Munich (dpa) - The new world star of the Bundesliga starts as a joker on the bench. Because Niko Kovac makes it at Bayern in the top match on Schalke not like once coach guru Pep Guardiola.
The current Bayern coach wants to not yet fit Philippe Coutinho "do not burn" and therefore on Saturday night (18.30 clock / Sky) in the top game not dare something with which Guardiola five years ago also in Gelsenkirchen and also on Matchday 2 all amazed.
On 30 August 2014 ran - contrary to Guardiola's statements in advance - the just committed by Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso immediately in the starting eleven. It was not until sweating on the morning of the matchday that the Spanish World and European champion had met his new colleagues. Nevertheless, Alonso at the premiere was the fixture in the Munich game: After 88 ball contacts and nine miles run, he went out after 68 minutes. Final score 1: 1.
A bluff a la Pep can be excluded at Kovac with Coutinho. The Croat is a very different type than Guardiola. And in terms of the physique of the offensive player Coutinho, which Bayern have also borrowed in a flash action from FC Barcelona and could buy in one year for 120 million euros, Kovac positioned itself clearly. "He's not yet at the level of fitness he needs to play from the start or 90 minutes, he's only been in training for two and a half weeks and we'll take that into account."
Bavaria's new top star is missing condition and match practice. "We want to build it gradually, although certainly many want us to bring it immediately," said Kovac. Not only for the fans, 1600 came straight to the first training of Coutinho on the club grounds. The same applies to the Munich bosses, who can hardly wait for Ballartist Coutinho to miss the post in the Munich match.
"He is a player who is known for his excellent technique and his offensive spirit", CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge praised the new top earner. The Brazilian, for whom Barcelona transferred more than 140 million euros to Liverpool at the beginning of 2018, should provide the "spectacular touch" on the pitch, as Hasan Salihamidzic put it. When Coutinho may start, but "the coach will decide," said the sports director.
"It must be all right, because only then can Philippe show his optimal performance and his abilities", said Kovac, who met the "world class player" Coutinho in the first few days of Munich as a "humble, quiet and humble young man". "He does not want a special position." As Joker Coutinho but would certainly come against Schalke. "I'm an ambitious guy," said the little Brazilian, "I want to be ready to play as soon as possible." And then preferably as a tenth central ran.
Against Schalke probably the view of the Bayern-Bank before kick-off will be the most exciting. Because next to Coutinho there should also be the 80 million-euro expensive record shopping Lucas Hernandez, the Kovac after half-year injury break also gently introduces, and Ivan Perisic sit. Kovacs loaned by Inter Milan compatriot lacked in the 2-2 against Hertha still because of a suspension from Italy.
Now the vice world champion and Bundesliga returnees are ready to go. "Ivan is an option, maybe from the beginning, who knows," Kovac said, grinning, "I probably." A bluff?
The mood of the coach before the first outing of the season is perfect. Kovac has a squad after the late Munich transfer offensive, in which now quality and quantity are "good": "Compliments to our bosses, the promises have been kept." Even a looming million change of the notoriously dissatisfied Portuguese Renato Sanches (22) to OSC Lille would be over, especially in the Gladbach talent Michaël Cuisance (20) is a replacement in midfield already there.
Kovac has to deliver now - with Coutinho, with Hernández, with Perisic. Schalke is almost a favorite opponent: None of the last 17 league duels could win the Royal Blues (8:44 goals). Kovac prepares his team for an opponent, who under the new coach David Wagner by "good defending, good switching and aggressiveness" distinguished. The eleven of the 2: 2 against Hertha will start probably. "Now you just have to change the result, then we are all happy," said Kovac. Maybe the noble joker stands out.
Schedule FC Bayern
Squad FC Bayern
Title profits of Bayern
Eternal Bundesliga table
Facts and figures about Coutinho
Pk of the idea of Philippe Coutinho
Facts about the match Schalke - Bayern
Pk Kovac in front of the Schalke game