Monday 23 August 2021
Kimmich’s contract is a coup
The man who rules FC Bayern
By Tobias Nordmann
FC Bayern has successfully dealt with an important personnel issue. The Bundesliga club has prematurely extended the contract with Joshua Kimmich by two years until 2025. The 26-year-old is already the key player in the team and will become even more important in the future.
Joshua Kimmich says what he thinks. It’s a little uncomfortable sometimes. For example for Joachim Löw. After all, he thought it was a great idea to put the FC Bayern player on the right wing of the national team. Now there were good arguments for it. The strongest thing was: Kimmich is the best man in Germany for this position. There is a lot of truth in that. The problem, however, was that the 26-year-old is much better in the central midfield. A lot of experts found that. And the player himself too, by the way. On the right, he confessed, he sometimes feels “without a job”. This statement did not cause any rest. It fueled the eternal position debate.
This should now fall silent. Because Joachim Löw is history. His successor is Hansi Flick. And he should waste very few thoughts on transplanting Joshua Kimmich from his heart position. Because nobody knows better how important the bilious driver in the center is. After all, Flick shaped him into the most powerful power center in European football during his time as coach of FC Bayern alongside Leon Goretzka. The duo ruled in midfield like the legendary Xavi and Andres Iniesta at FC Barcelona. But they did it in a very different way. Less elegant and filigree than rather powerful and overwhelming for the opponent.
In his first season as boss in Munich, Flick had put a pressing and dominance team on the lawn that took off all titles. With a greed and his self-image, guided by Kimmich as heart and brain. The now 26-year-old combined the defense fortress around Jérôme Boateng and David Alaba (both have since left the club) with the uninhibited offensive monsters around Thomas Müller, Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski. And because Kimmich plays the way he plays. Safe on the ball, outstanding in the game design, strong in the duel, clear in the announcements, invincible in the mentality, he is the most important man in the squad. Despite a Manuel Neuer in goal, despite a Müller as a freelance artist on the offensive and despite the overwhelming Lewandowski as currently the best striker in the world. “I once said for fun: Joshua is even more ambitious than me. That means a lot,” said Bayern boss and ex-Titan Oliver Kahn. That is actually very true.
Kahn also says: “Joshua Kimmich knows that he has the chance to achieve all of his ambitious goals at Bayern. The package that we can offer him is extremely attractive for every top international player.” Most recently, the Bavarians had made the attractiveness of the club the topic. Alternative ways are to be found to attract and keep top players. The financial absurdity of the international competition for Paris St. Germain (Lionel Messi, for example), Chelsea FC (Romelo Lukaku), Manchester United (Jadon Sancho) and Manchester City (Jack Grealish) cannot be kept up.
“Team with whom I can achieve anything”
The realization that Kimmich is and will remain the most important man, of course, they had had with the record champions for a long time. That is why they have placed their priority on the talks with Kimmich. His contract, which actually would not have expired until the summer of 2023, has already been extended to 2025. Munich has learned from the great problems of the past. Important personal details are now processed at an early stage. They don’t want to experience another theater like the one in the failed negotiations with David Alaba. Joshua Kimmich, who says what he thinks, now says: “I have a team with which I can achieve anything, and a lot of other players have become real friends. I don’t see myself at the end of my development yet and I am convinced that A lot is possible at FC Bayern in the next few years. My family also feels very comfortable here. “
They are sentences without any explosiveness. Take a deep breath. Because even in Munich, Kimmich has already caught a ruffle for his brisk manner. After a surprisingly shaky 3-2 on the 6th matchday of the 2019/20 season at promoted SC Paderborn, he had criticized the entire season. “You have to realize that we haven’t yet managed to dominate a game over 90 minutes,” grumbled Kimmich. “Even the last games that we clearly won weren’t in the way we’d like them to be.” Especially the game when the ball is in possession makes the national player angry. “We don’t always manage to exude dominance through secure possession of the ball and that means we keep signaling to our opponents that something is possible.” Incidentally, the coach was Niko Kovac, who was released a few weeks later, FC Bayern was too insecure.
They were sentences that were reminiscent of Philipp Lahm. Of the lame Kimmich was compared to over and over again. Because of its size, because of its style, because of its game, because of its position. Lahm had attacked his club (FC Bayern), which was bobbing about in a sporty way in autumn 2009 and was shaken by the unexpected words of his home-grown man in his Mia-san-mia understanding, violently. Without consulting the club, the then 25-year-old gave an interview to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Lahm judged that FC Bayern had no game philosophy, that there was no idea behind the transfers and that the constant change of coach (Hitzfeld, Klinsmann, Heynckes) unsettled the team. The “Zeit” commented on the provocative statements of the good and eloquent fellow as image-sharpening – for the professional Lahm. His club felt it was damaging to the club’s image and sentenced his professional to a hefty fine of 50,000 euros, the highest in the club’s history.
Kimmich is the boss. Undisputed.
As right as Kimmich was right with his outburst two years ago, he was clearly pimped by the bosses: The then CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “If you are critical, you have to take the flag in your hand and go up And then everyone has to run after them. Then they have to deliver great performance. Now they have to make demands on themselves too. ” After all, taking responsibility is not a matter of age. It didn’t need this announcement, Kimmich is the type of leader. It was already back then. It is not for nothing that he is considered to be the future captain of the record champions and the national team. As soon as Manuel Neuer leaves, although that will take a while. Because Neuer still feels like it.
Just like Thomas Müller. And Robert Lewandowski. However, it is not entirely clear with the striker whether he necessarily connects this desire with FC Bayern or whether he does not want to tackle a completely different challenge. In Munich he finally achieved everything. Well, regardless of that, the big stars in the team all have a “3” in front of age. They can still shape the near future, but then at the latest the new generation around Kimmich will have full responsibility. And Kimmich, that’s the boss. Undisputed. How much he has already mastered the game of the record champions became clear when he weakened once.
At the end of last season, Kimmich was tired from playing a lot. He is irreplaceable. There was no player who can give him breaks last season (before there was Thiago) and there is no now (hopes are on the eternally injured Corentin Tolisso). A weak point in the mini roster. How tired Kimmich was was particularly evident in the two quarter-final duels of the Champions League against Paris St. Germain. When the Munich team needed the dominant Kimmich, he was drained. He desperately struggled for control and dominance. He lost that fight. Often that doesn’t happen because Kimmich is the guy who refuses to lose. After the bitter EM knockout, he made it clear how much defeat annoys him. He admitted via Instagram how “deep the disappointment runs” and that “it is really difficult for me to process the whole thing.” He assured that he “believed 100 percent at all times” that “we could win the tournament.” As successful as he is with FC Bayern, his record with the national team is bitter. World Cup disaster 2018, debacle in the Nations League and, this summer, finally elimination in the round of 16 including the end of the Löw era.
Kimmich wants to change that. The next chance will be at the end of next year. At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Then with national coach Flick. And in the center of the team. Where he rules the game.