Hansi Flick is a different type than Joachim Löw. Nevertheless, the former assistant copied and learned a lot from his longtime boss, including grabbing when the chance of a life suddenly opens up, and so Flick found his destiny in football at the age of 54: head coach of FC Bayern. Initially it was a short-term solution for two games, then one until Christmas – and now one at least until summer. And Flick wants more: he wants to fill the top post permanently. He can no longer imagine a return to the second row at Bayern.
"Now the whole thing goes on until summer. And I definitely enjoy it. Bayern Munich is a top club with so much power. We'll have to wait and see what the future holds," said Flick before the final days of preparation for the second half of the season on Sunday in Berlin against Hertha BSC with ex-Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann. It is a delicate start to 2020 – a possibly forward-looking one. "We have to show good, successful football. That is our job as a coaching team," said Flick. He doesn't see his job as a "one-man show". He is a team worker, catcher of people and a boss who cares for everyone, who conveys appreciation to every single employee. He wants to create a climate that enables performance, which leads back to 59-year-old Löw, the eternal national coach, whom the DFB promoted from assistant to Klinsmann successor in 2006. Just like it happened with Flick in autumn when Niko Kovac had to go to Frankfurt after a 1: 5 and he took over as head coach for a time. In 2006 nobody thought that the yogi would become the national coach with the most international matches (currently 181). At the time, Löw brought Hansi as an assistant coach. Eight years later, the duo became world champions in their last international match in Rio de Janeiro, and the companions' paths separated. Almost six years later, they are now training the two most important German soccer teams. The rise from second to first man, the title wins, is now Flick's goal. Bayern's triple coach Jupp Heynckes, who coached young professional Flick at FC Bayern over 30 years ago, is also a role model. "You can orient yourself, I do that too," said Flick. But he also said: "You need your own identity. I want to implement my own idea of football." Big backing of Bayern StarsFlick's meticulous work pleases the Munich bosses – and the players. It's unusual in this business for professionals to advertise a coach as passionately as Flick does. In the training camp in Qatar, this worked almost like an endless advertising loop per Hansi in the daily press rounds, so far that Manuel Neuer linked his contract extension with the filling of the coaching post. "For me it is important first of all how the path continues with Hansi Flick," said the captain. He believes Flick can shape an era, become a long-term solution. "Of course he can be because he does a good job." Bayern veteran Thomas Müller has seen several coaches: "I knew Hansi as an assistant coach for the national team. I knew what type he was. His qualities as head coach I could not make a hundred percent estimate, but how he does it as a boss to speak in front of a team was very positive. "Müller is a professor of the coaching change. However, Flick is not just a good mood boss, says Müller: "He has very clear ideas that he wants to have implemented." He gave the players a "guide". The players in turn long for constancy. "I'm in fifth year with Bayern and already have the fifth coach, which is unusual for a club like Bayern," said Joshua Kimmich. Championship title could secure Flick's job. "How we play has become more attractive again. We attack higher, we press higher, we sometimes force the opponent to make mistakes," explained Kimmich. "We players are satisfied, and you can tell that." Of course, results and trophies are the yardstick by which a Bayern coach is judged. In the only friendly match there was a 2: 5 against 1. FC Nürnberg. "Here it is: If you finish second with a goal difference, you have not played a good season," said Flick himself. A successful league hunt for RB Leipzig could secure the future for him. Also in the Champions League, Flick should not be the final stop in the round of 16 against Chelsea, Flick won eight of ten games before the winter break. He was "completely relaxed," he said. The statement was a bit flickering. A Bayern coach is never relaxed. And the insistent demand for newcomers in response to the long list of injuries at the start of the second half of the season proved Flick's tension. "When everyone is fit and healthy, the squad is of very high quality," he said. But currently Süle, Hernández, Martínez, Coman and Gnabry are missing. Lewandowski underwent an operation, but should be back soon. Intensive training camp in Qatar "As head coach, Hansi is now feeling the pressure of expectations," said Hasan Salihamidzic. Flick is currently the first option for time beyond summer. Salihamidzic and new board member Oliver Kahn liked what they saw in Qatar last week. "The training camp was a bit more intensive than the one we had in the past few years," said Salihamidzic with satisfaction. The bosses also like how intensively the youngsters from the "Bayern Campus" are suddenly devoted to themselves. Flick took 18-year-old Joshua Zirkzee twice before Christmas. The Dutchman met both times and became the match winner. "As a striker, he did what was required: he scored goals," said Flick. Perhaps Zirkzee or another home-grown plant will eventually become a new Thomas Müller, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger or David Alaba, remarked the committed talent promoter Flick: "It would do us all good." Him too.