“Slapstick”, “Hanebooks”: Uli Hoeness speaks plainly

Twice the German football record champion FC Bayern leads Munich on Saturday with two hits against Underdog Fortuna Dusseldorf, but in the end it only reached one point. FCB President Uli Hoeness then asked the questions of the press.

Mr. Hoeness, you were in the team cabin for a long time, why?

Today is a hard day for us. We cannot, of course, be satisfied with this result at all. And that is why there is certainly a need for internal conversation.

Was there also a conversation with the coach?

We do not want to bring internal things to the public. The fact is, of course, that we are now seeing a difficult starting position for the rest of the season. And we have to start thinking about how to make the best of this situation over the weekend.

But that also means that everything is questioned. Coach Niko Kovac, too?

This is not a topic at the moment. At the moment, it is not an issue, because we have now decided to sleep in peace about it and on Tuesday we have before us the difficult game against Benfica. And then we have to do an analysis of where we actually stand. It’s important to us now that we stay calm. This is difficult, and I fully admit that we are mobilising all our efforts to create the Champions League qualification against Benfica Lisbon on Tuesday. Then we’ll have to sit down again and see how it goes. Because what happened today is absolutely unacceptable.

This is the fourth home game that FC Bayern has not won in a row at home. Where do you see the flaws, the problems, the causes?

One has the feeling that the team is totally insecure. For if Bavaria leads Munich home twice against Fortuna Dusseldorf, 2:0 and 3:1, then one should believe that one can drive home the victory in peace. That is not the case at the moment. You always get the feeling in the stands, even with a clear leadership, that you’re at risk of getting a counter-gate in every attack. And that needs to be reconsidered as to why. There are also some players who need to think about themselves. It has been seen again that dilettante mistakes happen when I think of the first gate. I’ve only seen this kind of thing in Slapstick movies. Of course, that’s not how it works.

From what you’ve said, you can tell that the air is getting thinner for the coach?

You can’t see that now. We play against Benfica on Tuesday, and our coach will surely be Niko Kovac.

What is your impression, is the team still the coach?

We will certainly not have used the cabin now to ask the team about the coach. But we will certainly use the next few days to find out what is going on, that we are playing very bad football, playing an uninspired football and, above all, playing a football without self-confidence. And that’s what’s really driving us around right now.

Does the opinion of the leaders play a role in the coach question?

We are men enough to make decisions ourselves. But of course you will always hear the opinion of players. But if you have decisions to make as a leader, you have to make them yourself.

Where does the Red Line go with you?

I will not discuss this with you after such a bad game. I was completely down when the gate (to 3:3) fell. I thought the world was ending. I have to recover from this shock, and then maybe I’ll think of something on Monday. This will be a difficult evening for my wife.

Did you underestimate the year of the change before the season?

After the first six weeks I had the feeling we did everything right. And now the last six weeks have been the opposite. And now we must find the golden center. What was so good at first? And what’s so bad now? We must find solutions. One thing is clear: such services in turn need to be analysed and we need to come to a conclusion on what this is all about. We have to work on this now.

For Niko Kovac it is a big task to train FC Bavaria and to make the transition. He has to find his way into the dimension. Could it be that he’s failing?

I can’t say at the moment. We have to ask FC Bavaria why we play the way we play. We can’t say it’s gonna be okay. This has never been FC Bavaria’s position. We need to use the next few days, maybe even weeks, I don’t rule that out, to find the right solution.

Nine points behind on Dortmund. Have you internally said goodbye to the championship?

I haven’t done that yet. But talking about the German championship at the moment would be a bit presumptuous. The Dortmund are just lucky we don’t. They’re gonna shoot 2:1 and we’re gonna get a goal at the very last minute for the repeat. One has to ask oneself why in our country almost every counter-attack means a gate. But that also has to do with the players. Analyze the gates today. Then you also have to deal critically with one or other player, because that’s what happened there.