"This guy is the boss!" Thomas Müller (l.) sees a lot of Pep Guardiola in current Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick (r.). - © imago
"This guy is the boss!" Thomas Müller (l.) sees a lot of Pep Guardiola in current Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick (r.). - © imago

"Hansi Flick is like Pep Guardiola" - Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller


Thomas Müller has heaped praise on Hansi Flick, comparing some elements of the current Bayern Munich head coach's methods to Pep Guardiola's.

Bayern were fourth in the standings when Flick was promoted from assistant to head coach in November 2019, but went on to steer the club to second successive Bundesliga and DFB Cup titles.

They could yet add the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League to their haul - the one major trophy that eluded Guardiola during a vaunted three-year stint at the Allianz Arena between 2013 and 2016.

"The coach's thumbprint is unmistakable," Müller told Süddeutsche Zeitung of the impact Flick has made in his short time at the Bayern helm. "We all want the same thing, and are pulling in the same direction.

"The last time we were so well drilled was under Pep Guardiola. Every player was allowed to add their own touch to their position based on their preferences, strengths and weaknesses, but the role was always clear. There were no ifs, buts or maybes.

"Hansi gives us clear guidelines - not options, but specifics. That's why we were able to come back so well after he took charge."

Müller (c.) started 22 of 24 Bundesliga matches under Flick (l.) in 2019/20, compared to five of 10 under predecessor Niko Kovac. - imago

Flick has overseen 29 wins from 32 matches in charge of Bayern, including 21 of 24 in the Bundesliga. Only current Manchester City boss Guardiola fared better after as many league games behind the wheel of Germany's most successful club (22 wins).

Müller already knew Flick well from the international circuit - the former Bayern midfielder was Joachim Löw's assistant when Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil - but even he admits to being surprised by just how well the now 55-year-old has taken to his first posting as a Bundesliga head coach.

"Hansi has always been a top bloke, he's always been straight and to the point," Müller explained. "I knew him from his assistant's role with Germany and as a player, but I didn't expect him to bring the whole package to Bayern as a head coach.

"He makes sure we all muck in defensively, including the strikers, and consciously made the spine of the team - using the more vocal players - really strong. That's not to say there are any handouts; we all have to perform to our best. That's the most important thing."

With Manuel Neuer in goal, David Alaba at centre-back, Joshua Kimmich in his preferred defensive midfield role, Müller reinstated as No.10 and Lewandowski leading the line, Flick's Bayern could never be accused of slacking.

The record champions wrapped up their eighth successive Bundesliga title with two rounds of fixtures to spare, finishing some 13 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, as Flick posted the highest win rate of any head coach in the league’s history (88 per cent).

Bayern scored exactly 100 times along the way, falling just one goal short of their own single-season record from 1971/72, when Gerd Müller and Co. plundered 101.

The latter-day Müller fired in eight league efforts, whilst producing a league-leading, Bundesliga best, 21 assists.

"What Hansi's done for this team is quite brilliant," summarised the 30-year-old.

Watch: All of Thomas Müller's goals and assists in 2019/20

Bayern return to competitive action on 8 August, when they face Chelsea in the rearranged second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The record champions, who have won all seven of their European assignments in this season's competition, beat the 2019/20 English FA Cup finalists 3-0 in London in February.

Flick's men are bidding to emulate Jupp Henckes' treble-winning class of 2012/13.