Julian Nagelsmann, Hansi Flick — and trying to play without a striker.
But that’s not all they have in common. Bayern Munich’s past and current manager are tied through the German Rekordmeister’s links to the DFB, where Hansi Flick is now in charge of the men’s national team — which draws, as ever, heavily from the Bundesliga’s big dogs.
That requires a healthy amount of coordination between the two, even if it’s not — necessarily — about exchanging tactical ideas. With the 2022 World Cup upcoming, Nagelsmann was asked about the relationship in a pre-game presser ahead of the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim match:
Nagelsmann on contact with Hansi Flick ahead of the WC: "We text each other from time to time. We have a good relationship. A good exchange is always important. I ask for his opinion and he asks for mine. In the interests of the DFB and in our interests, we work well together." pic.twitter.com/fYzns0qzEq— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 21, 2022
So while Nagelsmann may not be texting Niklas Süle, he might still be texting about him — and others. It’s often said that it behooves the German national team coach to crib some tactics from Bayern, given the size of the Bayern contingent on the team, so the discussions may well extend to that area, too.
This adds a small layer of intrigue: Nagelsmann resisted the idea of playing a more traditional striker up top until injuries forced his hand recently, while Flick went through all six test runs in the UEFA Nations League with scant playing time for Lukas Nmecha’s, currently the closest thing in the German national team setup.
Will Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s late rise inspire a change of heart from Flick? Can Hansi impart some man-management wisdom to his younger peer? What else might they be talking about? To be a fly on those cellular data waves!