No one in the Bayern Munich squad has played more minutes than Joshua Kimmich this season and the 24-year-old is establishing himself as one of the true leaders in the squad. In a recent interview on Welt am Sonntag (via SportBild), the right back explained how he’s fully behind manager Niko Kovac and that most of their troubles in the earlier part of the season came from costly individual mistakes that Kovac really didn’t have much control over.
It’s clear and obvious that Bayern had their fair share of struggles midway through the hinrunde, but Kimmich feels that Kovac wasn’t at fault for most of it:
In the beginning it was said: This is the perfect trainer! At the beginning of the season we won the games very confidently. Then we were often too careless. There were a lot of individual mistakes, for which the coach can’t do anything.
Being at a club like Bayern, Kimmich continued, the expectations are at an all-time high, so even the slightest slip-up is going to warrant criticism from multiple angles and you have to be able to deal with it:
We are expected to march through the league. We are measured at the maximum. As a coach and as a player you have to deal with it.
In the interview, Kimmich also spoke about German National Team manager Joachim Low and his decision to ax compatriots Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, and Thomas Muller from the squad. Like a lot of his Bayern and Die Mannschaft teammates, Kimmich was critical of Low’s decision, but he admitted that they talked it over:
We talked about this. He gave me the feeling that he understood my statement the way I meant it. It was not a criticism of his sporting decision.
He’s certainly slated to be a future captain of Bayern, but Kimmich did also reveal that it hasn’t always been smooth sailing during his time with the club thus far. After working his way into the squad under Pep Guardiola, he started to lose minutes during Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure as Bayern manager. During that period, Kimmich admitted, he did think about potentially leaving the club:
I say quite frankly that for me there were times when it was very difficult. I was dissatisfied with the lack of time and thought about whether FC Bayern was the only club in the world for me.
What’s in the past is in the past, though, and Kimmich has proven himself to be one of the world’s best right backs. His presence in the squad cannot be understated and he’s also racking up more league assists than any other defender across Europe’s top flights: