5) Poor pre-season
The ominous signs were evident for the Bavarians right from the business end of the last season, when the defeat against Real Madrid and Dortmund in a week’s time, exposed the weakness of an ageing squad. The Bavarians were overrun by Tuchel’s young Dortmund in the final fifteen minutes as the Black and Yellow completed an excellent comeback to knock Bayern out of the DFB Cup. With the club desperately in need of a fresh start, their pre-season only exacerbated the situation. The manner of defeats to AC Milan, Liverpool, Inter and Napoli were the signs of things to come for the German champions. A poor pre-season did not instil any confidence amongst the players as well as the fans as cracks started to appear in the dressing room.
4) Slow start to the season
With a poor preseason on their back, the Germans began the Bundesliga campaign with a fine win against Leverkusen and Werder Bremen; nevertheless, the performances failed to convince the Munich faithful. Their slow build-up play and lack of ideas in the final third were a cause for concern. Defeat to Hoffenheim further demonstrated a lack of cohesion on the side. Despite some handy performances in the Champions League and against Schalke, the Bavarians failed to convince. A 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg was the game when it began to fall apart for Ancelloti at Bayern. Despite being just three points behind Dortmund, this was Bayern’s worst start to the season in six years, giving a massive cause for concern at the Allianz Arena.
3) Failure in the Champions League
Carlo Ancelotti was brought in to replace Guardiola, whose reign was considered as a failure by many due to his inability to lead Bayern to European glory. Therefore, the expectation was that Ancelloti would bring the Champions League title back to Munich, building on his three Champions League successes. Nevertheless, Bayern failed to perform in the big games. Real Madrid defeated them in both legs of the quarter-finals, while Atletico too defeated them at the Calderon meanwhile they were also defeated by Dortmund in the cup and league last season. The defeat to PSG only further proved to Rummenigge and Hoeness that Bayern were far from winning the title under Ancelotti.
2) Peculiar team selections
Ancelotti’s team selection for the big match against PSG rung many bells as the likes of Ribery, Robben and Coman were all left on the bench. The Italian instead resorted to deploying two no 10s in Muller and Rodriguez, virtually depriving them of pace in the final third. As such with no wingers in the lineup, Bayern failed to attack from the wings. Lewandowski, too, was isolated up front. Bayern could only create half-chances in the game. On the other hand, the likes of Neymar and Mbappe ran riot in Hummels and Boateng’s surprise exclusion.
1) Tensions in the dressing room
Known for his man-management skills, Ancelloti looked like the perfect fit for Bayern’s galaxy of stars. With senior figures in the dressing room, conflicts were always going to erupt. And the tensions were there throughout Ancelloti’s spell in Germany. His reluctance to use favourite Thomas Muller in the big games already attracted great attention, with Bayern fielding a very predictable lineup in the big games last season. The lack of tactical nous from the manager too was a dampening factor. Moreover, the likes of Muller and Lewandowski were too outspoken this season which clearly signified the growing tensions and a lack of authority in the dressing room. The game against PSG proved the last straw as the likes of Hummels, Ribery and Robben were left on the bench. UlliHoeness later confirmed that Ancelloti had as many as five senior players turned against him, which made it impossible for the Italian to continue at Bayern.