Bayern Munich have clinched the Bundesliga title in record time, reached the semifinals of the European Champions League and the German Cup, and yet they are preparing to say goodbye to manager Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.
Considering how well the Bavarians have done this year, we have to ask, do they really need Pep Guardiola? I say no they don’t.
Whatever way you look at it, Bayern have had an amazing campaign. Domestically, they are on course to set new league records for victories and points.
So far they have won 25 of 29 matches, which means they have a success rate of 86%. Bayern have only conceded 13 goals, meaning their goalkeeper is only beaten once every 2.2 games. By anyone’s standards, those numbers are phenomenal.
Their performances in the Champions League have been just as impressive. Bayern have won seven games, more than any other team, on the way to the final four of the competition. They are second in goals scored and were absolutely irresistible as they demolished Juventus in the quarterfinals.
As good as Bayern’s players are, there is no doubt the manager deserves a lot of the credit for their impressive run of results. Heynckes has rotated the squad magnificently and kept every player motivated throughout the season.
His tactics have worked wonders and he could walk away from the club with an historic treble under his belt.
This leads me to the decision the board made to change managers at the end of the current campaign.
You may have heard they decided to pursue Pep Guardiola in the winter because Heynckes had decided to retire at the end of the season, but there are many sources who say this is not the case.
There may actually have been a miscommunication about what was happening with the veteran manager in June. I have also heard that Heynckes was upset that club directors pursued Pep Guardiola without informing him first.
Whether these rumors are true or not and whatever way you look at it, the question is still a valid one. Do Bayern need Guardiola?
I say they don’t and I’ll justify my position by using a famous phrase from the world of sport: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Right now there is no need for a radical change of course at the club and there was no need to chase Guardiola so aggressively with the team doing so well.
Bayern have made two Champions League finals in the last three years and could play another title game in May.
The project at the club - masterminded by the likes of president Uli Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - is working, and you know what? I think it is working so well that most competent managers could walk into the Allianz Arena and be successful.
The system is in place and right now the manager is just one part of the puzzle. Since so much work has been done by the board to build such a formidable squad, all the coach has to do is pick the right players and the right tactics for the right games.
So, would the arrival of Guardiola actually disrupt the club’s master plan? We all know how successful Pep was in Barcelona, but Bayern will represent his first test outside of the Camp Nou.
Will he be able to adapt to the club’s philosophy, or will the club have to adapt to his? If it’s the latter, there could be some major turbulence in Munich.
Initially, everything will seem exciting, but if Pep wants to revolutionize the squad and the club’s philosophy, there could be some trouble on the horizon.