The dust had barely settled on Bayern Munich's resounding 4-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker, when the club's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummennige uttered the words "until further notice" in relation to Hansi Flick's position as interim coach. bundesliga.com presents five reasons why the 54-year-old would be a worthy full-time successor to Niko Kovac...
1) Two matches played, two wins
Bayern have looked anything but low on confidence since Flick was named interim coach on the back of Kovac's tenure-ending 5-1 defeat at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt. The record champions overcame a dogged Olympiacos outfit on his debut in one of the hottest hot seats around, recording a 2-0 home win that confirmed their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds with two games to spare. Less than three days later, the resurgent Bavarian behemoth vanquished title rivals Dortmund 4-0. What more can you ask for in a 'results business'?
2) Six goals scored
How about a goal-peppered sheen? Despite boasting some quite overwhelming fire-power, Bayern had been uncharacteristically guilty of laying opposition teams to waste towards the end of Kovac's 65-match stint at the helm. The 28-time Bundesliga champions could only draw 2-2 draw with lowly Augsburg, despite rattling off 24 attempts on goal. Even against promoted Union Berlin, the Reds only shaded proceedings 2-1. Contrast that with the Olympiacos game - two goals from 11 shots on target; and the Dortmund bruising - five shots on target, four goals.
Watch: Hansi Flick: "An honour to coach Bayern"
3) None conceded
Bayern's concession of 16 goals after 10 Bundesliga matches was a league-high for a team inside the top half of the standings. It was also their most porous defensive effort since Jürgen Klinsmann's ill-fated tenure in 2008/09. A glaringly makeshift defence with only one out-and-out centre-half operating at the heart of the back four prevented defending Greek Super League champions Olympiakos from registering a single shot on Manuel Neuer's goal, and repeated the trick against a Dortmund ensemble that had struck 23 times across their first 10 games of the campaign. What's that Sir Alex Ferguson said about "defence winning titles"...?
4) Winning formula
A welcome dose of continuity has also elicited a honeymoon period that shows no sign of abating. Flick didn't just set his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Olympiacos and Dortmund; he plumped for the self-same starting XI in both games - a first for Bayern this season! A centre-back playing at right-back (Benjamin Pavard), a defensive midfielder at centre-back (Javi Martinez), a left-back playing at centre-back (David Alaba) and a teenaged winger at left-back (Alphonso Davies) have been collectively charged with forming a patchwork shield around Neuer. Joshua Kimmich has been reunited with Germany teammate Leon Goreztka in a midfield double pivot, while Thomas Müller has navigated his way back into the No.10 role between Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman. The result has been two morale-boosting wins and a further three notches on the score card of the irreplaceable Robert Lewandowski.
5) Players' backing
No wonder the Bayern players are smiling, and Flick's ears burning. Kimmich has singled out Joachim Löw's 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning assistant for his personality and "clear ideas", while Neuer touched on the significance of the ex-Bayern midfielder's decision to "put his faith" in the old guard - long-standing squad members he worked with as part of the Germany set-up but weren't necessarily nailed-on starters under Kovac. Needless to say, a team of happy campers can only be good for Bayern and their pursuit of top honours in the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup.