In case you missed it, legendary Bayern Munich trainer Hermann Gerland is set to leave the club this summer. While never rising higher than an assistant coach, the man known as Der Tiger is credited with the development of several Bayern and Germany stars over the years, including the bulk of the 2014 World Cup winning team.
The likes of Thomas Muller, Philipp Lahm, and Mats Hummels all owe their early careers to this one man. And now, Bastian Schweinsteiger, another one of Gerland’s protegees, has spoken about his departure from the club. Taking to Instagram, the 2014 World Cup winner had this to day:
A true @fcbayern legend!
You have accompanied me over large parts of my career and have become a true friend. Unforgotten are your instructive tips and your constant pushing - I’m grateful for that to this day!
Tiger, stay as you are!
Schweinsteiger was far more diplomatic than some other Bayern stars, such as Sepp Maier, who found it “incomprehensible” that another position couldn’t be found for Gerland at the club (via Tz). This probably hints at something more going on behind the scenes, as the Tiger’s departure coincides with both Hansi Flick’s departure and reports of friction between the coaching staff and Bayern’s new leadership.
It’s hard to think that a man who has stuck with Bayern for so many decades would simply decide on a change in scenery at the ripe old age of 66. Since Gerland has made it clear that he has no intention of retiring, he will probably take up a job at another club, maybe following Miroslav Klose elsewhere in the league. Gerland’s departure is an unfortunate reminder of the era of change that Bayern finds itself in, as older legends depart and new people come to take their place. Let’s hope that the club’s stature survives these changes.