The fifth consecutive German title seemed to be just the right moment for Bayern Munich and Carlo Ancelotti to demonstrate unity.
After disastrous two weeks when they were eliminated in both the Champions League and the German Cup, the Bavarian club and its Italian coach are determined to continue working together despite the huge disappointment after expectations have not been met.
The club leaders like CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness are willing to give the 57-year-old a second chance as he has agreed that changes need to be made to the squad.
While Bayern secured its 27th title with a 6-0 thrashing of VfL Wolfsburg, Ancelotti’s starting eleven is regarded to be an answer to the club management’s demands that he integrate more younger talents.
While Bayern’s teams in the Champions League against Real Madrid and German Cup against Borussia Dortmund had an age average of 30.4 years, Ancelotti picked 22-year-old Joshua Kimmich in midfield (replacing Xabi Alonso) and 20-year-old winger Kingsley Coman (replacing Franck Ribery) in the away game at Wolfsburg.
Club idol Thomas Mueller was also chosen for the starting eleven after being overlooked by Ancelotti for most of the season.
19-year old Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches was also sent on as a substitute late in the game. He, like Mueller, was ignored for much of the time in the last months.
Bayern have not only extended the contract with experienced midfielder Thiago until 2021 but will also take up the option to buy Coman from Juventus. Until now the French youngster has only been on loan at the club.
He was given a contract until 2020. Bayern will pay 21 million euro to the Italian club.
In the eyes of Bayern Munich director Matthias Sammer, players like Kimmich and Coman will be key players in the club’s future. Sammer told German media that he also was impressed by Sanches who he feels to be an outstanding prospect.
The former German international expressed his opinion that Bayern, despite the disappointment in the past two weeks, is still a top international side and that he has no worries about its future.
While some German media were even speculating about Ancelotti’s possible departure, Rummenigge reviewed the club’s stance as regards Ancelotti. The club know just how good a coach the Italian is and were fully confident he could take them forwards.
Some of Rummenigge’s comments were designed to ease tension in the club after the cup defeats Former Bayern midfielder and Germany’s most-capped player Lothar Matthaeus said the German title was important but that the Champions League “was the only one that really counted for Bayern this season.”
In each of the previous three years, the club was eliminated in the semifinal of Europe’s premier club competition.
Matthaeus called the 6-0 victory in Wolfsburg a sign that the team and coach are willing to try again next season.
The relationship between Ancelotti and his players appears to be good but Matthaeus also pointed out that the Italian coach will have to do better next season.
Bayern President Hoeness recently said that only one title in a season was not going to satisfy their demands.
According to rumors, Bayern will add top class players to the squad for Ancelotti’s second attempt to win the Champions League in the coming season.
Rummenigge called it something very special that that the current team has won five national titles in a row.
“In my 10 years at Bayern as a player I only managed to win two. It’s a very special title as no other club has managed to win five German league titles in succession,” Rummenigge said.
Ancelotti has now managed to win national titles in four of the five major European leagues.
He has already been successful in England, France and Italy. He can be proud of the German title as can his team despite the disappointment on the European stage.
Ancelotti, the only coach to have won the Champions League three times, might have lost heart after his team failed to even reach at least the Champions League final.
But it is certain the Italian will remain in charge at Bayern for at least another season.
What comes after is also fairly clear. According to rumors, 29-year old Julian Nagelsmann is on Bayern’s shopping list.
Nagelsmann is about to lead TSG Hoffenheim to the Champions League and many in Munich are keeping a close eye on his performance as he could soon be needed in Bavaria.