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Life at Bayern getting more uncomfortable for Klinsmann
Juergen Klinsmann won almost everything there was to win as a player, enjoying success in Germany, Italy, France and England, but as a coach it’s been a different story.
Granted, taking over Bayern Munich on the back of their league and Cup double last season iss no easy task, especially if it is your first club level job.
But more than halfway through his first season at the club, things are not going as well as he and the club must have hoped.
Bayern are fifth in the league, albeit only four points off the top, but largely because the teams in front of them have also been dropping points.
On Wednesday the title holders spectacularly crashed out of the German Cup in a 4-2 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen. On the other hand they are almost certain of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals after their 5-0 away win against Sporting Lisbon.
But it is not so much the results that have raised questions of how long the Bayern bosses will allow him to stay on. It is the team’s overall performance that worries manager Uli Hoeness, director general Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Franz Beckenbauer.
The defence, which last season conceded 21 goals all season, has already let in 30 after only 22 matches. Against Leverkusen they let in three goals in 16 minutes.
In their three league defeats out of five matches since the winter break, Bayern defenders were largely to blame for individual mistakes that allowed Hertha Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne to leave victorious.
Even Franck Ribery, whose midfield acumen and creative play helped win the domestic double last season, has been complaining about the defence. Can they expect Ribery, the Bundesliga’s biggest star, to stay on if he does not have a shot at winning major European titles?
Former Bayern manager Felix Magath won the double in consecutive seasons only to be sacked halfway through the following campaign when the team dropped to fourth in the league back in 2007.
If Klinsmann’s team do not turn things around quickly, should the Bayern top brass do the same again?
PHOTO: Bayern Munich’s coach Jurgen Klinsmann (L) and manager Uli Hoeness react during the German Cup defeat by Bayer Leverkusen in Duesseldorf March 4, 2009. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele