Written by Vedran Ćavara
Mario Mandžukić has been red hot lately; coming off an impressive Euro 2012 tournament.
His impressive play carried over into his club campaign where he has bagged a total of 12 goals for Bayern thus far. Teammate Thomas Muller isn’t far behind with 11 goals from all competitions.
Since he has been in such prolific form, one would think that Mandžukić would be an automatic starter for Bayern every time manager Jupp Heynckes makes out his starting line up. This is quite to the contrary however, as the Bayern manager has used more of a rotational type system, using the likes of Mandžukić, Kroos, Muller and fellow new-comer Claudio Pizzaro as the starting striker.
For a striker in form, this is more than likely going to throw them off form. Why not keep the hot hand in there and keep him scoring? Well, if you’re Jupp Heynckes, you love the rotational system and keeping your players fresh. However, missing a few games here and there throws players out of rhythm.
Now a bigger problem for Mandžukić has arisen. The other Mario in the team has returned. Bayern’s record goal scorer from last season, Mario Gomez is back from injury. Last year, Gomez could not stop scoring. And considering that Bayern doled out 30+ million Euros to Stuttgart two seasons ago for their prized asset, Mandžukić’s playing time seems to be getting even more limited.
For these reasons, I believe Mandžukić will never be the same again as a Bayern player and won’t get nearly the sniffs at the first eleven that he so clearly deserves.