Bayern Munich: Niko Kovac is facing the difficult second year
On Friday, the national team got into the team training at FC Bayern: Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle and the other stars, who were still playing in international matches in June. That's why it was not really full on Säbener Straße, because with just 17 field players the staffing level at the German Champion is still thin.
And in this compilation, the squad is currently not competitive, as well as Niko Kovac knows: "With 17 men," said the Bayern coach on Tuesday, "that will not be enough." The current squad will not be enough to compete internationally. But as small as the squad is currently, expectations and pressure are still high. For Niko Kovac, the second year of coaching in Munich will be a difficult one.
Printing by Rummenigge
Although Kovac has successfully completed the past season and should have stabilized his own position for the time being. But both the championship and the brilliant victory in the DFB Cup final against RB Leipzig do not seem to have eliminated all doubts about the 47-year-old. At least that can be inferred from the statements of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. The board boss Kovac had already mentioned after the Cup victory not a word at the Berlin banquet speech, and he increased in the summer break now the pressure on the coach.
"This club is hungry for the Champions League," said Rummenigge last in the Bundesliga special issue of "Sport1" and summed up in retrospect on the strong Bayern years with the ex-players Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben: "We have the Champions League won, were three times in the final and almost always in the semifinals. " In the first year of Niko Kovac but not, since the Bayern flew out in the second round.
In fact, the club boss has not overcome this bankruptcy, for him, the frustration over the off against the eventual winner Liverpool in the conclusion of the preseason seems to weigh more than the joy of the double. Since the board can say so much that it will be harder and harder to win the Champions League.
For the Bayern in the coming season is a successful performance in the premier class especially, it is about the proof that you are still one of the strongest European clubs. The championship cup and the DFB Cup? Of course also like, but rather as a supplement to Henkel pot.
Kovac knows about his expectations and about the pressure - which is why he shuns any confrontation and agrees with the board boss that they have time until the end of the transfer period, September 2nd, to make purchases. But Kovac has also registered that BVB has signed exciting players in the summer with Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt and Nico Schulz; Offensive players, just in this area of Bayern has after the departure of Robben and Ribéry still catching up.
The v Accurately raised index finger
With a cautiously raised index finger Kovac reminded of the previous year, when the Bavarians had started with 19 field players in the season and in the first three games equal to three professionals with injuries for months in the sick leave had: Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Rafinha. "As a coach, you can not expect to survive the season without damage at this level," Kovac now said, warning of new injuries. "We will be the hunted again." Not only in the table, but also on the court.
Currently, Kovac has 17 field players, including some willing-to-change players like Jérôme Boateng and Renato Sanches, as well as young pros, such as Alphonso Davies, 18, and Hamburger SV's Jann-Fiete Arp, 19. That shows: Kovac still needs reinforcements, also for its own sake. The question on the alleged withdrawal thoughts in the summer break, as he wanted to throw out media reports, dodged Kovac on Tuesday. "I'm here, so I've already answered the question."
Kovac started his first public appearance of the new season with a quick review of his five weeks as a vacationer: "All that's nice is pretty short." How long and beautiful the new season will be for Kovac will be revealed. It is certainly likely that he will not allow himself a crisis like in autumn 2018. Most recently Carlo Ancelotti was prematurely gone in September 2017 - at the beginning of his second year at Bayern.