Let’s start out with this: You can debate the validity of Bild’s report (print edition) that Hansi Flick’s future with Bayern Munich might be uncertain.
To be clear, there are many reasons to doubt such an account or support it, depending how tight your tinfoil hat is. What we know, however, is that the relationship between the manager and the front office in Bavaria is likely not as rosy as both sides want us to believe.
If you want to look at things objectively, the Bayern Munich front office has had some hits and some misses with their personnel decisions. One general theme of late, though, is that aside of Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane, the players Bayern Munich have brought in could all be considered low-risk — both financially and from a sporting perspective:
- Alphonso Davies: Low risk, big hit
- Ivan Perisic: Low risk, big hit
- Philippe Coutinho: Low risk, decent hit
- Bouna Sarr: Low risk, looks like a miss
- Marc Roca: Low risk, can’t get on the pitch
- James Rodriguez: Low risk, but a miss
Sure, we could go on and on through every player transaction and rate it accordingly, but one thing is clear: Roster planning works best when the front office and manager collaborate and design a vision.
Right now in Bavaria, there does not appear to be enough group-thinking to really make this work for all the important parties involved. Flick, because he is a professional, would never — and I mean never — publicly go on record to show a schism with his superiors. Similarly, Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidzic, Herbert Hainer, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge would not go public to say they can’t get aligned with their manager.
If you are waiting for those things to happen, so you can have proof that there is an issue, they’ll never happen. And, yes, that is a sign of a strong organization.
Still, you can certainly read through the lines on where Flick falls on some of the recent acquisitions made by the club, that he did not necessarily endorse:
- Leroy Sane: The high profile winger has yet to find his form consistently and has started to show signs of the petulant attitude we had heard about. Still, Flick has not written him off, but treated him like any other player not quite hitting the mark.
- Marc Roca: Flick has already publicly talked about some areas where Roca needs to improve, but when it comes time to call on a midfielder, Roca rarely gets the nod.
- Bouna Sarr: Flick has essentially relegated him to the stands and prefers Niklas Süle at right-back at this stage.
- Douglas Costa: A low risk option as the fourth wing that has juts not worked out.
- Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting: The little-used Robert Lewandowski understudy was never going to have a prominent role barring an injury to the Polish Hitman.
The speculation, of course, is that the only move Flick endorsed was for Tiago Dantas — who appears to have his own set of issues. Whatever the case, the best and most successful organizations across all sports require strategic planning, great communication, and a feeling that the manager/coach and the sporting director/general manager have an equally important say.
Without that — especially when the manager/coach has already won every major competition — the opportunity for discord to develop is enhanced.
So, while maybe this is a non-story, there is also a chance that it is not. And if it is not, Bayern Munich could have a big problem.
Finding a good manager is tough.
Finding a great manager is extremely difficult.
Finding a manager who is a proven winner and who has shown a unique ability to transform a roster and build relationships with his players is nothing short of a Dumb & Dumber scene:
Anyway, just how true the initial report was will continue to be debated for days and weeks ahead. But you can bet that if Germany flames out of the Euros (have you taken a quick look at how the key players on the roster aside of Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, and Manuel Neuer have performed this year?), the DFB will probably come calling for Flick.
And with Die Mannschaft, Flick will get far more control of roster decisions that he appears to want with Bayern Munich. That alone, might be enough of an incentive to entice him to move. Such an opportunity could be very appealing to the 55-year-old.
And for you #MullerMafia folks ... Flick is the one manager of the last three full-time bosses who has had a sense of how your guy can be effective. The chances of a new manager coming in and figuring out the Muller puzzle — while not trying to exert his/her own ideas might be entering Lloyd Christmas territory as well.
If you thought watching The Raumdeuter piss away his late 20’s on the bench, it won’t be any easier seeing it happen during the last few productive seasons of his career in his early-to-mid 30’s.
Like in politics, no one individual for a team or club should have complete control. For Bayern Munich, though, there has to be more — or better — collaboration.
If not, Bayern Munich fans and front office personnel alike might have to bone up on their Cinderella lyrics because sometimes you: “Don’t know what you got, till it’s gone.”