Bayern Munich unrest after Lewandowski, Ribery and Mueller complain

By Mike Woitalla

Those getting tired of Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga dominance -- it has won the last five titles – have been treated to a good serving of schadenfreude: a 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim, criticism of the club by its leading scorer, Robert Lewandowski, complaints about the coach from fan favorite Thomas Mueller, and a tantrum from Franck Ribery.

Last season, Bayern lost only two of its 34 Bundesliga games, the first defeat coming after a starting the season with 10-game unbeaten streak.

Losing its third game of this season means Borussia Dortmund, despite a 0-0 tie at Freiburg, remains in first-place.

After Bayern’s previous Bundesliga game, Mueller, the 2014 World Cup champ, stayed on the bench for the first 70 minutes of a win over Werder Bremen and addressed Coach Carlo Ancelotti afterward.

"I don't know what qualities the coach wants his players to have, I just know that mine aren't on the list," said Mueller.

That drew this response from club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge:

“I am a friend of democracy and freedom of opinion … But what Mueller said Bremen is not OK.

But Mueller’s comment was small beer compared to what Lewandowski, the team’s leading scorer since arriving in 2014, said in what was described as an "unauthorized" interview with Spiegel Magazine. He criticized Bayern’s transfer policy, its preseason exhibition game trips, and cited Bayern’s stranglehold on the Bundesliga title as making the league less interesting to the international audience.

"Bayern will have to come up with something and be creative if the club wants to keep bringing world-class players to Munich,” said Lewandowski. who wants to add a Champions League title to the four Bundesliga crowns he's won with Bayern and the two he won with Borussia Dortmund. “And if you want to compete at the top, you have to have those kinds of quality players.

"To this day, Bayern Munich has never spent more than around [$45 million] for a player. In international soccer that has long since been more of an average than a peak price."

Bayern, which has failed to win the UEFA Champions League since 2013, broke its transfer fee record this summer with the $46.2 million purchase 22-year-old French midfielder Corentin Tolisso. Its total offseason spending on new players was about $100 million. No chump change but far less than spent by the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Real Madrid or the top English Premier League teams.

Lewandowski also said that Bayern’s preseason international trips, this year to Asia, were a waste of time:

"I'm skeptical about foreign trips. Not just because the strain during this important training period is so high, but also because I'm not really convinced they are of such great benefit to the club's marketing."

Better would be a competitive Bundesliga title race.

"If you have more top games," he said, "you have more show, more razzmatazz, and you can increase TV coverage to the world beyond. Fans want to see the big showdowns, the stars of the league, the battles for the championship. That would make the Bundesliga more interesting outside of Germany."

In 2009, when Philipp Lahm gave an unauthorized interview with Spiegel, Bayern fined him $60,000. No word of any fines yet for Lewandowski, but Rummenigge threatened:

“Who publicly criticizes the coach, club or teammates, gets stress from me personally. … He is employed by us as a player and earns very much money. Even last season he complained about his teammates not supporting him enough.”

On Tuesday, Lewandowski scored Bayern’s first goal – with a penalty kick after he was fouled – in a 3-0 win over Anderlecht in its Group B Champions League opener.

But all did not go smoothly. When Franck Ribery was replaced by Mueller with 12 minutes left, the Frenchman sauntered off the field, steered clear of Ancelotti, and tossed his jersey toward the bench.

16 comments about "Bayern Munich unrest after Lewandowski, Ribery and Mueller complain ".
  1. ROBERT BOND, September 13, 2017 at 9:53 a.m.

    R & R need to be played as reserves, Ancelooti too old school....

  2. Nick Daverese, September 13, 2017 at 11:27 a.m.

    There is something to be said about old school. Here is one of them when you have not seen something in 30 yrs people forget about it. Then it becomes new again.

  3. frank schoon replied, September 13, 2017 at 6:56 p.m.

