Few would have predicted bayern munich would sack their manager in the 2017-2018 season. No-one, surely, could have predicted it would come so soon? The Bundesliga champions decided to part company with manager Carlo Ancelotti on Thursday afternoon by mutual consent, according to a report by the BBC.

The Italian has achieved everything in management but a string of untypical displays, together with frustration from senior players. Therefore, the club's leading executives decide to wield the axe on Ancelotti. This comes just four months after taking the Bavarians to a fifth successive Bundesliga title by a massive 15-point margin.

So, what has gone wrong for Ancelotti to see his reign end so suddenly?

Underwhelming displays

The signs were there for all to see in recent days but this is a decline that started as far back as April. By then, Bayern Munich were fighting on all three fronts and looking like serious contenders to win another 'Treble' of trophies. After losing to Hoffenheim, the club were beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo and holders Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals. Then came another shattering blow as big German rivals Borussia Dortmund dumped them out of the DFB-Pokal at the semi-final stage.

By then, the Bundesliga had been all but won and that was wrapped up shortly afterwards after a six-goal win in Wolfsburg.

However, there was a narrow 1-0 win over lowly SV Darmstadt 98, a clumsy home draw with 1. FSV Mainz 05. Then there was a nine-goal thriller in Leipzig which saw great spirit in recovering from two-goal deficits to win in stoppage-time but saw some uncharitable defending from the champions.

2017-2018 was always going to be an intriguing test for Bayern Munich.

They went into a campaign without their inspirational skipper Philipp Lahm, who had called time on his prestigious career at the end of last season. Spanish pass master Xabi Alonso also decided to hang up his boots. These were two massive players to replace and early season showings suggest they have been heavily missed.

A second defeat in just five months to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim was a worrying result.

This followed a poor pre-season with some dismal performances and damaging defeats to the likes of Napoli, Liverpool FC, and the two Milan clubs. Ultimately though, it was two games in the last seven days that broke the manager's back and tested the board's patience to the limit.

Last Friday, Bayern Munich entertained VfL Wolfsburg. This is a team they've beaten 18-1 in their last four Bundesliga meetings. A soft penalty and deflected goal had them two-goals ahead going into the interval. However, they got complacent. Wolfsburg, who recently changed their manager again, showed great character and deservedly grabbed a 2-2 draw. It was the first time since February 2011 that Bayern had blown a two-goal lead and lost points as a result in the Bundesliga.

Wednesday night saw the final nail in Ancelotti's coffin. A 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in their UEFA Champions League group stage match at the Parc des Princes. Bayern looked like a bunch of individuals rather than a united team. It was one of their worst performances for some time and the hierarchy decided enough was enough.

Who has misfired?

At Bayern Munich, the fans' have their own favourites but they might not have been Ancelotti's. Thomas Muller's form has been exceptionally poor since Pep Guardiola left the club for Manchester City. 20 league goals in Guardiola's last season, Muller has scored just seven for Ancelotti in just under 40 Bundesliga matches. For such a fearsome forward, his record has not been to the usual standard.

It was clear that Muller was not Ancelotti's favourite person. Tactically, he struggled to fit Muller into his line-up and when he played, it was often in an unnatural position. The German international has not shied away in criticising Ancelotti in the media and this has been noted. In an era where player power is at its most dominant, the manager seems to lack the authority they used to have. Muller might not have played where he wanted to but he didn't help Ancelotti's cause. His performances have been below-par for some time now. His place in the German starting XI at the World Cup next summer is far from guaranteed if his form doesn't improve.

Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, and Robert Lewandowski have also decided to go public with their concerns in recent months.

Robben's refusal to show support for Ancelotti after being left on the bench in Paris on Wednesday night spoke volumes. It suggested the dressing room had been severely fractured and lost faith in the manager. This indicates a divorce between Bayern Munich and Ancelotti is hardly surprising.

Ancelotti has to shoulder some of the blame too. Renato Sanches failed to sparkle under his guidance and is now on-loan to Swansea City. Kingsley Coman hasn't progressed as much as he did under Guardiola. Club-record signing Corentin Tolisso has struggled to fit into a settled position in the team since his arrival from Lyon this summer. Douglas Costa, such a key player for the previous manager, was discarded by Ancelotti and left for Juventus.

Looking at the current squad, no-one has really progressed significantly under his management in terms of development. Ancelotti's failure to address the goalkeeper issue was a glaring omission too. Sven Ulreich proved against Wolfsburg that he struggles to catch or punch a ball! That's a worrying issue for a goalkeeper and with Manuel Neuer out until January with a broken foot, could be a big problem between now and the winter break.

Who's next in the hot seat?

DW Made for Minds, reported that Willy Sagnol will take charge of the match in the German capital on Sunday against Hertha Berlin. He will be the interim coach for now but it is unlikely that the job will go to him permanently. Bayern will need an experienced coach to guide them into the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.

Trailing in the third spot in the Bundesliga after six games is not exactly vintage form either but the new manager will be expected to win the title. That is the minimum requirement for any boss at Bayern Munich.

Early favourites are current Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann, ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel and former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique. Jurgen Klopp's name has been mentioned but he is unlikely to walk out on Liverpool FC. Nagelsmann is the ideal candidate but whether they can prise him away from Hoffenheim now or at the end of the season will depend on a bit of co-operation from their Bundesliga rivals. Don't be surprised if Tuchel emerges as a serious candidate for an 18-month stint before Nagelsmann becomes a more realistic fit.

It is the first time Bayern Munich have sacked a coach in a season since dismissing Louis van Gaal during the 2010-2011 campaign. They are in uncharted territory. Mind you, so is Carlo Ancelotti. It does make this Bundesliga season though far more interesting than what could have been predicted six weeks ago.