April 22, 2021

Muller likens ‘quite brilliant’ Flick to former Bayern Munich boss Guardiola

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The World Cup winner is enjoying life again at the Allianz Arena, with an impressive impact made by a coach who was thrust into a prominent post

Hansi Flick’s impact at Bayern Munich has been compared to that previously made by Pep Guardiola, with Thomas Muller a big fan of a “quite brilliant” coach.

The 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign ended with those at the Allianz Arena toasting an eighth successive domestic title triumph and another success in the DFB-Pokal.

They are also still in the hunt for Champions League glory, with elite European club competition about to resume.

Flick’s side are considered to be serious contenders for that prize, with a remarkable reversal in fortune having been enjoyed since a change in the dugout was made in November 2019.

Niko Kovac was relieved of his managerial duties at that stage, with Flick promoted into the top job from an assistant role.

He impressed enough to earn a permanent contract through to 2023 and has collected 29 wins from 32 games at the helm.

Of those, 21 have come from 24 Bundesliga outings, with only Guardiola able to better that record having taken 22 from the same number of games at the start of his reign.

“The coach’s thumbprint is unmistakable,” Müller told Suddeutsche Zeitung of the job Flick has overseen.

“We all want the same thing, and are pulling in the same direction.

“The last time we were so well drilled was under Pep Guardiola. Every player was allowed to add their own touch to his position based on his preferences, strengths and weaknesses, but the role was always clear. There were no ifs, buts or maybes.

“Hansi gives us clear guidelines – not options, but specifics. That’s why we were able to come back so well after he took charge.”

Guardiola spent three years with Bayern between 2013 and 2016, but the current Manchester City boss was unable to deliver continental glory during his spell in Germany, with Flick now looking to succeed where many before him have failed.

World Cup winner Muller added: “Hansi has always been a top bloke, he’s always been straight and to the point.

“I knew him from his assistant’s role with Germany and as a player, but I didn’t expect him to bring the whole package to Bayern as a head coach.

“He makes sure we all muck in defensively, including the strikers, and consciously made the spine of the team – using the more vocal players – really strong. That’s not to say there are any handouts; we all have to perform to our best. That’s the most important thing.

“What Hansi’s done for this team is quite brilliant.”