Hero to zero: Battered Bayern bullet Kovac

November 4 – Football moves in mysterious ways. Just one month after wowing the whole of Europe with their sensational 7-2 win at Tottenham in the Champions League, Bayern Munich have sacked Niko Kovac as manager following Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga – their heaviest defeat in a decade.

“The performance of our team in recent weeks and the results have shown us that there was need for action. [Bayern club president] Uli Hoeness, [sporting director] Hasan Salihamidzic and I had an open and serious conversation with Niko on this basis on Sunday with the consensual result that Niko is no longer coach of FC Bayern,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.

“We all regret this development. I would like to thank Niko Kovac on behalf of FC Bayern for his work, especially for winning the doubles this past season.”

The defeat was only Bayern’s second of the season but they have also drawn three and are in fourth place in the table and such are their high standards of dominance in the Bundesliga that they acted quickly.

Although the former Croatia midfielder, in charge since July 2018 at his former club, led Bayern to a league-and-cup double last season – the  first person to do so as a player and manager – they have their worst defensive record since Jurgen Klinsmann was coach in 2008.

Kovac, who took over after a spell in charge of, ironically, Eintracht Frankfurt, had no complaints saying getting rid of him was the “correct decision for the club at this time”.

“The results and the way we’ve played lately have led me to this decision.”

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