We’re only three match days into the new Bundesliga season, and Bayern Munich has already lost Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, and Rafinha to injury; all as a direct result from nasty challenges by opposing players. Tolisso came off the worst of the three, suffering an ACL tear during Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen and is now likely to miss the majority of the season after a successful operation.
Having seen a plethora of hard fouls committed on his players thus far this season, Niko Kovac has called for better protection from referees, echoing what both Uli Hoeness and Hasan Salihamidzic have already said. In an exclusive interview with Goal, Kovac stressed that stricter punishments need to be enforced before things get out of hand, increasing a player’s risk of serious injury:
I’ve always been someone who said that football is a contact sport. It’s part of it, but you also have to watch out for the health of the players. When it comes down to the bones or joints, you have to find sanctions much earlier - be it yellow cards or more, it cannot be that we’re losing players all the time. I’m talking about Bayern Munich, but there are other clubs, too, of course. here really has to be consideration for the players.
We also ran a poll on Twitter to see if people think the Bayern players deserve a bit more protection, and the majority of responses we’ve received seem to suggest that people do think they’re not being protected enough. Of course, there might be some bias in these answers, but something’s got to give when the opposition is causing at least one injury per match.
With all of our injuries so far, coped with the comments from both Brazzo and Uli Hoeness, does everyone think that @FCBayernUS players aren't being protected enough by referees?— Bavarian Football Works (@BavarianFBWorks) September 17, 2018
Bayern has a packed fixtures list across all competitions coming up to round out the month of September, heading into October. Looking forward, Kovac admitted that the injuries his side have sustained have been a massive blow, but still remains confident that Bayern have the quality to push on all fronts:
Of course I am very sad, disappointed and sad. Tolisso will be out for a long time, Rafinha returns a little faster. We have a very small squad and now two players are seriously injured and Rafinha is injured as well. Now we have to complete the upcoming games with a reduced number of players. This is annoying, of course. But we must not complain now, because we have the quality to do it nevertheless.