You might think that Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann looks at his list of available players and laments the decision to give his players a couple of weeks off to close 2021.
You would be wrong.
Even with a squad ravaged by COVID-19, injuries, and excused absences, Nagelsmann would not have done anything differently.
“I’m not going to get aggressive about it, but I’m already tingling. I’m not an educator, I’m a coach. Our players are all adults. There is no option of not going on vacation. Players need psychological rest and should see their family at Christmas,” Nagelsmann said at his press conference this morning (as captured by Tz). “In Upamecano’s case, he’s in Senegal, you can’t change that. Why we have more cases now than others, I don’t know. It is just unfortunate. Why should I be crying about it now? I was also just out eating and got infected, it happens.”
Nagelsmann is right. Enforcing some kind of travel ban or restricting players might have caused more lingering issues than it was worth. While dealing with the multitude of COVID-19 cases and a thinner roster is tough now, Nagelsmann seems resigned to the fact that the coronavirus will eventually hit every club — no matter what measures they take. Moreover, keeping his players mentally and physically fresh will be key as this squad has big goals for the second half of the season.