Bayern Munich’s 4-2-3-1 system has almost become synonymous with the club.
Some of the club’s recent hires — Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovac — attempted to move away from that formation and the basic operating principles that Bayern Munich has become known for.
Needless to say, those two situations ended horribly.
So, when Julian Nagelsmann start experimenting with a variety of different system, some fans automatically assumed the worst. The native Bavarian, however, thinks his core beliefs for how football should be played make his style a fit for Bayern Munich.
More than a formation, Nagelsmann thinks is the principles within a formation — systemic approaches for how the game should be played — are more important than how players are aligned.
“As a player, you have different coaches, each offering their own type of training. You take these influences with you. But in general it is important to develop your own philosophy. You have to work on creating your own ideas and your own rules. At the end of my playing career, I was injured a lot and had a lot of time to think about how I would do certain things as a coach. When I became a coach, I worked on my philosophy week after week,” Nagelsmann told UEFA.com (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “The basic formation has been in place since my first year as head coach in the U-19s. The main aspect is to control the game by winning the ball high up the pitch and changing the pace while in possession. I have certain principles, so in general I don’t make any compromises. They always apply, no matter what the situation is, who the opponent is or who is playing.”
Nagelsmann, however, thinks there is a fair amount of flexibility that needs to be in place for a coach, players, and the club itself.
“Of course, when you work with people, you have to be flexible in some areas. This is completely normal. as a coach you have to be empathetic. There are things that should always apply, but there are also things in life where you can allow a bit of ‘laissez-faire’,” Nagelsmann said. “The players have to get to know your philosophy at the beginning, but you also have to get to know the players yourself. I’m convinced that a club should only hire a coach if their philosophy is the same.”