Former Bayern munich player and current KFC Uerdingen manager Stefan Effenberg has already voiced his opinion that Niko Kovac shouldn’t take all of the blame for some Bayern’s poor performances this season thus far. In his most recent column for t-online (via SportBild), Effenberg doubled down on his affirmation and also highlighted the fact that Kovac has been faced with difficult injury problems on his squad, making life a lot more difficult for him.
While he’s made his opinion clear, Effenberg said he has enough to worry about within his own club, KFC Uerdingen, but he was critical of Philippe Coutinho being picked in the lineup so often without enough “playing rhythm”:
I certainly won’t give them any advice from the side as to which positions that might be — I have enough to do in Uerdingen. But it’s clear to me that they should not get any players who do not have any playing rhythm like Coutinho.
The criticism that has been directed at Kovac is a bit too harsh and exaggerated for Effenberg’s liking. Losing key players from last season and losing Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez to long term injuries have created a more difficult situation for the Croatian manager:
The situation is not nearly as dire as it has been depicted. There have been exaggerated expectations. To add to that, one can still observe that Philippe Coutinho hardly played last season and is still trying to find his rhythm.
Only 4 players in the squad can truly be relied on week in and week out according to Effenberg:
Robert Lewandowski, who, at the moment, is scoring in almost every game – and Thomas Müller, who always delivers when he gets playing time. On that point also Manuel Neuer, who has been playing very consistently this season – and Joshua Kimmich, who has successfully made the jump and has become a leader in the team.
A contract extension for Thomas Muller?
Effenberg also strongly believes that Bayern should do everything they can to get Thomas Muller to sign a contract extension. His current contract with Bayern runs through the end of June 2021 and he’s fallen slightly out of favor with Kovac, featuring primarily as a substitute off the bench so far this season.
Effenberg thinks Bayern should have Muller sign a contract extension as soon as possible and is strongly against selling him to another club at any point in the foreseeable future (AZ)
There’s no way he should be sold! Bayern should think twice, and fight for Müller in order to extend his contract beyond 2021. You can’t forget his role as a great role model. More important than anything, though, is his talent-based value, and he’s unbelievably valuable there.
Kovac, Effenberg feels, should perhaps take a deeper look at the squad as a whole to see how he can better utilize Muller on a more frequent basis:
Of course they can’t give him away in January - and they can’t give him away in the summer either. He only turned 30 in September - I came back to Bayern at that same age. Even the most criticized coach Niko Kovac deserves complete confidence. The Bayern bosses need to take a close look at the squad, in order to tweak different spots where possible.