Markus Babbel fears for Niko Kovac's future at struggling Bayern Munich because of the internal pressure from bosses Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, while the former defender strongly questioned the attitude and desire of the squad.
Bundesliga champions Bayern made a flawless start to the season but Kovac's position as head coach is now under scrutiny amid the club's four-match winless run.
Bayern were comprehensively swept aside 3-0 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach prior to the international break – a second successive Bundesliga defeat – to leave the German giants languishing in sixth position, four points behind high-flying leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Kovac only arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt in the off-season as a replacement for Jupp Heynckes but his position has already come into question ahead of Bayern's trip to Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Bayern president Hoeness has already vowed to defend Kovac "until the end", however, Babbel – who won three Bundesliga titles and nine trophies in total during his second spell in Bavaria before joining Liverpool in 2000 – insists the pressure is mounting on the embattled 47-year-old.
"The problem is if you work in a club like Bayern, not only the press will put pressure but within the club too," Babbel said in an interview with Omnisport. "I know from my time there. Nothing changed.
"Players can go to Hoeness or Rummenigge. Then you as a coach you have no chance because they're crying here and there. This is the biggest problem. You have two big men in the office. If they don't support you, you have no chance."
"For me, it is not normal. You can't start with seven wins then play a draw against Augsburg," Babbel said. "They had chances to win the match but Manuel Neuer made a mistake. From there, everything has gone the wrong way.
"It's very strange. I don't know what's happened. I know the coach is good, the players are good. If they are fine together, they will bounce back and win games."
Former Bayern captain Lothar Matthaus has been critical of the team's underperforming stars, with James Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski in the firing line.
Babbel – now head coach of Western Sydney Wanderers in Australia – suggested Bayern's ageing squad may have stagnated as he applauded the continued motivation of Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Problems not only at Bayern but Manchester United. Players aren't recognising who they are playing for anymore. The privilege to play for a club like this. How much money they earn. They're not performing and giving everything. They're not top professionals," he added.
"From the outside, maybe the team is a bit too old. They've been playing together for a long time. I watched them last season live and they didn't look hungry anymore... Too many players at Munich have stayed for too long. There's not much fresh air in the team. It's always the same. Maybe this is one of the reasons things aren't working."
|BREAKING NEWS: James Rodriguez out for several weeks with knee injury|
|Curran´s brilliant fifty rescues England´s innings|
|Lenglet: No problem with Dembele at Barca|
|Townsend rings the changes for Springboks clash|
|Claudio Ranieri´s managerial career in Opta numbers|
|Mahmudullah´s first century in eight years boosts Bangladesh|
|Fellaini gets the chop ahead of 31st birthday|
|Maradona: Solari will not last at Real Madrid|
|Molinari: Race to Dubai success would not surpass Ryder Cup glory with Fleetwood|
|Dortmund star Sancho was a Bayern target, confirms Salihamidzic|
|Gerrard enjoying ´buzz´ of management|
|Hamilton questions approach to Formula One expansion|
|Ranieri honoured to lead ´exceptional´ Fulham squad|
|Solari saw Isco out of shape - Ceballos|
|Ranieri replaces Jokanovic at Fulham|
|Durant keeps details of Green spat ´in-house´ but envisages resolution|
|Rooney: Kane and Sterling are England superstars|
|Messi will make Argentina return, says Maradona|
|Warriors drop Hawks as Green serves suspension|
|In-form Healy sends Australia into semis|
|Former NBA star McGrady says Carmelo Anthony should retire|
|Celtics´ Smart: We have to look at ourselves in the mirror|
|Federer plays down preferential treatment talk|
|Mourinho is better than Guardiola – Maradona|
|Mbappe plays down Pele comparisons|
|Don´t worry bro – Mendy responds to Trump|
|Melvin, Snitker win manager of the year awards|
|Warriors´ Green suspended for Hawks clash|
|Asensio: It´s not for me to lead Madrid|
|Rooney ready to enjoy England farewell after pressure of ´Golden Generation´|
|Ludwigsburg stun high-flying Murcia in BCL|
|Rams v Chiefs moved to LA due to Mexico City field conditions|
|Skriniar discussing new Inter contract, confirms agent|
|Former Barcelona boss Martino named MLS Coach of the Year|
|Bell fails to report to Steelers, will sit out rest of season|
|Federer back on track after dismal Thiem display|
|Udinese appoint Nicola after sacking Velazquez|
|Monaco deny they broke rules regarding youth recruitment|
|Del Bosque, Zidane, Lopetegui - The former Castilla coaches Solari follows into Real Madrid hot seat|
|Ozil rejected ´crazy offers´ from Asia, reveals agent|
|Real Madrid appoint Solari on permanent basis|
|LeVert avoids need for surgery, should return this season|
|Neuer confident despite concerns over Bayern Munich form|
|All I ever wanted to do is win, says Sixers signing Butler|
|Pogba: Coming home to United was the best feeling ever|
|Watson among four signing new Bath deals|
|Susanna Dinnage to replace Scudamore as Premier League chief executive|
|Murray commits to Brighton until 2020|
|Rooney rejected chance of pre-World Cup farewell|
|Impressive Anderson thrashes Nishikori|
|Ozil´s Germany absence a ´pity´, says Sane|
|Rooney: I´ll finish my career in the US|
|McIlroy unsure of 2019 European Tour membership|
|Australian Open dismisses concerns of Federer scheduling bias|
|Hue Jackson joins Bengals staff as ´special assistant´|
|Real Madrid confirm Reguilon injury|
|Higuain handed two-match ban for Juve meltdown|
|Kruis ruled out for England as Jones calls up uncapped quartet|
|A year on from Italy failure, Ventura leaves Chievo after four games|
|Bairstow misses out as unchanged England promote Stokes|
|Recalled Alba denies Luis Enrique bust-up|
|´Unhappy´ Christensen won´t push for Chelsea exit|
|Nadal to make Abu Dhabi comeback in December|
|Taijul helps Bangladesh tighten their grip despite Taylor ton|
|Neymar joining Real Madrid wouldn´t hurt Iniesta|
|It´s just team spirit - Livingston not worried by Durant-Green exchange|
|Trippier out of England squad with groin injury|
|Ex-Sri Lanka international Lokuhettige charged by ICC|
|Former England and Chelsea star Joe Cole retires|
|Nets offer support to LeVert following serious leg injury|