Bayern Munich sack manager Kovac after Frankfurt humiliation

The Croatian's position at the club has been deemed untenable following a 5-1 demolition at the hands of his previous side on Saturday.

Niko Kovac has been sacked as manager of Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga champions have confirmed.The 48-year-old Croatian took over at the club from Jupp Heynckes in the summer of 2018 and won a league and cup double in his first season, but Bayern have struggled to hit their best form this campaign.
They were humiliated 5-1 by Kovac’s previous side, Eintracht Frankfurt, on Saturday, a result which proved the final straw for the club’s hierarchy.
It now remains to be seen who will replace Kovac. While assistant manager Hansi Flick will take charge for the upcoming games with Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund, the international break which follows will give the club time to consider a long-term appointment.

A number of high-profile names including Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino and Massimiliano Allegri have been linked, with the likes of Erik ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick and Mark van Bommel also likely to enter into the conversation.

In a statement on the club’s official website, Kovac himself said: "I think this is the right decision for the club at the moment. The results, and also the way we last played, made me come to that decision. My brother Robert and I thank Bayern for the last one-and-a-half years.
“During this time, our team has won the championship, the DFB Cup and the Supercup. It was a good time. I wish the club and the team all the best."

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "The performance of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was need for action.

“Uli Hoeness, Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious conversation with Niko on this basis on Sunday with the consensual result that Niko is no longer coach of Bayern.

"We all regret this development. I would like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, especially for winning the double this past season."

Speculation had already grown around Kovac’s future over the weekend as Sunday’s training session, which had been scheduled to be open to the public, was made private at short notice.

Why Bayern Munich sacked Kovac just 33 days on from 7-2 Spurs thrashing

The Bavarians can qualify for the Champions League knockout stage this week but are on the lookout for a new head coach. What exactly happened?

Over the weekend, the inevitable finally happened at Bayern Munich. For Manuel Neuer, it was a heavy defeat at the hands of a well-drilled team. For the fans, it was the "Kovac Out" moment that they had long been pining for.

"I think that it was foreseeable somewhat," Neuer told reporters after Bayern had been smashed 5-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday in the Bundesliga, where Jerome Boateng had been sent off as early as the ninth minute.

"That’s why what happened is no shock for me. You saw the game in Bochum [a muted 2-1 DFB-Pokal win], so it’s not a massive surprise for me what happened here. It should not be attributed to the fact that we received a red card in the early stage of the game, but rather that things aren’t working. That’s what we have to tackle; we’re analysing it and addressing things.

"But something definitely has to change."

By Sunday evening, their managerial status had changed, with Niko Kovac on the lookout for a new job after leaving the club by mutual consent. The Croatian jumped before he was pushed, offering his resignation during a meeting with Bayern's bosses including Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Just 33 days earlier, the 48-year-old was the man who had masterminded Bayern's 7-2 away win over Tottenham in the Champions League. So what exactly happened to call time on the Kovac regime?

The 5-1 defeat to Frankfurt was Bayern's worst result in a decade and was just the final nail  of someone who looked doomed from the outset. To his credit, it is probably a surprise Kovac lasted so long.

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