A few days after Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge raised eyebrows by stating no one has a job guarantee at the club — which was supposedly aimed at Niko Kovač, Uli Hoeness spoke to Kicker in the Croat’s defense. In a recent appearance on Wontorra — der Fußball Talk, Rummenigge had stated,
There are no job guarantees with us. For no one. Everyone who works for Bayern Munich has to deliver. Whoever can’t deal with pressure is at the wrong club.
That remark pour fuel on a fire of media speculation that the club is on the hunt for a new manager and that Kovač will be replaced after the end of the season, irrespective of how the season ends for the club. The constant criticism and rumors have evidently frustrated the manager. While speaking to the press after Bayern’s 5-0 victory over Dortmund, Kovač said,
When you win, you haven’t done anything right. When you lose, you did everything wrong. Everyone has to follow the principle: what I would not like someone else to do to me, I will not do to another.
Although some observers felt that Kovač seemingly proved Rummenigge’s point about dealing with pressure, Hoeness feels there is nothing wrong with the coach’s comments. He knows what kind of pressure Kovač had been through. He stated,
[Kovac’s comments] was justified, if he had been put under pressure all week. In such a tense situation as our coach has experienced in the past few weeks, no one can reasonably work in the long term.
The Croat has experienced many ups and downs over the season, but he lifted the club from fifth place and put Dortmund in its place at home, grabbing 5 goals and three points in the Der Klassiker. Hoeness said,
[After the match against Dusseldorf] I had the feeling that everything was a disaster and nothing was working, but since then we have hardly lost a game. And even if we are second [at the end of the season], that’s still not a disaster.
It is particularly surprising to hear it from the not-always-buoyant president of the club that the front office would have Kovač’s back even if the team finishes second in the Bundesliga. Before the showdown against Borussia Dortmund Hoeness had said that Bayern had to deliver. He qualified that statement to Kicker, however, arguing that he did not mean the coach, but rather the team as a whole. He said,
How am I supposed to collaborate with someone that I call into question on every occasion? Everything was always okay. If I’m dissatisfied, that does not mean by far that we’re going to give the coach the boot. You can still work critically with one another.
There are still six matches to go before the Meisterschale is awarded to the victor, and each one of those six matches is equally important. It is up to the coach now to make sure that the team knows what’s in front of them and how they’ll be rewarded if they do their job well.
Bayern’s next match is against Fortuna Düsseldorf on April 14th at Merkur Spiel Arena.