Joshua Kimmich: Mauricio Pochettino Is a 'Top Coach'; Unsure on Bayern Interest

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2019

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 16: Joshua Kimmich of Germany runs with the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between Germany and Belarus at Borussia-Park on November 16, 2019 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich believes Mauricio Pochettino is a "top coach," although he said he's unsure if there's much substance in the reports linking him with a move to the Allianz Arena.

Pochettino was sacked by Spurs on Tuesday night, bringing an end to five-and-a-half years of development with the north London outfit. Jose Mourinho was confirmed as his successor on Wednesday morning.

Given Bayern also axed their manager Niko Kovac recently, Pochettino has already been mentioned as a possible long-term candidate to take charge at Bayern.

Speaking after Germany's 6-1 win over Northern Ireland in UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying on Tuesday, Kimmich said he thinks Pochettino is a fine coach, per Sam France of Goal.

"I do not know if he is a candidate for us," said the Bayern right-back. "What you can say is that Tottenham were fighting at the top for years, they had brilliant consistency. He's a top coach, but I don't know if he is an option for us."

Pochettino and Kovac actually came head-to-head earlier in the campaign, with the latter's side coming out on top in emphatic fashion as Bayern romped to a 7-2 win in the Champions League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

Results and performances like that indicated all wasn't well at Spurs, despite the fact the team made it to the UEFA Champions League final last season.

Tottenham sit in 14th place in the Premier League table and haven't won away from home in the top flight since January. A team that had become renowned for its aggression and intensity under Pochettino was regularly turning in meek performances.

However, on Pochettino's watch, Spurs developed from an inconsistent top-half Premier League team into regulars in the Champions League.

Rory Smith of the New York Times summed up the changes at the club:

Rory Smith @RorySmith

A few days before Pochettino arrived at Spurs, Tim Sherwood invited a fan to sit on the bench and see if he could do better. He did it, he said, "for some banter." Probably fair to say Pochettino leaves a different club to the one he found.

Football writer Seb Stafford-Bloor thinks Pochettino has been let down by some of his players recently:

Seb Stafford-Bloor @SebSB

I'd say... a couple of Pochettino's players should be particularly ashamed of themselves in light of that.

Naturally, talk about the now-former Spurs boss moving to Bayern has gathered pace. Hans-Dieter Flick is in temporary charge following the axing of Kovac.

Although Bayern are the dominant force in German football, they have struggled to nail down an identity since the departure of Pep Guardiola in 2016. Pochettino has shown himself to be capable of establishing a defined blueprint and improving players at his disposal.

Ed Malyon of The Athletic believes the 47-year-old will have a number of elite clubs to choose from:

Ed Malyon @eaamalyon

Pochettino really will have the pick of elite clubs when he decides to get back into management. An immediate upgrade on the incumbent at Bayern, Juve, Barcelona, and probably Real Madrid before you even mention PL sides

Bayern are in third place in the Bundesliga, four points behind surprise leaders Borussia Monchengladbach. After some inconsistent results under Kovac, they produced their best performance of the season before the international break, when Flick led the team to a 4-0 win over Borussia Dortmund.

Nevertheless, it feels as though Bayern are in the midst of a rebuild, and there will be a temptation to approach Pochettino with a view to steering that process in the right direction.