Hans-Dieter Flick’s strong start has convinced Bayern Munich to not rush into finding a new manager. But could there be more behind this?
Hans-Dieter Flick had only been working as Niko Kovac’s assistant for the last four months before Bayern Munich gave the Croatian his marching orders.
It came amid a mixed start to the season that saw the Bavarians struggle to deliver decent performances under Kovac.
There had also been rumours since last year that things between the players and Kovac had gotten rather frosty. German publication Kicker claimed that Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, Mats Hummels and Arjen Robben were plotting the coach’s demise.
And now president Uli Hoeness revealed to ZDF on Saturday that a number of players had indeed turned against Kovac. He explained that the “leadership reacted accordingly” due to a number of “currents within the team that wanted Kovac gone”
Since the 48-year-old’s exit, around five big-names have been reportedly lined up as potential replacements.
The rumoured favourite is Ajax manager Erik ten Hag, who has built himself a strong reputation over the past year.
While rumours are going about in Germany claiming that Bayern are also plotting talks with Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel.
Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger are also eyeing up the Allianz Arena gig, but are both likely outside bets at best.
Although Flick’s strong start to life as interim coach may have given the Bayern board some food for thought.
The German has literally got off to a perfect start with back-to-back wins, six goals and two clean sheets. And a stunning 4-0 Der Klassiker win over arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday was the cherry on the cake.
Could he be the man for the job?
The decision to restore Thomas Muller into the team as well would’ve gone a long way to getting Flick into Bayern’s good books.
This, along with recent results, have evidently convinced the club board to hold off on appointing Kovac’s permanent replacement over the international break.
“We will continue with Hansi until further notice,” chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters on Saturday night.
So, it’s very likely that we will see Flick back in the Bayern dugout on November 23 away to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga.
It may come as a surprise to most given the candidates that are already available to take over from Kovac. Furthermore, the international break would be an ideal time to install a new manager away from the spotlight.
But it seems Flick has done enough to earn himself an extended run in charge of the Bavarians.
The 54-year-old now has a real opportunity on his hands, and could take inspiration from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.
Few will forget the Norwegian’s record-breaking start as caretaker manager last season, which saw him win 14 of his opening 17 matches. Therefore, United handed him a three-year contract in March instead of pursuing Mauricio Pochettino.
So, who knows? maybe Bayern have already found their new gaffer?