Football

Bayern president: Five players turned against Ancelotti

Bayern president Hoeness says five players turned against sacked Italian

Poor results in pre-season, a slow start to the Bundesliga season, failure to deliver the Champions League trophy and bizarre team selections.

Those were some of the speculated reasons behind Carlo Ancelotti's sacking by Bayern Munich on Thursday.

Perhaps the most shocking is the fact that Ancelotti was a victim of player power, with Bayern president Uli Hoeness revealing that five players had turned against the 58-year-old Italian.

"As coach, you can't have your most prominent players as enemies. Ancelotti had five players against him," said Hoeness.

"That wasn't sustainable. I've learnt a saying in my life - the enemy on your bed is the most dangerous. Therefore we had to act."

The players in question, according to German broadcaster Sport1, were Mats Hummels, Thomas Mueller, Franck Ribery, Jerome Boateng and Arjen Robben.

Defender Hummels had questioned Ancelotti's tactics after their shock 2-0 defeat by Hoffenheim while forward Mueller had publicly voiced his discontent after having dropped by the coach.

"I don't know exactly which qualities the coach wants to see. But mine seems not to be 100 per cent in demand," said Mueller.

Boateng was unhappy after being kept out of the starting line-up by new signing Niklas Suele and veteran Javi Martinez.

Ribery threw his shirt in frustration after being substituted in Bayern's Champions League win over Anderlecht earlier this month.

Robben, who came on as a substitute during the 3-0 loss to Paris St Germain, refused to back Ancelotti after the defeat.

When asked after the game if he stood by his coach, the 33-year-old Dutch winger said: "I won't answer this question.

"The line-up is the coach's business. I will say nothing about it. Every word, in this case, would be one too many."

Ancelotti, though, took his sacking in his stride and issued a classy post on social media.

"It has been a great honour to form part of Bayern's history. I would like to thank the Club, the Players and its amazing fans. #MiaSanMia"," he tweeted.

Bayern will be looking to reboot their season when they travel to Hertha Berlin tomorrow.

Interim coach Willy Sagnol takes the reins with the club in third place behind Hoffenheim and leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Hummels, Robben, Ribery and Boateng can expect to return to the starting line-up against Hertha.

"I expect a positive development from the team, and an absolute desire to perform," said Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The search is on for Ancelotti's successor and Thomas Tuchel (Dortmund), Julian Nagelsmann (Hoffenheim), Juergen Klopp (Liverpool), Luis Enrique (former Barcelona coach) and Juergen Klinsmann (former US coach) have been linked with the hot seat.

One thing's for sure, the Bayern top brass will be looking for someone with a clear tactical philosophy, energy and ambition.

"We're not going to rush ourselves (into finding the right coach), but we do want to have a solution by the end of the international break," said Hoeness. 
- WIRE SERVICES

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