German Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich have fired their Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal after their 1-1 derby draw against 1.FC Nuremberg yesterday, which has resulted in Bayern now being only fourth in the league table after Hannover 96 won 2-0 against Mainz 05. At the end of the season this would mean Bayern would miss out on the UEFA Champions League and they would only play in the Europa League. And that would be tough on the Bavarians as Munich is set to host the 2012 UEFA Champions League final.
A statement from the club said, "The decision to part company with Van Gaal was taken jointly by the board of directors, the director of sport and the FC Bayern Munich club president, acting in the interests of the club as a whole. As well as Louis van Gaal, his assistants Frans Hoek, Jos van Dijk and Max Reckers have also been relieved of their duties."
Fellow Dutchman Andries Jonker has been appointed interims coach until the end of the season with Hermann Gerland and Marcel Bout as his assistant coaches plus Walter Junghans as goalkeeping coach. But the arrangement will remain interim as the new coach Jupp Heynckes will take over in July.
A turbulent 22 months in-charge of FCB came to an end for van Gaal last night. The experienced coach had a terrible start in Munich in 2009 with less then six month's into his reign he was nearly fired, then came success as Bayern Munich won the German double of league and cup, but the club would lose the UEFA Champions League final to Inter Milan in Madrid.
This season things simply hasn't worked though van Gaal's contract was extended until 2012 last September. Poor results in the Bundesliga which saw Bayern initially struggling to stay in the top five, then unnecessary defeats to Schalke in the German Cup semifinal and Inter Milan in the pre-quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League saw van Gaal's say diminish. But by then it had already been decided that van Gaal would stay only until the end of the season.
But there was one final aim for van Gaal as coach in Munich, to finish amongst the top Bundesliga three to at least get to the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. And with that looking to be in danger the management thought it had to react now not to lose out on the lucrative Champions League.