The management of the German champions, Bayern Munich, has sacked the club’s longest-serving goalkeeper trainer, Toni Tapalovic, for refusing to follow instructions from the senior team’s manager, Julian Nagelsmann.
Tapalovic, who had been at the club since 2011, was relieved of his duties by the club, barely three days after the kick-off of the Bundesliga second half which the club started with a 1-1 draw against RB Leipzig.
The club announced its decision on Monday, ending the long years of working relationship, through a statement released by the team’s director, Hasan Salihamidzic.
Salihamidzic, who is also a member of the club’s board, stated that the sack which had been ratified by the club’s hierarchy takes effect immediately.
He said: “As goalkeeper coach, Toni was involved in our team’s success in recent years. We would like to thank him for that. In particular, differences about the way of working together have now led to us going our separate ways. We wish Toni Tapalović all the best for the future.”
As gathered, the move could hurt any chance of Manuel Neuer returning to active duty at the club since he was the main person keeping Tapalovic on Bayern’s payroll.
Neuer more or less worked independently from the rest of the team, with Nagelsmann having very little input on the goalkeeping side of things, a development the manager had since arrival complained about.
The reason for the sacking was irreconcilable differences between Tapalovic and Nagelsmann, as the goalkeeping coach found it difficult to follow instructions and all efforts by Salihamidzic to mediate between them proved abortive.
This change signals the death knell for Manuel Neuer’s future at Bayern Munich. With Yann Sommer, Bayern has procured a short-term stopgap for the current season.
However, the long-term intention has always been to integrate Alexander Nubel (currently on loan at AS Monaco) into the setup. However, Tapalovic was criticized by Nubel for only prioritizing Neuer, which was cited by Bild as a reason for his sacking.
Whether this will be enough to coax Nubel back from AS Monaco remains to be seen. However, you can be sure that Manuel Neuer won’t take kindly to his longtime friend and colleague being sacked while he’s out with an injury.
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