Bayern Munich Must Go to Another Level Under Niko Kovac Next Season & Move on From Jupp Heynckes

?Another season passes in which ?Bayern Munich have conquered all before them in domestic terms, with the ?Bundesliga title wrapped up last month and a DFB Cup final on the horizon. However, the Bavarians have once again fallen just short of European glory.

Bayern had a potential blow to their stability in September when Carlo Ancelotti was sacked as manager, just a month into the campaign. Following a 3-0 defeat by PSG in the Champions League group stage, the Bayern board decided to part ways with the Italian.

Former defender Willy Sagnol took temporary charge of the side, replacing Ancelotti, who had won the Bundesliga title in the previous season after taking over from Pep Guardiola at the Allianz Arena in 2016.

It was an unusually short-lived managerial period at a club which is not known for being rash or impulsive in taking major decisions, but rather for their meticulous and well-organised structuring of business.

Jupp Heynckes returned to the club in October for a fourth stint to take charge until the end of the season. The German had most recently led Bayern from 2011 to 2013, winning a league, cup and Champions League treble during the final season in that spell.

Guardiola replaced Heynckes that time, and the new philosophical approach and revolutionary waves of footballing innovation which Guardiola sent through an already successful Bayern side should be followed as the blueprint in replacing Heynckes once again.

Heynckes will again step down from his post at the end of the season, and Eintracht Frankfurt manager Niko Kovac, who leads his current side into the DFB Cup final against Bayern this month, will take the reins at the Allianz from next season.

Succeeding a successful club great in Heynckes, who has restored stability and a winning mentality to a Bayern side who had been suffering a lack of direction and inconsistent performance levels prior to his return, will once again prove a difficult task for the incoming boss.

Pep Guardiola previously benefitted in doing so from a fresh approach, one which sought to develop the technical abilities and footballing philosophy of a side who had already conquered all before them under Heynckes.

Guardiola’s approach was not only to continue the good work and the style which the German had previously imprinted on his side, but to impose his own brand of passing, movement, pressing and precision on his new side, following his departure from Barcelona.

Standing still, after all, is not progress. Bayern have set unprecedented standards of remaining the dominant force in German football, and the maintenance of that legacy demands not only continuity, but also change.

This season’s Bundesliga triumph marks Bayern’s sixth successive retention of their domestic crown. Currently a whopping 24 points clear of second-placed Schalke in the table, their dominance over their rivals is as clear as ever, and the foundations are laid for their supremacy to continue.

Ancelotti was able to ride the wave of this pre-set authority and guide Bayern to another title victory during his first season in charge, but, despite his undoubtedly world class coaching skills, perhaps suffered during the short-lived spell of his second season in charge from a lack of fresh ideas.

Kovac will arrive in Bavaria this summer to take the reins of a side still comfortably on top. As Ancelotti learned, however, comfort is not always the way forward.

Bayern’s elimination from the Champions League at the semi-final stage to Real Madrid this season provided early evidence of some fundamental cracks which are already beginning to appear in need of rectification ahead of next season.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Hamburger SV - Bundesliga

Soft defensive errors and a lack of ruthlessness and a clinical edge in offensive terms cost Bayern in a tie which they had largely dominated over the two legs against Madrid. Had Heynckes’ side held their nerve and stood firm at the back, and had Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and co taken their chances, it would be Bayern facing Liverpool in this month’s final.

For such an experienced side, Bayern displayed a fundamental succession of naivety in that tie which cost them the result and a place in the Kiev showpiece which they arguably deserved for their performance.

It is those kinds of self-inflicted shortcomings which must be eradicated under Kovac if the club are to continue to build and move forward in the wake of another Heynckes phase next term.

The Croatian tactician must set about rediscovering the kind of ruthlessness and an uncompromised winning attitude in this Bayern side which saw Heynckes’ team dismantle Barcelona with a 7-0 aggregate victory in the Champions League semi-final en route to winning the competition in 2013.

In the current Bayern squad, it is less clear as to where can be strengthened in terms of personnel. The Bavarians were, after all, dominant in possession and chance creation against a Madrid side who are now on course to retain their Champions League crown for a third successive season.

Therefore, it is arguably Bayern’s tactical direction and discipline which requires the most work in order to regain the serial winner status which Madrid are exhibiting in Europe of late.

Kovac’s guiding of Frankfurt to seventh in the Bundesliga table and to the DFB Cup final against his next club this season are clear evidence of the incoming Bayern boss’ ability to maximise the potential of his side and get the best possible performances out of his players.

Frankfurt have displayed clear progression this term from having finished 14th in the league last season. Kovac’s ability to take a team further and build upon the foundations already in place could be crucial to Bayern’s success ahead of the next campaign.

Bayern are in need of a fresh approach next season to follow on from Heynckes’ restoration of stability and retention of dominance at the Allianz this term. 

Change can breed progress, and progress is the road to success. Kovac’s arrival could just breathe fresh impetus into this Bayern side and take the German giants to another level.


Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer Admits His World Cup Spot Is at Risk Ahead of Return From Injury

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has admitted that it is unlikely he will be included in Joachim Löw’s World Cup squad this summer after spending the last eight months on the treatment table.

The 32-year-old suffered a metatarsal injury after matchday four earlier this campaign, with the Bavarians’ back up Sven Ulreich deputising in between the sticks under both Carlo Ancelotti and Jupp Heynckes.

