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Only one goal against in five games so far

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Only one goal against in five games so far

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:20 pm

Before the season began, Jupp Heynckes announced that squad rotation was an essential part of his plan for the campaign. On Saturday, the coach followed up his words with deeds, replacing Luiz Gustavo, Jerome Boateng and Tony Kroos with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Daniel van Buyten and Thomas Müller - but despite the reshuffle, the quality of Bayern's play did not suffer in the slightest. For the fourth time in the fifth match of the season, the men in red came off the field without conceding a goal. Up front, the forwards turned in a gala display in a 5-0 victory over Hamburg at the Allianz Arena.

"The team doesn't just consist of 11 players, it comprises the whole squad. It was good to see new players come in and deliver the goods. It's extremely good for the team," club captain Philipp Lahm told on the day after the match. Müller has generally been a fixture in the starting line-up for many months now, but Van Buyten and Tymoshchuk were making first starts of the campaign. Both players rightly earned rave reviews.

The Belgian colossus partnered Holger Badstuber in central defence and topped the tackling stat by winning 92 percent of his challenges. He also set Heynckes' side on their way to victory with the opening goal after 13 minutes. "Mr Heynckes told me I should always be ready to play. I've waited for my opportunity, and simply went out and gave it my all," Daniel declared. Tymoshchuk took up station alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger in the midfield holding role, proving a mobile and effective ball-winner. He also came within inches of netting a thunderbolt shot early in the second half.

For all the attacking fireworks against sorry Hamburg, the most obvious change at Bayern under Heynckes is vastly improved defending. In the five competitive matches so far, opponents have only mustered five shots on target against FCB. Last season, the average was 3.8 per match. "Every player is doing his bit for the defence," analysed Lahm, "we're regrouping brilliantly after losing possession, and that includes the forwards. So we're recovering possession much more than before, which makes it far easier for the back four."

Heynckes: Still room for improvement

Christian Nerlinger is equally impressed. Discussing the team's defending, the director of sport identified "very positive developments" and "a decisive step forward." Coach Heynckes feels there is still progress to be made. "I believe we still have room for improvement and that we can do even better." However, that is a process which requires many more matches yet.

Neither is Heynckes suddenly about to abandon his squad rotation policy. The team to face Zürich next Tuesday could well feature a number of new players, the boss said, echoing Lahm's words about a team consisting of far more than 11 players. It matters to Heynckes that the so-called second-string players retain a realistic prospect of playing time, and that in turn seems to be a motivating factor. "When the players like myself who weren't involved in the early matches do get out onto the field, we have a point to prove to the coach. And I was hungry!" declared Van Buyten. That attitude speaks volumes in favour of continuing to rotate a high-quality squad.
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