Bayern: Kicker claims four players trying to engineer Kovac exit
Bayern Munich suffered another setback under coach Niko Kovac on Saturday when Freiburg left the Allianz Arena with a point in their pockets after a 1-1 draw, applying more pressure to the former Frankfurt manager in his debut season with the Bavarian giants.
Bayern are four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund with the two sides set to meet next weekend at the Westfalenstadion and Kovac’s position had come under question after a run of four games without a win in the Bundesliga and Europe earlier in the season.
The Croatian had overseen four victories since then to steady the ship but the Freiburg result has led to renewed speculation about behind-the-scenes plotting against Kovac.
Kicker: four senior players downing tools to see Kovac sacked
German publication Kicker has claimed that four senior players – Mats Hummels, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller – are disgruntled with the Bayern boss’ methods and their reduced playing time under his regime of rotations.
Müller’s wife criticised Kovac on social media for leaving the forward on the bench against Freiburg and Robben is said to be less than enthused with his peripheral role, the veteran winger having played 90 minutes just five times in 13 games.
Kicker suggested that the four have been limiting their efforts in matches and are seeking to engineer the coach’s departure, with the players unhappy with Kovac’s tactical inflexibility and perceived lack of a Plan B.
Prior to the conflict against Dortmund, Bayern confront AEK Athens in the Champions League in a week that could decide Kovac’s fate.