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Bienvenue A Ligue 1, Niko Kovač

July 20, 2020


Niko Kovač



Former Croatia captain, Croatia head coach, and Bayern Munich manager – Niko Kovač – has been appointed the new man in charge at French Ligue 1 club, Monaco. We last saw Kovač in charge at Bayern Munich where he was sacked in November of 2019.



Kovač was the head coach of Croatia at the 2014 World Cup before he moved to Bundesliga club, Eintracht Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, he helped the club with the DFB Pokal trophy in 2018, their first trophy since 1988. The following season, Kovač was named captain at the helm of Bayern Munich where he only lasted 18 months even though he won the German double with the club in his first season.



Monaco will be a good move for Kovač as he won’t be under immense pressure like he was at Bayern. Also, it’s expected once again for PSG to run the table with all the talent and cash they already have. If Kovač could get Monaco back to the Champions League, his hiring should be considered a success.




Ante Kvartuč
Posted By: Ante Kvartuč 29 comments

  1. Soul Champ says:

    Kovač was a field Marshall as a CDM.

    Has he evolved at all as a manager?

    The tight ship drill sergeant style seems to have limitations.

    You need an aspect of that discipline to be successful in any endeavor but that takes you so far.

    Where is the creative problem solving during the match when play A breaks down.

    Maybe Robert Kovač is not the best #1 as he insulates you from divergent ideas?

    We need some innovators in our Croatian managers talent pool.

    Who is the Rimac of Croatia managers?

    Dalic has a grown somewhat but he is not what I consider to be a visionary.

  2. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Its really hard to know how this will all work out. I respected Kovac as a player, he was very disciplined and hard working but coaching is a different animal.

    In my opinion, a good coach has to know each or his players strengths and weaknesses as well as their mental capacity. Not everyone can be treated the same and each person is motivated and inspired differently.

    The thing that worries me about Kovac is that he is such an authoritarian and that only works on some types of players. Also he has an extreme fitness program that require players to spend a lot of extra time “cooling down” after games and practice. He works them to the point of exhaustion and for these professionals, they become resentful with all the baby-sitting and telling them what flip flops they can and can’t wear….it becomes overwhelming!

    I remember when our National Team was preparing for the World Cup in 2014, players were getting injured and dropping off like flies. Strinic eventually got hurt soo bad from the extreme training sessions, he was in a full leg cast and getting treatment twice per day!

    If Kovac could just take it down a notch and stop treating players like they’re teenagers, maybe he would have better success?!

  3. Maminjo says:

    Kovac’s focus on strict discipline and fitness may still make him a good coach in many scenarios. That style is a poor fit for our National team, but it could work well on some teams (especially German/Austrian/Nordic ones).

    But the worst part about Kovac was that he was stubborn and has thin skin.

    He reacted to criticism and accusations from the media, trying to prove them wrong (which would impact his tactics and decision making on the field).

    Everyone in Croatia knew that Pranjic at LB was terrible, yet he kept playing him there to show everyone that they were wrong. He even placed Pranjic in the central midfield, in a last minute change, for our critical match against Mexico, just so that he could continue to start him. He was reacting to the calls from the fans and media (who were crucifying him for playing Pranjic so much), and that was the wrong thing to do.

    He also did something similar when he kept calling up HNK Rijeka players to fill the CDM role (Mocinic, Pokrivac, Males, etc). One after the other, like a revolving door.

    He was reacting to the media and some fans calling him out as a “Mamic guy” so he actively tried calling up these crappy Rijeka players in some attempt to show that he was not simply pro-Dinamo.

    I can’t hate on Kovac too much, because he revitalized Ante Rebic’s career by bringing him to Eintracht (a club that Kovac never should have left).

    I like that we have more coaches in decent leagues (like Kovac and Bilic) so they will continue to give Croatian players a chance to shine (like Bilic also just did for Krovinovic at WBA).

    But I wouldn’t hire these guys to be the NT coach again.

    Maybe Bilic in the distant future, if he can ever get over his inability to progress further with his teams (after making good first impressions in his first year with them).

  4. Slavonac from Canada says:

    you make some good arguments there Maminjo but I think even the German and Scandinavian teams would eventually tune him out.

    Yes, traditionally those countries have tougher and more regimented type of players but Kovac was having BIG issues at Bayern with several personalities and it eventually ended his career there.

    I also agree with you about Kovac “reacting”. He made some really bad decisions and at that time, I felt he was behaving irrationally for a guy with his character…it seemed weird!

    By the time he pulled off the Pranjic stunt and playing him in midfield, I was completely done and wanted him gone and far from the team. Some guys have no idea how dumb and arrogant they are and that was exactly what Kovac looked like to me. Its really hard to say those things about him because I really respect him for what he did as a player.

    Over the years I see more and more coaches that tend to get blocked by their own egos! I’m also tired of Bilic shitting the bed. He sure talks a lot and can philosophize every detail down to wearing a particular type of sock… he really needs to step back a but and stop second and third guessing himself. Thats what happens to smart people like Bilic, they tend to think 2,3 and 4 steps ahead and they end up psyching themselves out!

