Bayern Munich have appointed their former treble-winning head coach, Jupp Heynckes, to take charge of the side until the end of the current season. The move comes after the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, who was dismissed following a stunning 3-0 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League, and a stuttering start to their Bundesliga campaign that sees them five points adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund.
The 72-year-old Heynckes is coming out of retirement to lead the Bavarian giants for the fourth time in a storied managerial career that has spanned nearly four decades. He first led Bayern from 1987 to 1991, during which time he won two Bundesliga titles and the DFB-Supercup. He then took over briefly in 2009 as caretaker, after Jürgen Klinsmann’s dismissal in April, and won four of the club’s five remaining league games to secure Champions League qualification against all football betting odds.
His third stint as Bayern’s head coach began in 2011 and culminated in the historic 2013 treble, which is the only time a German club has won the domestic league, cup and Champions League in a single season. The Champions League victory was the second of Heynckes’ coaching career, having previously lifted the trophy as manager of Real Madrid in 1998.
Heynckes has been in retirement since that unprecedented success over four years ago, having then handed over the Bayern reigns to Spanish tactician Pep Guardiola. Guardiola spent the following three seasons in charge, leading the side to three Bundesliga titles, two German Cups, a UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, along with three successive defeats at the semi-final stage of the Champions League.
After he left to take over as Manchester City manager in 2016, Bayern appointed three-time Champions League-winning manager Carlo Ancelotti to continue the successful era that began under Heynckes. The Italian led the club to the Bundesliga and DFB-Supercup titles in his first season, but they lost in the quarter-finals of the Champions League to his former team Real Madrid, and were defeated by Dortmund in the semi-finals of the German Cup.
Having endured a rocky start to the 2017-18 Bundesliga season, which included a loss to Hoffenheim and a 2-2 draw at home to Wolfsburg, the comprehensive defeat in Paris was the final nail in the coffin for Ancelotti. The club’s board acted swiftly to dismiss him the very next day, with chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stating that the team’s performances since the start of the season did not meet their expectations.
In the wake of his departure, the bookmakers’ early favourites to succeed Ancelotti were his assistant Willy Sagnol, former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, and Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann. Sagnol was temporarily placed in charge for the 2-2 draw away to Hertha Berlin. There were many speculations about the new manager on German and Internationl medias, like on Bild.de or Sportwetten Aktuell, which were analyzing the chances and odds for each candidate.
Eventually, the Bayern hierarchy decided to go with the tried and tested methods of Jupp Heynckes, who is one of the few individuals to have succeeded both as a player and a coach. In his playing career, Heynckes won four Bundesliga titles in the 70s with his hometown club Borussia Mönchengladbach, as well as the UEFA Cup and German Cup. He scored 220 Bundesliga goals, which is the third highest tally ever in the league. On the international stage he made 39 appearances for West Germany, winning the 1972 UEFA European Championship and the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
Rummenigge has expressed his delight that Heynckes accepted their offer, calling him the ‘ideal’ appointment at this time. The coach himself has declared that his return to the dugout isn’t a ‘comeback’, but instead a ‘friendly turn’ for a club that is very close to his heart. He will also bring back his trusted assistants in Hermann Gerland, who will leave his post as head of Bayern’s academy until the end of the season, and Peter Hermann, who was serving as an assistant coach at second division side Fortuna Dusseldorf. Heynckes’ fourth spell in charge of the German champions officially begins on 9th October, and his first game will be at home to SC Freiburg on the 14th.
The announcement of Heynckes’ return to Munich has once again raised their fans’ hopes of further success. Despite their five-point deficit at the top of the table, Bayern are still favourites to win the Bundesliga after seven matches, with their odds at 2/5. Current leaders Borussia Dortmund are the next favourites, at 9/4 to win the league.