    You are so right,Nick. Guardiola employs the old 2-3-5 system when he coached Bayern. This system was used in 1880's at Cambridge University and employed deep into the 1950's. There is no such thing as Old School. It is all about how to fit the players together on the field. You wait the Sweeper libero will return

  4. ROBERT BOND replied, September 14, 2017 at 9:23 a.m.

    old school as in uses the old players

  5. frank schoon replied, September 14, 2017 at 10:25 a.m.

    Robert, a coach uses what he needs to WIN, meaning whatever players, young or old, that's all.

  6. David Mont, September 13, 2017 at 12:41 p.m.

    This is why I no longer has any interest in club football. It's all about who has the most money and can buy better players. No need for better coaching, training, developing young players. Just buy 'em.

  7. Nick Daverese, September 13, 2017 at 8:54 p.m.

    The sweeper already returned in the form of the sweeper/keeper. On the US national team one of my old players was a sweeper and the captain of the national Mike Windischmann.

  8. frank schoon, September 13, 2017 at 9:07 p.m.

    Nick , you can't compare a sweeper/keeper to a sweeper. A sweeper can do so much more ,like becoming an extra midfielder, create numerical superiority and he can go on attack, a la Beckenbauer. The sweeper/keeper is really used more in defensive light, as in covering the space behind the defensive line, or used as an extra player in the back to pass to as in keep away,in ball distribution or by just giving a pass up field. There is quite a bit of difference in function between a keeper/sweeper and a sweeper. As a matter of fact the better sweepers are former attackers who can add so much more to the game than a goalie who is very restricted in what he can do.

  9. Nick Daverese, September 13, 2017 at 11:48 p.m.

    Beckenbauer and Carlos Alberto were the two best on attack I have ever seen moving up from the back. Alberto had a knack of moving into position to get the last pass on an attack and finishing that chance for a goal.

  10. frank schoon replied, September 14, 2017 at 8:04 a.m.

    Nick, the passes Beckenbauer made with the outside of the foot was watching poetry in motion...I made an hour tape of him just on how he passes the ball off the dribble. No one has been to do it with such poise. Did you know he started out first as a winger.

  11. ROBERT BOND, September 14, 2017 at 9:56 a.m.

    see what Hoenigstein had to say 4 hours ago, Nick-i take my comment back, letting the club house fall apart not "Old School"...he won't last the season......

  12. frank schoon replied, September 14, 2017 at 10:33 a.m.

    Robert, it all comes down to performance, the win column, bottom line....Old school has nothing to do with it....

  13. Nick Daverese, September 14, 2017 at 10:20 a.m.

    You know when a beckenbauer was on the German national team they played stopper and a sweeper and they played a man defense. Brazil played a zone. I can think of the stoppers name but he was a big physical guy.

  14. frank schoon replied, September 14, 2017 at 10:28 a.m.

    Swarzenbeck...he did the work or back up for Beckenbauer...

  15. Daniel Clifton, September 15, 2017 at 8:19 a.m.

    I would like to see the return of the sweeper libero. Who needs the offside trap, it helps the offense of the other team when it is mis-timed.

  16. frank schoon replied, September 15, 2017 at 9:55 a.m.

    Daniel, the offside trap was more in vogue when the sweeper was employed. Notice how often todays flat back defense all run back in unison when the transition , all of sudden, favors the opponents. That situation of running back doesn't occur as quickly when playing more of man to man defense with a sweeper. There is nothing wrong with an off-side trap, it is all part of the overal tactics. For example, there are 2 reasons why you apply the offside trap, which is used a weapon for offensive type teams and defensive weapon while going on offense. In the former , going on offense requires all 3 lines to move forwards in order to prevent any big gaps between the lines which gives the opponents space ,in case of a ball loss transition, space to employ a counter. As a result the back line also moves up thereby the possibility of an offside trap can occur. In the latter, it is also a defensive tactical move , as a move or preparation of being a step ahead of the opponents just in case the attacking team loses the ball. Realize the offside is part of a overall tactical strategy as related to the style of soccer the team chooses to play, it is not just an offside trap for the sake playing an offside trap.

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