Nagelsmann sacked: Bayern CEO Kahn cites 'less successful and less attractive' football as reason for change

By Sports Desk March 24, 2023

Oliver Kahn says Bayern Munich's decision to replace Julian Nagelsmann with Thomas Tuchel as head coach was due to the team playing "less successfully and less attractively" since the World Cup.

The Bundesliga giants lost their lead at the top of the table at the weekend after a 2-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen, with Borussia Dortmund leapfrogging them with a 6-1 win over Koln.

Despite an impressive Champions League last-16 success against Paris Saint-Germain, Nagelsmann has paid the price for a dip in domestic form, with two of their three league defeats this season coming in their last five games.

"When we signed Julian Nagelsmann for FC Bayern in the summer of 2021, we were convinced we would work with him on a long-term basis, and that was the goal of all of us right up to the end," Bayern chief executive Kahn told the club's website.

"Julian shares our aspiration to play successful and attractive football. But now we have come to the conclusion that the quality in our squad – despite the Bundesliga title last year – has come to the fore less and less often. After the World Cup we have played less successfully and less attractively. 

"The big fluctuations in performance have cast doubt on our goals for this season, but also our goals for the future. That is why we have acted now. 

"Personally and on behalf of FC Bayern, I would like to thank Julian and his coaching team, and wish everyone the best of luck for the future."

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic echoed Kahn's words, saying it was "the most difficult decision in my time as a board member".

He added: "I have had an open, trusting, friendly relationship with Julian from day one. I regret the parting of the ways with Julian. But after a thorough analysis of the sporting development of our team, especially since January and with the experience of the second half of the previous season, we have now decided to release him. 

"I am very grateful to Julian for what he has done for FC Bayern and I wish him all the best."

Bayern have appointed former Dortmund, PSG and Chelsea head coach Tuchel on a contract until June 2025.

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  • Switzerland 1-1 Germany: Late Fullkrug leveller secures Group A top spot for hosts Switzerland 1-1 Germany: Late Fullkrug leveller secures Group A top spot for hosts

    Niclas Fullkrug proved the last-gasp hero as Germany avoided a shock upset to top Group A at Euro 2024 after snatching a 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Sunday.

    Dan Ndoye's first international goal seemed set to seal a famous win for Switzerland and ensure them top spot in Group A, but Germany's towering substitute stepped up in the dying seconds in Frankfurt.

    Ruben Vargas thought he had doubled Switzerland's advantage late on, only to be denied by the offside flag, and that decision proved pivotal when Fullkrug headed in his 92nd-minute leveller.

    That late intervention ensured Germany finished top of the group and will face second place in Group D in the last 16, while Switzerland's top-two finish sets up a meeting with the runners-up of Group B.

    The host nation started brightly once again and thought they had taken another early lead when Florian Wirtz teed up Robert Andrich, who squeezed his shot past Yann Sommer into the near post.

    However, the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder was denied his first international goal after a VAR check as Jamal Musiala was deemed to have fouled Michel Aebischer in the box during the build-up.

    Nagelsmann's team instead found themselves behind for the first time in the tournament just before the half-hour mark after Ndoye crashed Remo Freuler's whipped cross past the helpless Manuel Neuer.

    Just moments later, Ndoye offered Germany another scare, racing past Antonio Rudiger before fizzing an angled shot just wide of the far post. 

    Nagelsmann's half-time message was clear as Musiala looked to make it three goals in three games with a powerful hit from the edge of the box, but Sommer was equal to the attempt.

    Toni Kroos drilled a low shot wide under pressure before Kai Havertz glanced a header over the bar as Germany failed to find their clinical edge.

    Joshua Kimmich had the best chance to equalise from close range in the 71st minute, but an incredible last-ditch block by Manuel Akanji denied him.

    Vargas was left one-on-one with Neuer shortly after and slotted into the far corner, but the assistant referee was quick to flag for offside as Switzerland celebrations were short-lived.

    Havertz's looping header bounced off the crossbar as Germany sought a response, which arrived when Fullkrug made his impact off the bench, thumping a header home from David Raum's left-sided delivery.

    Neuer's record-breaking day salvaged by Fullkrug

    Neuer had already made history in their opening game at Euro 2024 as he became Germany's outright top appearance maker at major tournaments, surpassing Philipp Lahm.

    Now, on his 37th start for his country, only Cristiano Ronaldo (45) has played more games across the Euros and World Cup than him, while he has also made the most appearances among goalkeepers in the history of the competition (18, moving ahead of Gianluigi Buffon).

    The 38-year-old could not mark a special day with a win, though, as Germany's long wait for a comeback victory when trailing at half-time stretched to 11 matches in the competition (D2 L9).

    Their last such win came at Euro 1976 against Yugoslavia (2-0 down at half-time, won 4-2), but Neuer and Co. can at least celebrate top spot after late drama in Frankfurt.

    Ndoye steps into the spotlight

    Xherdan Shaqiri grabbed the headlines in Switzerland's 1-1 draw with Scotland last time out after scoring in a sixth consecutive major tournament, but with him on the bench on Sunday, the Red Crosses needed others to step up.

    In his 14th start for the national side, Ndoye netted for the first time, becoming Switzerland's second-youngest goalscorer in the history of the Euros at 23 years and 242 days, after Johan Vonlanthen against France in 2004 (18y 141d).

