Hansi Flick new FC Bayern assistant coach
The signs were there during the last weeks and months: Hansi Flick had been continuously brought up as a strong candidate to succeed Peter Hermann. Hermann, who had been wooed intensely by Bayern before last season to stay on despite Heynckes’ departure, has decided to leave the record champions just one year later.
Flick is not just another former Bayern player to join the club, but had also been declared by Niko Kovač to be his ideal candidate – another sign that the club has granted their coach more freedom during this transfer period.
But can Hansi Flick really reenforce Bayern’s coaching team? Here are three opinions from our editors on the issue.
Jolle: I was pleasantly surprised when the first rumours on Flick came up. He has proven his skills – albeit in second line, but he was under some pressure nevertheless, including the handling of Bayern stars and the famous FCB-BVB split in the national team.
He is capable of doing meticulous tactical work in the background, and thus he could complement Kovač’s less theoretical hands-on approach. He has also proven to be able to learn from mistakes. For instance, he convinced Löw to spend more time on set pieces – although it took him several years.
The working atmosphere between Kovač and Flick should be all right. Yet, if Kovač’s position should be in danger, the question is whose side Flick would be on – perhaps even having the option to choose the better side of the argument. Should Kovač not make use of his input, he might be on the bosses’ side. But a nice Flick would not be in Hoeneß’ way in case of trouble. He might not be one for political manoeuvring, although I think this is due to his tendency to stay in the background without causing complications. But maybe it is just the other way around and you never hear of trouble around him because he is so skilled at it. At any rate, leaving the DFB coaching team was his own decision.
Justin: You have to be clear about the expectations: What should an assistant coach in team Kovač be able to do? Since the head coach is not very open on the topic, there is a lot of room for speculation. Last season Hermann was expected to level out Kovač’s tactical weaknesses. Unfortunately, that did not work out: positional play and offensive approach during the game have gotten worse.
It is unclear whether Hermann was not (or no longer) capable of doing so or whether Kovač did not accept his input or focussed on other things. At any rate, expectations for Flick ought to be similar. Flick was an excellent complement to Löw at the national team, but there his head coach emphasised tactical training and tactical development a lot more. Yet Flick was seen as someone who could give fresh input and regularly processed video analyses. Furthermore, he had a good understanding with many national players on a technical level. This might satisfy some needs in FC Bayern’s roster that had caused some unrest during the last season.
On a personal level, I believe Kovač and Flick will have an excellent working relationship. Where Sagnol and Ancelotti were doomed to fail from the beginning, here we could have a beneficial collaboration. Flick must prove to be assertive and confront Kovač with tactical issues and debates even when the latter identifies different causes. On the other hand, Flick must adapt to the head coach’s ideas. If both sides (the Kovač brothers and Flick) allow a balanced and open collaboration, I think this coaching team can make significant progress compared to the previous season. The fact that Flick was Kovač’s ideal candidate gives reason for hope.
Maurice: In Hansi Flick, Bayern get an experienced assistant coach with a lot of experience off the pitch, too, due to his time as DFB sporting director. Surely this is one of his greatest assets: Flick knows German football like few others and is said to have an excellent network, including in the youth sector. In the media, Flick’s part at the World Cup win 2014 in Brazil is often reduced to his focus on set pieces. In fact he additionally had a significant part to play in the planning preparation and training management.
He gathered these ideas and procedures in a handbook that was seen as a master plan not to be given up despite temporary setbacks. Every bit of work he coordinated with the coaching team. Jogi Löw rarely took an important decision without him. From his days as the national team’s assistant coach he has a good connection with many German internationals, such as skippers Neuer and Müller, which will help with his acceptance in the locker room as of the first day.
The former Bayern player is seen as a meticulous worker preferring to act in the background and not seeking the limelight. As such he is well suited to succeed Peter Hermann and Hermann Gerland. Some doubt might rest in his staying power: he resigned as DFB sporting director just as abruptly as his contract as chief executive at TSG Hoffenheim was ended.
Translated by Roger.