Should it Be the End of the Road for Robben & Ribery?

 

Bayern Munich are currently stuck in an awkward position. They’re attempting to introduce young and refreshing talent, whilst also including players at the other end of the age spectrum. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have been exceptional representatives of Bayern Munich, but is the clock ticking for “Robbery?”
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery have been in focal point in the Bayern Munich attack for over eight years and have won 59 trophies and completed 994 appearances combined. They’ve created a prominent legacy at the Allianz Arena, but are the Dutch and French duo holding Bayern back from preparing for the future?
Since their signings, the Bavarian club saw a renaissance in their form, and have won seven Bundesliga titles since Louis Van Gaal signed Arjen Robben from Real Madrid in 2009. In their prime, opposing full-backs faced the daunting task of thwarting them, but their presence is currently preventing the likes of Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry from playing a consistent run of matches in the first team.
Sadly, football moves on and Niko Kovac must be the manager to revolutionize the club and guide them to a prosperous future!

Moving from the Past

Both players are in the twilight of their careers. Robben and Ribéry simply don’t bring the same level of dynamism to their wing play as they had, say in 2013. This was arguably the peak of their career, as well as a notable high for Bayern Munich as a club.
But they are now unable to beat players in one-on-one situations like they have been able to before. “Robbery”  don’t have the same injection of technical ability to create lethal opportunities out of seemingly nothing.
With Arjen Robben, his play down the right wing has become far too predictable. Full backs are now able to defend more competently against the Dutchman than before when Robben was in the prime of his career.
As a result, he has become more and more dependent on the young Joshua Kimmich in the right-back position to supplement the play going down the right flank.
Kimmich probes a threat down the right channel but this also leaves exploitable space which applies unnecessary pressure on the defence.  Franck Ribery is suffering from a similar problem on the left wing, although he’s far more capable of retrieving possession via his determination to track back.
Despite this, the pair are seemingly becoming a liability and are contributing to the sudden decline at the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign.

Fresh Blood

It’s time for the next generation to emerge at Bayern Munich. Chelsea experienced a similar transitional period when John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba left Stamford Bridge, as did Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson integrated his iconic “Class of 92” graduates into the first team.
Robben and Ribery deserve the utmost respect for their triumphs in Munich, but Kingsley Coman (when fit) and Serge Gnabry must be given their opportunity to shine.
Coman possesses tremendous technical ability to beat his opponent in one-on-one situations and frightening sprint speed. Bayern have always been a major threat on the counter-attack and his injection of pace can enhance their chances of creating goal scoring openings for Polish target man Robert Lewandowski.
Meanwhile, Serge Gnabry is still sitting on the fringes of the team, despite his prosperous loan spells at Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim. Gnabry also has a valuable amount of versatility and can play on either flank, behind the main striker or as a sole striker himself.
Another option for Bayern Munich is to acquire replacements from the transfer market in January, or throw all their eggs in one basket when 17-year-old wonderkid Alphonso Davies arrived from Major League Soccer outfit Vancouver Whitecaps.
Regardless of which option Kovac decides to choose, something needs to change, and that change needs to begin now!

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