Bayern Munich has already had a few frustrating results this season, the most recent of which being the 2-2 draw at Augsburg. As it stands, Bayern’s current record in the Bundesliga is 4 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss, and they sit in third place in the table behind VfL Wolfsburg (2nd) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (1st).
Despite the bitter taste left behind by Bayern’s 2-2 draw at Augsburg, especially the loss of Niklas Süle to an ACL injury, there’s still support for Niko Kovac. During Sport1’s “CHECK24 Doppelpass,” Kovac received backing from former Bayern player Steffan Effenberg and current Mönchengladbach president Hans Meyer (via AZ).
Kovac, Effenberg said, is still the right man for the manager’s job at Bayern and he called for the players to step up their performances:
Kovac is definitely the right coach. It’s now up to the players. Sometimes the players have to get together without the coach and ask themselves how things will continue.
Much like Effenberg, Meyer feels that Kovac is making the right decisions and training his team well, but that the players are more at blame for some of the poor results than he is:
We’re now discussing formations. But Kovac has proven that he can coach really well in the Bundesliga. Expectations at Bayern are higher. Kovac is not supported enough. Kovac hasn’t lost because two or three haven’t played. Belief in him is lacking, also on the part of the team.
For the Augsburg match, one of Bayern’s glaring weak points was a high number of missed chances, particularly late in the first half and throughout the second. Speaking after the match in the press conference, Kovac highlighted both the early mistakes his side made the number of chances they failed to convert. On paper, there is no reason why Bayern should not have collected three points, having allowed just two shots from Augsburg, but Kovac was immediately put back under the microscope again after the final whistle had gone.
From a Bayern perspective, there’s an element of truth to what both Effenberg and Meyer say. There’s no reason for Bayern to be hitting the panic button or thinking about a managerial switch. The players need to respond accordingly this week and weekend against Olympiakos in the Champions League and then Union Berlin in the Bundesliga.
Kovac himself was very annoyed by the goals conceded literally in the first and last minutes of the game. He said,
We conceded goals after 23 seconds and in the 93rd minute. That cannot be allowed to happen, especially because we showed the fast goal by Augsburg in Dortmund in preparing for the game.
Florian Niederlechner pulled the same trick against Dortmund, scoring 31 seconds into the game. Kovac concluded,
Then came the coup de grace at the end. We run at Augsburg’s goal three against two, lose the ball and concede the equalizer on the counter. [...] We cheat ourselves of our own reward for our good game.