Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus believes his old club are paying a big price now for not bringing in young players and instead sticking to their regulars
The Bavarians’ hopes of securing an unprecedented seventh straight Bundesliga title are in jeopardy after a difficult start to the season.
Under new coach Niko Kovac, Bayern sits fourth in the standings and nine points adrift of unbeaten leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Lucien Favre’s side have excelled this season with young stars like Jandon Sancho and Jacob Bruun Larsen taking centre stage.
And Matthaus reckons that Bayern’s failure to introduce new young prospects into their ageing squad is the main cause for their disappointing campaign.
“Bayern have dominated the German championship for the last six years,” Matthaus told Goal.
“Bundesliga is always a very interesting project. We have a lot of good players and surely the best team in Germany is Bayern Munich over the last six years. They have won the title six times.
“They have the players who have been playing for the last six years like [Arjen] Robben, [Franck] Ribery, [Jerome] Boateng, [Thomas] Muller.
“Times change, football is going faster and faster and the young generation is coming more. The biggest mistake Bayern made before the season was that they didn’t make the change.
“And now, step by step, they have to fight back. Bayern have very good young players and with Niko Kovac as the coach, he has to give the chance for the young players to play.”
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Matthaus is confident, however, that Kovac is the right man to coach Bayern due to his background.
Although the German World Cup winner concedes that Kovac needs more support from the club if he is to succeed.
“Niko Kovac was a player with Bayern 15 years ago. He has the DNA of Bayern, he knows the Bundesliga,” added Matthaus.
“He has Croatian roots but he was born in Germany. He was playing in the Bundesliga, he had good results last year with Eintracht Frankfurt.
“He was the Croatian national coach, he has the experience to work with stars. But Bayern Munich is something special.
“And for this, he needs a little bit of support from the people who are working in the club.
“For me, the mistake Bayern made was that they did not change the players. Kovac has to manage players who have won everything in the previous years. I don’t see motivation from some players.
“When you have won the title six times, how can you motivate yourselves? It is not on purpose, it is an automatic psychologically.
“This was the problem for him. Maybe [he got] some decisions wrong. He has to learn and I think he will learn.
“He is a good coach. He is working very hard from morning until evening to make players better.
“If Bayern gives him the support, the president, the director, the fans, I am sure Bayern will have the same results with Kovac that they were having in the previous years with other coaches.”