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My Bad Take: Niko Kovac was a good hire for Bayern Munich

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I still like Niko Kovac, but it is clear that it was never going to work at Bayern Munich for him — and I was too dumb to realize it.

Lille OSC v AS Monaco - Ligue 1 Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

At Bavarian Football Works, we are using this midseason break to expose ourselves (phrasing!). When working on Bayern Munich news and opinions on 24x7x365 basis, the entire staff develops some very good — and some very, very bad — takes. Whether these takes are relevant to past, present, or future opinions, we are going to let you in on some of the stupid things we think as part of a series. Without further ado, BFW will let is all hang out (damn it! phrasing again!).


My Bad Take: Niko Kovac was a good hire for Bayern Munich

Please note the past tense in the headline because I’m here to admit that I was totally wrong.

I was all-in on Niko Kovac as Bayern Munich’s manager and I still like Kovac, but it is clear that his style was never going to work for Bayern Munich. Here is what I was too dumb to realize at the time:

  • Bayern Munich’s front office was never going to let him have the players to run his system (And they surely didn’t rate the “scumbag gene” as much he did).
  • Bayern Munich’s front office was not even going to let him run his own system.
  • Kovac was never going to fully grasp how to meld the youngsters on Bayern Munich’s roster in with the veterans.
  • Kovac was never going to embrace a prototypical Bayern Munich 4-2-3-1.
  • Kovac was going to make the fatal mistake of not valuing Thomas Muller — which wrecked the team.
  • The very best thing Kovac did with Bayern was perform a karaoke version of “99 Luftballoons” — and NO ONE will release the footage!

Still, there are plenty of good things about Kovac. He has some very progressive training methods and ideas about fitness (lukewarm water during training!), but in the end, his style just was not Bayern Munich’s preferred methodology and the Bavarians could not conform to him, just as much as he cold not conform to Bayern.

I think Kovac is a good coach now and I think he’ll be even better in the future, but that hire— at that time — was just never going to work.