The main beneficiary of Hansi Flick’s period as interim coach has been Thomas Müller. The former Germany forward has started all three games since Flick took over from Niko Kovac and picked up three assists, as he reintegrates into the team. Restoring Müller was one of the easiest quick fixes for Flick.
Three games in to a reign that’s likely to run for another five in the Bundesliga and two in the Champions League, Flick is yet to see his team concede a goal. And Müller was quick to sing the coach’s praises after Bayern swept Fortuna Düsseldorf aside 4-0 on Saturday.
DW’s Michael Da Silva
“The coach puts forward a plan that we stick to,” said Müller, who has a Bundesliga-leading seven assists this season. “As a result, we have some stability on the pitch because we know what the players around us are doing. We took the momentum from the Olympiacos and Dortmund games with us and despite a different starting line-up we still had the same spirit and hunger for the ball. That’s what pleases me.”
Müller would say that as he’s back in the team, but Benjamin Pavard also paid tribute to the Flick factor. “We have a very good understanding with the coach,” Pavard said. “It fits well and we are getting results on the pitch. Everyone is convinced by his vision. Now we have seven games left that we want to win with the coach.”
But should it only be seven games? Flick may not be the premier coach that Bayern crave, but there is something to be said for working around a unifying figure, and the former Bayern player is not only popular with the players but also the fans: a quick browse through the comments on Bayern’s Twitter feed will confirm that. There’s a compelling case that Bayern should give Flick full control until the summer, and let him see what he can do.
Flicks seems to be enjoying himself too. When asked how he feels about the job he is doing, he responded buoyantly: “I’m in good spirits. To work with a team like this, have the backing to do so and to have fun doing it, that’s all very important. It’s good that the club have given themselves the time until Christmas to think things over. It’s important that I don’t give it much thought. I’m happy the results are going well, and am simply enjoying the here and now. I just need to continue as I’ve started.”
The other issue for Bayern is the availability of the potential candidates. Current frontrunner, Mauricio Pochettino, departed Tottenham last week, but is he ready to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire? His lack of German was also described as a “handicap” by former Bayern captain Lothar Matthäus when he discussed his suitability to the role in an interview with Sky Sports in which he was otherwise supportive of a move for the Argentine.
Then there is the young star coach in Amsterdam, Erik ten Hag. But he has already confirmed that he will remain at Ajax until the end of the season. Thomas Tuchel is tied up in Paris, Ralf Rangnick isn’t Bayern’s cup of tea, Arsene Wenger would rather work at FIFA, and Massimiliano Allegri probably would already be in the Bayern hot-seat if he desired the role and if Bayern wanted him.
All this points towards giving Flick the reins until the summer and the freedom to build on his excellent start. Bayern will always attract the big coaches — there’s no need to rush it.