Klinsi is in deep, deep trouble. With the loss to Schalke, Bayern slips to third and is now in danger of falling out of CL contention altogether. Wolfsburg meets lowly Energie Cottbus today and can move six points clear of Bayern. The top of the table is getting crowded. Hertha is in second, a point clear. With Stuttgart and Hamburg, tied with Bayern but behind in GD, a fascinating finish to this Bundesliga season is guaranteed.
Klinsi might not get to see the end. He is being crucified by the media, his support amongst fans is slipping and more ominously for him, Der Kaiser is showing signs of real impatience. This follows his tongue lashing of the team’s CL performance.
“What I saw in the first half is, without doubt, the worst football in Bayern’s history,” said Beckenbauer. “It was a demonstration, almost a humiliation. They gave us a lesson.”
It is easy to blame the coach. Just ask Felix Magath. Or Ottmar Hitzfeld. Outsiders who never wore the badge of Germany’s colossus. The real culprits are actually its cabal of ex-players who run the club with an iron fist: Der Kaiser,Uli Hoeness, Karl Heinz Rummenigge and his alter ego Paul Breitner, the last two so intertwined, they are popularly called Breitnigge. The club floats along a constantly shifting confluence of these disparate personalities. Actually one would argue that the cabal are the three faces of Eve. Magath would agree. After giving Bayern, three successful seasons, he was axed. He has now come back to haunt them.
Following Klinsi’s resignation from the national team, Der Kaiser seems to have become his surrogate agent advising alternative employment away from German shores, including coaching their bitter rivals.
Despite all the meddling, Klinsi decided to take on the Bayern job, a move which seems to have caught Beckenbauer and the media, especially Bild by surprise. It did not go down well, with Beckenbauer as club president openly questioning Klinsi’s durability extending deeper underlying doubts he seems to have harboured from the 2006 World Cup. Even as he muted his criticism recently after the Schalke loss, Bild seems to have dialed up the boot out Klinsi volume, a reflection of their cozy relationship with Beckenbauer.
Beckenbauer with his less than equivocal support provides the underpinning of the club’s deeply pessimistic and neurotic persona. Rummenigge, as the CEO with his gung ho pronouncements, is its polar opposite. The club reverts to his personality under stress which has helped it cope this season. He has provided Klinsmann with obdurate support since Bayern slipped to 11th with variations of the following statement:
“”We are convinced Jurgen is the right coach for Bayern. He is a very modern and innovative coach, and we are convinced of the fact that we will celebrate plenty of successes with him.”
By now Klinsi might be forgiven as to which voices in his head he should hear. This is nothing compared to Uli Hoeness, the Dick Cheneysque presence constantly seen by Klinsi’s side. Hoeness is the man on the ground. He is easily one of the most emotionally labile and territorial personalities of the game and his interactions with Klinsi have been of the Jekyll and Hyde variety. During the run up to the 2006 World Cup, Hoeness accused him of psychological terror when he did not pick Oliver Kahn to start in the squad, which he said so unnerved the Bayern goalie that his domestic form suffered. Other rants included being overrated, an egoist, an actor, and someone who sold his soul. All this changed once Klinsi joined Bayern. Hoeness regularly resorted to vocal and thin skinned reactions against criticism by fans and even ex-Bayern midfielder Lotthar Matthaus as the club struggled through the season. This should not be misconstrued as support of Klinsi. Hoeness is a true believer who constantly scours the media for slights against the club.
He is being rewarded for his service by succeeding Beckenbauer as club president next season. Hoeness was responsible for papering over much of the club’s objections to circumventing tradition with Klinsi coming on board. A lot is riding on Klinsi’s vision with the emphasis on new training techniques and a holistic approach towards match preparation while imparting Bayern’s historicity to the new players, and at the same time gradually phasing out the influence of former players. Without Klinsi, the success of the experiment appears bleak, and Hoeness tenure as the club president begins with uncertainty. The thought seems to have changed Hoeness once again, into morose tight lipped silence. This picture does not bode well for Klinsi.