When both Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovac took over Bayern Munich each coach decided to send Thomas Müller to the bench while in his prime.
Those decisions did not work out for either manager and they led to each being prematurely sacked. Some have wondered if Julian Nagelsmann will make the same mistake, but the new boss does not seem to want to come in and completely flip the script on Bayern Munich’s roadmap to success.
“I got to know Thomas as extremely ambitious, with an extreme will to win. He was frustrated after the Euros. With him it is like this: If he stays healthy, there are few coaches who would do without him,” Nagelsmann said in a recent interview with Bild. “He has outstanding qualities and is always one of the most difficult players to prepare for an opponent. Because you can’t grab him, because he has this incredible sense of space. He’s got such a drive that he always wants to play and give the best — why should I do without a player of this quality?”
When asked if he planned on giving players like Müller. Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, and Leon Goretzka special treatment, Nagelsmann said those players do not want any sort of privileged status.
“The interesting thing is, the players at FC Bayern don’t want any special status, they want success. It goes without saying that you have a bit more conversations with the experienced players, who are also very influential in the dressing room, and listen to their opinions. It’s incredibly important,” Nagelsmann said. “The players have to feel comfortable with what you are doing: with the atmosphere, but also with the content of what you are training. Football is a game of the players who have to implement it. As a trainer, you are not there to realize yourself. The players have to put what you want on the pitch with a good feeling.”
While Nagelsmann will not create an environment with different treatment for different players, he will plan on have a solid, consistent foundation for his lineups.
“If you see the axis Hansi used and the players who have collected the most minutes of play and performed outstandingly, then you can see that it is always good to have players on the central axis who have a certain level of experience, quality and bring the appropriate will to win,” said Nagelsmann. “Whether it’s Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich, Manuel Neuer, Robert Lewandowski, Leon Goretzka. These are all key players, and I could name many more.”