Ancelotti horror show is over! Bayern have risen from the dead

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The Bundesliga giants pulled off a bold move bringing back their former boss, but they are already thrilling fans with some of their greatest hits

In November 1982, the best-selling album of all-time was released when Michael Jackson unleashed Thriller on the world. The record was initially a critical and commercial success, but despite topping the charts over the winter, by the summer of 1983 it has fallen from top spot. That led the driven and ambitious superstar who graced the album's cover to call CBS Records CEO Walter Yetnikoff late in the night and demand "My record isn't number one, what are you going to do?"

Ever the perfectionist, Jackson was not happy with being number two. Together the musician, his manager and record company came up with the idea of an exhilarating music video for the album's title track directed by Hollywood icon John Landis. The 14-minute short movie for 'Thriller' was born and the album which spawned it returned to the top of the charts and became legend.

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With Bayern Munich flagging at the start of the 2017-18 season under Carlo Ancelotti, the club decided it was time for a change. Having lost to Hoffenheim and drawn with Wolfsburg in the first six games of the Bundesliga season, the Italian manager was feeling the pressure, but was confident he could turn things around despite being five points off first. However, a 3-0 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain sealed his fate, with Bayern's hopes of a successful European season looking dead and buried as they were utterly outclassed by the Ligue 1 side.

Needing their own bold move to get Bayern back to the top, president Uli Hoeness decided to pull off a risky manoeuvre, bringing Jupp Heynckes back from retirement as a short-term solution to get the team back from the dead. Heynckes had been out of football since winning the treble with Bayern in 2012-13, adding a second Champions League trophy to the one he had won at Real Madrid in 1998. It was his friendship with Hoeness that convinced him to return despite the 72-year-old previously declaring he would never manage again.

"After thinking things through, I came to the conclusion that you should never forget who has helped you in life," he said at his introductory press conference. "Bayern has helped me so much in my career. Without Bayern, I would never have ended up at Real Madrid."

Thiago Alcantara Bayern Munich RB Leipzig 25102017

Heynckes has been a revelation since returning to Munich. A 5-0 win over Freiburg paved the way as thoughts of FC Hollywood were pushed aside, with the veteran manager restoring belief in players who had become disillusioned under Ancelotti. He has brought the best out of his big names, with three wins from three in the league and zero goals conceded putting Bayern back where they belong — at the top of the Bundesliga table.

One of Heynckes' claims when he was presented as the man to restore sanity to Bayern was that "football has changed, but it hasn't been reinvented." When he last managed four years previously, Joshua Kimmich had yet to play a senior game of football. Now, the full-back looks like the heir to Philipp Lahm for both Bayern and Germany. The 22-year-old is enjoying working under the experienced manager.

Heynckes is Kimmich's third manager at Bayern, having also played under Pep Guardiola and Ancelotti. All three have varying approaches to coaching, but so far Kimmich has been impressed by how he has taken command of the team and uses his experience of the game to get results.

"Everybody knows Pep Guardiola is focused on the details, with a lot of analytics," Kimmich told Goal

"He’s also a coach who is very emotional and tries to coach from the line and change something in the play. Then I had Carlo Ancelotti who is a very calm person, who watches a lot. He’s not directly changing on the line. He makes changes at half-time or after the game, he’ll say something about the game. 

"Now I have Jupp Heynckes as a coach here at Bayern Munich, and he's also a calm person, but when he speaks everybody listens to him and we're working with concentration and a high intensity."

GFX Joshua Kimmich Jupp Heynckes

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Kimmich scored in Heynckes' first game back in the Champions League, a 3-0 win over Celtic. The Bavarians face the same opponents on Tuesday in Glasgow, and despite being without Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery and a number of other key players due to injury, they are likely to pick up another three points and secure their place in the knockout stage with two group games remaining.

Since coming back, Heynckes' Bayern have won every game, with the only slip-up being the DFB-Pokal as they needed penalties to beat RB Leipzig. James Rodriguez was the star against the same side in the Bundesliga, having failed to make any sort of impact under Ancelotti. The Colombia international was rumoured to be eager to return to parent club Real Madrid during Ancelotti's tenure, but has now revealed he is 'happy' in Munich, where Heycnkes' willingness to speak Spanish has helped the 26-year-old feel at home.

Bayern Munich may have turned the clocks back by hiring Heynckes, but with the veteran in command, they are not only back from the dead — they are back on top and should be a force in Europe once again.

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