“Young, creative, and innovative” — these are the words club president Herbert Hainer used to describe Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann in a recent interview for Bayerischer Rudfunk, conducted after Der Klassiker but prior to the more recent Champions League trip to Plzeň.
If there were a shred of doubt about management’s confidence in manager — burnished, say, by these repeated assurances of confidence — Hainer is one man who would like to see them dispelled.
“[Julian] has a great career ahead of him,” Hainer said in remarks captured by @iMiaSanMia last Sunday, the day after Der Klassiker. “He now has a different caliber with FC Bayern than with Leipzig and Hoffenheim. Every one of us is absolutely convinced of him. That’s why we gave him a five-year contract to build something at Bayern.”
That undertaking — one which will require the Rekordmeister to move beyond the Robert Lewandowski era and continue to compete with the very best of Europe — is well under way, but in its second season, not without road bumps. Among those, a sputtering engine in recent league games and the second-half collapse against BVB that made a meme out of CEO Oliver Kahn.
But such patches are not uncommon, even for the strongest clubs. The question is whether the captain is right to right the course. Whatever Julian Nagelsmann is showing the bosses behind the scenes, it’s apparently leaving no doubt.
“He’s a very reflective and intelligent man,” Hainer continued. “Yesterday we watched back a few scenes [from the Borussia Dortmund game] on the computer and he sees exactly what needs to be done.”
It seems a tight-knit cooperation at Säbener Straße. Nagelsmann is in charge of the tactics and connecting with and motivating the squad, particularly leaders of the next generation such as Joshua Kimmich. Meanwhile his more experienced bosses, who have seen many a manager rise and fall, help guide his career development and maturation under their watchful eyes.
“We talk a lot with Julian, especially Oliver Kahn and [sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić],” Hainer concluded. “I have my office next door and see how often Julian is there. Of course, he also gets advice from experienced players and former professionals. But he knows exactly where he wants to go and sets the direction.”
That direction, Bayern fans can hope, will be leading back to the top of the Bundesliga table posthaste.