Jupp Heynckes retired at the end of the 2012-13 season as one of the all-time managerial greats.
He had just guided Bayern Munich to the treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League, and had built a side christened by Franz Beckenbauer – a member of Bayern’s three-time European Cup-winning team of the 1970s – as ‘the best Bayern team ever’.
Many would think, after three seasons out the game, Heynckes would behind the times when it came to coaching a football club in the modern day.
However, the 72-year-old came out of retirement last month, and has proven he is still an exceptionally gifted manager who can have an immediate impact at a club.
Since taking charge of Bayern on October 6 – his fourth spell with Die Roten – Heynckes has guided the reigning Bundesliga champions to four wins in four matches, scoring 11 goals and conceding just one in the process.
Carlo Ancelotti was sacked by the Bayern hierarchy having won only four of seven league matches, leaving them second in the Bundesliga, five points behind Borussia Dortmund.
Since Heynckes was named boss, Bayern have made up those five points on BVB, and then picked up a further two victories to now sit six points clear of Peter Bosz’s side with 11 matches played.
Dortmund’s results have nosedived since Heynckes returned to the Allianz Arena; having won six and drawn one to top the table before Ancelotti’s sacking, they have gone on a run of three defeats and one draw in four matches and are now in third place.
The most recent fixtures in the Bundesliga calendar pitched Dortmund against Bayern, at the famous Westfalenstadion. The visitors were 2-0 up by half-time and ended the match as 3-1 victors.
Such a result seemed impossible just a few weeks ago, but now that Heynckes has replaced Ancelotti it would be foolish to doubt Bayern once again this season.