Bayern Munich’s season has been a difficult one (and not just in the league) and after losing at home to Schalke hastened the inevitable. Jürgen Klinsmann has been sacked after a frank meeting with club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, general manager Uli Hoeness and director Karl Hopfner today. Bayern will be managed by Jupp Heynckes for the final five matches of the season.
The season had started with a lot of promise, what Bayern Munich looking to (nay, expected to) defend their league crown and make a strong showing in Europe. With five to play Bayern are lying in third place in the Bundesliga, just three points behind leaders Wolfsburg, but have lost six league games, have been beatable at home, have conceded 5 goals a couple of times and…well…have never really adapted to Klinsmann’s ideals and as a result have been vulnerable to a fault.
The lack of fight shown by the team in key games – the 5-1 drubbing at Nou Camp comes first to mind – won’t have helped Klinsmann’s case, but then again he always faced an uphill struggle after looking to change the ‘traditional’ way of doing things in Germany.
Jupp Heynckes will take charge for the last five games in which his remit will be quite simple – win the league at any cost. This will be Heynckes’s second time at the club where he enjoyed a four-year spell between 1987 and 1991. Heynckes will be counting on his past experience with the club and the ‘new manager effect’ to drag Bayern Munich past the finish line as champions.
It’s a shame that Klinsmann wasn’t given more time at Bayern, but when your players aren’t backing your methods, even top managers don’t last long (think Ramos at Tottenham) at the club. The fact that he lasted this long is a testament to the board’s commitment to seeing through their appointment but with just 5 games to go the time for experiments is over. It’s time to dig deep, defy the odds and win the league.
If anyone can do it, especially with the uplift players usually get with a new manager coming in, Bayern Munich can.