    Despite going off in the 65th minute, Ndoye had the most shots for Switzerland (two of their three), creating an expected goals tally of 0.52 as he proved their biggest threat.

    Though Switzerland will rue their late concession, they are now unbeaten in their last four meetings with Germany – a promising sign as the last-16 awaits.

  • Switzerland v Germany: Nagelsmann sets sight on top spot in Group A Switzerland v Germany: Nagelsmann sets sight on top spot in Group A

    Julian Nagelsmann wants his Germany team to stay perfect as they aim to top Group A at Euro 2024.

    The hosts secured qualification for the last 16 by dispatching Hungary 2-0 last time out, following on from their 5-1 demolition of Scotland.

    Their final group match sees them take on Switzerland, who are two points behind in second place, meaning a defeat for Germany on Sunday would see the Swiss top the group.

    That is a scenario that Nagelsmann is desperate to avoid, as he confirmed there will be few changes to his line-up, despite Germany's progress having been assured.

    "Top spot is important. We want to win all our matches," Nagelsmann said.

    "I do think it is important to have as many players from the starting 11 on the pitch so that we stay in the rhythm.

    "Do not expect to have seven changes to the team. I can rule that out now."

    Germany's match with the Swiss will take place in Frankfurt, where England and Denmark played on Thursday, with both sides struggling with how the pitch chopped up.

    Deniz Undav, however, says teams simply have to adapt to the surfaces.

    "There a still a few days left, so maybe the pitch will improve until then," said the forward.

    "But you have to be able to adapt to the conditions. We want to win on Sunday. So, whether we play on grass or stones, we have to win."

    Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri, meanwhile, knows his team must expect the sternest of challenges.

    "We know we are now up against a team that is of a different calibre with their super attack and the euphoria [as hosts]," he said.

    "But we are going into the game with confidence and look forward to it. Obviously, we want to trouble the Germans."

    Opta's supercomputer makes Germany favourites to win the group, with a 77% likelihood the hosts finish top.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Switzerland - Xherdan Shaqiri

    Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in more major international tournaments than Switzerland forward Shaqiri, who has now netted at each of the last six such tournaments since and including the 2014 World Cup.

    In fact, Shaqiri is the only European player to have scored at the last six major tournaments.

    Germany - Jamal Musiala

    Musiala is aiming to become the first Germany player to score in each of his nation's opening three games at a major tournament since Miroslav Klose at the 2002 World Cup, and the first ever to do so at the European Championship.

    Aged 21 years and 118 days when this game is played, he would be the second-youngest player ever to do so for any nation, behind only Peru's Teofilo Cubillas (21y 94d) at the 1970 World Cup.  

    MATCH PREDICTION: GERMANY WIN

    This will be Switzerland and Germany's first encounter at a major tournament since the 1966 World Cup; West Germany beat Switzerland 5-0 in the group stages. They also met in the 1938 and 1962 World Cups.

    Germany have won each of their last three games at major international tournaments by 2+ goals (4-2 v Costa Rica, 5-1 v Scotland, 2-0 v Hungary) with the Netherlands at the 1974 World Cup the last nation to record four such victories in a row.

    They are aiming to become the third host nation to win all three of their group stage games at a single edition of the European Championship after the Netherlands in 2000 and France in 1984.

    Meanwhile, they would be the first host team to do so at a major international tournament since the Germans themselves at the 2006 World Cup (Excluding Euro 2020 - 11 host nations).

    However, Switzerland are unbeaten in their last three matches against Germany (W1 D2), with those three matches producing 16 goals, an average of 5.3 per game. The Swiss had lost 16 of their previous 18 matches against the Germans (D2), so they should certainly not be discounted.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Switzerland - 23.5%

    Germany - 52.3%

    Draw - 24.2%

  • Nagelsmann lauds maturing Germany but Kroos looking beyond last 16 Nagelsmann lauds maturing Germany but Kroos looking beyond last 16

    Julian Nagelsmann believes Germany's victory over Hungary on Wednesday showed their increasing maturity, even if Toni Kroos is far from satisfied with the Euro 2024 hosts' progress so far.

    Germany became the first team to reach the last 16 of the tournament as goals either side of half-time from Jamal Musiala and Ilkay Gundogan saw off tricky opponents.

    Indeed, head coach Nagelsmann suggested this was the sort of match in which his team might previously have faltered.

    "That was a very unpleasant opponent," he told MagentaTV. "You have to win a game like that first.

    "It shows a good maturing process. In November, we would not have won this game."

    It is only the second time Germany have advanced through the group stage in four major tournaments, but there is no time to relax ahead of their third match against Switzerland.

    The hosts will name a strong side as they aim to maintain their momentum.

    "It is important that we have as many players from the first XI back on the pitch as possible, because we have deliberately distributed the roles," Nagelsmann added. "We believe in the players' respective strengths in their roles.

    "It may of course be that we change one or two players; we have to see how everyone gets through this game. But as of now, everyone is healthy."

    That will be music to the ears of retiring midfielder Kroos, who is keen for Germany to go "full throttle" against Switzerland.

    He and his team-mates are perhaps wary of a repeat of the last Euros, where Germany came through the group stage but drew their third match and then had to face England in the last 16, losing at Wembley.

    "There is little reason for the pressure to drop now because we have a bigger goal than just the round of 16," Kroos said.

    He added to RTL: "It is also a statement to come first in the group, and it is important to maintain this run."

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