Champions League and a World Cup.
On FM, Neuer has stats of 20 rushing out, 20 throwing and 20 composure which build towards a 186 CA. This has fallen slightly from 193, but there is no reason why he can’t get back to those heights. Valued at £60 million and with £250,000 a week wages, could you be tempted to cash in Neuer before his ability drops?
Robert Lewandowski – CA 4 star (175), PA 4 star (178)
This Bayern side is built around Robert Lewandowski, with the Pole netting 281 goals since arriving in Germany. He does turn 30 at the start of the season, so he is another man who you cannot rely on for the foreseeable future. That won’t stop him racking up the goals in the next two seasons, though.
Lewandowski has a 175 CA on FM, which is only just off his 178 potential. Abilities of 20 balance, 19 natural fitness and 19 stamina see him valued at £75 million and wages of £275,000 a week.
David Alaba – CA 4 star (168), PA 4 star (174)
David Alaba is one of the younger stars in Bayern’s side, with the left back still only 26. The Austrian has been one of the best players in his position on the planet ever since he made his breakthrough at Bayern, but we are still waiting for him to kick on. With aging players around him, perhaps it is time for the versatile defender to reach his potential.
Alaba has stats of 19 natural fitness, 18 stamina and 18 teamwork to give him a CA of 168. This has time to reach his 174 PA, meaning he is valued at £59 million and receives £170,000 a week in wages.
David Alaba, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos are the more recent graduates to have starred for the first team, following in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franz Beckenbauer. Who are the next crop coming through to take first team spots?
Alphonso Davies – CA 2 star (127), PA 4-5 star (140-170)
Alphonso Davies arrived in January after starring in his homeland for Vancouver Whitecaps. Eight goals and 10 assists in the MLS created shockwaves for the 17-year-old, with Bayern the first to pounce for the already nine times capped Canadian international. With a 127 CA on Football Manager able to rise to somewhere between 140 and 170, this is a youngster to keep an eye on.
Joshua Zirkzee – CA 1.5 star (108), PA 3-4 star (140-170)
Not a name you will be familiar with, but Joshua Zirkzee could be one of the contenders to fill Robert Lewandowski’s striking spot in a few years. The 17-year-old Dutchman has netted 16 goals in 19 U17 games, and 17 in 24 U19 matches. He also stands at 193cm tall, making him a great aerial option. The forward has a 108 CA on the game, rising to a potential between 140 and 170.
Oliver Batista Meier – CA 1.5 star (104), PA 3-4 star (140-170)
A promising German youth international, Oliver Batista Meier has represented Die Maanschaft’s U15, U16 & U17 sides. For Bayern, he is yet to reach the first team, but 33 goals in the youth teams last season for the left winger has surely edged him closer to senior minutes. A 104 CA can rise to a potential between 140 and 170 for the 18-year-old.
|Dribbling||Formations Faced (4-1-4-1 DM)|
|Off the ball||Defence Depth|
|GK Aerial reach|
|Coaching & Scouting staff|
Team Leaders - Thomas Muller (VC), Manuel Neuer (C), Franck Ribery
Highly influential - Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Rafinha, Javi Martinez, Joshua Kimmich, Thiago
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £99 million
Remaining wage budget: £700,000 a week
Players to sell
With a small squad which is aging in areas, there is no need to sell any of your players, especially with a large budget. The only men you can consider shipping his backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to give game time to the young and promising Christian Fruchtl, but that would be a high risk move.
Renato Sanches is an option to send away on loan, but if you do, he must be replaced, preferably with a defensive midfielder.
New transfer budget: £99 million
Remaining wage budget: £700,000 a week
Backup left back
David Alaba is the only left back in the senior side, following the departure of Juan Bernat to PSG during the summer. Rafinha can fill in there, but you are one injury away in the full backs positions from facing a crisis.
With Alaba yet to enter his prime, you will want a young left back you can grow to put pressure on the Austrian. Celtic’s Kieran Tierney looks to have outgrown the Scottish Premiership, and if he wants to improve, he must leave and challenge himself. On FM, the Scottish international has a 142 CA which can improve to an incredible 170, and at a price of £27 million he is a must buy. The 21-year-old’s wages start at just £18,000 a week, giving you stats of 19 determination, 17 bravery and 16 leadership.
|Ferland Mendy||23||Lyon||France||142/ 156||£13m||£24k|
|Alex Grimaldo||22||Benfica||Spain||147/ 163||£17m||£18k|
|Junior Firpo||21||Real Hispalis||Spain||132/ <140||£2m||£13k|
|Guilherme Arana||21||Sevilla||Spain||134/ 158||£5m||£26k|
|Ayrton Lucas||21||Spartak Moscow||Brazil||132/ 147||£4m||£22k|
Future starting striker
As we have already mentioned, you will need a striking alternative in a season or two’s time, with Robert Lewandowski just about to hit 30. With a shortage of forwards in the squad at the moment, you have no options outside of starters Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. This will ease next season with the arrival of youngster Jann-Fiete Arp, but he may be too raw to earn starts.
