A not-so-glorious return

Bayern Munich were not going in the right direction when club bosses sacked coach Carlo Ancelotti in September 2017, just a few weeks after signing the renowned Italian. No significant progress was visible in the game of the mighty German team in the early stage of last season. But when they were trashed by Paris Saint-Germain, Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge decided to approach their old chum Jupp Heynckes.

The legendary Borussia Mönchengladbach goal machine won not just the league but also the DFB Cup and the Champions League trophy with Bayern as manager in 2013. Officially declaring his retirement, the former national team ace enjoyed living a quiet life on the countryside – until Hoeneß made that call in autumn of last year.

Relief flooded Bayern’s out-of-form key players when Heynckes got back on board. The experienced football expert had never been at a loss to know what to do in his remarkable career which features a Champions League title with Real Madrid in 1998 as well as several unforgettable victories with Mönchengladbach as a player. Heynckes’ return to Säbener Straße during the 2017/2018 season was already his fourth Bayern assignment as a coach. The star-studded team won the league by a wide margin but failed to bag any further trophies.

In “Jupp Heynckes & die Bayern. Eine Geschichte vom Siegen und Verlieren”, Detlev Vetten documents how the team recovered their confidence and strength. The author describes the indisputably positive impact of reinstalling Heynckes.

Unfortunately, wide stretches of the book are terribly bland. Vetten’s essays on supporters, the career of Ribery himself and conversations about winning and losing in football with his partner are surprisingly vacuous and uninspired. The book’s biographical elements are routine chores for an experienced writer like Vetten.

Given the broad spectrum of high-quality sports literature published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (“George Best. Der ungezähmte Fußballer” by Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling, “Fieberwahn. Wie der Fußball seine Basis verkauft”, by Christoph Ruf), soccer enthusiasts are in the right to demand more than this lacklustre composition.

Jupp Heynckes & die Bayern. Eine Geschichte vom Siegen und Verlieren
By Detlev Vetten
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (www.werkstatt-verlag.de)

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