(Football news) It was just a few months ago that Julian Nagelsmann guided Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga in his first season in-charge. They are currently just a point behind leaders Borussia Dortmund this time around and are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League where they will take on Manchester City. Nagelsmann had an impressive record at Bayern, averaging 2.19 points per match during his tenure and had just three defeats this season. It’s the fourth best tally for a manager in Bundesliga history, yet it wasn’t good enough for the Bayern Munich hierarchy. Why exactly did chairman Herbert Hainer decide to sack Nagelsmann despite describing the manager a “perfect fit” just a few months ago?
It’s debatable that Nagelsmann has made no real progress since his appointment from RB Leipzig in 2021. Bayern Munich have always considered winning the Bundesliga as an absolute necessity and under Nagelsmann, the team won their 32nd domestic title but suffered a quarter-final exit in the Champions League. The manager then deviated his playing style from a heavy wing style to become more centre focused and the team took time to adapt to these new changes. Talisman Robert Lewandowski, who departed for Barcelona in the summer was not replaced and new signings like Sadio Mane took time to settle in.
Bayern were on a fantastic run before the World Cup break, winning 10 consecutive games and looking in pole position to defend their Bundesliga crown. However, their performances this year have shown signs of vulnerability as the team has dropped 12 points in 10 games, resulting in the Bundesliga title still up for grabs. Their 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen last week meant Bayern Munich dropped to 2nd place since October, one point behind rivals Borussia Dortmund, a factor that may have played a part in Julian Nagelsmann’s sacking. However, there is more to it than that.
Reports have emerged that Nagelsmann didn’t have the best relationship with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and it further deteriorated when the 36 year old injured himself in a skiing incident. To make matters worse, Neuer had to see goalkeeping coach and best friend Toni Tapalovic released which strained the relationship even further. Players complained about Nagelsmann’s training methods and his tendency to shout instructions from the sidelines during games.
Nagelsmann built up a reputation as a know-it-all inside the Bayern Munich dressing room and made headlines for the wrong reasons after leaving his wife for a tabloid reporter and reports of confidential team information being leaked to the newspapers. His replacement Thomas Tuchel has previously guided Chelsea to the Champions League trophy and will be expected to win the trophy during his time at the German giants. The German manager will see his side take on Borussia Dortmund in his first match in-charge on April 1st and the fixture is being billed as a title decider. Time will tell how the former PSG and Chelsea manager fares at the German giants.