Julian Nagelsmann is a coach who likes to talk and reveals many details from his work with FC Bayern Munich.

Observers who are interested in strategies and tactical mind games will get a lot of food for thought from the Munich soccer coach about the games of the club, about systems, played spaces or asymmetrical formations, for example.

However, when it comes to aspects that are just as important in his job as the attitude, the internal climate or the character of his team, the flow of information usually dries up pretty quickly.

Like on Saturday after the amazing 4-2 defeat of the league leaders at VfL Bochum, for which Nagelsmann – at least in public – wanted to take a large part of the responsibility himself.

"The idea in the first half wasn't good," he said after his side had been dismantled around the break.

"You're always in the same boat, I criticize myself when the idea doesn't work out well," he continued, admitting that he may have reacted too late after 45 minutes by switching from a back four to a back three.

Attempting to ride the wave of criticism does Nagelsmann credit, and perhaps his futile plan to fight Bochum's speedy wingers with four defenders is actually one of the reasons for the defeat.

Much more concise, however, were the observations that shook Joshua Kimmich.

"If Josh said that..."

"We lacked all the virtues it takes to win a game," said the midfielder, criticizing his team's "attitude" and "body tension".

It is particularly frightening that this "happens too often", he "didn't know" from his team "from the past," explained Kimmich and felt compelled to heat up the debate with a particularly sensitive self-reproach: "We have to ask ourselves whether that's the mentality that FC Bayern actually embodies.”

Discussions about the mentality and attitude in football often touch on sensitive points in a team.

It then quickly becomes a matter of tricky questions: Who exactly isn't playing with enough dedication and passion?

Is the indoor climate still okay?

Are there interpersonal difficulties?

And so forth.

It is understandable that the members of Borussia Dortmund are sometimes outraged when they are asked to add new statements to their "mentality debate", which has been smoldering for years, because such public discussions usually have a negative effect on the team.

Nagelsmann remained correspondingly taciturn when confronted with Kimmich's considerations.

"If Josh said that, there will be some truth behind it," said the coach, "but I have to evaluate what I did, so I didn't talk about the players."

In doing so, he at least publicly avoided a topic that, according to Kimmich's clear instructions, he probably has to deal with internally.

Because after years in which the team was driven by an almost insatiable thirst for victory, there are now indications that this strength may have waned somewhat.

It is fitting that Nagelsmann is a trainer who has less of an impact on the emotional state of the team and works more technically and tactically than some of his predecessors.

Or does FC Bayern even have a hierarchy problem because there are no spokesmen on the defensive after the departure of David Alaba and Jérôme Boateng and the absence of Manuel Neuer?

Last week, Niklas Süle also announced that he would be moving to Borussia Dortmund in the summer, and the international would no longer play a leading role at Bayern.

Lucas Hernández, Benjamin Pavard and Dayot Upamecano, who was particularly weak in Bochum, are also lower in the squad hierarchy, and there may be a lack of impulses from the defensive chain during the games, which there were with Alaba or Boateng.

In any case, after this sunny winter day in Bochum, the question is whether this greed for more and more goals and victories, which arose about ten years ago under Jupp Heynckes and further developed under Pep Guardiola, could eventually be lost again.

Bayern have already lost four Bundesliga games this season, all against clubs from the bottom half of the table.

In addition, there was the desolate 0: 5 at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the DFB Cup, which had some similarities with the 2: 4 in Bochum.

"Fortunately it was a Bundesliga game and we were nine points ahead," said Kimmich, but they can never rely on their talent for allowing such defeats at the right moments.

And a dip in tension would be only human, since at the end of winter it is almost always clear who will be the next champion.

The Champions League is just getting started, on Wednesday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN) the Munich team will play their round of 16 first leg at RB Salzburg.

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