Bayern Munich have given under-fire coach Julian Nagelsmann a public vote of confidence after their season took another bad turn over the weekend.
A 1-0 defeat by Augsburg may have been their first defeat of the campaign, but they are winless in four games. And what is more the Bundesliga champions are five points behind the league leaders in fifth place.
The club, who have won the Bundesliga for the last 10 seasons, find themselves in an unfamiliar position. The 7-0 win over Bochum last month has been long forgotten. Bayern have simply struggled to get past their last four domestic opponents.
Bayern lacked a clinical edge against Augsburg with both Sadio Mané and Leroy Sane wasting chances. Augsburg keeper Rafal Gikiewicz also made several fine saves as Bayern dominated with 77% possession.
It was Augsburg’s first home win of the season and the result left plenty of questions for Nagelsmann.
The loss of Robert Lewandowski has been a huge blow and clearly rattled and the German coach was not happy talking about the Poland striker afterwards.
“What difference does it make whether I say yes or no?” he said when asked by a reporter if his side was missing Lewandowski. “It doesn’t matter what I answer. If I say no you’ll all say I can’t see the problem. If I say yes you’ll all say I’m missing Lewandowski. So, it doesn’t matter what I say.”
The Bayern hierarchy refuse to panic though and have been unwavering in their support for the man they appointed in the summer of 2021.
“We are completely convinced of Julian Nagelsmann and our whole team,” club president Herbert Hainer told TZ Munich.
“After the international break we will go all-out again, as you know FC Bayern.
“Four Bundesliga games without a win at Bayern is, of course, not what our fans and all of us imagine.
“We see the multitude of goal chances that our team creates in every match and that are currently not reflected in our results.”
Fabrizio Romano has also claimed that Bayern are not about to make a knee-jerk reaction. They are all behind Nagelsmann and are ignoring talk the job is too big for the 35-year-old.
“Bayern are very clear on their position – they are protecting Nagelsmann with the whole board and they are denying all the rumours on other managers. At the moment, this is not changing,” Romano told Caughtoffside.
But there are two very high profile candidates currently out of work. Axed Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is looking for another role after his shock sacking at the start of the month. While former PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is also out of work.
Whether having two high-calibre candidates available will force Bayern’s hand is unclear. Publicly though they remain steadfast in their support of Nagelsmann, who has a 70% win record at Bayern.
No time for Kovac
The German giants though were quick to pull the rug from under Nico Kovac in 2019.
Nagelsmann has been critical of his team and following the 2-2 draw with VfB Stuttgart earlier this month, he said: “The aggressiveness in possession was a bit lacking, a tad too much control, a bit too little risk and greed to go forward.
“But we still had three huge chances where you have to score a third goal – with Serge, Leroy and Jamal.”
BILD claim that “some players” believe that Nagelsmann should look at himself rather than blaming his team. And a number of players left the Allianz Arena without saying a word at the weekend.
All is not well, Sane stormed down the tunnel after being subbed in the Champions League win over Barcelona. He had scored Bayern’s second goal and was visibly furious with the decision.
He did eventually return to the bench to sit alongside his team-mates, but it’s not a happy camp at the moment.
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