Statistician’s Journal: Is Manchester City causing Bayern Munich’s recent fall of performance?


We all know how German soccer is managed, about the homegrown talent, the low debt, the number of great mid-table sides and their battles. Yes, the Bundesliga is Europe’s one true healthy league.

But there is just one problem. Predicting the champion is way too easy these days thanks to Bayern Munich and the very few periods where they failed to shine. This season has been no different, as Bayern are on the verge of winning their 25th Bundesliga in 55 years since its inception.

Bayern did have an unassailable lead since the early days of the season, but Pep Guardiola’s pre-contract with Manchester City has left many to ponder whether that has been the reason behind the sudden fall in form and performance of the Bavarians.

Let’s get into some of the key statistical insights here-

Before 1st February (the day Manchester City announced that Pep had signed a pre-contract), Bayern had played a total of 29 games in all competitions(including UCL, Bundesliga and DVB-Pokal), winning 25 of them, losing twice and drawing twice. On the contrary, since 1st February, Bayern have played 14 games, amongst which they have won a total of 8 games, drawing 5 times and losing once.

Before Guardiola was announced as the Manchester City manager for next season, Bayern had been scoring 2.72 goals per game on an average compared to just 1.85 goals in the last 14 games. While the defence hasn’t been great too that used to be during the first half of the season. Earlier they conceded just 0.48 goals per game while for the past couple of months they have conceded 0.79 goals per game.

Analysing with some basic statistical tools and the use of footballing knowledge, we can easily conclude that indeed Bayern’s performance has declined over the course of the season, which shows signs that maybe Pep and the Bayern team were actually distracted by the managerial change for next season. It can either be Bayern’s reflection on how Carlo Ancelotti will change things next season that may affect their performance or Pep’s multitasking that he himself claimed, “I am a woman, I can multi-task.”

Well Pep, you are not a great multi-tasker or is it just pure coincidence?

Photo by Thomas Rodenbücher


  1. Have you considered the fact that not all teams can maintain a steady and consistent form throughout the season, and yet not have a dip in their goals scored / conceded stats.
    I think you may have overlooked the fact that the freshness of players decline over a season as they play matches in different competitions. Last summer wasn’t particularly a heavy summer for the players as they had break from international football as well. However as the season progresses, they have to face a lot of matches, injuries kick in and obviously the strain of journeys also is a factor.
    You might want to look into the injury record of Bayern Munich before you say that only Pep Guardiola is responsible for their decline in form, or should I say flair, cause they certainly haven’t lost the knack of winning matches.
    It might just be my view, but I feel other coaches tend to understand how a team plays strategically throughout the course of a campaign, and may have a better solution in the second leg of the season than what they offered in the first. Obviously it isn’t easy to figure out Pep Guardiola.
    Some part of your analysis may definitely be true, but there are other reasons as well. Players composure levels fall when they know they are certain of winning something. And other factors discussed above may also be part of the reason Bayern have failed to perform with the same flair as they showed in the first half of the season.
    Rarely has a team has been able to dominate football as the sixtuple winning side of a club from Cataluniya.