Un­der fire Bay­ern live up to FC Hol­ly­wood tag

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - SPORT -

BAY­ERN Mu­nich are again liv­ing up to their FC Hol­ly­wood tag, as a com­bi­na­tion of lack­lus­tre per­for­mances, pub­lic dis­agree­ments and talk of a suc­ces­sor to coach Carlo Ancelotti has pro­vided an abun­dance of earl­y­sea­son drama.

Bay­ern’s start to the sea­son has not been par­tic­u­larly bad with two wins and a de­feat in the Bun­desliga and a 30 win over An­der­lecht in the Cham­pi­ons League on Tues­day.

But ex­pec­ta­tions are so high at the Bavar­ian club that even a mi­nor slipup, or fail­ure to score five or six goals against sup­pos­edly in­fe­rior op­po­nents causes head­lines.

For­ward Thomas Muller was the first to wash his laun­dry in pub­lic when he com­plained about be­ing left out of the start­ing lineup for the match against Werder Bre­men three weeks ago. Then it was Robert Le­wandowski’s turn. In a mag­a­zine in­ter­view, the Pol­ish for­ward crit­i­cised Bay­ern’s re­fusal to match the huge trans­fer fees splashed out by the likes of Paris St Ger­main and Barcelona.

“If you want to com­pete at the top, you need to have these qual­ity play­ers,” Le­wandowski said.

The striker was crit­i­cised by Bay­ern’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Kar­lHeinz Rum­menigge, who in turn was ques­tioned by the club president Uli Hoe­ness.

Rum­menigge, like Hoe­ness a for­mer Bay­ern player, said the club had a “se­ri­ous and suc­cess­ful phi­los­o­phy that has brought us big suc­cess.”

In the midst of all that, Bay­ern were hum­bled 20 by Hof­fen­heim last Satur­day, in­creas­ing the pres­sure on for­mer Real Madrid and Chelsea coach Ancelotti whose first sea­son was re­garded as un­der­whelm­ing de­spite re­tain­ing the Bun­desliga. For­mer Bay­ern Mu­nich mid­fielder Mario Basler said in a TV in­ter­view that his sources had told him that Ancelotti would cut short his con­tract in Jan­uary and go to work in China, some­thing the Ital­ian quickly brushed aside.

The win over An­der­lecht, although com­fort­able, failed to ease the pres­sure as Bay­ern’s per­for­mance was con­sid­ered in­suf­fi­cient against op­po­nents who had Sven Kums sent off af­ter 10 min­utes.

Hof­fen­heim coach Ju­lian Nagels­mann in­ad­ver­tently stirred things up fur­ther by say­ing coach­ing Bay­ern would make him even hap­pier than he was now and that his wife and chil­dren were plan­ning to move to Mu­nich. Nagels­mann said in a sub­se­quent state­ment that he had been mis­in­ter­preted and was not af­ter Ancelotti’s job. – Reuters

PIC­TURE: DPA

STIR­RING THE POT: For­mer Bay­ern player Mario Basler.

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