Since the announcement of the mutual termination of Louis van Gaal’s contract at the end of the season, there have been tons of rumors flying around: Who will be Bayern’s new coach? Red Robbery introduces some of the potential candidates.
Jupp Heynckes: You know this man unless you’re a really new Bayern fan. He took over for the last couple of weeks in 2009 when Jürgen Klinsmann was sacked and secured the Champions League qualification. But that wasn’t the first time Heynckes coached the FCB: From 1987 to 1991, he led the club to two league titles. Uli Hoeneß still regrets that sacking not only because of the success but also, if not mainly, because they are good friends. A legendary moment among football fans took place back in ’89 when Hoeneß defended Heynckes in a heated debate with (or, better, against) Christoph Daum on national TV. In 1998, he won the Champions League with Real Madrid just to be sacked after the season. ‘Don Jupp’ currently is responsible for Bayer Leverkusen’s squad but his contract expires on July 1st.
Strength: Knows the club very well, no trouble between coach and management
Weakness: His age – Heynckes is 65 years old. If you wanna know how stressful it is to coach this club, just ask Ottmar Hitzfeld.
Joachim Löw: The coach of the German national team is known for turning the DFB team into a young, attractive side. Since his contract doesn’t expire until 2012, the only way he becomes the new FCB coach is if someone (Heynckes) is willed to be just a short-term solution. It wouldn’t be his first job as club coach as Löw already worked for clubs in Germany, Turkey and Austria (with moderate success).
Strength: Knows half of the team, can combine successful and attractive football
Weakness: Hasn’t worked for a club for almost 10 years, might struggle with the daily routine work
Ralf Rangnick: Named the ‘professor’ in Germany because he was one of the first coaches who tried to explain tactical stuff to the public, Rangnick is probably the tactically most adept solution. Two consecutive promotions with both Ulm (’98, ’99) and Hoffenheim (’07, ’08), another promotion with Hannover (’02) and a Champions League qualification with Schalke (’05) are his most important successes as coach so far. His problem: He wants to be responsible for transfers, something Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge prefer to avoid. That makes him a very unlikely choice.
Strength: Smart tactician, always seems to have a long-term plan
Weakness: Wants too much influence
Matthias Sammer: The former world-class sweeper currently works as the DFB’s technical director but already has coaching experience. He won a title with Dortmund in 2002 which made him, at the age of 34, the youngest coach to ever win the Bundesliga. However, Sammer is well-known for being a person who always speaks his mind openly, it’s doubtful whether Bayern likes that. Not only that, Sammer hasn’t been a coach for 6 years now. Signing him would definitely be a risk, although one that could pay off.
Strength: Young but experienced and successful, very knowledgeable
Weakness: Outspokenness, hasn’t coached for 6 years
Martin Jol: The Dutch has yet to coach a true top-class team but did a respectable job at Tottenham, Hamburg and Ajax. He is a bit of the great unknown in the rumor mill. While some criticize that he has yet to win a league title, others say that this is not his fault as the clubs he has coached never made it possible for him to build the team he wants because of a lack of money or time. But is Bayern really looking for another Dutch project?
Strength: ? (please tell me if you’re a fan of one of the clubs he has coached and are aware of any strength)
Weakness: Never coached a top-class squad
Thorsten Fink: Certainly the outsider in the ‘coach race’, Fink is mainly considered to be a possible replacement because of his Bayern past. The midfielder spent 9 years playing for the club, including an appearance in the 1999 Champions League final. After his first coaching job in Ingolstadt, Fink joined FC Basel in 2009 and immediately won the league title and domestic cup in his first year. This season, he and his team played against Bayern in the CL group stage (and lost both matches, 1-2 and 0-3).
Strength: Knows the club well
Weakness: Inexperienced, unproven
As you can see, most of these solutions seem unlikely so it’s definitely possible that Bayern’s new coach is as much of a surprise as Jürgen Klinsmann was. Don’t expect an announcement within the next weeks, though, as the club surely wants to finish the season without the players thinking of their new boss.