It has been some start to 2023 for Bayern Munich, on and off the pitch. The Bavarian club struggled for form in the Bundesliga, suffering three consecutive draws. The poor run in the league was halted with a 4-2 win against Wolfsburg last weekend. Die Roten remains at the top of the points table, but their lead has been reduced to just one point.
Along with struggles on the pitch, there has been a significant change in the coaching staff of Julian Nagelsmann that has led to a lot of debate. The Bavarian club parted ways with long-term goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic. The departure of Tapalovic could eventually lead to the appointment of a new skipper next season.
Several players in the squad, especially Manuel Neuer, were shocked by the departure of Tapalovic. Neuer ended up giving an explosive interview to The Athletic last week. He ended up questioning Bayern’s decision to sack Tapalovic in this interview. Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn expressed disappointment after Neuer’s interview was released.
Neuer’s comments about Tapalovic do suggest that his relationship with Julian Nagelsmann is likely to be strained. The latest reports in Germany suggest that the recent turn of events may eventually lead to the appointment of a new captain next season.
According to Bild (via iMiaSanMia), Joshua Kimmich may end up becoming the captain of the first team next season. The German midfielder is the first point of contact for Nagelsmann in the squad. Kimmich has previously captained the team in the absence of senior players like Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer.
Bayern’s hierarchy firmly believes in Nagelsmann’s vision and considers him as part of their long-term project. They have made tough decisions to give Nagelsmann the perfect environment to succeed. However, stripping Neuer from captaincy will be a very bold step.
For now, Nagelsmann doesn’t have to deal with Neuer in the squad since he is recovering from a serious injury. The German goalkeeper is confident about returning to action before the start of pre-season training in the summer. He is expected to be disciplined for the recent interview, but a decision on captaincy may not come before the end of the season.
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Meanwhile, Bayern has agreed a deal with Hoffenheim to sign goalkeeping coach Michael Rechner. Nagelsmann worked with Rechner during his stint at Hoffenheim a few years ago. Rechner’s first day with the squad was on Wednesday. Tom Starke is expected to resume his duties in the academy after filling in for Tapalovic during the last couple of games.