Press conferences with Julian Nagelsmann are usually entertaining. The Bayern Munich coach doesn’t usually mince his words and sometimes he makes the journalists laugh with some of his statements and quips. An approach that is equal parts unconventional and refreshing from a young, opinionated coach.
Recently, the good-mood man presented himself differently, Nagelsmann was noticeably irritated after Bayern’s 1-0 loss at FC Augsburg and took his understandable grumpiness out on the reporters in the WWK Arena.
“Nothing good,” he answered succinctly when asked what the recent downturn in form meant. “A lot” has to change but in the end it “doesn’t matter” anyway what he says with a view to the faltering machine.
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He will “think about how to proceed”. As so often in recent weeks, he criticised his players, Nagelsmann mourned the missed opportunities. Following the 2-2 against Stuttgart a week earlier, Nagelsmann is said to have dubbed his team as a bunch of “headless chickens”, according to Bild.

Bayern stars upset with headless chickens statement

The newspaper goes on to say that this criticism, and others, have not gone over well with the players in Munich and the stars in particular are annoyed by the seemingly non-existent self-criticism and the teacher-like nature of their coach.
The players obviously give Nagelsmann at least part of the blame for the miserable results in the league. The senior leadership team of Hasan Salihamidzic, Oliver Kahn and Herbert Hainer have all stood behind the 35-year-old.

Bayern-Trainer Julian Nagelsmann

Image credit: Getty Images

Bayern bosses have their man’s back

Salihamidzic recently clarified that it “does not have to be emphasised again and again” that Nagelsmann enjoys “the full support of FC Bayern”. But how much are such statements worth if there are actually whispers in the dressing room of well-known players struggling with the behaviour of their nagging coach?
Niko Kovac and Carlo Ancelotti, for example, know all too well that it becomes difficult as soon as the established forces no longer follow their coach and his ideas unconditionally. Nagelsmann, the most prominent face of the “new” generation of coaches, deals meticulously, almost scientifically, with football.
Of course, Nagelsmann has no influence on the touchline on the little things that can complicate matters. He can’t control his players missing chance after or chance or things like injuries or individual mistakes. He is not to blame for that. But he is not blameless by any means.

Hasan Salihamidzic - FC Bayern

Image credit: Getty Images

Nagelsmann must become more self-critical

Of course, only wins will help to calm things down, but one measure Nagelsmann could take is to show publicly that he is ready to start being harder on himself and the decisions he makes in terms of tactics and formations.
Sometimes it’s just easier and more useful in terms of morale to wrap your team in cotton wool, to take the media criticism on your own shoulders and let it roll off your back. A feat that successful coaches such as Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jupp Heynckes and Hansi Flick have achieved in terms of leading a team like Bayern. They sold a feel-good atmosphere to the fans and the press and they were considered great man-managers.
Getting the Bayern stars back on track is Nagelsmann’s biggest challenge since he took over last summer. A win against Leverkusen on Friday should do much to lift the mood. Not only with Mr Happy, but also with his other half, Chief Nagger.

Julian Nagelsmann

Image credit: Getty Images

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