The German footballing media cannot help but parse the words of Bayern's top-brass for any sign of conflict. On the other hand, Hans Dieter Flick seems to have no misgivings about calling it as he sees it.
"We had a team last year that was better in terms of quality," Flick noted, "Everyone knows this and will agree with me [that last year's team was] better than this year's."
It's not entirely clear at all that everyone would agree with him. As many anticipated, the shortfalls of Salimadzic's 2020 transfer class continues to serve as a major bone of contention between coach and management. The issue as to whether this rift might lead to Flick bolting for the vacant trainer position at the German national team isn't going anywhere.
Naturally, Flick devoted ten times as many words to how focused he was on his current job and didn't wish to address any more speculation. He did nevertheless manage to deliver another subtle backhand to his administrators by insisting that "the provocations don't come from me."
The FCB trainer will have to get creative in building a squad for Saturday's 15:30 kickoff against 1. FC Union Berlin. For starters, the absence of Lucas Hernandez (injury) and Alphonso Davies (suspension) means he will need a left-back.
Flick remained noncommittal about possible deployments for the returning Tanguy Nianzou and the consistently disappointing Bouna Sarr. Three fullbacks (Remy Vita, Josip Stanisic, and Dimitri Oberlin) have recently been called up from the youth squad.
Christopher Scott, a winger who can also play at fullback, already featured on Flick's bench against Leipzig last Saturday.