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BFW Roundtable: Was Bayern Munich’s firing of Julian Nagelsmann too short-sighted?

A few of the BFW staffers have their say on whether they think the decision to sack Nagelsmann was a bit short-sighted.

FC Bayern München v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The news of Julian Nagelsmann’s sacking as Bayern Munich manager seemed to have come out of left field. Thomas Tuchel has an impressive managerial track record, but nothing seemed to be going inherently wrong at Bayern under Nagelsmann. Sure, they are second in the Bundesliga right now, behind what’s been a really impressive Borussia Dortmund side, especially in the calendar year of 2023. The Bayern-no-more manager guided the Rekordmeister past Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and on to the quarter-finals, while they're also alive and well in the DFB-Pokal, with a quarter-finals clash against SC Freiburg right around the corner at the beginning of April.

Quite literally, a treble is still on the cards for Bayern, and they can reclaim the top spot in the Bundesliga with a win next Saturday against Dortmund at the Allianz Arena. This begs the question: why did the club’s front office make the decision to sack Nagelsmann just shortly after they were publicly praising him to the press? Do they just feel Tuchel is that much better of an option right now?

There’s since been reports coming out suggesting that the club’s board and front office felt Nagelsmann was too responsible for the club’s decline to second place in the Bundesliga, a lack of player development, and that they weren’t fond of his skiing trip to Austria as the international break just started. For what it’s worth, that all seems a little bit ridiculous, all things considered.

So, we have to ask amongst our Bavarian Football Works staff: was this decision perhaps far too premature and short-sighted from Bayern’s board and front office?

FC Bayern Muenchen Attends Oktoberfest 2022
One last PROST for Julian...
Photo by Stefan Matzke - PoolGetty Images


I am always cautious in expressing opinions before we know all of the facts. In fact, as I type this, the club has not even made an official announcement about the change. For all practical purposes we probably have about 10% of the information we need to really come to a conclusion. While I can’t claim to understand why the change has been made, I do understand the timing. The season hangs in the balance over the next few weeks, with the Dortmund, Freiburg and Manchester City matches all just around the corner. The Bayern brass at this time had to take a hard look at things and decide if they believed Nagelsmann could deliver what we need down the stretch run and going forward. Clearly their answer was “no”. It also allows the use of the international break, or what is left of it, to transition to the new system. My advice, however, is to stay tuned. I think a lot more will be unearthed over the next few months.

Xavier (RIPLT)

Yes. It is one billion percent premature (immature?). I don’t get why you would let the coach that you supposedly supported go for…something we don’t know yet. Still, you paid a then-record transfer fee for the manager, gave him a lot of players that would improve the team (and the subsequent results…most of them), risked player relationships for his preferred coaching staff, and you let it all go just because a high-profile name was available?

It doesn’t make sense. We were in such a good position after beating PSG; Nagelsmann has made us a more varied team and no longer centered on one player (i.e. Robert Lewandowski), we were a whole different team to what we were a couple of years ago. It’s a given that he’s going to commit mistakes; he’s a young coach who will eventually iron out those faults. What I’m saying is we should’ve given him time. I know that Nags will become one of the best managers there is, but because our board is short-sighted, we’ll never see that at Bayern. Watch him tear it up for a different team as well.

I should also note that Bayern fans don’t seem to last long here: Corentin Tolisso was injury prone and never proved himself, Marcel Sabitzer had to be loaned out because he wanted more games, and now Nagelsmann was removed from his dream job for something that I’m sure is out of his control. Terrible move by the board. I already said that I would give Tuchel a chance. If he works out alright, fine. If not, the board is the prime suspect of this whole fiasco.

Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund - DFB Cup Semi Final Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Mike Lynch

The thing I think I hate the most about this decision to fire Nagelsmann is simple. Everything. I hate everything about this move. I hate the timing. I mean, right after an improbable two leg victory over a club that makes Pablo Escobar’s spending habits look like Oliver Twist’s, is NOT the time to fire your coach.

The same coach you paid a massive release fee in order to even negotiate a contract. That same contract that you, as a club, are still obligated to pay him! I hate the look. If reports are to be believed that Bayern did this because they Thomas Tuchel winked in their direction, and they were afraid he would be scooped by Real Madrid, just looks so desperate. And Desperation is a stinky cologne.

I hate the reasoning. I mean, why? As mentioned earlier, it’s not like Bayern are out of the biggest club tournament in the world. They are still very much in it. Is it really because Bayern MIGHT not win their 11th straight Bundesliga title? Quite frankly, if Bayern lost the BL title as well as the Pokal, but won the Champions League, that should still be considered a massive success. But most of all, I hate what this means for future coaches.

Hansi Flick was noticeably restrained during his press conference when asked about the Nagelsmann firing because, deep down, he knows this could have been him. Even after winning the treble, if he had a bad run of form, or if his offense had lost that little extra bit of oomph after seeing the best striker in the world transfer out, this very easily could have been his head on the chopping block.

I really had hoped the Bayern board would show a little more loyalty to a young coach that they had been chasing for years and investing a lot of money bring on board. But to fire him unceremoniously in the middle of a season because an old flame you’d been chasing for even longer looks your direction, is just scummy. And now Tuchel is in the unenviable position where this season can only end in triumph or disaster. There is no in between. And god help him if Jürgen Klopp ever slides into our DMs.


Yes, 100%. Just when it seemed like Julian Nagelsmann had figured out what was working best for this team, the rug was swept out from under him.

For the first time all season, I felt like Nagelsmann solved the Rubik’s Cube that is this roster. He had them positioned in a way — and with the personnel — that had them functioning best as a team. all starts over for a crash course to finish the season with the team challenging for three titles. If it does not work...the board should be flamed.

There is nothing wrong with Thomas Tuchel except the timing. This is an established, veteran team...he will undoubtedly change things up from training session format to formation to personnel. This is a massive gamble — and one that was not necessary to take at this point.

The one caveat in this whole deal — and it feels like there is more to the story — is that we don’t know exactly what happened behind the scenes with Nagelsmann and the club or Nagelsmann and the actual team. Maybe there was an unforgivable grievance we don’t know about. Until something like emerges, we can only go off of the reports that have been flowing out from Germany.

Can’t get enough of this story? Then check out our reaction podcast! It gets pretty spicy at times. Listen to it below or at this link.

As always, we appreciate all the support!

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