Sunday April 18, 2021
FC Bayern wears down Hansi Flick
Totally out of control
Totally out of control
By Tobias Nordmann
Seven titles, one embarrassment, one drama: Hansi Flick and FC Bayern have had an intensive and extremely successful time in their one and a half years (boss) together. The fact that this will end so unworthily does not make the club look good.
The bosses of FC Bayern are said to have already been on their way to becoming private pilots. You were therefore no longer in the Wolfsburg Volkswagen Arena when coach Hansi Flick said, which somehow everyone expected, but caught German football on the wrong foot this Saturday. Hansi Flick said that after the bitter end in the Champions League against Paris St. Germain on Tuesday evening, he informed the bosses that he would like to leave the club at the end of the season. Despite his contract until 2023.
Very important: Hansi Flick has so far only entered the request (as it is publicly known). A decision as to whether this will be granted to him is still pending. In view of the irreparably destroyed relationship with sports director Hasan Salihamidžić, the club hardly has any other scenario. Unless the Bosnian is about to be expelled. But there is no sign of that. Which is also due to the balance of power in the club. With Uli Hoeneß, the 44-year-old still has the most powerful advocate imaginable. President Herbert Hainer, a very close confidante of Hoeneß, is one of the supporters of Salihamidžić. And as evasively as Oliver Kahn, the new club boss, had expressed himself in this pathetic fuss about Flick, the clearer his position became.
Only Rummenigge fought
Only Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who will hand over the official business to Kahn at the turn of the year, fought for Flick. Has repeatedly emphasized how much he would like to see a future together with the successful coach. If he actually leaves this summer, he will have won seven titles. After the 3-2 win in Wolfsburg, all remaining doubts about the 31st championship have been dispelled. Seven points ahead of RB Leipzig and five outstanding games – FC Bayern can’t be denied that. Not even in a state between trouble, power and theater. Not even with a team that is heavily plucked in terms of personnel these days. Mia san mia always works.
So it’s not just the quality of the line-up that knocks most opponents down, but also the mentality. Flick raves about it. Extremely extreme for a few weeks. Since he had let the conflict with Salihamidžić escalate again and again. Ever since he kept looking for supporters in the club with his little fires, but they couldn’t inspire them on a broad front. With his now publicly placed wish, Flick asked the club the question of power one last time. It can be ruled out that this will be answered differently than in the past few weeks. In the fight for his cause, Flick slipped away from the bosses. Not only because of his appearance now in Wolfsburg. He’s out of control.
However, the sports directorate must not feel that he was the winner of the power struggle, because his public image in particular was severely damaged by this dispute. A large majority of Bayern fans would rather see Salihamidžić leave the club instead of Flick. Who could follow the 56-year-old in Munich is just as unclear as the future of Flick himself. Many see that at the DFB. As the successor to national coach Joachim Löw. He himself says: “I’m leaving everything open to me at the moment.” He has to say that. Anything else would harm him.
Rummenigge, Kahn, Salihamidžić and Hainer may have known that Flick would speak in front of the cameras after the top game. Sport1 wants appropriate information. Hoeneß is said to have known neither of Flick’s wish nor of Flick’s appearance. Sky reports. So be it. That the bosses appreciated the idea – that’s out of the question. The club, which has not yet commented on Sunday morning, seems too taken by surprise. Flick is out of control. Any attempt to recapture him seems futile.
Watschn through the back door
That too had been suggested again and again. After Rummenigge publicly called on the coach and the sports director to rest, harmony and loyalty, Flick spoke only hours later about the loss of quality in the squad compared to the sensationally successful previous season. A cracking watschn for Salihamidžić – through the back door. Because he was not officially identified as the recipient.
But that’s exactly what it’s all about: management policy. Salihamidžić is responsible for them. And that in the final analysis. Flick does not have a veto on transfer issues, although that is absolutely important to him. He has his ideas. And they run extremely contrary to those of his superior. The Jérôme Boateng case led to the final escalation. The central defender is sporty and justifies the trust of his coach with top performances. The fact that he still has to leave the club this summer stunned Flick. Before that, he had to watch the club give up the fight for David Alaba. The Austrian, also set and indispensable for his coach, is leaving Bavaria in the summer. The losses of Thiago and Ivan Perišić also hurt the coach. Flick largely ignores the substitute staff provided (Marc Roca, Douglas Costa, Bouna Sarr) to this day. Exceptions are, of course, King Transfer Leroy Sané and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who plays the role of Robert Lewandowski’s substitute very sensibly.
There has been a squad dissent between Flick and Salihamidžić almost since day one, which was sometimes carried out in a dubious way via the media. Perhaps the trouble has a longer history than the starting point in the training camp in Doha in winter 2020, which is scheduled again and again. Because Flick, who the bosses only appointed head coach after a long fuss, had already learned about Niko Kovač as assistant trainer how the cooperation with the Bosnian worked. And not well either, as the Croat, who is currently working extremely successfully at AS Monaco, placed again in the past few days. Certainly to be understood as a plea for the extremely popular Flick within the team. Kovač, too, was apparently denied several request transfers at the time. Among other things, he is said to have spoken out in favor of Kevin Vogt from Hoffenheim, his favorite Frankfurt student Ante Rebić and the two Gladbachers Denis Zakaria and Florian Neuhaus.
One is expressly not thanked
As much as Flick wanted more of a say in the formation of the squad, he had regretted the recurring interference. Here, too, there is a very striking case: Alexander Nübel. The talented goalkeeper was brought to Munich by Salihamidžić on a free transfer from FC Schalke 04 last summer. As an apprentice behind Manuel Neuer, but allegedly also baited with the promise of a stable number of missions. But Flick persistently refuses the goalkeeper. Salihamidžić is said to be upset by this, as is Nübel and his advisor, who is increasingly complaining loudly.
The wish that has now been deposited is anything but a surprise. It is, however, just the periphery of the drama that has come to a head this week. Even after the end against Paris, Flick had surprised with a remarkable monologue that sounded like goodbye. Even if he was hastily trying to recapture this interpretation as wrong. Vain. And on Friday, during the media round before the top game, Flick dropped the following sentence: “If things are harmonious somewhere, – in my opinion – the chance of success is more promising.” It’s a phrase that doesn’t make the club look good.
On Saturday evening, Flick thanked FC Bayern for the “chance to train this team”. He thanked “Kalle, Uli or Herbert”. For everyone “who was there and gave me the confidence that I could be the head coach at Bayern Munich”. Just one he didn’t mention. Of course not. It was Hasan Salihamidžić.