Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Niko Kovac Sacked At Bayern: Who Could Replace Him?

Bayern Munich announced the sacking of Niko Kovac on Sunday following their heaviest Bundesliga loss in a decade. However, the result was the straw that broke the camel’s back with Bayern Munich struggling for much of this season. Robert Lewandowski has been the man firing Bayern Munich to victories and without him, their situation certainly would be a lot worse. The question now is who will replace Kovac in the Bayern hot seat.

The former Croatian international lasted just 16 months in the role having been touted as the long-term manager to get Bayern Munich back on top of Europe. Despite winning the league and cup double in his only season in charge, Bayern Munich have flattered to deceive for much of this campaign. The Bavarians lie in 4th place four points behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach after a run of one win in their last four league games.  Judging by Bayern Munich’s high standards, that is simply unacceptable and whoever comes in knows a big task lies ahead.
So, who could replace Kovac? Well, Max Allegri and Jose Mourinho are the two early front runners. Allegri is a free agent having left Juventus at the end of last season. His style of play may not necessarily suit the Bavarians but, the Italian is a serial winner having won the league title in every season he oversaw Juventus. Could the Bavarians tempt Mourinho to Germany? It is very possible with Mourinho yet to test his managerial skills in Germany and Bayern Munich could the perfect opportunity for him. He is available having been out of work since leaving Manchester United in December 2018. However, Mourinho has confirmed his desire to manage in England once again meaning he is unlikely to fancy taking over the German giants.

Bayern Munich may well pursue managers in jobs. Erik Ten Hag, Thomas Tuchel and Julen Naglesmann have all been linked with the job and are all highly thought off by the Bayern hierarchy. Ajax manager Ten Hag has worked wonders at the Dutch giants so its no surprise his stock is rising. He has developed the likes of Frenkie De Jong, Matthijs De Ligt and Donny Van De Beek into world-class players. Taking Ajax into the Champions League semi-finals last season also impressed much of Europe. However, both Ajax and Ten Hag have confirmed his departure would not be until the end of the season should there be any interested parties. It is a similar situation for Thomas Tuchel at PSG. Tuchel has done very well so far in Paris but his future will be decided at the end of the season with PSG desperate for Champions League glory. Another early exit from the competition could decide if Tuchel keeps his job. Bayern are thought to admire the German having done well at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in the past. Despite only taking over RB Leipzig in June, Julen Naglesmann is interesting Bayern Munich. The Bundesliga’s youngest ever manager has impressed ever since he took over Hoffenheim. He secured them back to back top-four finishes. His excellent work has continued at RB Leipzig but could interest from Bayern tempt him out? RB Leipzig will be reluctant to let him leave for a title rival especially since he has only been in the job five months.

Whoever takes over Bayern Munich will relish the opportunity to work with their very talented but underperforming squad. Hansi Flick is in caretaker charge of Bayern Munich’s next two games which are Olympiakos in the Champions League and Borussia Dortmund in the Der Klassiker. Two wins could throw Flick into contention for the job. However, Bayern need to quickly make a decision because their season is slowly derailing and the pressure will be on to make the right call.

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