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Better than Flick, Kahn praises Nagelsmann's rapid impact on Bayern

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-30 17:52
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Lucas Hernandez (1st R) of Bayern Munich controls the ball under the defense from Tomasz Kedziora (2nd R) of Dynamo Kyiv during an UEFA Champions League Group E 2nd round match between Bayern Munich of Germany and Dynamo Kyiv of Ukraine in Munich, Germany, on Sept 29, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BERLIN - Oliver Kahn has been through all sorts of ups and downs of football and is far from being easily impressed. But when talking about Julian Nagelsmann, the 2001 Champions League winner goes into raptures.

Bayern's new chairman couldn't hide his admiration for the coach as the reigning German champions secured their second victory in Group E of the 2021-22 Champions League, beating Dynamo Kyiv 5-0.

Robert Lewandowski's brace and strikes from Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting secured an easy win against the Ukrainian side.

"Surprisingly quickly you can see his influence on our game. We manage to keep our goal clean, close the gaps, and transition quickly into attacks," said the 52-year-old former Bayern goalkeeper Kahn.

Statistics back Kahn's enthusiasm. Compared to the era of his predecessor Hansi Flick, Bayern under Nagelsmann have allowed their opponents 33 percent fewer counter-attacks.

Increasing the German record champions' tactical variability is one of the reasons for Bayern's improvements.

The back row of four often changes into a chain of three, with full-back Alphonso Davies moving up along the left wing, with Leroy Sane moving towards the center.

Midfielders Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich secure attacks by clearing the center in front of the back row.

As for now, Nagelsmann has managed to stabilize Bayern's wavering performances that were sometimes seen last season. "A significant improvement is visible," former Leipzig coach and TV pundit Ralf Rangnick commented.

Kahn's optimism is underpinned by comments from the club's key performers such as Manuel Neuer and Gnabry. Both openly talk about wanting to win the Champions League again.

"We are on fire when it comes to success, we are hungry for it," Gnabry said, adding "we have the team to make it." The German international praised the team's spirit, self-confidence and mentality.

"It's about always creating new goals no matter how successful you have been," the 26-year-old striker stated.

Nagelsmann has not only managed to create a good mood among his squad, but has also helped problem cases such as Sane and Niklas Sule emerge from difficult moments.

The Bayern coach is treating every opponent with the same amount of attention. Pre-game preparations are equally long whether Bayern are facing Bundesliga newcomers Greuther Furth or Barcelona in the Champions League.

The players' ambitions and determination are making things easy for him, the Bayern coach claims.

"I don't pat their heads all time, but tell them what can be improved to gain perfection," Nagelsmann said.

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