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Niko Kovac unsure of his future, Manuel Neuer demands a change at Bayern Munich after debacle in Frankfurt

Niko Kovac is determined to fight on, but his future at Bayern Munich seems more tenuous than ever. He and team captain Manuel Neuer searched for answers after a 1-5 humiliation against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Niko Kovac gave a sober assessment of the match after Bayern Munich was humiliated 1-5 by Eintracht Frankfurt, conceding three unanswered goals in the second half in an overall very poor performance by the team, even allowing that they were playing a man down for most of the match. Kovac indicated as much in his overall assessment of the game (all quotations from Sport1):

Everything for us was thrown out the window after eight minutes because of the red card. Despite being behind 0-2, we still took the game well into halftime. But when you then come out and the 3-1 goes in right away – but despite that you cannot lose in such a way. When you play 80 minutes a man down, then it’s hard. That is thus not what I expect of us. We certainly did not play well in the second half, but the red card is a decisive factor.

Kovac hinted at some frustration when the press asked him specifically what he told the team at halftime. “What do you want to know from me now?! I don’t have to share everything with you!” he replied.

He was very candid about the uncertainty of his own position, although also betraying a hint of frustration. Asked asked about his future at Bayern after the result, he answered, “I don’t know. You surely know better. We’re always talking in hypotheticals. I know how the business goes. I’m not naive or starry-eyed.”

Bayern has canceled public training tomorrow, leading some to speculate that the club may deliberate whether to dismiss Kovac as soon as tomorrow or Monday.

After the defeat in Frankfurt it was decided at short notice not to hold public training tomorrow. We ask all fans for their understanding.

But until Bayern formally dismisses him, Kovac is resolved never to give up, but rather to fight on. He was asked about comparisons to the fall crisis he weathered a year ago. He said,

I didn’t give up then and I will not give up now. Someone once told me: when such a situation arises, you cannot become unsettled. You have to hold on to the things you believe in.

Neuer: it was coming

Team captain Manuel Neuer likewise deplored the team’s performance, but he felt, somewhat alarmingly, that this Bayern had such a heavy defeat coming. He said,

We cannot concede five goals. We had some bad luck with the goals. The ball was deflected twice. We were inconsistent on defense. It’s not a giant surprise; it was in the offing. We didn’t play against Estonia, but against Frankfurt. We have to think things over.

He repeated that sentiment with respect to the crisis in which the team now certainly finds itself, adding that “something has to change”:

I think that it was foreseeable somewhat. That’s why what happened today is no shock for me. You saw the game in Bochum, so it’s not a massive surprise for me what happened here. It should not be attributed to the fact that we received a red card in the early stage of the game, but rather that things aren’t working. That’s what we have to tackle; we’re analyzing it and addressing things. But something definitely has to change.

Does Neuer expect the next few days to be “troubled” (unruhig)? His response: “Very troubled!” The cancellation of public training mentioned above is just the first sign. Neuer still held his teammates accountable for the dismal performance.

You see the result on the pitch. All of us are dissatisfied, and everyone has to start with himself. (...) He [Kovac] does the analysis and tries to bring us all along, and of course that’s his job. But every individual, no matter what role he plays for FC Bayern, has to start with himself and work for the team.

The team notably went to speak to the Bayern away fans after the game, David Alaba going so far as to climb up to the fans to speak with them directly. Neuer explained the sentiment behind that gesture:

First of all, it was important for us to go in solidarity as a team and apologize for the performance that we delivered today. We know that something like that isn’t normal. We’re grateful for the support at home and of course away in the stadiums. That’s why it’s not acceptable to lose a game here by so many goals.

All eyes will be on Bayern’s front office for movement in the coming days.

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