The ex-Germany international remains skeptical of the Catalan’s ability but thinks a squad renewal can make up for their shortcomings
Former Bayern Munich midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes that the only way for his old club to replicate Barcelona’s treble success is for Pep Guardiola to spend heavily on new signings.
Barca swept to the Primera Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League titles last term, dumping Bayern out of Europe along the way and impressing current pundit Hamann, who attributed the Catalans’ success to the money they spent last summer.
“With Neymar, [Luis] Suarez and [Ivan] Rakitic, Barcelona strengthened optimally,” the ex-Germany international told TZ on Sunday. “The problem at Bayern is that old age is creeping up on critical players such as [Franck] Ribery and [Arjen] Robben.
“[Bastien] Schweinsteiger and [Xabi] Alonso are not getting any younger either. Much of the team is not that old, but the greatest need remains in Bayern’s wide positions, where only a handful of the world’s top players, like [Chelsea’s Eden] Hazard, Neymar and Messi play.
“I agree with [Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge that changing the whole troupe now does not make sense, but it may be too late if they wait six or 12 months to address the issue [of the veterans].”
But while Hamann insists Bayern’s board must back their coach fully in the transfer market if they are to see results on the continent, the 41-year-old remains unconvinced by Guardiola’s record in charge of the Bavarians.
“I still believe that Pep needs to prove himself. The bar remains the Champions League,” he continued. “And they lost 4-0 to Real Madrid there last year and 5-3 to Barca this year, with a squad which is probably just as expensive.
“Guardiola demands enormous amounts of himself and therefore gets worn down quickly. I don’t think he can work for a club for more than three or four years, so I don’t think there’ll be a long Guardiola era at Bayern.”
The Catalan coach took over at Allianz Arena in 2014 after Bayern had won the treble themselves, but the team have since failed to progress beyond the semi-finals of the Champions League in successive seasons under him.