Mats Hummels denies being the Bayern Munich ‘king slayer’
The fallout from the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti continues at Bayern Munich, with Mats Hummels denying he plotted to oust the Italian coach. Hummels was widely reported to be one of five players who wanted Ancelotti out.
In the days after Ancelotti was dismissed, Bayern president Uli Hoeness said the coach’s position had become untenable after five players turned against him. In subsequent days, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Kingsley Coman have been named by various sources as those thought to be in the frame.
Robben was reported in Kicker as saying that "there's better training at my son's youth team" than under Carlo Ancelotti, while in the Monday edition of the same publication, a raft of accusations were leveled at the Italian. These included suggestions that Xabi Alonso and Philipp Lahm were unhappy with his methods last season, Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman felt they couldn’t progress under him and various players felt that their fitness training was insufficient.
Earlier in the season, Müller was also vocal in his criticism of the former Real Madrid boss: "I don't know exactly which qualities [Ancelotti] wants to see, but mine seem not to be 100 percent in demand," he said. Lewandowski has openly criticized the club's transfer policy.
But after opening the scoring in the 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin on Sunday, Hummels insisted he did not play a significant role in the downfall of his former boss.
“It was talked about by five people but I didn’t talk about being unhappy because I wasn’t playing or anything like that,” the center back said.
“I don’t think it’s ok to call me a king slayer. I don’t know where this information comes from or if it was [only] written because I didn’t play."
As well as the rifts that have come to light between the players and Ancelotti, there have been similar rumblings about disagreements at board level, with Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge reported to disagree over the club’s transfer policy.
The Bavarian club are known as FC Hollywood for a reason and off-pitch drama is nothing new but with a five point deficit in the Bundesliga, a struggle to replace their attacking stars and underperformance in the Champions League, whoever replaces Ancelotti will have to be as adept at ego management as he is at tactics.
Hertha Berlin 2-2 Bayern Munich
New manager, same story. For the second straight week, Bayern Munich blew a 2-0 lead, this time at the hands of Hertha Berlin. Mats Hummels headed in the opening goal after 10 minutes and Robert Lewandowski doubled Bayern's lead shortly after the break. But Ondrej Duda (left) and Salomon Kalou (center) scored two quick goals to level the scoring.
Cologne 1-2 RB Leipzig
Bottom club Cologne scored their first goal since matchday 2 but their best league performance of the season so far wasn't enough to stop RB Leipzig, who triumphed thanks to goals from Lukas Klostermann and Yussuf Poulsen (pictured). Klostermann beat an otherwise brilliant Timo Horn at his near post in the first half before Poulsen headed home from close range in the second.
Freiburg 3-2 Hoffenheim
There was a lunchtime thriller at the Schwarzwalder stadium as Freiburg fought back from a goal down to beat Hoffenheim. There was an early flurry of goals - three in five minutes to be exact - with Hack giving Hoffenheim an early lead before a quickfire Freiburg double put Freiburg in front. The home side added a third through Stenzel and held on despite an injury time own goal from Schuster.
Augsburg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
An outrageous backheel from Andriy Yarmolenko (pictured) set the league leaders on their way early on but the hosts soon levelled through Caiuby's close-range header. Following awful Augsburg defending, Shinji Kagawa netted a sumptuous chip on 23 minutes to rival Yarmolenko's brilliance. The video assistant awarded Dortmund a penalty but Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng botched his chipped spotkick.
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Stuttgart
Sebastien Haller (pictured) produced a stunning bicycle kick deep into stoppage time to hand the hosts the points. Ante Rebic had given Frankfurt the lead after an error by Holger Badstuber but Stuttgart hit back when Simon Terodde headed in a corner shortly after coming on as a substitute. Frankfurt's Simon Falette was then sent off but the video assistant ruled the push was just outside the box.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 Hannover
Gladbach snatched victory at the death when Thorgan Hazard (pictured) converted a penalty after the referee awarded the stoppage time spotkick in consultation with the video assistant. Salif Sane was adjudged to have fouled Vincenzo Grifo. Matthias Ginter and Martin Harnik traded the other goals in a game delayed 15 minutes because the Hannover team bus was caught in traffic.
Hamburg 0-0 Werder Bremen
The Nordderby ended in a goalless draw, which did little to help the two struggling teams in the table. Bremen started the better but Hamburg grew into the game and Gotoku Sakai had arguably the best chance. Another impressive Japanese player, Tatsuya Ito, went off injured on his first Hamburg start.
Wolfsburg 1-1 Mainz
Josuha Guilavogui (pictured) headed in a corner 10 minutes into the second half to boost Wolfsburg but they were pegged back when Yoshinori Muto netted with a superb header of his own from almost on the penalty spot. The draw means Martin Schmidt has three points from his opening three games as Wolfsburg coach.
Schalke 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Leon Bailey (pictured) came off the bench to rescue a point for Leverkusen in their draw at Schalke on Friday. The home side had taken a first-half lead through a stunning Leon Goretzka free kick. The result sums up both sides' inconsistent form.