Julian Nagelsmann's emotional worlds are subject to considerable shocks these days. Dissatisfaction and frustration are followed by intoxicating feelings of victory, which finally come to an abrupt end after a few days. Anyone who goes through so many emotional ups and downs in a short period of time can lose control. This is exactly what happened superficially after FC Bayern lost 3-2 at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Then Nagelsmann trudged through the mixed zone after the end of the game and swore in a way that all journalists could hear: "That's a joke, is he kidding me or what?" Then the 35-year-old stormed into the referee's cabin. When he came out after about two minutes, he scolded again: "My God, a soft-washed bunch."
Nagelsmann later apologized in the press conference, in which he asked not to "put every word on the gold scales". He wrote on Twitter that he had to "apologize for the choice of words to the team around Tobias Welz. Unfortunately, I clearly went too far there". The DFB control committee initiated investigations after the verbal freak, Naglesmann will now have to comment in writing in the next few days.
The reason for Nagelsmann's anger was the red card for defender Dayot Upamecano in the 8th minute, which had significantly influenced the game to the disadvantage of Bayern. Referee Welz punished an emergency brake on Gladbach's Alassane Plea, which was really not a red card by general agreement. Upamecano put his hand on Plea's shoulder in the running duel. One can say: He touched him gently and fleetingly. However, the contact was enough to cause Plea to have a flawless acting fall.
That was too much for Nagelsmann. As a result, he sometimes sat on the bench biting his nails, sometimes he gesticulated wildly on the edge of the field, until referee Welz showed the coach Rumpelstiltskin the yellow card to cool his temper. The card missed its effect, as the words after the end of the game proved.
Since the incident, people have been puzzled about what drove Nagelsmann to the scandal. Was it really a lack of emotional control that overcame the coach? Does he really lack the "sovereignty" because he is still young, as former champion trainer Armin Veh suspected. TV expert Didi Harmann scoffed that Nagelsmann should rather go to the third or fourth league if you shouldn't put his words on the "gold scales".
Or is someone just trying to set the famous stimulus points in a critical phase of the season in order to get the team, which had problems starting after the long winter break, back on track? The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" scoffed at the fact that Nagelsmann was apparently trying to "become a real Bayern coach".
It is actually striking that Nagelsmann recently changed the tone. When the extremely important game in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain was imminent, he sharply criticized his team after a 3-0 win against Bochum. During the half-time break, he made a short speech in the dressing room and then sat down demonstratively with his laptop on the bench in the Allianz Arena so that everyone can see: Here a disappointed coach gives the team the cold shoulder. The message should probably be something like this. Whether it was actually his harsh words ("In the end it's a bit too little life") and the bank action that led to the important win against PSG (1-0) days later is of course difficult to prove. But after the inward attack, there was now an outward attack against the referees.
The coach's noticeable changes in behavior are consistent with other efforts to rouse the team from too much dangerous complacency. The dismissal of the goalkeeper coach Toni Tapalovic, which happened largely at Nagelsmann's instigation, was also such an action. It was clear that they would offend captain Manuel Neuer, but Nagelsmann pushed through the personnel with the backing of sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. Apparently, Neuer and Tapalovic had developed a life of their own that, from Nagelsmann's point of view, questioned the coach's authority too much.
Attacker Serge Gnabry also felt the new tone at Bayern. When he jetted to Paris Fashion Week for a day in an English week with three games, Salihamdizic publicly reprimanded him ("amateurish"), and the international ended up on the bench in the next game.
It seems as if Nagelsmann, together with Salihamidzic, wanted to breathe life into the "attack department" that Uli Hoeneß once invented: nobody should feel safe, neither in the team from which maximum success is expected, nor outside of it Bayern, for example referees.
Of course, that also applies to Nagelsmann, which Nagelsmann knows better than anyone else. In his second year at Bayern he has to prove himself. The most important measure of success is the Champions League. If Bayern manage to knock out PSG and get into the quarter-finals, that would be an important step for the young coach. Only in the league does he have some catching up to do. Bayern lost a nine-point lead over Borussia Dortmund and seven points over 1. FC Union Berlin. All teams are tied in the table and Nagelsmann wants (and has to) avoid becoming the first Bayern coach in ten years to miss out on the national title.
Sources: DPA, "Sportschau", "Süddeutsche Zeitung", "Bild"