With twelve minutes left to prevent the first defeat, Niko Kovac's arms crossed, leisurely, as if, in addition to all of his already considerable abilities, he still had the ability to slow down time. Kovac spread his arms, his hands slightly bent forward, he stood there like a conductor in front of his orchestra, just before the first beat of a furious, devilish evening. He stopped for a few seconds. Then Kovac dropped his arms and wrapped them around his chest again. It was not furious, not devilish, and time passed at its usual pace.
Especially in a first defeat then the pictures are particularly hanging, the first defeat tells more about the character of a coach than all the first victories together. He can curse. He can scold. He can seek the guilt from himself with a great, dramatic penitential gesture. He can make up other culprits, individual players, the referee, maybe even his own incompetent team. Niko Kovac decided on Friday evening to stay in the last minutes of this 0: 2 at Hertha BSC and also in the hour after completely to themselves. So he decided to continue to remain the sleek pragmatist of the first weeks as a coach of Bayern.
The fact that Kovac did not initiate a diabolical final offensive with his conductor arms was also due to the fact that he then cheated on his own nature and work. He was of the opinion that everything was going the way it had to go, what should have changed his team? One minute later, in the 79th, only Franck Ribéry shot past the goal, and Robert Lewandowski also hit Hertha's keen goalkeeper, former Munich's Thomas Kraft, with his header.
"I will not start to see everything black after this defeat," Kovac said. It was "of course" that now all would see only the last two games, the 1-1 on Tuesday against Augsburg and this 0: 2 in Berlin and the associated loss of the championship lead to Dortmund, but this point of view wanted the coach do not just take over. So he said, "I can see the nine games we played." And with that look he even dared to say: "I see it all very relaxed."
"We have to score more goals"
After his first defeat, Kovac continued to portray himself as the analyst, checking every detail and only then gaining an eye for the overall picture. Kovac praised his team first, praising her for doing so well that she still had plenty of chances. "If we did not have any chances, I'd think big, even negative thoughts," Kovac said. Only when he had praised enough, he packed in his analysis criticisms. "You have to have that little bit more concentration, you have to play the other player better, so he has it easier to exploit that." And: "We have to shoot more often on goal and not again to the next man, again to the next man and try to fill out all."
Nevertheless, the first more serious phase for Kovac as coach of FC Bayern begins with this first defeat. In the first seven games he had shown that he can lead the team, by simple measures such as that Renato Sanches may play in his old home of Lisbon, of all places. In general, the rotation was well done, even not very petty players like Arjen Robben or Mats Hummels did not grumble when they sat on the bench.