Star ‘threatens to quit’ as Bayern endure 15-minute nightmare
HEAD coach Niko Kovac said individual mistakes are at the heart of Bayern Munich’s slump after they crashed to a 3-0 Bundesliga defeat at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach, leaving them fifth in the table.
After losing 2-0 at Hertha Berlin a week ago and drawing 1-1 at home to Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday, Bayern are winless in their last four matches in all competitions.
The defending champions were 2-0 down against Gladbach after 16 minutes, leaking early goals to Alassane Plea and club captain Lars Stindl, before Patrick Herrmann added a late third on Saturday.
This is the first time Bayern have lost consecutive league games since May 2015, when they had already won the Bundesliga title under ex-coach Pep Guardiola.
Kovac is under pressure with Bayern now four points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund and out of the Champions League places, which will displease chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness.
“I had their support after the first seven games (when Bayern were undefeated), so I assume I still have it, but at the end, I am not the one who can answer that,” said Kovac.
“I have said a few words to the team, but that should stay in the dressing room. We are making too many individual mistakes.
“Everyone is trying, but at the moment we are not bringing it together on the pitch.
“You have to act as a unit, but we conceded three goals from their three goals.” — Alaba injury — To compound Bayern’s problems, left-back and dead-ball specialist David Alaba limped off in the second half with a leg injury.
“It could be a tear, from what he signalled to me,” said Kovac. With Juan Bernat having been sold to Paris Saint-Germain and Rafinha out injured, Bayern are down to just one fit wing-back in Joshua Kimmich.
“This is exactly what I feared would happen,” admitted Kovac. This is Bayern’s worst start to a season for eight years and their worse run of results since September 2017 — when Carlo Ancelotti was sacked after a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League.
The Italian’s replacement Jupp Heynckes managed to steer Munich to a sixth straight league title.
The fixture list could help Bayern after the international break against mid-table Wolfsburg, then Mainz away in their next two league games.
“Unfortunately, most of the players will be gone tomorrow (on international duty),” said Kovac.
“That means we won’t have enough players to work things through in training. “We have to hope that those who are in the national teams will come back with clear heads.
“When we are all together again, we will have to make sure we perform as well as we imagine we can.” Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, who found himself in the unusual position of conceding three goals, was at a loss to explain the slump.
“We started well, but conceded two goals and ended up chasing the game,” said the Germany goalkeeper.
“You can see that we all want it, but we didn’t take the big chances which came our way.” Veteran winger Arjen Robben said it is up to Bayern’s superstar squad to dig the team out of trouble.
“Of course, this is a bad phase, we have to get out of it,” said the Dutch winger.
“We did not create enough, we have to analyse the whole thing, but it’s not as though everything is now shit.”
— EDAFE MATTHEW ESEOGHENE (@ELEGBETE1)
— Delaniblog (@Delaniblog)
Bayern boss Niko Kovac plays down talk of a rift with James Rodríguez: ‘James is a player of extraordinary quality and is important for the club. He’s proved that several times, but I can’t play with 12 men.’ https://t.co/uUic1iBTl5 pic.twitter.com/kBOQ10lckA— AS English (@English_AS)
Bayern Munich terrible
Real Madrid terrible
But all the media talks about 24/7 is Manchester United— Aidan Walsh 🔰 (@AidanWalshMUFC)
‘James Rodriguez threatens to quit Bayern Munich after dressing room rant with manager Niko Kovac.’
Looks like… He’s Coming Home. pic.twitter.com/q5qw1HvL5W— SM¹³ (@SMFutboI)
Man Utd aren’t the only ones.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport)
Defeats for Bayern Munich & Real Madrid!
No win in 4 for Bayern.
No win in 4 for Real.— John Bennett (@JohnBennettBBC)