Who will be FC Bayern’s coach?
Heynckes deserves a statue in front of Säbener Strasse. Simply because he was the only coach in the club’s history to win the treble. But his merits this season are also great. He came back from retirement and reactivated a team that no longer believed in their coach.
Heynckes also feeds from that effect. The senior players would run for him until they drop. They give everything for a man with whom they had great success. In Jupp Heynckes, experience and leadership are perhaps more pronounced than any other trainer in the world. Uli Hoeneß rightly points out that from an interpersonal point of view, no other coach would be able to mediate Ribéry’s benching as well as Heynckes.
Nevertheless, it is doubtful that Heynckes will be able to cope with this transition from a sporting perspective. Another year of Heynckes would be a big risk for both sides. For FC Bayern, because it is to be feared that the important new ideas will be missing. Heynckes would have the confidence to spend another good year with his team, but doubts about a radical change would be justified.
Despite his adaptability, the treble coach also stands for the past and he survives to a certain extent, based on the acceptance of his former players, who forgive him the current tactical weaknesses because his basic task was different. A potential lack of tactical and player development could no longer be justified by his role as rescuer, because he would be explicitly responsible for it.
It would also be a great risk for Heynckes himself, because an extremely complex year would be looming. One in which he can only lose. He would have to place his trust in players who do not have such close ties to him as Robben or Ribéry. This could cause the Jupp-effect to crumble if there are failures in the transition, which is to be expected.
The moral perspective also plays a important role. The constant pursuit of Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is slowly becoming exhausting. Jupp Heynckes has made himself clear on several occasions and that should be respected.
The underlying idea behind this Heynckes solution is that FC Bayern could have other plans in the background. Joachim Löw is a highly esteemed man in Germany. His achievements for the DFB are enormous. Especially the tactical development of his team is impressive.
Löw has always fought with critics, but he has earned a reputation as one of the best national coaches in history. He knows about controversial personnel decisions and is appreciated by most players. In addition, he now stands for a very dominant approach that would fit the philosophy of the record champion.
He knows the majority of the squad and he doesn’t shy away from putting big names on the bench or managing difficult transitions. If he were available as early as 2018, it would be the best possible solution. In the coming summer however, he will compete in a major tournament with his team. It would not only cost a lot of preparation time, but also a great deal of energy to change to a new team in Munich. For this reason alone, employment at FC Bayern is unlikely this year.
If Heynckes were to stay for another year however, there would be a better chance in 2019. If you had already decided in favour of Löw and received a commitment, another Heynckes season would certainly not be a doom. The risks mentioned above would certainly need to be weighed, but Löw is probably a coach worth waiting for. However, this scenario would also require a further commitment from Heynckes, which one simply cannot expect and certainly should not force.
A further intermediate year would be risked in order to finally obtain a long-term coach with great potential in 2019. Nagelsmann’s situation would be similar. The current Hoffenheim coach finds himself in a difficult season which has brought him into some criticism. Some media reports and interviews indicate that the 30-year-old could have slight leadership problems. These are experiences that every coach will have at some point.
From a purely technical point of view, however, Nagelsmann is a sensation. There is no doubt that he will be a very hot candidate for the record champion in the future, but most likely not in 2018. Heynckes rightly pointed out that such young people have to make mistakes. Only in a positive culture can he learn from his mistakes. Nagelsmann is already a good coach, but how good could he be in a few years time? Patience is certainly not a bad guide in this case.
For the time being, Nagelsmann could make Borussia Dortmund stronger again so that Bayern have a little more competition in the next few years. Afterwards, FC Bayern could snatch away the creator of success from their new rival. A devilishly good plan.
Niko Kovac, on the other hand, smells like an option that Uli Hoeneß has been dreaming of for years. Since Zinédine Zidane’s success story, it has been his inner need to achieve the same thing at FC Bayern. And indeed, Kovac’s successes in Frankfurt are remarkable. In 64 Bundesliga games, his team earned an average of 1.36 points per game. This places him among the top 10 Eintracht trainers in history.
In this season his Frankfurt team are in 6th place, which is partly due to the fact that no other team consistently scores points except Bayern. Nevertheless, the development in Frankfurt should not be underestimated. The team has also continued to develop on the pitch under him.
However, Kovac falls into the group of coaches who makes their team successful primarily through attitude, aggressiveness and dedication. If a team can play against the ball in a structured way and excel in the one-on-ones, it works very well, especially in the Bundesliga at the moment. But that would not be enough for FC Bayern, therefore Kovac would also have to improve considerably.
He wouldn’t fit in the line of van Gaal, Heynckes or Guardiola. It is very likely that he would even be a step backwards into the “heroic football” times between 2002 and 2009. It is also more than questionable whether Kovac could bring the necessary development on the pitch. Kovac has neither the experience nor the special tactical skills that would qualify him for a position at FC Bayern. In other words, hiring Kovac would be playing with fire.
The next page is about Tuchel and two outsiders in the race for the coach’s position.