FC Bayern ends crisis – or not?


With a win at VfL Wolfsburg, FC Bayern regained the lead in the Bundesliga. But the Manuel Neuer case continues to smolder. His teammates would like to focus on the sporty.

Finally no more crisis! The Bayern players celebrate the early, clear lead in Wolfsburg

They only drew three times in a row in the Bundesliga. Unrest because of a short trip to Paris for Fashion Week by Serge Gnabry – including public criticism from the club's management. Then the by no means silent separation from goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic and, to top it all off, a verbal broadside in a newspaper interview by goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer. FC Bayern Munich has experienced quieter times than these first days of 2023.

“I always think it's good when there's something going on at Bayern Munich,” said Thomas Müller in an interview with DAZN after Munich's 4-2 win at VfL Wolfsburg. “But if we then switch to being very serious and honest, we naturally want to dominate the media through sporting things.”

A lot of criticism of Neuer's statements

Müller was referring to the unrest that had arisen in the days before the game due to the injured Neuer. At the start of the weekend, he made harsh statements to the Bayern bosses. In interviews with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and “The Athletic”, he described the separation from his goalkeeping coach and close confidante Toni Tapalovic as “the most blatant” thing he had experienced in his career. “It was a blow for me when I was already on the ground. I felt like my heart was being ripped out,” said Neuer, who will be out for a while with a broken leg.

Toni Tapalovic (l.) has been goalkeeping coach at FC Bayern since 2011 and has also coached Manuel Neuer (r.)

since thenThe reaction of the club management came promptly and suggested that there could still be consequences for Neuer. Bayern boss Oliver Kahn said Neuer's behavior “neither does justice to him as a captain nor to the values ​​​​of FC Bayern” and announced “clear discussions” with the goalkeeper. “He put his personal interests above the interests of the club here,” said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. And coach Julian Nagelsmann also said he “wouldn't have given the interview”.

There was also a lot of criticism of Neuer from outside: the former Bayern professionals and today's TV experts Lothar Matthäus, Dietmar Hamann and Stefan Effenberg commented on the case. “Some of these quotes are simply embarrassing for me,” said Hamann. “He acquits himself of everything and attacks everyone else. That's not FC Bayern,” commented Germany's record national player Matthäus on Sky. The Munich bosses would “not put up with that – even if it's Manuel Neuer,” he predicted. Effenberg even called Neuer's future at the club “very, very difficult”.

< h2>FC Bayern decisive weeks ago

At least on the pitch in Wolfsburg, Neuer's teammates quickly gave an answer – to the unrest about their goalkeeper and to the “result crisis” that arose from the fact that the last three Bundesliga games had only been 1-1 . This time it was 3-0 after just 19 minutes and it looked like it was going to be a quiet evening. However, FC Bayern brought the opponent back into the game through their own fault. “The course of the game was such that it became work,” admitted Müller, who saw how Wolfsburg scored after his goal to make it 3-0 and then Joshua Kimmich saw the second yellow card and had to leave the field. “The yellow-red card didn't exactly give us a boost,” said Müller, but also said: “We worked it off. We had this greed of wanting to win. We had to win.”

Thomas Müller: One of the best on the pitch in Wolfsburg – and one of the most talkative afterwards at the microphone

Müller, who was otherwise so willing to provide information, did not want to say more about the Neuer case. Joshua Kimmich also found it more important to focus on sport. After all, the club faces crucial weeks. After the upcoming Bundesliga game against VfL Bochum next weekend, the first leg in the Champions League against Paris St. Germain is coming up. By then it should be quieter again when it comes to Kimmich. “When we win games, the unrest around it is much less,” he said.

Nagelsmann: “I'm not going to set anything on fire”

The 4-2 win against Wolfsburg is at least made the first step. Bayern won while outnumbered, taking back the lead in the table and scoring at least two dream goals in their four goals against the “Wolves” with a volley from Kingsley Coman and a nice solo by Jamal Musiala.

Julian Nagelsmann also spoke out DAZN of an “important victory”. But does winning the away game really mean that things are calming down again at Bayern? “Well, I don't light anything,” said Nagelsmann and smiled meaningfully. “So I hope so.”