    I’m recently following Ivan Juric from Hellas Verona, I want to see how he does…maybe he can offer us something down the road?! I really am hoping we can find someone thats more balanced and less “his own philosophy”! I don’t mind Dalic, he’s done a decent job at making some obvious and decent decisions. Other times he makes me scratch my head but I’m ok with that…he’s on the ground level and we see things from a “not so good” view, sitting on our sofas!

  5. Maminjo says:

    Yea but I wouldn’t call Bayern a typical German club.

    They are an elite team with a lot of talented primma donna players who will tune you out the moment they suspect you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I think he’s better suited for mid-table teams rather than a top team with a lot of star caliber players whose personalities may be more manageable. He had that with Eintracht Frankfurt.

    You’re absolutely right about Bilic being the type that can talk the talk, but not walk the walk. As a football pundit, it’s great listening to him, and he’s largely right in his analysis.

    But then, on the field, you’d see him puss out and play the opposite to his team’s strengths (like that game we had against Greece in Greece where we played for the draw and lost 2-0). We almost missed the 2012 Euros after that, after already missing the 2010 World Cup. Could have been a devastating error.

    I think part of his problem is that (like you said) he over thinks things…but I also think he has a bit of fear in him, where he tries to play it too safe sometimes.

    Dalic is good. I criticized some of his moves (especially his obsession with subbing out Perisic) but he values having our wingers/forwards press hard all game…and this was arguably the biggest key to our recent success. It’s the perfect compliment to our super-talented central midfield.

    We now have a recipe for long term success. We will always have technically gifted midfielders, that we just need to surround with hardworking, defensive-oriented wingers and forwards.

    Re: other coaches…

    I think Nenad Bjelica is talented. I’m really upset about him leaving Dinamo, because he would have succeeded as NT coach.

    I would love for Kek to take over Dinamo, because he is also a great coach. He would definitely be a guy (despite not being Croatian) that I wouldn’t mind having as NT coach. Just his offensive style alone would create an explosion of goals and excitement to watch.

    Ivan Juric has been largely successful, even when he was with Genoa. Guys like Juric (along with other guys in his age group like Tudor, Prosinecki, etc) all need another 5+ years of coaching experience to really show what they can do.

    Vladimir Petkovic is probably the biggest name though. He’d cost the most and he’d be the safest pick in terms of ensuring we remain a top National Team. If Switzerland does not extend that contract beyond 2022, we need to get on that.

  6. Medo says:

    Regarding future coaches it’s interesting Luka stating he would play a few more years at least, then go for his coaching license.
    Great players rarely translate into great coaches…some would argue Zidane but is he even a good coach..let’s see him coach a mid tier,talent bare team before he’s labeled a good coach.
    Luka at the helm for The N.T. @ the 2030 World Cup!!
    You heard it here first!

  7. Miloš Hvar says:

    I think Luka could be a good coach in time. He is an extremely high IQ player which is why he is still world class given his age. I mean I’d have more faith in Luka being a great coach than Olić who was a bull with one speed “go”……. I really like Dalic as a coach. I think he brings the right temperament. It’s one thing to be a great coach tactically but he is great at handling the human aspect. But i agree the Perisic sub tendency is annoying as well as the fan service call ups. Skoric against Wales in Osijek could have been a disaster.

  8. Maminjo says:

    Lol. Škorić.

    Dude plays 1 minute in Osijek and gives Gareth Bale a free kick just outside the box at the end of the game.

    Hopefully Dalić is done with the junk experiments in these upcoming Nations League, and starts using these game to see what our 18-man roster is capable of.

  9. ARMADA87 says:

    Hi to all the dipshit Hajduk fans on here.

    Although the people who run this site casually didn’t report on a very entertaining derbi yesterday, just a reminder that Hajduk, Croatia’s greatest team, will finish 5th this year and will probably get bounced out of the EL next year in their first tie.


  10. Maminjo says:


    Osijek, Lokomotiva and Rijeka are all separated by only one point (Osijek choked against Varaždin, and Lokosi couldn’t beat Gorica).

    Osijek (62 points) plays Lokomotiva (62 points) in the final round…with Rijeka (61 points) playing their final match against Istra.

    This will be a good final match day. Winner gets a shot at Champions League. I can see Rijeka putting up the cash to try and be more competitive next year. Hopefully it’s them (or Osijek if not them).

    Hajduk is out of the race, but they played alot of their youngsters today (which is good). Hopefully they drop those remaining four foreigners off their starting lineup for next season, and stop wasting money on untalented non-Croats.

  11. ARMADA87 says:

    Should be a really entertaining final day. I’ll have both games up. Don’t see Osijek and Loko tying. I think Osijek will win and get that 2nd place spot. They deserve it.

  12. Maminjo says:

    I’m for whichever team has the best chance to progress.

    It’s likely that they will be paired against a strong European club (since I doubt TWO teams from Croatia’s HNL would get some sort of a seeding)…but Rijeka and Osijek have knocked off some good Euro competition in the recent past.

