‘They’ve had the same players for six years… their biggest mistake was not making a change’: Bayern Munich icon Lothar Matthaus defends Niko Kovac and insists club’s stuttering start is down to a stagnant squad
- Lothar Matthaus has insisted Niko Kovac isn’t to blame for Bayern Munich’s start
- The club sit in fourth position and have won just seven of their opening 13 games
- Former player Matthaus believes Bayern should have invested in the summer
- He said: ‘For me, the mistake they made was that they did not change the players’
- The 57-year-old has also backed manager Kovac to get Bayern firing again
Bayern Munich icon Lothar Matthaus has leaped to the defence of Niko Kovac and insisted the club’s early-season problems stem from their failure to freshen up the playing squad in the summer.
Kovac, who took over the reigns just before the summer, has been made a scapegoat for Bayern’s stuttering start to the season, but former player Matthaus believes the issues lie elsewhere.
Lothar Matthaus has iisted Bayern Munich’s early-season struggles is not Niko Kovac’s fault
The 57-year-old says the club made a huge mistake by not replenishing a stagnant squad in the summer and has questioned if time has caught up with some of their key players who are now in the twilight of their careers.
‘Niko Kovac was a player with Bayern 15 years ago. He has the DNA of Bayern, he knows the Bundesliga,’ Matthaus told Goal.
‘He has Croatian roots but he was born in Germany. He was playing in the Bundesliga, he had a good result last year with Eintracht Frankfurt. He was a Croatian national coach, he has the experience to work with stars. But Bayern Munich is something special.
Club legend Matthaus believes Bayern made a huge mistake by not investing in the summer
He said players like Arjen Robben (L) and Franck Ribery are too old and Bayern need a change
‘And for this, he needs a little bit of support from the people who are working in the club. For me, the mistake Bayern did was that they did not change the players.
‘They have the players who have been playing for the last six years like [Arjen] Robben, [Franck] Ribery, [Jerome] Boateng, [Thomas] Muller. Times change, football is going faster and faster and the young generation is coming more. The biggest mistake Bayern did before the season was that they didn’t make the change.’
Matthaus, who spent twelve years playing for the club during two spells, is confident Kovac is the man to lead the club forward, but wants him to take this opportunity to blood some of their promising young players this season.
He added: ‘Kovac has to manage players who have won everything in the previous years. I miss some motivation from players. When you have won the title six times, how can you motivate yourselves? It is not on purpose, it is automatic psychologically.
‘This was the problem for him. Maybe [he got] some decisions wrong. He has to learn and I think he will learn. He is a good coach. He is working from morning till evening very hard to make players better.
‘If Bayern gives him the support, the president, the director, the fans, I am sure Bayern will have the same results with Kovac what they were having in the previous years with other coaches.
‘And now, step by step, they will fight back. Bayern have very good young players and with Niko Kovac as the coach, he has to give the chance for the young players to play.’
Serge Gnabry pictured scoring in Bayern’s win over Werder Bremen last weeken
Matthaus has backed Kovac for success but wants to see him blood the youngsters this season