Captain Manuel Neuer calls for a restart after the season

“I believe that there has to be a new start now – for us, for the club, also from our team side”: Manuel Neuer

National goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has called for a fresh start after a botched Bundesliga season for FC Bayern. “This was a very difficult season for all of us. I believe that there has to be a new start now – for us, for the club, also from our side as a team,” said the 38-year-old after Munich’s 4-2 defeat at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday. “It is clear that things cannot continue like this. We played good games, but not that consistently. This is our biggest problem. I think we as players also have to show a completely different face as a team for next season in order to be able to fully attack again.”

Bayern are not even second and had to leave second place in the table to VfB Stuttgart when Thomas Tuchel said goodbye. “I thought the collaboration was very good,” said Neuer about the outgoing head coach and said about the search for a coach: “We always trust those in charge and we will see what kind of solution is found. But a solution will definitely be found.”

The fact that he and Thomas Müller explicitly campaigned for Tuchel to stay was “completely wrong. Thomas and I didn’t go to the trainer.” However, he believes that in the end of the season “things grew together between the team and the coaching staff, we had positive energy in the team. That’s why I think it would have basically worked well next season. But the decision was made that way.”

“Everyone has a duty”

When asked whether the club would also have to show a different face in the new round, Neuer said: “Everyone has a duty. We don’t need to point the finger at others if we haven’t performed ourselves.” The 2014 world champion answered the question of whether FC Bayern had too much coaching wear and tear with a clear “yes”. Now we have to wait and see “what happens”.

There was a final press conference for Tuchel on Saturday that lasted just over three minutes, then the outgoing coach had completed this mandatory task at the end of a deplorable Bundesliga season. “We defended absolutely inadequately,” criticized Tuchel. His team had a string of ball losses and individual mistakes. “Another bitter defeat, completely unnecessary, but… it just happened far too often.” So the Munich team had to give up second place in the table to VfB Stuttgart.

After the first titleless season since 2012, sports director Max Eberl is still convinced that the search for a coach will end successfully. “We will find a good solution. A very good friend of mine always says: The best comes last,” said sports director Max Eberl to the TV channel Sky before kick-off after a series of cancellations.

The day before, Tuchel had announced that there would be no U-turn for him and that his farewell at the end of the season after only 15 months in office would continue. Meanwhile, Roberto De Zerbi, who was considered a possible Tuchel successor, is leaving Brighton & Hove Albion. As the Premier League club announced, the collaboration with the 44-year-old Italian will end by mutual agreement after the last matchday this Sunday (5 p.m. on Sky).

“We have agreed to end my time at Brighton so that the club and I can continue our work in the way that best suits both sides, following our own ideas and vision, work and human values,” De Zerbi was quoted as saying. The Italian was repeatedly mentioned as a candidate in Munich’s complicated search for a coach.

Eberl at least indirectly ruled out De Zerbi’s commitment as coach at FC Bayern Munich. When asked whether he could “vehemently object” if it was predicted that the new Bayern coach was Italian, Eberl replied on Saturday evening in ZDF’s “Aktuelle Sportstudio”: “Yes.” The 44-year-old De Zerbi was born in Italy Brescia born.

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“That shows how crazy the whole coaching search is. (…) It was said that it was him, then he committed to Brighton. Roberto De Zerbi did a great job at Brighton. That means nothing for us,” said Eberl on ARD about the news from England.

The Munich team is still looking for a successor for Tuchel, who will finally leave the club in the summer. It didn’t work out with a commitment from the Austrian team Ralf Rangnick, Xabi Alonso from champions Bayer Leverkusen, national coach Julian Nagelsmann and Oliver Glasner from Crystal Palace. The option of Tuchel staying has also been off the table since this week. After the 2:4 against Hoffenheim, the season on the pitch is over. The clean-up work before the new season is still in full swing, with an uncertain outcome.

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