The German team’s base camp for the World Cup in Brazil is located about two hours’ drive from Brazil’s Porto Seguro. During the World Cup, the team was preparing for the game in this quiet, seaside place. The day before Mertesacker ushered in the most important game of his life, he was called to a room in the base camp and was told that he would not be placed in the starting lineup.
The national team coach Loew explained very calmly that he planned to make some adjustments after the quarter-finals against France. Although Mertesacker is the most experienced player in the team, and even though he played every minute of his previous journey in this World Cup, Loew still hopes to make such a decision. Boateng will move to the middle and Ram will return to his familiar right back position.
Mertesacker has always been considered a reasonable and gentle player, and he is also the kind of very smart player Loew expects. The German central defender also admitted that he was a little selfish.
From an outside perspective, Bayern’s performance since Flick took over the team after Kovac’s departure in November last year is simply miraculous; of course, the performance of leading the team to defeat Barcelona 8-2 also reflects the team’s positive performance. Sheng's status is closely related to his coaching.
When Frick just took over the coach, many people thought that he was just a passerby temporarily acting as the coach. As a player, Frick played for Bayern in the 1980s. According to former teammate Olaf Ton, Frick was an aggressive and tough midfielder. Therefore, it is not difficult to see how well he and Kahn, who will be the CEO of the new club, understand the culture of the Bayern club.
After retiring, Frick has accumulated a lot of experience over the years, and he has a good reputation under an impressive resume, especially in the eight years of the German team as Loew's assistant. Of course, part of the purpose of Bayern's recruitment in the summer of 2019 was also the club's sense that once Kovac left the team, Frick was able to step onto the front desk.
However, this was not a long-term plan at first. When he returned to Bayern, Flick was 54 years old and had not served as the coach of a team for 14 years. Even at the time, his coaching experience as a coach was only limited to the lower leagues: In 2005, Frick left the team because he failed to lead Hoffenheim to the Bundesliga and he has not served as a head coach since then. .
When Frick was appointed as Loew's assistant, Mertesacker admitted that the players were full of doubts. "I have to say, everyone feels hesitant. Of course he was also a professional player, but you will also be waiting to see what he can bring us." And when Bayern appoints him as coach, there is a similar internal situation. With reservations, Frick seems to be just walking through the scene, not the one who really led Bayern forward.
However, in just a few weeks, this Bayern team proved with performance and results that they no longer need to worry about Pochettino's salary and whether Nagelsmann is willing to leave Leipzig. Towards the end of this season, Frick brought Bayern a rejuvenated team, and even set a record of wins that Guashuai could not match that year-the team scored 30 wins in 33 games. , And won the Bundesliga and the German Cup.
When Frick took over the team, Bayern seemed to no longer be competitive in the European Championship. However, Frick’s Southern Star presents a jaw-dropping performance. The team’s performance is extremely dominant and destructive, and may even lead to the end of an era in Barcelona. And such a transformation is undoubtedly clear and remarkable.
Of course, for his former teammate Ton and Mertesacker who had worked with him as a player, this is not something that surprised them. In their view, there are no secrets, no mysteries, and no revolutionary and subversive tactical changes in the changes Flick brought to Bayern.
On that day in 2014, when Mertesacker was struggling with disappointment, Flick calmed him and eased his doubts. The then German assistant coach told him that the situation might happen again in the semifinals. change. In the process of communication, Flick said that benefiting the team is the most important. "He is a very good communicator," Mertesacker said.
Friedrich, who represented the German team in the 2008 European Cup and the 2010 World Cup, had a similar experience. "He is very open, very candid, and even discussing some key issues," said Friedrich, who is now the sports director of Hertha Berlin. "He spends a lot of time with the players. It's not just the kind of'work, work, work'. He makes everyone feel very trustworthy. And this is the most important trait a coach can have."
Kahn, who is now a member of the Bayern board of directors, summed it up more concisely. "He always knows what to say to the players, especially in difficult times," he said. "He knows how to dispatch the players."
Perhaps in a club like Bayern, this is the most important skill a coach should possess. Bayern's team has many well-known and well-paid stars. Although the club is also dubbed "Green Hollywood", they are no longer the team that is constantly turbulent and brewing mutiny, but as the coach of Bayern, a large part of his work is still related to the management of the dressing room politics.
And this is exactly what Frick is good at. Mertesacker said that Frick not only built a bond between players, coaching staff and other team staff, but also played a key role in helping the team build team spirit and ultimately winning the World Cup. The former Germany international said that with Frick's connection, everyone can get the information they need.
"In my opinion, he told Loew to praise the substitute players," he said. "You are not praising the starting players. You are praising the players who haven't played and have been training hard all week to create a good atmosphere for the team."
Friedrich saw the shadow of Heynckes in Flick's way of doing things, and the Haishuai is the only coach in Bayern history to win the league, cup and the Champions League. "In general, Heynckes can establish a good team chemistry within the team," he said. "You have never seen a player complaining on the bench. In my opinion, Flick is similar."
To a certain extent, the good state of the team may also be related to Frick's good relationship with many of his players. "He knew Neuer and Mueller when he was in the national team," Kahn said. Players such as Kimmich and Gnabry also had a good relationship when Frick was the technical director of the German Football Association. It can be said that he has a rapid start in building bridges with players.
在一定程度上，球队的良好状态也可能与弗里克与许多球员的良好关系有关。卡恩说：“他在国家队的时候就认识了诺伊尔和穆勒。”弗里克（Frick）是德国足球协会（German Football Association）的技术总监时，金米奇（Kimmich）和纳纳布里（Gnabry）等球员也有很好的关系。可以说，他在与玩家建立桥梁方面起步很快。
Of course, this is not to say that Flick has not adjusted Bayern's style. Kovac's coaching style is passive: In training classes, he always lets a group of talented players to train defense, so that the team is filled with frustration.
The club believes very much that the Lisbon night that defeated Barcelona has not yet demonstrated a truly high-level Bayern. For those who always like to give their own opinions, Flick's coaching career seems a bit too flat. He has been out of the spotlight for a long time, just as an assistant coach or technical director. Mertesacker is also one of them, he has never felt that Flick is interested in being the protagonist before.
"Bayern has such strength," he said. "They will win the Champions League and he will be regarded as a great coach by everyone."