After his freak out in Mönchengladbach, Julian Nagelsmann is the dominant topic around FC Bayern Munich. The coach was very upset about the red card against Dayot Upamecano in the Bundesliga and about the reaction of the referees after the game. There is also criticism of this in the media. But how unique was this freak? A look at the history of the record champions – and the personalities who shaped the club.
In Munich, there are often only a few seconds between a quiet working environment and the large-scale deployment of the fire brigade because Säbener Strasse is on fire. In this case it was the eighth minute of the game in Mönchengladbach. Alassane Pléa was ahead of Bayern Munich’s defense and only Dayot Upamecano came close to the Frenchman. A light touch in the shoulder area and the Gladbacher fell was enough: Whistle, reach into the pocket on the buttocks, red card.
A spectacle followed, as the DFB manages to do more often these days. For minutes, people looked at the screens in the Cologne basement, only to then realize: it can be done. While football fans on social networks were mostly in agreement: it’s never a red card. Unity despite the polarizing FC Bayern.
Gladbach won the game 3-2 and Julian Nagelsmann then burst the collar. The coach of the record champions is said to have shouted “softened pack” in the direction of the referees inside the stadium. “You’ve never heard anything like that from the great Bayern coaches Hitzfeld, Heynckes and Flick,” commented Matthias Brügelmann at the Picture almost outraged: “Nagelsmann’s anger explosion was anything but exemplary and not Bayern-like.” And further: “Nagelsmann repeatedly fails to prove that he can cope with the Bayern job at the age of 35.”
But is that so? Is he really unique with this emotionality? Let’s take a look at the glorious past of FC Hollywood and those who were active at FCB – of course all role models and great personalities.
Ottmar Hitzfeld: The general and his loose middle finger
The first example is not directly about Bayern Munich. But by Ottmar Hitzfeld, who is always accused of impeccable behavior. But does the following happen to a real gentleman?
During the World Cup qualifier between Switzerland, who he coached at the time, and Norway, there was a scandal: the former Bayern coach gave referee Fernandez Borbalan the middle finger. “There were a lot of emotions involved,” he then justified his action in the View: “I’m sorry for the gesture. Of course I’m angry with myself.”
Apparently he felt let down by the referee. “It’s always difficult to play against 12 men,” he said. He complained several times about alleged fouls by the Norwegians. Hitzfeld was then suspended for two games by FIFA.
By the way: It wasn’t the first time that the two-time Champions League winner spoke disparagingly about the game masters. “At a World Cup, the best referees should whistle,” he said after a World Cup match against Chile in 2010. “And not referees who whistle somewhere on the beach.” It’s good that he only coached Switzerland back then. Because of course it’s not Bayern-like!
Pep Guardiola: Assault on Bibiana Steinhaus
Also Gladbach, but in October 2014: FC Bayern Munich cannot get past a 0-0 draw at Borussia. In added time, coach Pep Guardiola bursts. He goes to the fourth official Bibiana Steinhaus and asks for extra time because Granit Xhaka commits a time game.
He plows and presses Steinhaus for several seconds, but this does not give him any more injury time. The then 43-year-old grabs the referee’s hand contemptuously and shakes it scornfully. A little later he goes back to her and wants to hug her forgivingly. But Steinhaus frees himself and obviously feels under pressure.
The Catalan was not sent to the stands. There was also no suspension because main referee Felix Zwayer did not make an entry in the game report sheet. Lucky for Guardiola, who had obviously crossed a line here in front of the cameras.
Jupp Heynckes: “Referees have no idea”
A little further back in time: in 2001, Jupp Heynckes was not a coach at FC Bayern, but in Spain at Athletic Bilbao. And there he burst his collar because he was angry with the referees.
“The problem with the referees is that they have no idea about football because they have never played football themselves,” he complained at the time. The AS then accused him of being “choleric”. In any case, the image of the coach is mainly shaped by his late years.
In his early days and well beyond, Heynckes was long considered a stubborn, dogged coach who was not always in control. Assistant Horst Köppel once wondered why his boss couldn’t even accept a defeat in tennis easily and sportily. Young players once even feared his outbursts of anger.
It wasn’t for nothing that he got the nickname “Oseram” because his head often turned deep red. Although Heynckes was never noticed with coarse insults, there were reproachful and not always fair comments in the direction of the referee from time to time.
Carlo Ancelotti: suspension after freak out – anger in Madrid
The epitome of a calm coach is Carlo Ancelotti, right? In October 2019, the Italian also made a derailment. After Atalanta made it 2-2, Ancelotti freaked out. He felt his team should have gotten a penalty beforehand. For minutes, the referee team checked the scene on the screens.
The result: no penalty, goal for Atalanta. Ancelotti was beside himself and couldn’t calm down. What he said exactly to the referee is still unclear to this day. However, he received a red card and was subsequently suspended for the next game.
By the way: Ancelotti was once carried away to one or the other disrespect at FC Bayern. When Bayern lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League in 2017, referee Viktor Kassai didn’t have his best day and wrongly dismissed Arturo Vidal. “It can’t be that mistakes like that happen in a quarter-final,” the coach raged afterwards. The referee was “much worse” than his team.
On the pitch he is said to have called a sneering “good job” in the direction of Kassai. At the time, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also behaved particularly Bayern-like, who spoke of having “been cheated on”. And Thiago also reacted angrily: “We were totally screwed here and can’t change it, that upsets us.” Kassai not only caused a stir with the dismissal, but also made two clear offside decisions against FCB.
Hasan Salihamidzic and Co.: More Bayern freaks
That brings us back to the personal details outside of the coaching chair. Or do only the coaches at Bayern have to stick to the etiquette? In any case, Hasan Salihamidzic has sensed a conspiracy against his club for some time. The red card against Upamecano was “the crowning glory” of a development: “In the last few weeks it has been the case that you have been disadvantaged.” In any case, Salihamidzic has been noticed more often with emotional outbursts in the mixed zone in recent years. For example, when he recently reprimanded his own player Serge Gnabry for “amateurish” behavior.
After all, the sports director was not insulting. But he knows a lot about insults. Because Hansi Flick once said to his superior “shut up” and then publicly apologized for it.
Now you could widen the focus a bit and break away from FC Bayern. But Jürgen Klopp, José Mourinho or Diego Simeone will certainly not be a target for attack.
But joking aside: Emotional outbursts of rage are not uncommon in football, as this small selection alone shows. Emotions must not be a justification for insults and disrespect. Nagelsmann and Co. accordingly have to bear the consequences for their actions.
Nevertheless, it would be presumptuous to accuse a trainer of being unsuitable because of such a derailment. Especially with a view to the long list of world coaches who have become conspicuous in recent years, the topic should probably be over after the apology at the latest. In any case, Nagelsmann will have to be measured against other things than his freak out inside the stadium.