Just four competitive games into the new season Bayern Munich coach Felix Magath faces a real power struggle as his gruelling training ground regimes and outspoken comments anger big-name players.
Magath is facing open dissent from Bayern Munich's millionaire stars
Felix Magath, the 51-year-old former Stuttgart boss, took over from Ottmar Hitzfeld in June with Bayern looking to inject some iron discipline into an under-performing squad. He responded by introducing medicine balls and extra fitness training leaving Bayern stars nursing their aching muscles.
While VfB Stuttgart's youngsters were willing to run up hills on Thursday mornings, Bayern's assembly of multi-millionaires seem more reluctant.
"I've never had harder training sessions than under Magath, not in the (Brazil) national team nor at (Bayer) Leverkusen," bemoaned Brazilian World Cup winner Lucio.
"Training is tough and we are doing a lot more running than last season," confirmed Frenchman Willy Sagnol.
Roque Santa Cruz
Paraguayan international Roque Santa Cruz recently lambasted Magath for turning Bayern into a workhorse outfit: "I'm not going to change my attitude," stated Santa Cruz. "I'm not going to start kicking opponents or throwing myself to the ground just to please this person (Magath)."
Coach hits back with public criticism
Silence is not golden in Magath's eyes either and the Munich chief has responded with some hard-hitting comments of his own. "Some players are too busy rubbing gel into their hair and neglect the football," raged Magath after a 4-1 defeat by Bayer Leverkusen.
Lucio, a €12 million signing from Bayer, was dragged off after an hour of that match and expressed his annoyance at the decision. "If I can vaguely remember, we were losing 4-0 when he came off and at the end we only lost 4-1," countered Magath. "But I guess I really don't know anything."
Internal rumblings are nothing new at the Olympic Stadium but poor results in the Bundesliga certainly are and the fact that Bayern lie ninth in the table -- with just four points from three outings -- is a concern for Magath.
Succeeding a successful coach is always difficult and Magath is fully aware that Ottmar Hitzfeld's four domestic titles, two German Cups and a European Champions League crown are a tough act to follow.
However, if silverware is to be forthcoming Magath needs the confidence of his players or his "dream" job could become a nightmare.