With so much change at Bayern Munich this past offseason, there were always going to be question marks as to whether or not they’d be able to continue their domestic dominance and claim a tenth consecutive Bundesliga title. Some call it a transition period, while others refer to it a changing of the guard, but with Julian Nagelsmann coming in from RB Leipzig and Bayern losing veterans David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez, the cause for concern was justified.
As a young and relatively inexperienced coach coming to the biggest club in German football and one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Nagelsmann was always going to face a difficult task in silencing the skeptics, but it is nothing that he’s shied away from. Injuries and Euro 2020 time off for key players left him with a thin squad for Bayern’s preseason, during which they didn’t win any of their tune-up friendlies, but the DFL-Supercup triumph over Borussia Dortmund midweek shifted momentum in Nagelsmann’s direction. Even without said momentum from his first piece of silverware at Bayern, former club president Uli Hoeness recently reiterated his confidence in Bayern’s new manager.
Speaking on a recent television appearance on RTL (via Abendzeitung), Hoeness expressed his confidence in Nagelsmann, reassuringly insisting that he’s the right man for the job, and was the right man to replace Hansi Flick. In doing so, he also took a pot shot at some of the wealthier clubs in Europe that have foreign ownership with endless pocket books. “He (Nagelsmann) is the coach who is exactly the right person for the current time. We have to build something, we need an alternative concept to these hundreds of millions that sheik clubs and oligarchs can spend,” he said.
While Nagelsmann might not have as much experience as some of Bayern’s previous managers, he has a track record from both Leipzig and Hoffenheim of working really well with younger players and inspiring them to go on and perform. “We have to find a new way and we need a man like him who still has goals, who has not yet gained much, who creates a spirit of optimism and, above all, who can work with young people,” Hoeness praised.
Hoeness also expressed his frustration with the fact that so much criticism was lodged Nagelsmann’s way after the poor results in the preseason friendlies, and subsequently, the 1-1 Bundesliga opener draw at Borussia Monchengladbach. In full context, all things considered, Nagelsmann has done well in a difficult situation with the amount of first team players still not available. His continued faith in youngster Josip Stanisic is a prime example of a tough decision that he’s gotten right on two occasions. “It’s a terrible development in our society that only the result counts and nobody looks behind what is actually there. The change of power in German football that you’ve been dreaming of for ten years and so on. I think you’ll have to wait a long time,” Hoeness explained.