Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich

Nico Kovac undoubtedly has deserved an encouraging pat on the back for his achievements this season. The 47-year old is the first in Bayern Munich’s history having won the double (National Championship and Cup) as a player and as a coach.

One year after his surprising cup victory with underdogs Eintracht Frankfurt against favorites Bayern the rooted Croatian coach again comes along as the unexpected winner after having been under pressure for several months.

But will Bayern’s 29th Bundesliga title and 19th Cup triumph be enough to convince the Bavarian boardroom such as chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, president Uli Hoeness, and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic to count on the former midfielder as next season’s coach?

The decision is set to be made soon by Bayern’s bosses after the 2013 treble winners’ impressive performance against league rival RB Leipzig in the 2019 Cup final (3-0) – but a rigorous analysis of this transition year, seems inevitable.

What is speaking for Kovac, what against him?

One must admit that the inexperienced coach managed a satisfying turnaround after closing a nine-point gap to Borussia Dortmund in the league. “We not only managed to close that gap but ended up first,” Kovac commented.

Bayern’s coach praised the successful symbiosis “between team and fans.” Both after the league’s final game against Frankfurt and after the Cup final fans gave a vote of confidence in favor of Kovac. A week ago, in the Munich arena and this Saturday in the Berlin Olympic stadium, a gigantic chorus of supporters praised Bayern’s current manager.

The peoples’ vote might affect the club leader’s final decision.

Kovac can claim to have survived a challenging season while he had to deal with several uncertain cases. Club legends like Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Rafinha, James Rodriguez, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Mueller, and Mats Hummels were far from easy to handle.

For some time Kovac was accused of having lost the locker room, some reports spoke about ongoing turmoil, but approaching the finish line things turned to good for him.

The questions that club’s decision makers need answering is: Will the team be able to carry on their stunning run of form they showed at the back end of the season into August? And: How good is the relationship between the team and coach?

Bayern’s squad will change as Robben, Ribery, Rafinha, and Boateng are departing. But as these players move on, competition for a starting place will drive new faces to fill these vacancies.

Bayern’s bosses demand a stricter working style from Kovac. And they require an advanced tactical system as the early exit in the Champions League against Liverpool in the last-16-round is still an open wound.

Rummenigge might have spoken of a “highly satisfying season outcome.” The 63-year-old might have mentioned he never intended to question Kovac’s future with the club until his contract expires in 2021. But he didn’t forget to say “it was important to win the Cup final as Bayern is a club that is expected to win finals.”

Kovac most likely will survive the debate and stay as Bayern’s coach as he can count on the support of Hoeness. But the club’s leaders will demand that he listens to their advice and improve his coaching.

Kovac seems to have passed the first key test by achieving the cup and league double. However, the key for Kovac will be to maintain form, support of the fans and the confidence of the board while things get hectic around him. Enditem


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