    Both teams are about the same in terms of player quality. Rijeka has some more experienced players like Andrijasevic, Tomecak, etc. Both teams have capable strikers in Colak at Rijeka and Maric at Osijek.

    It’s really about who is willing to load up on talent prior to next season, when they attempt to qualify for Champions League.

  13. Penaldo says:

    There was some bad blood between Kovac and Muller. As you may know, Muller was on the bench mostly. I think Kovac wanted him gone. In my humble opinion, this is a prime example of grass is greener on the other side. When he lead Frankfurt from obscurity he should have stayed there and gain more reverence.

  14. Stanko says:

    Penaldo you make some great points.
    He would still be coaching in Frankfurt,he was revered there with the turn around at that club especially after beating Bayern in that cup final.
    I love the idea of Modrić at the helm.
    The more I think of it the more it makes sense but the stars must align.
    We probably need to crap the bed in 2026 World Cup or 2028 euros though for it to happen.

  15. Maminjo says:

    What’s with all the Modrić coach talk?

    I can’t really see him as a coach. Not sure why.

    Then again, I can’t see Srna, Olić and Vukojević as coaches either (yet here they all are, hoping to be the undeserving successors to Dalić)

  16. Stanko says:

    Hmmmm let me see why?
    1he stated he wanted to get into coaching after his playing days
    2he is the most revered player of all time in Croatia
    3The federation gave Bilić and even the bum stimac a shot at coaching so why not legend Luka?
    4Luka would command respect in the locker room
    5 he is a natural born leader
    6 what Luka wants Luka gets!
    7its going to happen Maminjo give it time,are you pissed you didn’t think of it ?

  17. BZ says:

    I’d take Luka,as a coach, in a heartbeat.

    So many reasons, it’s not even worth going through them all.

  18. Dannyj says:

    He’s practically a player type coach now
    He carries influence with soccer big wigs that can never hurt

    Also on another note there should be a foreign player cap in the HNL. Unless there is one and i don’t know it

  19. Slavonac from Canada says:

    Maminjo, regarding Kovac at Bayern…I agree with your comments and I also thought about the fact they are a bunch of super prima donna’s but at the same time, I expect coaches to take accountability in knowing that they’re getting themselve’s into.

    Kovac took the job knowing what the Bayern environment looked like, just like how Sarri should have known what Juve has before he started to complain that nobody on his team knows how to play and just like how Ancelotti should have known when he went to Bayern and then Napoli.

    With regards to Modric being a coach? Folks, he’s still a player. He needs a lot of time to work into that type of role…its definitely not for everyone and it really does take a person that can take his own experiences and then the lessons he’s learned from people that don’t have his vision and perspective’s…so he can challenge his own ways of thinking and philosophies of the game. I believe that takes some years to develop into a good visionary and someone that can learn to command respect!

    Its definitely a good thing that Luka is learning from people at Real, they’re soccer history is rich and I’m pretty sure there are several brilliant soccer minds around him. He’s also had the opportunity to learn from Harry Redknapp, a guy I think has less tactical and strategic senses but has more relationships with his players than the average coach…they play for him.

    Getting results is tricky. Some guys have the ability to do it with a lesser quality squad and most nowadays expect the club to break the bank…which is totally against how I think!


  20. Slavonac from Canada says:

    I just read this and it makes a lot of sense to me. A coach doesn’t have to be a tactical genius to be successful!

    Zidane je genijalac odnosa i sjajno se snašao u teškim uvjetima

    Zinedine Zidane nije trener od kojeg će drugi usvajati velike taktičke ideje niti trener koji će imati prepoznatljiv stil igre i na tome graditi svoju reputaciju. U striktno taktičkom smislu, Zidane ni po jednom kriteriju ne spada u svjetsku elitu. Realova igra ovisi o nadahnuću pojedinaca, obrambena organizacija je klimava, a mehanizmi u igri teško su zamjetni.

    Ali Zidane je zato u drugim segmentima najbolji trener današnjice. Sjajno prepoznaje potrebe svojih igrača i zna ih psihički i fizički održati u optimalnom stanju. Ima ogroman kredibilitet još iz igračkih dana zbog čega ga cijene i najveće zvijezde u svlačionici, ima znanje o tome kako funkcioniraju odnosi u svlačionici i što treba napraviti kako bi izvukao ono najbolje iz nje. S talentom koji Real posjeduje, to je i više nego dovoljno.

    Treba napomenuti kako je Zidane uspio uzeti naslov u izrazito teškim uvjetima. Kralježnica njegove momčadi (Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Modrić, Benzema) je u godinama i nalazi se u silaznoj putanji karijere. Osvojili su sve što se moglo osvojiti i neki manje sposoban trener ne bi uspio riješiti problem zasićenosti i manjka motivacije na “malim” utakmicama.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Lots of clowns on here ripping on Kovac like they have a clue what they’re talking about when it comes to coaching. Embarrassing to be associated with these losers. The man turned Eintracht Frankfurt into a respectable club, got the screwed over at Bayern for never having the boards backing, transfers, crying players like muller, Kimmich.

    Neuer, Alaba, lewandoski never had an issue with him. He’ll be just fine at Monaco.

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