Kovac perplexed: “I must first process this”

Niko Kovac seemed distraught and helpless for the first time in his short time as coach of FC Bayern after the poor draw against Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League. The crass drop in form of his star football ensemble is also a big mystery to him. “Not only I am surprised, but many are. You couldn’t expect that in form,” said the 46-year-old after the third unsuccessful compulsory game in a row. “Why is the performance in the last three games the way it is,” he asked. He didn’t have an answer spontaneously. Kovac asked for two days to think about it. “I have to deal with that first of all”.

The Bavarians could even be glad that three days after the first defeat of the season at 0:2 against Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga the next one on the European stage did not follow immediately. Ajax registered a chance plus in the second half.

In stoppage time, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer took Lasse Schöne ‘s free-kick to the crossbar with his fingertips. “We were cheeky and courageous. We should have won,” said Ajax coach Erik ten Hag. He was visibly proud of his team. “It’s not normal for teams from Munich to take a point with them,” said the former coach of the Bayern amateurs.

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Manuel Neuer Honours

Borussia Dortmund

  • Bundesliga: 2010–11, 2011–12
  • DFB-Pokal: 2011–12
  • DFL-Supercup: 2013, 2014
  • UEFA Champions League: Runners-up: 2012–13

Bayern Munich

  • Bundesliga: 2016–17, 2017–18
  • DFL-Supercup: 2016, 2017, 2018

Germany

  • FIFA World Cup: 2014
  • UEFA European Under-21 Championship: 2009

Individual

  • ESM Team of the Year: 2010–11, 2011–12
  • FIFA FIFPro World XI 2nd team: 2014
  • FIFA FIFPro World XI 3rd team: 2013, 2017
  • FIFA FIFPro World XI 4th team: 2015, 2016
  • FIFA FIFPro World XI 5th team: 2018
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2014
  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2014
  • Castrol Performance Index: 2014 FIFA World Cup (Top 11)
  • UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2015–16
  • Bundesliga Team of the Season: 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18

After an optimal start to the season under Kovac, the Bayern pros have suddenly become vulnerable for a week now. The game started optimally: Mats Hummels headed the 1:0 early, “But the goal didn’t give us the security we needed,” Kovac was astonished. One had “dismantled” oneself afterwards and “built up” Ajax. But the guests met only once by the Moroccan Noussair Mazraoui.

“Of course we’re not used to that, and that’s not our claim either,” said Arjen Robben after the game against his compatriots. “But it can’t be that everything is bad within a week,” said the 34-year-old Dutchman: “You need a win to get back on track.” The chance is there to do that.

The chance to do so is already on Saturday in the league home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach. Goal scorer Hummels should be fit again. The national player had to be sewn after a place wound at the head with several stitches, as Kovac reported. In the Champions League the Bavarians are still on the same level behind Ajax in second place. “We have four points after two games, that’s okay,” commented Captain Neuer. But the deterioration in form gives us food for thought. Kerching Casino is creatively using bonuses to win the hearts of many players.