FEATURE | Turbulence in Bavaria, Julian Nagelsmann is Bayern Munich’s answer

Carlo Ancelotti has left Bayern Munich and after the performance in Paris, it’s not surprising. Bayern have always been irrational, in some ways even rash and immature. But that’s what makes Bayern Bayern. Ancelotti’s time at Bundesliga champions was not exactly the most successful one. However, one might argue that this was not solely down to the Italian’s tactical incompetence, but rather down to the state of the Bayern he inherited from Pep Guardiola.

Now, not many fans of Bayern were too sad to see Pep leave the club. He had done what he could, he had brought domestic success and had made Bayern into the only team to win Bundesliga more than three times in a row, among other things. He also won the double and developed players in a new way. Apparently, Pep’s training sessions were so complicated the players left Säbener Strasse with headaches, but they always learned something. Always learned something about positioning, passing, pressing or whatever that training was about. Guardiola might have been, might even be, obsessed with his own tactics, but he set the example at Bayern. Nobody remembers Jupp Heynckes’ training sessions, it’s Pep’s they remember and those were difficult, but they were worth it.

Interestingly enough Ancelotti does not have too complicated training sessions. Apparently, he didn’t care too much about training. He once said that a janitor could win the league with Bayern and that very same attitude could be felt in every ounce of every game, in every syllabus in everything he said.

He had to follow Pep’s set-up, his curriculum, but Ancelotti just did not care. It did not take long for the players to turn against him. Whether it happened when they started to drop points during the Rückrunde or not, it does not matter. Ancelotti’s way of doing things just wasn’t compatible with the example that had been set by his predecessor.

It isn’t a surprise that Ancelotti had to be let go of. He’s a dinosaur in his very own Jurassic Park where he is kept alive by scientists who try to understand his ways and his behaviour. His way of doing things just does not fit the current role managers need to have – the role model, the one that leads by example. One can not then go out and claim that a janitor could win the league with Bayern. It simply is not smart enough and certainly not good enough for a top club like Bayern.

Ancelotti leaving Bayern means that his nihilistic ways are gone, they are history. They can quickly be forgotten and we can move on. Perhaps move on to a proper alternative to Ancelotti in the inexperienced Willy Sagnol, a person who knows the club and the league well and acknowledges it’s need for respect. They could move on to Thomas Tuchel and have a few chaotic, but fun years on many fronts. Or they can try to lure Julian Nagelsmann away from Hoffenheim to create a dynasty, lasting many decades.

While the latter might sound more interesting than the other two, that is highly unlikely. We all can definitely see Nagelsmann at Bayern, but not until the end of the season at the earliest.

Should they move on to Nagelsmann, they get a coach in the mould of Guardiola. He’s controlling, likes to keep the ball and is obsessed by his own tactics. Would Guardiola 2.0 be the way to go for Bayern? Most certainly. The players need a coach that openly cares about every little pass on the pitch, while making tweaks so small you can’t even notice them until they stop a goal from happening.

The so very neglected players at Bayern need a coach that understands their need for legitimisation and that can transfer his passion for football onto them. Ancelotti could not do that for some reason, while Guardiola could do that very well. Nagelsmann is just like the latter. Ergo, he is perfect for the job. Add to the equation that he has worked with Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy before and could work on their development. Süle would become one of the best centre backs in the world if continuously coached by Nagelsmann. Rudy could become one of the best controllers as well, if given the tools Nagelsmann possesses. It is a match made in heaven and something we can imagine most fans of Stern des Sudens hope for.

A controlling individual is what they need at Bayern and they need to find one quick. Drop any more points and this season could soon already be over for them. Tik Tok, goes the Nagelsmann clock.

By Axel Falk.

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