In this file photo taken on May 14, 2022 Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski reacts after the German first division Bundesliga football match VfL Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. (RONNY HARTMANN / AFP)
BERLIN - In Bayern Munich's first game after the noisy departure of Robert Lewandowski, the loss of one of football's best strikers isn't inevitably causing too much turbulence for the Bavarians.
For the first time in eight years, the reigning German champions were forced to act without a traditional box-striker in Saturday's 5-3 Supercup victory over RB Leipzig.
The newly formed team of head coach Julian Nagelsmann not only delivered answers but also presented a renewed tactical approach that is capable of fulfilling the coach's dreams
The newly formed team of head coach Julian Nagelsmann not only delivered answers but also presented a renewed tactical approach that is capable of fulfilling the coach's dreams.
For most of the time in his career, Nagelsmann has been adoring a system without a spearhead limiting his side's options up front.
Now having to replace the Polish team captain, the manager's desires could be realized again.
"I am convinced Julian Nagelsmann is happier about this season's squad than last year," said former German international Lothar Matthaeus.
"Nagelsmann is a coach like Pep Guardiola who doesn't fancy having to play with a box-striker," added the 61-year-old.
Playing with a wider range of offensive players is increasing the team's options, Matthaeus added.
In Leipzig, Nagelsmann started with new arrival Sadio Mane, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry constantly changing positions upfront while Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman waited on the bench.
Bayern seemed happy in what Matthaeus called a 4-2-2-2 system coming along with two midfield wingers supporting the game if needed.
"He has been playing like this in all his clubs before. Two front strikers, two offensive midfielders behind are always involved in the game of changes," said the former midfielder.
In Matthaeus' respect, this season's Bayern increased its squad quality and also gained stability in defense as the back-chain of fullbacks can concentrate on the issue in front of the goal.
For now things seemed to work, as the man standing for a new era like no other, former Liverpool star Mane scored his first goal in his first competitive game in Bayern's shirt. What's more, the 2022 African Footballer of the Year seemed to enjoy playing without having to assist a box striker.
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