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Is Niko Kovač still fighting for his job at Bayern Munich?

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Disgruntled players and dissatisfied board members cast a shadow of Niko Kovac despite the team’s current position in the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal.

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - MAY 11: Niko Kovac, Manager of Bayern Munich gives his team instructions during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and FC Bayern Muenchen at Red Bull Arena on May 11, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany.
Niko Kovac at Red Bull Arena, May 11, 2019.
Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

It has been a difficult season for Bayern Munich. The squad is on the verge of being rejuvenated and some new players are already heading to Bavaria. Despite all the difficulties, Bayern Munich is on its way of winning a double. Next week Bayern has to (at least) make a draw, and they will be crowned Bundesliga champions. On 25th of May, DFB Pokal final will be played in Berlin against RB Leipzig.

There is a good chance that Bayern will win the double, but there are more serious problems underlying. The club had a big crisis in the Hinrunde, but was able to overcome it. After it came the inglorious Champions League fallout. Kovač was greatly criticized for excessively defensive tactics. In the Rückrunde, Bayern played generally well, but still struggled from time to time (most recently against Nürnberg, Hannover 96, and RB Leipzig). This year’s DFB Pokal run has generally been unconvincing, and Bayern can probably consider themselves lucky to be in the final after so many narrow wins.

The latest reports by SportBild claim that there is a core of players that are increasingly dissatisfied by the development of the team under Kovač. The dissatisfaction was probably there in the beginning and has varied throughout the season. But it has grown again in light of the latest poor performances (mentioned above).

Unluckily for Kovač, not only players are dissatisfied, but also board members. They are questioning Kovač’s ability. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has openly stated that “there are no job guarantees at us [Bayern Munich],” leaving Kovač’s position in doubt for the next season. The question is — is Kovač the right man to lead the new generation of Bayern?

Hasan Salihamidžić also added fuel to the flame after his latest interview. He stated that Kovač “has complete support from me”, and after added — “I can only speak for myself.” That sentence right there leaves us all questioning the future of the managerial position.

Niko Kovač has not remained silent

Amid the rumors and speculations, the coach himself has offered a few explanations. Kovac said,

If we show the passion that we have already done this season, then you can go far. But you have to show it more often.

Kovač seems to blame the players for lacking passion in some matches. He even went as far as to exempt himself from the criticism. He claimed,

Every coach puts everything in the players’ hands. It’s up to the player to bring to life the impulses that he receives from the coach.

Conclusion

If the topic of this article wasn’t Bayern, it would be silly to talk about replacing Kovač with the team in pole position for the double. Lucien Favre lost a 9 point lead and still gets a job guarantee at Borussia Dortmund. Neither Ancelotti nor Heynckes managed to win the DFB Pokal in 2017 and 2018, yet no questions were asked after they ‘‘only’’ won the Bundesliga title — why? Primarily because of how Bayern played then. So-called “Bayern DNA” was obvious when they managed the team, or perhaps more accurately when Heynckes managed the team. The main question is — is Kovač capable of improvement or is this his peak, and will he be able to make the most expensive Bayern squad ever the Champions League winners?

Kovac’s future is thus up the air and the last two matches will probably determine his fate. If he loses one of the two titles and if the team plays with lukewarm passion, there is a decent chance that Kovač will be history.

What is your opinion? Do you want to see Kovač coaching Bayern next season or somebody else?

Poll

If you were Bayern’s CEO would you sack Niko Kovač?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Yes, he didn’t prove himself at Bayern.
    (361 votes)
  • 7%
    No, he proved himself at Bayern.
    (81 votes)
  • 56%
    Not this Summer. I’d give him one more year, and then decide on his future.
    (579 votes)
1021 votes total Vote Now