Niko Kovac already under pressure at Bayern Munich - Soccer Times

Niko Kovac already under pressure at Bayern Munich


The summer appointment of Niko Kovac as Bayern Munich head coach was a bit of a strange one for some. The Bavarians insistence on appointing a German-speaking boss this time around rather narrowed the field for long-term appointments.

Kovac had done some impressive work with Eintracht Frankfurt, but managing Bayern was a massive step to take. At the minute, Kovac’s appointment looks to have massively backfired, as the Croatian is already under pressure just months into his career.

Not Bayern’s top summer target

Kovac was not actually Bayern’s first choice to take the job this summer. Club officials attempted to convince club legend Jupp Heynckes to stay on, but the now 73-year-old turned down the opportunity to stay on longer than last season.

The Bavarians then looked to former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel, who had established a reputation as one of the best up-and-coming bosses in Europe. However, Tuchel decided the lure of PSG’s big pockets was too much to resist.

That meant the German giants turning to Kovac. He had enjoyed relative managerial success in Frankfurt. However, he had a fair less glittering managerial past than predecessors Pep Guardiola, Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti.

Bayern suddenly struggling to perform under Kovac

In reality, Kovac’s appointment was a maverick one, as there was always an element of risk attached to it. The Croatian looked to be a successful appointment as Bayern won their first seven games under the new head coach.

However, Bayern have now failed to win in their last four games in all competitions, including three in the Bundesliga. Questions are now being asked about where Kovac has the managerial acumen to turn things around in Bavaria.

Reports from Germany suggest that some of the players are unhappy with Kovac and his managerial team. One mooted problem has been that the head coach talks to his staff in his native language, rather than in German. It does not look like a major issue from the outside, but it is the sort of issue that can cause problems when things are not going well.

Another reported issue causing friction in the dressing room is Kovac rotation of his squad. Colombian attacking midfielder James Rodriguez was one of the players reported to have a problem with Kovac’s rotation policy.

Changing boss may prove tempting for Bayern

Niko Kovac has received a vote of confidence from club president Uli Hoeness. However, with the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte currently unemployed, the German giants may be tempted to change their boss if results continue to go against the champions.

Bayern are currently four points behind arch-rivals and league leaders Dortmund. If that gap gets any bigger, then Kovac’s position as Bayern boss will look in even more peril.

If Kovac was fired, it is certain that the Bavarians first call they would make is to veteran boss ex-boss Heynckes, who has stepped into the job on a number of occasions and proven wildly successful. However, Heynckes seems to be content with like out of the game for now.

Kovac could still turn things around in Bavaria. In fact, Bayern are still the favourites to win the title. However, at a club like Bayern Munich not winning in four games is a crisis, so he has to turn things around in a quick manner.

Can Niko Kovac still turn things around at Bayern?

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