Effenberg: Guardiola's system has 'reached its limit'

The former Germany midfielder believes Guardiola needs to re-think his philosophy with a Champions League final place at stake
By Christoph Kockeis

Stefan Effenberg believes Pep Guardiola’s system “reached its limit” in Bayern Munich’s 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid last week.

The former Barcelona coach’s passing philosophy has been called into question following the Santiago Bernabeu setback and ex-Germany midfielder Effenberg does not think it is dynamic enough to see Bayern retain their Champions League crown.

Ahead of Tuesday night’s return leg in Bavaria, the Sky Germany pundit told Goal: “Bayern win 90 per cent of their games.

"In the Bundesliga, they demoralise opponents with their constant possession. At a higher level, it's a different game. Teams like Manchester United, Real, or maybe Chelsea in the final defend perfectly.

"They can block an attack with two or three steps. To react to this and change your footballing ideas is difficult. Guardiola's system reached its limit in Madrid.”

Bayern were criticised for a lack of pace in attack in Madrid, and Effenberg feels Franck Ribery’s loss of form has been instrumental in their disappointing set of results.

"Bayern have so much quality that the treble should be their standard,” he added. “But they lacked a change of pace against Madrid.

"They always want the ball to pass in front of the box like in handball. So the game loses its dynamism. Some say it is boring, others say it is static.

"What's more, Franck Ribery is not in as great shape as last year. Their game stagnates because of his crisis."

Guardiola now has to work out how to overcome the deficit on home soil. Effenberg has warned against all-out attack against the pace and power of Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

"I don't think they should risk everything. The players have the quality. While it is 0-0, they can be patient and control their attacks,” he said.

"They can score a goal in the 85th minute. The players should not run at Madrid in panic. If you do that, you make mistakes. They all know what they have to do."

Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the last round after losing the first leg 3-0 in Madrid but Effenberg believes Bayern should not copy BVB's tactics.

"BVB must not be their role model. Bayern can't play like that. Apart from anything else, their starting position is totally different.

"I thought Madrid would be more attacking (against Bayern) because that's their usual style. But Carlo Ancelotti drew the right conclusions: they let Bayern have the ball and exploited their mistakes.

"They had three great chances so their win wasn't undeserved."

Bayern started the match at the Santiago Bernabeu with both Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller on the bench but Effenberg does not think their absence was pivotal.

"It would be wrong to say that the loss was caused by individuals. Whether Gotze or Muller plays, it shouldn't be decisive.

"The others should have made the difference. On the field, there was more than enough quality and potential to have solutions to the problems that the game posed."