DSquad planning meetings at FC Bayern also take place regularly during the summer break. Most recently, the seven members of the new “Sports Committee” were coach Tuchel (49) and the bosses Uli Hoeneß (71), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (67), Herbert Hainer (68), Jan-Christian Dreesen (55), Michael Diederich (57) and Technical Director Marco Neppe (37) – on site at Säbener Straße. The competence round went through player by player in their season analysis. The name “Joshua Kimmich” (28) was particularly controversial on the second floor of the office.
There are different opinions in the club. So the round found that Kimmich never managed an optimal interaction with his neighbor. The word that fell was a missing “symbiosis”.
Record national player Lothar Matthäus (62) puts it even more drastically in an interview: “The people next to him have recently been constantly worse: it doesn’t matter whether it’s Goretzka, Sabitzer or Gravenberch. Because they had to do unfamiliar work for Kimmich.”
Kimmich rarely reached his performance limit
Like his teammates, Kimmich rarely reached his performance limit in the past season. The criticism from TV experts is sometimes harsh, and his corners are also discussed among fans – one arm always goes up before the execution. The success rate is quite remarkable: seven goals resulted from his more than 200 corners, which is the best in the league.
Kimmich is undisputed for Tuchel: Internally, he is said to have described him as his most important field player. However, the coach no longer sees him as the central man, the six in front of the defence, but a bit more offensive next to a defensively stronger teammate.
National coach Hansi Flick (58) is also planning a position further up with Kimmich. Emre Can (29) last played the six for the DFB. Flick sees Kimmich as an aggressive leader who, above all, has the ability to play the game quickly and steer the game with his passes as a pacemaker.
For Kimmich, what is even more important than the question of positioning is: How does his over-ambitious behavior affect his own performance – and that of his teammates? In the hierarchy, Kimmich, who Rummenigge described as the captain of the future in 2020, would like to get to the top as quickly as possible. Sometimes he seems almost trapped in his role. “Laugh again,” was the last thing the club called after him.
“Kimmich has to take a step back”
With his attitude, Kimmich also causes discussions among his colleagues. That was already clear in the past courses of the German national team. There is no question that he is a combative character. A group of national players questioned his role around the World Cup in Qatar. The allegations in the team: too many alibi gestures on the pitch, with which he publicly underlines his ambition – but which are not effective. A point that Matthew can understand.
“I still see Joshua Kimmich as an absolute leader. But he has to back down! From time to time he overdoes it with his announcements, with his gestures,” explains the Sky expert. And adds: “That can often get on the nerves of other players.”
Kimmich, who regularly runs more than twelve kilometers per game, prefers to do everything himself. Matthäus: “Kimmich sometimes wants too much on the pitch and not only harms himself – but also his colleagues.” That’s why the players in position 8 next to him would have a hard time. Matthäus: “As a coach, I would first talk to Kimmich himself and then in front of the whole team about how he should behave in the future so that things go better.”
Kimmich lives from his character, his attitude. That’s how he got his lead role. A lot of responsibility rests on his shoulders, which he burdens himself with, but which in part is also burdened on him by the coaches. He has not proved his claim to leadership, especially in major tournaments. Do the roles at the DFB and in Munich have to be redefined?
Barca coach Xavi courts Kimmich
“As tournament director, it’s important to me that there’s a strong German team on the field,” says world champion captain Philipp Lahm (39): “In Ilkay Gündogan, Germany has a midfielder of absolute world class, and Joshua Kimmich has long since proven his qualities placed.”
Mind you: Lahm only puts Gündogan in the “world class” category. Lahm: “Football is about control on offense and on defence. For this, Germany needs a strong midfield that works well.”
Kimmich’s status abroad is great. Barcelona coach Xavi (43) is actively promoting him. Most recently, the former world-class midfielder explained: “I spoke to Kimmich in Qatar. We met at an event, he said he was a fan of mine.” The “event” described by Xavi was an interview by “Sport Bild” with both of them. At the January 2019 meeting, Xavi explained how he once became aware of Kimmich: “I spoke to Pep Guardiola about him. Pep said: ‘I have a player in the team who can play in any, absolutely any position!’ I asked, ‘Who is the boy?’ He told me something about a man named ‘Kimmitsch’ that I honestly had never heard of before.”
In the meantime, this “Kimmitsch” has made a name for itself. At Bayern and the national team, they know his worth. But also about its controversial appearance. In order to be able to afford big gestures, clenched fists and screams on the field, Kimmich has to constantly show what he missed last season: absolute world class.
The text was written for the sports competence center (WELT, “Sport Bild”, “Bild”) and first published in “Sport Bild”.