Could Bayern Munich Sack Kovac After One Season? | Nick Bidwell
Could Bayern Munich pull the plug on coach Niko Kovac after just one season in charge ? Working on the ‘no smoke without fire’ principle, it’s a scenario no one should discount.
Signs of an impending divorce are hardly in short-supply. Karl-HeinzRummenigge, the chairman of the Allianz-Arena board, steadfastly refuses to give Kovac a public job guarantee. Munich daily TZ have it on good authority that Bayern have made enquiries about in vogue Ajax boss Erik ten Hag. Radio Monte Carlo claim the Bavarians are in contact with Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Tuchel.
Honorary Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer also has joined the Kovac hunting party, pulling out a 12-bore and suggesting that the serial champions were singularly lacking in leadership and commitment.
“When I watch Champions League and Europa League ties, I note how intensely those teams fight,” declared Beckenbauer at a Bayern club museum event. “I sometimes have the impression that the current side is the Uwe Seeler veterans eleven (a team of golden oldies run by ex-national team forward and skipper Seeler).
“They will have to accept this criticism. They have the class and the potential to win the German League and Cup this season. But they have to show the right mindset. The team should have had the title sewn up already. If they haven’t, it’s down to carelessness. ”
The problem Bayern have is that their two key decision-makers, Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness are miles apart in their assessment of Kovac’s worth. Hoeness is 100 per cent behind the Berlin-born Croat, more than happy with the team’s Bundesliga results since the turn of the year (38 points from 15 fixtures) and the prospect of another domestic Double.
Bayern now stand on the brink of their seventh consecutive Bundesliga title and face RB Leipzig in the DFB Cup final on May 25.
By way of contrast, Rummenigge sends out few pro-Kovac vibes. Bayern’s surprise capitulation in their Champions League Round of 16 loss to Liverpool clearly shocked him to the core, left in despair by his team’s shockingly half-hearted approach. For many of Kovac’s critics, he simply is too reactive, too unwilling to seize the initiative and lay down the law.
In an intriguing interview with Sky Deutschland last month, Rummenigge opined that the former Bayern Munich and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso would be a perfect fit in the Allianz-Arena technical area. ” He’s the cleverest and best strategist I’ve ever seen in our midfield, ” gushed ‘Kalle’. Let’s see what happens in the future. As from next season, Alonso will be on Real Madrid’s pay-roll, supervising their Under-19s.
Even two trophies might not be enough to save Kovac’s bacon at Bayern.The standards here are stratospherically high and after his Champions League failure, he is damaged goods to a certain degree. Never mind continuity or stability. Continental competitiveness and dominant play are what ultimately count in these parts. Everything else is for the birds.
What We Learned This Week
1. Mass panic, then relief.
Twelve months after finishing bottom of the pile in the Bundesliga, Kolnhave regained their top-flight status. The Billy Goats, who clinched the second division title with a 4-0 win at Greuther Furth, have had a traumatic last few weeks, going four rounds without a victory and sacking coach Markus Anfang. Caretaker boss Andre Pawlak, previously responsible the club’s U21s, is an absolute record-breaker – the one and only German ‘Trainer’ to win elite promotion in his first game in charge.
2. Euro hangover ?
So impressive in the Europa League this term, Eintracht Frankfurt were sent crashing back to earth by a 6-1 Bundesliga thumping at fellow top-four hopefuls Leverkusen. The two sides are now level on points, with the Frankfurt five units ahead on goal-difference. Remarkably all of the game’s seven goals were scored in the first-half. One for the annals indeed.
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