Niko Kovac, saked from Monaco
Monaco have not been the same since they managed to stop PSG’s dominance in Ligue 1 for a season and win the championship with a team of extremely talented youngsters, including Kylian Mbappe. Subsequently, many players left that team, and none of them had success to the teams they went afterwards. As for Monaco, the team has not managed notable performances since that title win with Leonardo Jardim on the bench. Jardim was fired, Thierry Henry was brought in, Jardim was brought back and fired, the team failed to qualify for the Europa League. Everything changed when they brought in Niko Kovac, kicked out of the back door by Bayern, and Monaco finished the championship in 3rd place last season, qualifying for the Champions League qualifiers, but also reaching the French Cup final, which they lost to PSG. If they couldn’t win the championship against Lille, they would have to win at least one Cup. This is despite the fact that Monaco managed to beat PSG twice that season.
Well this season didn’t start as well as the other one. Only one victory in the first 6 matches of Ligue 1, an elimination in the play-off of the Champions League against Shakhtar. Absolutely deplorable results for a team that still has experienced players. In fact, the results have improved in the meantime, considering that Monaco is close to the European places, and that it has won its Europa League group, with Real Sociedad, PSV and Sturm Graz (lowly teams for what it’s worth; Real Sociedad was beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk when it reached the Cham- .. right, so was Monaco). The team also got higher rankings, Monaco currently being ranked 6th in Ligue 1, with 29 points, 17 behind PSG. Tho one thing that couldn’t be fixed was Kovac’s relationship with the players. Especially with Captain Wissam Ben Yedder.
Not that it’s the first time Kovac has quarreled with the players. The same thing happened at Bayern. Not to mention the lack of professionalism he showed when he loudly stated that Sane was on Bayern’s list when he was still a Manchester City player. Not to mention he publicly criticized his own players. This coach is only good for mediocre teams, he would probably be fit as Gasperini’s successor at Atalanta. He does not have and will never have what it takes to coach a big club, and Monaco is, after all, a big club, with 8 championship trophies and a Champions League final played in 2003. These are performances PSG didn’t even dare dream of without the money from Qatar Sports Investments, and now they have Messi. Money changes everything. Not that Monaco doesn’t have Russian money like Chelsea, but it did well way before Rybolovlev came.
Kovac also coached Croatia, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern. And he was fired at the Croatian national team after losing a match with Norway. So, yes, great coach. He was lucky that Frankfurt bent well on his risky formations, otherwise he would not have gotten this far in his career. Kovac still had a contract with Monaco until the summer of 2023. He could have accomplished something by then… if he didn’t argue with the players. He just had to follow Thomas Tuchel’s example and quarrel with club officials instead. It probably would have gotten him way farther than quarreling with the players, cause yknow, the players have a big influence over a club. They can get a coach saked, just like they did to Ranieri at Leicester City after he won them the Premier League (not that Ranieri was better off without Leicester judging by his performances later on).