There is no doubt that former Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac can coach.
There is some doubt, however, about his people skills and ability to work with his superiors.
There were numerous reports that his style rubbed some players the wrong way while with Bayern Munich, but now it appears that Kovac did not buy into some processes that the club wanted to implement at AS Monaco. That move appears to have created a schism between Kovac and sporting director, Paul Miytchell, which could be the real reason that Kovac is — allegedly — on the chopping block.
L’Equipe reported that Kovac lost the locker room, but Bild says that just is not the case:
“L’Equipe” reports: Kovac lost the locker room. But BILD knows: In fact, the trigger for the dismissal was a dispute with the leadership.
Sports director Paul Mitchell (40), who worked for RB Leipzig between 2017 and 2019, had appointed a “performance manager” to Kovac in the summer with James Bunce, who was supposed to take over control of the training. Mitchell and Bunce previously worked together at Tottenham.
Kovac looked at Bunce’s training philosophy for a month, then decided: the training plans did not fit the rhythm of the game, with English weeks through the league and Europa League.
From then on, the “performance manager” was left out, which led to an ongoing dispute with sports director Mitchell. In the end, Kovac will lose the power struggle with the sports director.
As Bild points out, AS Monaco is likely right where it should be in terms of performance:
Kovac made it into the eighth finals of the Europa League unbeaten with Monaco. Monaco is currently in 6th place in Ligue 1. Kovac had won three of the last four games before the winter break. Two days before Christmas there was even a three-point against the top team from Stade Rennes. Nevertheless, the surprising discharge now follows ...
Whatever the case, should Kovac get formally dismissed, he will surely have opportunities waiting for him in Germany.