No sooner does a player attract negative attention for a dip in form, than they then perk themselves up and asks what the fuss was all about. As they say-form is temporary, class is permanent.
Serge Gnabry for one has attracted his fair share of criticism (mostly justified) this season for falling short of his best form and being largely ineffectual when used. His inconsistency was noticeable at both club and international level leading to Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann benching him for many of the club’s matches and relying upon the likes of Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané, Jamal Musiala Sadio Mané and Eric Maxim Choupo Moting instead.
The mystery over Gnabry’s disappearance of form had many at the Allianz Arena scratching their heads. However, with injuries and Covid forcing his hand a little Nagelsmann recalled Gnabry for the Champions League home clash with Plzeň and was rewarded with a goal. A goal and an assist followed against Freiburg and there was another assist in the win over Hoffenheim.
Was the real Serge Gnabry back?
The answer he gave on Wednesday in the Camp Nou against Barcelona was a resounding YES! Only Philipp Lahm and Leroy Sané had previously managed three assists in a Champions League game for Bayern, but that is exactly what Gnabry produced and even had the crowning glory of a sublime goal for himself narrowly chalked off.
His assist for Sadio Mané’s opener was sublime and the second goal was also of his making, That the third was a mis-hit pass/ shot is neither here nor there. Gnabry was the star man and with the World Cup now weeks away, is coming back into form at just the right time. Whatever the issue was with him, it seems to have sorted itself- much to the delight of Julian Nagelsmann and Hansi Flick (but not Xavi).