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Neuer, Salihamidžić snap at press over questions about form, Kovač

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The question about Niko Kovač’s future is being asked ever more loudly — but sporting director Hasan Salihamidžič did not want to hear it.


MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 03: Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic of Bayern Muenchen, Assistant coach Robert Kovac of Bayern Muenchen, Assistant coach Peter Hermann of Bayern Muenchen and Head coach Niko Kovac of Bayern Muenchen look on during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Sport-Club Freiburg at Allianz Arena on November 3, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
Hasan Salihamidžić sinks into his coat on the bench alongside Bayern’s coaching staff with Niko Kovac.
Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

FC Bayern’s never-ending trouble: against SC Freiburg, FC Bayern Munich again gave a disappointing performance and let three points slip through their fingers a week before Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund. The bad mood in the club was more obvious than ever as Manuel Neuer and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic snapped at reporters after the game.

According to (AZ), when journalists asked Neuer for a statement on the underwhelming performance of his team, he avoided a response. When the press followed up by asking why he as captain would not speak in this difficult situation, Neuer snapped, “Was I ever not here? Did I ever not say something?” Then the 32-year-old then hastily left the Allianz Arena.

Neuer wasn’t the only one who passed the journalists without a word after the poor performance. Also Joshua Kimmich and Arjen Robben, who usually talk to the reporters even after weak performances, had no desire to be in hot seat after the disappointing game.

But one person was willing to talk, Hasan Salihamidžić. After the final whistle, the Bosnian gave an analysis of the game that was roughly a duplicate of his remarks after Bayern beat SV Rödingausen 2-1. In interview with AZ he said:

None of us is satisfied. It was not a good game for us, maybe (only) the first 15 to 20 minutes, but then we played slowly again. We’ve pushed hard at times, but we have not done well, we did not create many chances, no one-hundred-percent scoring opportunities. It looked sluggish. After the goal we thought: “Now we are certainly going to win the game,” but SC Freiburg made life difficult for us.

Salihamidžić made it clear: “We cannot even manage to do everything at the highest tempo; we lack liveliness, joy at home.” The Bosnian responded helplessly to the question of what to do now: “I don’t know; we have to look now and analyze how we can do better.”

Soon afterwards, Salihamidžić was asked about the future of Niko Kovač, and he didn’t like it at all. “Please, stop with such stupid questions!” he answered in displeasure.

Despite Salihamidžić’s unwillingness, the question of Kovač’s future is more appropriate than ever, since the record champions are presenting themselves as too weak and are now looking as an average Bundesliga team. No one seems to be afraid of Bayern anymore. What should we expect from Der Klassiker? The signs are all there: we should be very concerned.

Since Bayern’s streak of four winless games in October, victories followed in Wolfsburg (3-1), in Athens (2-0), in Mainz (2-1), against the fourth division Rödinghausen in the Cup (2-1). But in none of these games did Bayern play convincingly. Now a 1-1 draw at home against Freiburg has seemingly thrown Munich back into crisis.