Fum­ing Mueller grum­bles from Bay­ern’s bench

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

>> BER­LIN: Bay­ern Mu­nich play Hof­fen­heim away to­day with the spot­light on whether out-of-favour Ger­many star Thomas Mueller plays for the de­fend­ing Bun­desliga cham­pi­ons.

The 27-year-old World Cup win­ner is strug­gling for a place in Bay­ern’s start­ing line-up un­der Carlo Ancelotti, but im­pressed for Ger­many on Mon­day, cre­at­ing two goals in a 6-0 rout of Nor­way in a World Cup qual­i­fier.

Bay­ern re­sume af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break in sec­ond place in the ta­ble on goal dif­fer­ence be­hind Borus­sia Dort­mund, who face Freiburg away.

Dort­mund, Bay­ern and Hanover, who play Wolfs­burg in a derby to­day, all have 100 per­cent records af­ter the open­ing two rounds.

Mueller fumed on Bay­ern’s bench when Ancelotti dropped him from the start­ing side in the 2-0 win at Werder Bre­men a fort­night ago.

“I don’t know what qual­i­ties ex­actly the coach wants to see from me,” moaned Mueller.

His frus­tra­tion was clear af­ter train­ing with the first team in the build-up, only to be re­placed by Thi­ago Al­can­tara in the start­ing line-up.

By his own ad­mis­sion, Mueller strug­gled for form in the Bay­ern shirt in 2016/17, but Thi­ago blocks his path to the at­tack­ing mid­field role be­hind striker Robert Le­wandowski.

To com­pound Mueller’s prob­lems, new sign­ing James Ro­driguez is now back from in­jury and also bat­tling for Bay­ern’s No.10 shirt.

With nine months to go be­fore the World Cup, Mueller’s plight has not gone un­no­ticed by the na­tional team’s hi­er­ar­chy.

“I wish that some­one i n the club would say, ‘ he must play’”, ad­mit­ted Ger­many team man­ager Oliver Bier­hoff.

But Bay­ern are tak­ing a hard stance. “No player has a guar­an­tee of a reg­u­lar place, it’s not writ­ten in any con­tract, not even [Bay­ern captain] Manuel Neuer,” Bay­ern chair­man Karl-Heinz Rum­menigge told Sky.

“There is only one man who de­cides who plays — the coach, Carlo Ancelotti.”

Ger­many’s Thomas Mueller.

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