That Kovac was removed after overseeing just three defeats this season – along with quite recently claiming a historic 7-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur – demonstrates just how ruthless this Bayern hierarchy can be.
A 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt over the weekend has left the German champions fourth in the Bundesliga, four points behind league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.
Such a result served as sufficient ammunition to pull the trigger on Kovac, whose main downfall was less results but rather the lack of discernible character in the performances of his Bayern team.
Despite being crisp and energetic in their patterns going forward, there seems to be a lack of maturity and pedigree that hallmarked the Bayern side that reached consecutive Champions League finals in 2012 and 2013.
Regardless of who comes in on a permanent basis – Jose Mourinho and Ralf Rangnick are the two current favorites – Bayern’s players will understand the importance of setting the right tone in front of their own supporters following the failure of the Kovac project.
In Olympiacos, however, Bayern come up against potentially sticky opponents who will enter this game feeling that they have nothing to lose after managing just one point from their first three games in Europe this term.
Indeed, despite coming from behind to draw 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur in September, perhaps the most encouraging performance in Europe for Olympiacos came during a 3-2 defeat at home to Bayern, during which the Piraeus side created a number of chances and were unlucky to come away from the game empty-handed. That game, incidentally, left Bayern supporters questioning Kovac more than almost any other until the Frankfurt game came along.
Much like Group B rivals Red Star Belgrade, Olympiacos can claim to enjoy almost totally unchecked domination in their domestic division – they have won the Superleague on 10 occasions since 2006 – but this has rarely translated into positive performances in Europe.
Over the last 10 years, the club has only reached the knockout phase of this competition on one occasion, famously beating Manchester United 2-0 in the last-16 first leg back in 2014 only to lose the reverse fixture 3-0, highlighting a wider belief in Greece that Olympiacos is a team that succeeds domestically but has always lacked something in Europe.
Claiming a win at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday would go some way to confounding that perception while also placing extra pressure on a Bayern team going through considerable change.