Slow start, but Bay­ern con­fi­dent Van Gaal can de­liver

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL -

BAY­ERN Mu­nich are con­fi­dent Dutch­man Louis van Gaal (pic­tured, right) can cre­ate a cham­pi­onship-winning team though they will still be looking for their first win of the sea­son when they take on pro­moted Mainz to­day.

Ger­many’s most suc­cess­ful side are cur­rently 11th in the Bun­desliga ta­ble, hav­ing drawn their first two matches in which they have lacked their usual spark.

“He will win games. The team is just com­ing to­gether, so we should give it and the coach some time,” Bay­ern gen­eral di­rec­tor Karl-Heinz Rum­menigge said this week.

Van Gaal took over as coach this sea­son with the brief of turn­ing Bay­ern into cham­pi­ons again and ca­pa­ble of com­pet­ing for the Cham­pi­ons League crown. So far they have looked un­con­vinc­ing, but the Mainz game pro­vides them with an op­por­tu­nity to set the record straight and close in on pace-set­ting Wolfs­burg and Schalke 04.

“I dream of a Van Gaal era that will last for many years and that will be sprin­kled with ti­tles,” Rum­menigge told Bild news­pa­per.

But the coach has his work cut out with sev­eral teams looking strong enough to fight for the cham- pi­o­nship. Mean­while new Schalke coach Felix Ma­gath has warned his play­ers to keep their feet on the ground af­ter go­ing joint top of the Bun­desliga fol­low­ing wins in their first two matches.

“I am happy that we have won, but noth­ing more has hap­pened yet,” he said af­ter their 3-0 win against VfL Bochum last week.

Ma­gath led Wolfs­burg to a sur­prise Bun­desliga ti­tle last sea­son and has also won back-to-back dou­bles with Bay­ern in the past.

And un­der­achiev­ers Schalke have been in dream­land fol­low­ing a mis­er­able cam­paign last sea­son when all hopes of any sil­ver­ware had evap­o­rated by De­cem­ber.

But Ma­gath’s cham­pi­onship in­stinct has al­ready paid off with the emer­gence of teenagers Christoph Moritz and Le­van Ke­nia.

“We can greatly im­prove and we want to get max­i­mum points from ev­ery match and even­tu­ally win the ti­tle,” said 18-year-old Ke­nia this week.

“There is no spe­cific tar­get for this sea­son, but we want to win ev­ery game.”

Cham­pi­ons Wolfs­burg host Ham­burg to­mor­row. – Reuters

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