FC Bayern Muenchen Annual General Assembly

But with Neuer now in the final stages of his recovery, the Germany international has claimed that his lack of game time will likely give Marc-André ter Stegen a chance to impress as Die Mannschaft’s number one this summer.

“I do not think it’s imaginable that I go into such a tournament without match practice,” Neuer told TZ ahead of Bayern’s last game of the season.

But manager Heynckes has ruled out a return to Bayern Munich’s first team this weekend, telling German publication Kicker that Neuer will not feature against Stuttgart this weekend, as well as in the DFB-Pokal final against Eintracht Frankfurt later this month.

Neuer has not only dropped down the rankings with his national team due to his injury, but there is now a widespread belief that ?Manchester United star David De Gea has overtaken the German as the best goalkeeper in the world.

The tournament in Russia this summer would have likely been Neuer’s last chance to play in a major competition for his country.

However, one silver lining is that the former ?Schalke star’s self-proclaimed belief that he won’t be at the World Cup this summer will offer some of Germany’s wide array of goalkeeping talents a chance to step up.


Bayern Line Up Lewandowski Replacements As They Prepare for Life After Real Madrid Target

??Bayern Munich are reportedly prepared to lose Robert Lewandowski this summer and have already drawn up a list of potential replacements, with Real Madrid and Manchester United potentially among those willing to offer the Polish super striker a new home.

This news comes despite Bayern’s previous ?insistence that Lewandowski is not for sale, viewing him as a key member of their squad who can still produce for them at the highest level.

Italian outlet ?Calciomercato report that, although Bayern have not placed him on the transfer list, Lewandowski has offers from big English and Spanish clubs which means that his departure cannot be ruled out. 

The ?Bundesliga giants have already drawn up a list of potential replacements, which includes ?Atlético Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann. The France international has previously claimed that ?he will decide his future before the World Cup in Russia this summer.

The report from Calciomercato also claims that Bayern are potentially interested in ?Juventus striker Paulo Dybala and Anthony Martial of ?Manchester United. These names would add to the arrival of Leon Goretzka, who will be joining the club from ?Schalke this summer.

Dybala has scored 22 goals in 27 Serie A appearances for Juventus so far this season and will be one of the first names on Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli’s squad list for this summer’s World Cup.

Meanwhile, Manchester United winger Anthony Martial has not been in such great form. The Frenchman has only managed 11 goals in 44 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils this season.

Their potential arrivals could contribute to a potentially hectic summer of ins and outs for Bayern Munich as they look to go further than the semi finals in next season’s Champions League.

The report also states that Arturo Vidal has not been offered an extension to his Bayern contract, which expires in the summer of 2019.


Franck Ribery Signs New 1-Year Extension to Remain at Bayern Munich Until 2019

As widely expected, Bayern Munich and France winger Franck Ribery has signed a new contract extension with the Bundesliga champions; a development which will see him remain with the club another season.

The Frenchman’s deal was due to expire at the end of the season, but Die Roten have tied him down for another term with a one-year extension.

“?Proud to announce, I just signed a contract until 2019 with @FCBayern!” Ribery announced on Twitter on Monday morning. “Let’s work hard to make this time another glorious chapter in the story of the best club in the world!”

The 35-year-old, who joined the German side from Marseille in 2007, has won eight Bundesliga titles since making the switch from France, and can also boast winning the Champions League in 2013.

Bayern Muenchen Celebrate German Championship At Town Hall Balcony

(You may also be interested in: ?World Cup Countdown: 7 Weeks to Go – West Germany Win Italia ’90 Against a Backdrop of Reunification)

He is only the fifth player to have won that many league titles at Bayern, joining Oliver Kahn, Mehmet Scholl, Phillip Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger as the only players to lift the trophy on eight occasions.

Meanwhile, the club are waiting for an answer from Dutch winger Arjen Robben, having offered him a new deal as well.



Bordeaux President Claims In-Demand Winger ‘Can Still Dream’ of Bayern Munich Transfer

?Bordeaux star Malcom “can still dream” of joining Bayern Munich this summer despite assertions from the Bavarian giants that the Brazilian winger wouldn’t be moving to the Allianz Arena, according to Les Girondins’ president Stephane Martin.

Malcom has been attracting interest from across Europe this season for his stand out performances in Ligue 1.


The 21-year-old’s eye for goal has fans across the continent excited amid interest from a number of clubs, but the Brazil U23 international appears to have his heart set on a move to the Bundesliga this summer.

A denial [from Bayern] at this time means little,” Martin told Bild in a joint-interview with Malcom. 

First, I think it would not be the right message to the existing players. Second, you would inform other clubs very early on his future plans.

“Malcom can still dream of Bayern.”

The Brazilian winger was tight-lipped over the reported interest from Bayern Munich. Malcom was asked if he wanted to add anything else to his president’s comments, but the youngster simply said: “I agree with Mr. Martin.”

(You may also like Jupp Heynckes Gives Positive Update on Bayern Munich’s Neuer & Claims Goalkeeper Is in ‘Great Shape’)

The former Corinthians star has scored 10 goals in Ligue 1 this season, whilst also claiming six assists for Bordeaux – who currently sit in mid-table.

Despite not being a full international for Brazil, Malcom is currently being given an outside chance of making Tite’s squad for the World Cup this summer.