In his column for t-online, Stefan Effenberg has criticized some of the comments Karl-Heinz Rummenigge made about Niko Kovac. A few weeks ago, Rummenigge had come out and said he was unhappy with Kovac’s rotation policy midway through the hinrunde and that it was one of the main reasons for Bayern’s poor run of form. He even went as far as saying he was a “bitter enemy” of rotation and that Kovac’s tactical decisions during Bayern’s rough patch prompted discussions between the two of them along with Uli Hoeness.
Effenberg feels that Rummenigge’s comments about were a bit harsh and he said that he thinks criticism of Kovac like that should only come from people outside of the club, not internally:
Bayern is at the top of the Bundesliga and in the Pokal semi-final. In spite of that, there’s always discussion and speculation about Niko Kovac. I have to say honestly: I’ll be sick if I follow that. Kovac is either shot from his own ranks or questioned from the outside. That’s disrespectful. In particular, I can’t understand the statements of CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on his TV appearance with Sky.
Effenberg went on to say that he feels sorry for Kovac because the criticism from Bayern’s front office caused quite a frenzy in the media and painted a picture that might not be entirely accurate:
I get stomach aches with these statements. I feel sorry for Niko Kovac. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has to be aware that this causes a media storm and costs the coach a lot of energy. Even if the demands and the environment can’t be compared: I can’t remember a single negative statement about Kovac in Frankfurt. Eintracht has been so much better at this. That’s the example Bayern should follow. I’m sure that Niko Kovac is the right person for the change at Bayern.
There are really so many angles you could take when looking at both Effenberg’s and Rummenigge’s comments. On one hand, this is Bayern Munich and it’s universally understood that the standards are always going to be incredibly high, so Rummenigge had every right to say he was unhappy with Kovac’s rotation policy and that there’s never a job guarantee for anyone at the club. On the other hand, Effenberg does pose a solid argument when he brought up the negative media attention it put on the club, especially for a front office that held a press conference earlier in the season to essentially tell the press to stop publishing fabricated stories. Not to mention, Kovac inherited a set squad when he took the helm and really wasn’t able to make any of the signings he wanted to last summer. After this summer, he’ll have a completely bolstered and rejuvenated squad to work with next season, so his fortunes will likely be far better from the get go.
Rummenigge’s comments could easily have been blown out of proportion and taken slightly out of context, so perhaps he would’ve been better off choosing his words better or not mentioning anything at all. Effenberg has every right to say Rummenigge’s comments were a bit too much with Bayern in the midst of pushing for the domestic double. The club all needs to be in sync with one another as they push for the two titles: the manager, the players, the front office - everyone. Any unnecessary disruptions in that sense of togetherness should be avoided at all costs.
There’s only five Bundesliga matches left and Bayern lead Borussia Dortmund by 1 point. Kovac is the manager, and he needs to be fully backed if Bayern are going to the job and see it over the line.