Are Bayern Munich really in danger of not winning the Bundesliga?
Bayern Munich are not on top of the Bundesliga. That's not provisionally because they haven't played as many matches as their challengers or even the result of some fluke results. They are in second place because another team has been better than them.
Consider this: 11 matches into the season and Bayern Munich are as close to fifth place as they are first.
So are Bayern Munich in danger of not winning the Bundesliga for the the first time in five years? Undoubtedly.
RB Leipzig are top of the table and undefeated. They've beaten Borussia Dortmund, who Bayern Munich just lost to on Saturday, and have gotten results away to Cologne and Bayer Leverkusen. Leipzig have only gotten better of late too, winning six straight. It would be foolish for Bayern Munich to dismiss RB Leipzig at this point.
And while Bayern look three points up at Leipzig, three teams lurk just three points back of the Bavarians. That includes the Dortmund team they just lost to and a Cologne team that went to Munich and came away with a point.
Bayern Munich's problems go beyond the table and results, though. They've simply played poorly. Whether Carlo Ancelotti can't quite get a hold on things or if any transition away from Pep Guardiola was going to be messy is unclear, but Bayern look like a team unsure of what they're supposed to be doing or who they are. They're tentative and haven't shown themselves capable of being the dominant team we've come to expect them to be.
That said, Bayern Munich are still the best team in the Bundesliga when they start to click. They went to the Westfalenstadion on Saturday and generally played Borussia Dortmund even. That's nothing to sneeze at. They've dominated Hertha Berlin earlier this season too and their goal difference out-paces the entire league. It's not as if Bayern Munich are suddenly awful. They're still a very good team and by the end of the season will most likely be on top of the league. But they're not running away with the Bundesliga.
Maybe this says more about Bayern Munich's last four years than it does about this Bayern team. After all, a competitive title race is normal and being in that race is the sign of a good team. But it's been a while since Bayern were in this position. It's been a while since the Bundesliga has been in this position.
We've just gotten so used to Bayern Munich being impenetrable that we forgot what a competitive Bundesliga title race looks like. But we have one now. The Bavarians have a fight on their hands.
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