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Why Julian Nagelsmann is the way forward for Bayern Munich

Sourav Saha
SENIOR ANALYST
Feature
702   //    13 Sep 2017, 19:58 IST

Julian Nagelsmann
Julian Nagelsmann

The recent rumours in the German press about young hotshot, Julian Nagelsmann, the current Hoffenheim coach being readied for the Bayern Munich role has already gotten a lot of tongues wagging. And one wonders if it is the right way forward given the pressures associated with managing a club as huge as Bayern. 

Ralph Honigstein, the German football expert in the Euro League podcast was of the belief that, Ancelotti may not see out the end of his three-year contract. And one of the reasons that were cited was, that over the weekend in the clash of Bayern Munich against Hoffenheim, Ancelotti was outcoached and outclassed purely based on the tactics adopted.

The German has already shown glimpses of his proactive approach to coaching by showing he is not afraid to make changes depending on the situation. And over the weekend, most Bayern fans felt that Ancelotti's team should have provided a better response given the resources available to him.

The downside of the 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim has led to a certain fission between the players and manager alike, and the fans not to be outdone have also let know their displeasure. This is in addition to the reports of Thomas Muller being unhappy after he was dropped to the bench for the game at Werder Bremen the weekend before the international break. 

Ancelotti did clarify his position in respect of Muller at the time and played down the players comments of reported unhappiness by stating that, “When a player doesn't play, of course, he is not happy. He complained a little bit after the game, this is absolutely normal. I prefer to have an unhappy player when he doesn't play than to have a player happy to stay on the bench. I understand this really well, I had a lot of experience about this because I was a player -- when I didn't play I wasn't happy.”

There have also been instances of Robert Lewandowski airing his displeasure at some of the services from his team-mates. Ancelotti has played down such rumours by attributing them to the high standards that the players have set themselves.

New era of coaching

Ancelotti's side were tactically outclassed by Nagelsmann
Ancelotti's side were tactically outclassed by Nagelsmann

Continuing in the same vein, Nagelsmann’s man-management and flexibility are some of the qualities that a club of Bayern’s stature could really do with. The German's enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air and he considers himself as a Guardiola disciple, one who is not afraid to shake things up.

Over the years, man-management has become more important than ever, with players now realising their economic worth to a club and their own. That said, there is always a player’s entourage which also needs to be settled in order for the player to be “happy” at a club. 

Nagelsmann, in that respect, ticks all the boxes that the Bayern hierarchy are looking at. That said, the Hoffenheim coach is also viewed as something of a coaching prodigy and if the right kind of platform is provided, then one only hopes that he will achieve much more. Back in 2008, Bayern missed out on the opportunity to hire Jürgen Klopp when they opted to hire Jürgen Klinsmann, a far more attractive name at the time than the relatively unknown Klopp.

Instead, Klopp went to Borussia Dortmund and transformed the club as competitors across Europe and their own league where he managed to inspire his team to the Bundesliga titles in the years 2010-11 and 2011-12. Whether the same path is taken by Nagelsmann is very hard to predict, but Bayern may still see it as rejuvenation of the system. 

And according to Ralph Honigstein, Bayern do not want to go down the same path again as that would mean losing out on one of the most talented coaches of this generation. Nagelsmann, 30, became the youngest Bundesliga coach ever when Hoffenheim appointed him in February 2016, aged 28 years old. Since then he hasn’t done too badly having beaten the reigning Bundesliga champions for a second straight season as well as taking Hoffenheim to Europe with a limited budget.

Counter-Opinions and Pressure of Managing Bayern Munich

Villas Boas took on the Chelsea player power and it didn't end well for him
Villas Boas took on the Chelsea player power and it didn't end well for him

That said, there is a lot of counter-opinions as well as in regard to managing Bayern and how the club may not be that hasty in their decision of replacing the coach. Bayern has always maintained a certain respect for the coaches and until and unless dismal performances and results set in, it is very hard to see Carlo Ancelotti being dismissed. 

The bigger clubs generally have bigger players in their ranks and player power as has been mentioned earlier nowadays plays a different music in the changing room. So, appointing a somewhat greenhorn to one of the top-most clubs might be a risk that the Bayern Munich Board will have to consider. Ancelotti is a well-respected manager in that sense and knows when to douse the fires and rifts of discontent. 

The not so recent examples of Andre Villas Boas and David Moyes are always a deterrence for clubs looking to make a radical change. These gentlemen had achieved considerable success at their respective clubs which were much smaller in nature thus leading them to be appointed as top dog of the elite clubs. Unfortunately, due to a variety of circumstances, things didn’t work out between the managers and players and most importantly the results also didn't go in the manager's favour.

A club of Bayern’s stature can ill-afford to wave away such concerns. While it may be too early to read into these assumptions, one, however, won’t be surprised to see the 30-year-old taking over from one of the legendary coaches. 

Tremors in football parlance are often related to the upheavals to the club dealings. More than often a football club is preoccupied in trying to create the perfect balance between the coaches, manager and the players. This balance can be obtained when all the parties are on the same page.

If somehow, Bayern Munich as a club can manage all these issues, it will indeed be a harbinger for a new generation of coaches coming into the game. Indeed, an appointment of such a nature will be deliberated upon by experts of all ages.

The tactical nous of Nagelsmann is already making other clubs across Europe take notice of this young German. Bayern have always accumulated the best domestic talent in the player's pool, whether they go one step further and see Nagelsmann in the same bracket is a point to ponder for fans and neutrals alike. 

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Sourav Saha
SENIOR ANALYST
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