Fuming Mueller grumbles from Bayern’s bench
>> 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.