The Dutchman was criticised by his manager after failing to convert from point-blank range in the pre-season friendly clash
Julian Nagelsmann has warned Joshua Zirkzee to demonstrate a “different sense of seriousness” in competitive matches after the Bayern Munich striker’s shocking miss in a friendly against Ajax.
Bayern were held to a 2-2 draw by Ajax in their first home game under new head coach Nagelsmann on Saturday, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Tanguy Nianzou scoring the goals for the hosts.
Zakaria Labyad and Victor Jensen replied for the Dutch outfit, but the German champions might have won the pre-season friendly had Zirkzee been more clinical.
Shortly before the half-time whistle at Allianz Arena, Zirkzee capitalised on a loose pass and jinked his way past the final Ajax defender before also rounding the goalkeeper, leaving himself with the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net.
However, the 20-year-old then appeared to try and walk the ball over the goal-line instead, which allowed Perr Schuurs to get back and clear the danger just in the nick of time and prevent his team from going 2-1 down.
Nagelsmann, who replaced Hansi Flick as Bayern boss earlier this summer, wasn’t happy with Zirkzee’s casual approach to the chance and hopes he will learn from the mistake when the 2021-22 campaign gets under way next month.
“I think that [Joshua Zirkzee] hasn’t seen his opponent approaching,” Nagelsmann said after the game. “He wanted to finish this one casually. I hope that he has a different sense of seriousness in competitive matches.
“Basically, he is doing many things right. At the beginning of this situation, he recovered the ball very well. We all wished that we could have gone ahead there and I don’t think he did this deliberately.
“And I will not talk to him about this because he knows he could have done better.”
Zirkzee’s record at Bayern
Zirkzee graduated to Bayern’s senior squad back in 2019, and has since scored four goals in 17 senior matches for the club.
He has also picked up five trophies, including the Bundesliga and Champions League, but is currently having to make do with a back-up role in the team behind star striker Robert Lewandowski.