By Rune Gjerulff @runegjerulff
Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka have both spoken of their disappointment at the sacking of Julian Nagelsmann.
|Leon Goretzka.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
Speaking after Germany’s 2-0 win over Peru, Bayern Munich duo Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka defended Julian Nagelsmann following his sacking.
The 35-year-old was controversially relieved of his duties as Bayern Munich coach on Friday, with Thomas Tuchel stepping in to replace him. The decision came as a shock and left both Kimmich and Goretzka disappointed.
“A change of coach is always disappointing, because it means that we players screwed up, didn’t perform consistently and didn’t get results. If we had, the change of coach wouldn’t have happened,” Kimmich told ZDF (via @iMiaSanMia) after captaining Germany against Peru.
“That’s the way it is in this business: little love, little heart. We have to learn to deal with it and live with the decision.”
“I’d be lying if I said the last few days hadn’t affected me,” Goretzka told Bild in a post-match interview.
“It was extremely difficult. We had a very close relationship with Julian. I probably saw him more than my family. It was a shock.”
Both players played down suggestions that Nagelsmann had lost the Bayern dressing room.
“No, I wouldn’t say that. The reasons are that we didn’t win enough games and weren’t successful enough. We’re still in all competitions, but we didn’t perform very well, especially in the Bundesliga,” Kimmich told TZ.
“We only won 5 out of 10 games. But I can say that I haven’t lost the dressing room. I’ve been through a few coaching changes – there was nothing to indicate internally that he had lost the dressing room or that the players were unhappy. We were all surprised.”
“Personally, I didn’t have any rifts with Julian,” Goretzka insisted in an interview with ZDF.
“But I don’t know how it was with the other players.
“We have to trust the people in charge to do what’s best for the club. That’s how it is in football, we have to deal with it professionally. But there’s nothing wrong with being honest and being emotional at times.”
Salihamidzic reacted to the criticism of Kimmich and Goretzka on Sport1-Doppelpass today:
“Of course it was a difficult decision, because in Julian we had a coach with whom we had a good relationship. If you ask them: Did we have a top coach? Yes. Do we have a top squad? Yes.
“But the performance was not there. The performance was inadequate. They (Kimmich & Goretzka) would understand that,” Salihamidzic stressed.