Tensions between coach Hansi Flick and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic are influencing Bayern’s performance this season. A return to calm is hoped for before the quarter-final second leg of the Champions League next Tuesday against PSG.
Oliver Kahn must have felt very lonely in the stands of the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, after Bayern’s defeat against PSG (2-3) in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. The former goalkeeper has already been able to weigh the work that awaits him when he takes over from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as president of the Bavarian club in 2022.
The legendary German goalkeeper will notably have to manage the tensions between the technical staff and the sports management. A management that poses many problems for the current Bayern boss due to a conflict that has been latent for several months between Hans-Dieter Flick and Hasan Salihamidzic. In mid-March, the coach would have even launched to its leader these raw words: “Now, you are going to shut your mouth”. All in front of the professional workforce during a coach trip. Despite Flick’s apologies, the relationship between the two did not improve.
Rummenigge: “We must all unite”
Two days after the defeat conceded to PSG by Kylian Mbappé, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tried to bring order and calm the game between his coach and his sports director. Before the duel at the Parc des Princes, the Bavarian president called for a sacred union.
“We must all unite, we must work together in a harmonious, loyal and professional manner, explained the ex-Mannschaft striker to Bild on Friday. This is what I am clearly asking from the sports management.”
Brilliant but contested flick
Close to Hansi Flick, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge publicly supports the coach of the first team. Unlike the former boss, and still influential, Uli Hoeness, a staunch supporter of Hasan Salihamidzic. Despite impressive statistics since his arrival at the end of 2019 (65 victories for only 6 draws and 7 defeats), and in particular the six titles won last season, the technician sees his work called into question.
Under contract until June 2023, the future of Flick seems uncertain and some would even push so that he leaves the club and takes the head of the German team after the Euro and the departure of Joachim Löw. What to spare him a nice way out, while putting an end to the internal conflict.
Former Bayern player and now consultant for the Sky Sport channel in Germany, Dietmar Hamann believes ineluctable a departure of the coach in the coming months in the event of elimination against PSG.
“The subject will come back if Bayern takes the door to Paris next week, and there is no longer any question at the sporting level because the championship is already over,” said the former Bavarian midfielder in an editorial for the site of Sky Sport. Even if Flick does not become the national coach, he will not be at Bayern next season. It can be assumed that Salihamidzic will remain on the board and that these two clearly no longer want to work together.”
A summer recruitment that does not pass
At the origin of this feud between Hansi Flick and Hasan Salihamidzic, the summer recruitment led by the sports director without real consultation with his trainer. The arrivals of Bouna Sarr, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting or Marc Roca and Douglas Costa are the result of the manager and not the coach. None of his four players have managed to settle regularly in Bayern’s starting XI since the start of the season. Against PSG, Roca and Costa were injured while Bouna Sarr was on the bench. Holder, and scorer, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting benefited from the package of Robert Lewandowski.
Ditto for Alexander Nübel, slowed in progress due to a limited playing time under the orders of Hansi Flick. Presented as the future great German goalkeeper, the ex-player of Schalke 04 must be satisfied with a role of understudy behind Manuel Neuer. Despite a clause supposed to guarantee him at least ten games as a starter, the 24-year-old goalkeeper has only played three games this season. What push him to consider a loan during the summer transfer window, Monaco would be interested, and thus force Hasan Salihamidzic to look for a new number two.
Boateng’s non-extension rekindles tensions
If the European duel against Paris could have served as a catalyst and a factor of unity, one last element has come back to fire in recent days: the announced departure of Jérôme Boateng. Free next June, the German defender would have been warned of the will of his management not to extend it. Problem, Hans-Dieter Flick would have learned through the press and not from Hasan Salihamidzic.
“I do not know how the media know that. He had a very good season, even dropped Flick, a bit annoyed before the quarter-final first leg of C1. […] I don’t want to comment on this question anymore. “
In an unfavorable waiver after its defeat against PSG, Bayern Munich will have to ignore its internal dissensions to hope to join the last four in the Champions League. Premature elimination of the defending champion could have structural consequences for the whole club.
>> PSG-Bayern, it’s Tuesday April 13 from 9 p.m. live on RMC Sport 1