Bundesliga

Bundesliga 2017-18: Heynckes returns to save Bayern

 
1:49pm on Thursday 19th September 2019
By
Martin Macdonald

Things were never quite right at the Allianz Arena under the tenure of Carlo Ancelotti, and although the Italian delivered the league in his first season, he would only survive until September in his second, with reports of player unrest making his position untenable. Jupp Heynckes was the man chosen as his replacement and the veteran boss, who had secured a famous treble in 2012-13, took them from third spot to a comfortable league victory, finishing 21 points clear of Schalke in second.

It was a disastrous campaign for Hamburg and Cologne who were relegated, with Wolfsburg surviving via the relegation play-off.

CHANGES

There was a coaching change at three of Germany’s biggest clubs. Domenico Tedesco took over at Schalke, Peter Bosz was appointed at Borussia Dortmund, and Heiko Herrlich was given the reigns at Bayer Leverkusen. Bosz, however, would not last the season and would eventually be replaced by Peter Stoger.

Bayern were once again the biggest spenders in the transfer market, shelling out over €110 million on the likes of Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman, Niklas Sule, and Sandro Wagner, while James Rodriguez arrived on loan from Real Madrid. Dortmund received a huge windfall in excess of €100 million for Ousmane

Dembele from Barcelona, and spent on Andriy Yarmolenko, Manuel Akanji, Mahmoud Dahoud, and Jadon Sancho - a young starlet from Manchester City.

Other big deals saw Lucas Alario join Leverkusen from River Plate, Kevin Kampl leave Leverkusen for RB Leipzig, and Matthias Ginter depart Dortmund for Borussia Monchengladbach.

SUMMARY

August started well enough for Bayern, with Ancelotti guiding the team to the German Supercup and two league wins. But he would be gone following a poor September which included a loss against Hoffenheim and a draw against Wolfsburg, as well as a comprehensive 3-0 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Heynckes returned and Bayern stormed to the title from there, with the legendary boss returning to a tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation which maximised the talents of Robert Lewandowski and summer recruit James.

A vital week in Bayern’s season came as October moved into November when they defeated Bundesliga challengers, RB Leipzig and Dortmund, with a victory against Celtic in the Champions League sandwiched in between.

The title was clinched in April thanks to a 4-1 win over Augsburg. Bayern had to come from behind, but goals from Tolisso, Rodriguez, Robben, and Wagner sealed a sixth straight title with games to spare.

Dortmund were expected to be the main challengers to Bayern, but their season faltered due to the appointment of Bosz, who impressed at Ajax but who was unable to transfer his 4-3-3 formation to the Westfalen. He was replaced by Stoger, who had previously been in charge at Koln. They finished in the Champions League qualifying positions, but their pursuit of further success was hampered by the departure of Dembele in the summer and top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving for Arsenal in January. The emerging talent of Christian Pulisic provided a ray of light in a grim campaign.

Bundesliga Player of the Year, Robert Lewandowski

The Bundesliga further enhanced its reputation for giving young coaches a chance. As well as Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann, who made a positive impact in the previous campaign, 31-year-old Tedesco thrived at Schalke, while Florian Kohfeldt (34) joined Werder Bremen, and Sandro Schwarz (38) took over at Mainz.

Schalke, Hoffenheim, and Leverkusen produced some exciting football at times, with Leon Bailey perhaps the pick of the bunch at the BayArena.

Towards the bottom end of the table, Hamburg’s demise finally reached its conclusion as they were relegated after years of flirting with the drop, having been the only side to feature in every one of the previous 55 campaigns of the Bundesliga. Joining them in the 2. Bundesliga would be Cologne, but Wolfsburg survived after defeating Holstein Kiel in the relegation play-off - a feat they managed the previous season, too.

Within Europe’s top five leagues, the Bundesliga had the second-highest amount of goals scored, with only Serie A having more. A huge contributor to this was the league’s top goalscorer, Lewandowski, who scored 29 times - 14 more than anyone else.

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

The Pole flourished after the return of Heynckes, scoring 29 goals as the Munich side turned their season around.

MANAGER OF THE SEASON

JUPP HEYNCKES

Much younger managers impressed, but the affect the veteran head coach had on Bayern was there for all to see as he guided them to their sixth title in a row.

TOP GOALSCORER

ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI - 29 GOALS

The towering centre-forward is not just a goal scorer, but a scorer of great goals, as he proved with his 29 league goals to earn the golden boot.

TEAM OF THE SEASON

HRADECKY; KIMMICH, NALDO, HUMMELS, WENDELL; MULLER, RODRIGUEZ, GORETZKA, BAILEY; LEWANDOWSKI, BATSHUAYI

GOAL OF THE SEASON

JONAS HECTOR spins into the penalty area with a deft touch before cheekily chipping over the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER

Corentin Tolisso

Lyon to BAYERN

€41.5m

KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON

Quite simply - Jupp Heynckes replacing Carlo Ancelotti as head coach of Bayern Munich.

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