The dust had barely settled on the 2019/20 Hinrunde, when Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummennige confirmed that Hansi Flick would remain as coach until, at least, the end of the season. bundesliga.com presents five reasons why the 54-year-old fully deserves to see out the season, and possibly beyond...
1) A winning record
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 and less than three days later, the resurgent Bavarian behemoth vanquished title rivals Dortmund 4-0. Bayern's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg that saw Flick entrusted to see out the season made it five wins from seven in the Bundesliga under their 'temporary' coach. When you throw in two more wins from two in their remaining Champions League matchdays; what more can you ask for in a 'results business'?
2) The goals are flowing
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. Contrast that to the Bayern under Flick and it's quite something. The demolition of Dortmund was followed up with another 4-0 victory at Fortuna Düsseldorf in their next matchday, while FCB have also hit both Werder Bremen (6-1) and Champions League opponents Red Star (6-0) for six. In total, Flick's side have amassed 32 goals in 10 games across all competitions and counting. Ruthless.
Watch: Hansi Flick: "An honour to coach Bayern"
3) Emerging new stars
While Manuel Neuer touched on the significance of the ex-Bayern midfielder's decision to "put his faith" in the old guard - long-standing squad members that weren't necessarily nailed-on starters under Kovac, Flick has also used youth to his advantage. Alphonso Davies has been a revelation at left-back since David Alaba moved into the centre of defence, while Joshua Zirkzee - just 18 - has two goals in two appearances from just two shots in the first-team since being promoted from the youth setup, both of which have secured victory for his side. Not only that, Flick named Sarpreet Singh (20), Leon Dajaku (18), Oliver Batista Meier (18) and Lukas Mai (18) on the bench against Bremen. Something old, something new is certainly working for Flick.
Watch: Joshua Zirkzee, Man of the Matchday
4) A Champions League record
That debut win in the dugout against Olympiacos was a sign of things to come for Flick's Bayern and the subsequent UCL victories over Red Star and Spurs saw them end Group B with a perfect return of six-from-six. They not only ended with a 100 per cent record but their 24 goals scored and just five conceded also meant the German champions notched up the best group stage return in the history of Europe's premier club competition. It sets up a last-16 tie with Chelsea and, on early evidence, there is no reason why Flick can't take Bayern all the way this year.
5) Players' backing
No wonder the Bayern players are smiling, and Flick's ears burning. Joshua Kimmich has singled out Joachim Löw's 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning assistant for his personality and "clear ideas", while Robert Lewandowski explained Flick "is the right man" to coach Bayern for the foreseeable. "His tactical and footballing knowledge are at a high level. In a short time, he showed us what we could work on in order to play better and to win matches," said Lewandowski. 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.