Is former Bayern Munich and Germany coach Hansi Flick a flash in the pan?
It might seem harsh to ask that question, but the man who was appointed to stop the slide that started under Joachim Löw, could not get better results than his old boss with a very similar group of players.
For most of the last year, Flick must have dreamt of the glory days of arguing over organizational power with Hasan “Brazzo” Salihamidžić at Bayern Munich, rather than trying to strategize a way to make the German national team relevant on the international stage.
By all measures, Flick was the natural choice to succeed Löw, who simply lost touch with how get the most out of the Germans. After some initial success, which pumped life back into the cold, dead body of German national team football, Flick quickly fell into many of the traps that ultimately felled Low.
Questionable roster selections, unclear strategies, too much experimenting, and a failure to truly connect with the greater group were things that both Löw and Flick struggled with.
For Flick, it was especially surprising considering how he managed his magical run at Bayern Munich. During those days, Flick was bulletproof. Sure, his tactics were high risk, but the coach drew the best out of his group for most of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 campaigns.
If not for an untimely injury to Robert Lewandowski, Flick might have pushed the Bavarians to another Champions League crown.
Regardless, Flick’s run with Germany — especially with the poor results that have occurred in the last 10 months — have many wondering if the coach was nothing more than lucky.
While that certainly seems short-sighted, the cataclysmic fall of Germany from where things started under Flick to where they were after the Japan match has left many doubting how good of manager Flick really.
Where do you fall on Flick?
How do you rate Hansi Flick?
This poll is closed
Good coach, but was in a bad spot with Germany.
Bad coach, who got lucky with Bayern Munich.
Flick is not as good as he was with Bayern and not as bad as he was with Germany.
Bavarian Podcast Works — Weekend Warm-up Podcast: Season 3, Episode 10
After an extremely crazy week with the German national team and also Bayern Munich getting back to action in a Friday match vs. Bayer Leverkusen, get ready for a Weekend Warm-up/Preview Show combo — it’s a two-for-one deal!
On this episode, we will discuss the following hot topics:
- A preview of Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen — an absolutely key match for the Bavarians in the Bundesliga — Jamal Musiala and Raphaël Guerreiro should be available, but what about Joshua Kimmich?
- The unsettled situations of Matthijs de Ligt and Leon Goretzka at Bayern Munich — and what it might mean for their futures with the club.
- A look at Hansi Flick’s tenure as coach of Germany and where it all went wrong, plus is Julian Nagelsmann the next man up?
- A review of All or Nothing — The German national team in Qatar and why that probably foretold Flick getting sacked.
Entertainment Rundown — All or Nothing: The German national team in Qatar
We are back!
At least temporarily.
For as much as my schedule stinks and that I am still spending most nights watching MLB, I did make time for Amazon Prime’s documentary miniseries on the German national team’s dramatic flameout in Qatar.
Our guy Jack Laushway did a formal review here, but it seemed like a good time for me to dip my toes back into the waters of streaming. Here are some quick hit takes on the documentary:
- Something we have always theorized, but never really could confirm (until now) is that Joshua Kimmich absolutely does grate away on his teammates. To preface this, Kimmich does get along with his teammates and appears to be universally respected, but his outbursts irritated Niklas Süle and Antonio Rüdiger (at a minimum, based on the footage that was aired) during the World Cup and he had an exchange with Flick that also seemed to perturb the coach. It can be assumed that things operate very similarly with Bayern Munich. Again, he is still immensely popular figure per what we could see in the doc and what we can tell from reports and stories over the years, but some of his act does get old for certain players.
- The major theme of the doc was the lack of support from the German public and it never really struck a chord like it did in seeing how it affected the players. The emotional swing of losing to Hungary and collapsing for a draw against England in those friendlies leading up to the World Cup took a toll on the team — and the fanbase. It removed the heart and the confidence from both entities.
- That theme held through the entire doc and you could see how the team viewed themselves as being on their own and almost carrying the weight of needing to succeed. There was no room for error.
- Flick’s commitment to the players was legitimate. Everything from the one-on-one meetings, the investment into them as players, and even by building in family time to keep some sort of normalcy in a very abnormal environment. Flick genuinely cared about creating a “special” atmosphere, but it was also very clear that the talent was not good enough, nor mature enough in some cases.
- Holding the base camp 90 minutes from where the team needed to be was very questionable — especially for attending events like press conferences. That had to be a grind for the players and coaches.
- The armband issue was, as feared, a major distraction for the group. Without delving into the politics of the situation, it was something that the Germans did not need — and truly, the team was in a no-win situation. Wear the armband and feel the wrath of FIFA...or choose not to wear it and be looked at as sellouts by a fanbase already seeking a reason to bail out on supporting team. It was...a mess, and I don’t know what else Germany could have done. In the end, it did appear to take the team away from its primary focus — trying to win the World Cup. Flick seemed to note the distraction several times and the fact that there were so many discussions on it internally, showed what the team was going through. Were other national teams feeling the weight of that situation like the Germans?
- The footage of Flick losing his mind in the locker room about Germany’s performances was very telling. In retrospect, you could tell that he knew he did not have the requisite talent within that group — and also that he had no idea what to do about it. The frustration oozed from him.
- Similarly, it was very clear through the meeting footage that the team did buy into what Flick was doing with his tactics — surprisingly, with Kimmich at the forefront of the dissent. It was borderline shocking to hear Kimmich challenge Flick’s tactics and decision-making in that team meeting.
- If you don’t like Niclas Füllkrug after watching the doc, you just don’t have a pulse.
- Füllkrug had so many worthwhile things to say and you could tell how happy he was to be there as part of the squad.
- Füllkrug and Müller came across as the stars of the doc because they were genuine. Flick came across that way as well. He was passionate and driven, but clearly frustrated.
- I was pretty sure that Flick was not going to survive this past international break, but had I seen this documentary before the games against Japan and France, I would have been 100% convinced. There truly was a disconnect between Flick and the team. No matter what he tried, there were discipline issues, talent identification issues, player management issues, and overall performance issues. Yup, a lot of issues that no coach could have overcome. Flick was a dead man walking before the team ever put boots on the ground in Qatar.
- Overall, this was a tremendous look at everything (well, everything Amazon Prime was allowed to show) that caused Germany to flame out. Nearly every decision from lodging to the armband mess to player selection to starting XIs blew up on Flick. It is hard to fathom how those at the DFB knew all of this footage was out there and thought there would be a pathway forward with Flick. Knowing what we know now, Flick could have been sacked back in January.
Song of the Week: “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys
Talk about an 80s classic...
Released in 1984, Pet Shop Boys knocked it out of the park with one. Yet another song that captured the mood and feel of the period, “West End Girls” was a massive hit at the time. Enjoy:
Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen is truly the marquee matchup in the Bundesliga this week.
The Bavarians are the traditional league power, while Leverkusen is a squad on the rise with a budding superstar in the eyes of some (Florian Wirtz), a grizzled newcomer brought in for games like this (Granit Xhaka), a highly-regarded, young coach (Xabi Alonso), and a squad filled with capable, dangerous players.
This should be a fun one.
Like always with Bayern Munich, injuries could play a role in things. Joshua Kimmich is banged up, Jamal Musiala is cleared, but is he healthy enough to start? There are a few iffy player situations that could drive Thomas Tuchel’s decision-making on a lineup and tactics.
Things are not exactly perfect for the Bavarians, but it still should be good enough for a win. Bayern Munich will rise to the occasion to get the “W.”
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Other Bundesliga predictions include:
- FC Köln 2-1 Hoffenheim
- SC Freiburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- Mainz 05 1-1 VfB Stuttgart
- RB Leipzig 3-1 FC Augsburg
- VfL Wolfsburg 1-2 Union Berlin
- VfL Bochum 0-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
- SV Darmstadt 98 1-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Heidenheim 1-1 Werder Bremen
- Bundesliga Last Week: 2-7
- Bundesliga Total: 17-10
- DFB-Pokal Total: N/A
- Champions League Total: N/A
- DFL-Supercup: 0-1
- Total: 17-11