Munich - Beginning the season with the express intention of winning a record-breaking fourth Bundesliga title in succession, FC Bayern München have made a perfect start to 2015/16. Yet Pep Guardiola's side find themselves in the unfamiliar position of second, despite four wins from four games.
Occupying top spot are arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund, who have rediscovered their old strengths in impressive fashion under new coach Thomas Tuchel. "It's great for the Bundesliga," explained Bayern's top scorer this season Thomas Müller. "For us, however, it's a bit unsettling to have such an aggressive pursuer. In fact, at the moment we're the pursuers."
'No team has won the Bundesliga four times in a row'
While it has been the German record champions' best start to the season since Pep Guardiola (l.) took over in 2013, the Catalan tactician is aware that is no guarantee of success in what is set to be a particularly competitive season. "No team has ever won the Bundesliga four times in a row," he explained after Saturday’s 2-1 win over FC Augsburg. "That's because achieving that is really difficult. Bayer 04 Leverkusen lost at home to SV Darmstadt 98 and VfL Wolfsburg could only get a draw in Ingolstadt."
Indeed, the former FC Barcelona coach was pleased with the three points on Matchday 4, but less so with his side's performance, bemoaning a lack of concentration. "We have to play for 90 minutes, not just 45," he explained. "I hope this is a lesson for us in the future."
With six games in the 20 days between now and 4 October, when Bayern welcome BVB in the sides' final fixture before the international break, Guardiola's troops would do well to heed their coach’s advice: concentration will be essential. "I thought Dortmund would be in the running for the title before the season," explains Müller (r.). "I can't imagine it’s been much fun for them to be behind us in the last three seasons so of course, they're going to want to attack again."
Jerome Boateng concurs with his team-mate. "Dortmund have finished behind us for the last three years," said the centre-half. "Now, with a new coach, they’re hungry again and that means we have to stay hungry as well." If Bayern are this wary, you know they feel threatened at the top.