Andrea Belotti is a man who can offer goals straight off the bat, and aged 24 he is coming towards his prime. The Italian international has been the main man for Torino with his 17 heading, 17 strength and 17 anticipation stats, which help him achieve a 150 CA, which can improve to a potential of 168.
|Timo Werner||22||RB Leipzig||Germany||151/ 165||£29m||£52k|
|Patrik Schick||22||Roma||Czech Rep.||141/ 164||£13m||£80k|
|Jean-Kevin Augustin||21||RB Leipzig||France||134/ 161||£7m||£68k|
|Moise Kean||25||Juventus||Italy||138/ 146||£3m||£70k|
|Patrick Cutrone||20||AC Milan||Italy||142/ <140||£14m||£35k|
Three men have contracts expiring at Bayern Munich, and you are only likely to replace one of them. Rafinha is your back up full back, and although a replacement could be likely next season, you will want to keep the 32-year-old Brazilian on your books for another year.
As for Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, even though they can still offer quality for you this season, their abilities will drop dramatically this season as they enter the final year or two of their careers. Both could retire come the season’s end.
With that transfer budget, it won’t surprise you that Bayern have healthy finances starting with their rapidly increasing bank balance. Turnover is expected to rise than fall after next season, but this could be connected to the aging squad.
Your profits will decrease dramatically after this season, perhaps due to shirt sales, but if you find replacements for Ribery and Robben next summer, and slowly add more youth to this squad, that could all change.
Back to the top of Europe
It’s a bizarre situation at Bayern, as the club both has a sense of ‘the beginning of the end’ of one chapter and a ‘fresh start’ of a new one. It does mean that you may only be able to compete for the Champions Cup this season and next, but if names like Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry start baring fruit, it can be a seamless transition.
With that big transfer budget, it is important to look to the future, as it would be a serious waste to splash it on players who can only do the business for a handful of seasons. You should not be signing anyone older than 26 as you look to create your own legacy at Bayern Munich, taking them back to the European glory days of old.
Full Bayern Munich player ratings
|Player||Age||Pos||Role||Duty||Role Ability||CA/ PA|
|Manuel Neuer||32||GK||SK||Attack Support||4.5 star||186/ 193|
|Joshua Kimmich||23||DR||WB FB||Any||3 star||158/ 169|
|Jerome Boateng||29||CD||BPD||Defend Cover||3.5 star||165/ 175|
|Mats Hummels||29||CD||BPD||Defend Cover||3.5 star||167/ 173|
|David Alaba||26||DL WBL||WB CWB FB||Any||4 star||168/ 174|
|Javi Martinez||29||DM||Anchor||Defend||3 star||154/ 178|
|Thiago||27||MC||AP DLP||Any||4 star||167/ 173|
|Thomas Muller||28||ST AMR||PF Raumdeuter||Attack||3.5 star||163/ 168|
|James Rodriguez||27||AMC||AM AP||Support Attack||3 star||161/ 172|
|Franck Ribery||35||ML||IW WP IF||Support Attack||3 star||154/ 178|
|Robert Lewandowski||29||ST||PF||Attack||4 star||175/ 178|
|Sven Ulreich||29||GK||SK||Defend||2.5 star||137/ 137|
|Niklas Sule||22||DC||CD NCB BPD||Defend Cover||3 star||155/ 168|
|Rafinha||32||DR WBR||WB FB CWB||Any||2.5 star||140/ 151|
|Corentin Tolisso||23||MC||B2B Mezzala||Support||3 star||152/ 165|
|Leon Goretzka||23||MC||B2B||Support||3 star||150/ 173|
|Kingsley Coman||23||MR AMR||Winger||Attack||3 star||153/ 171|
|Serge Gnabry||23||AML ML||IF||Attack Support||2.5 star||149/ 157|
|Arjen Robben||34||AMR MR||IF||Attack Support||3 star||151/ 180|
|Renato Sanches||20||MC||Mezzala B2B||Support Attack||2.5 star||137/ 165|