Javi Martinez: Bayern Munich do not need to play like Barcelona

The former Athletic Bilbao player is excited by the arrival of the Bavarians’ new coach but does not feel a change in style is necessary

Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez believes his team may not adopt the same style of play as Barcelona when Pep Guardiola takes charge at the Allianz Arena.

The former Blaugrana coach was announced as the Bavarians’ new boss on January 16 and will succeed Jupp Heynckes at the end of the campaign.

“Will we play like Pep’s Barça? Bayern are already playing well. The dressing room is excited about him joining next season,” Martinez told MARCA.

The former Athletic Bilbao midfielder also spoke about how welcome he has been made to feel at his new club since his arrival in the summer.

“When I signed for Bayern I was afraid, but it’s going really well,” he revealed.

“Bayern is a huge club but it’s like being part of a family. They told me quite clearly I should forget about the €40 million transfer fee they had paid.”

And Martinez added that he would like nothing more than to face Real Madrid in this year’s Champions League.

“I grew up watching the duels between Real Madrid and Bayern and hope I can be part of one now.”

We have again shown we have a great side- Heynckes

The German tactician was impressed with his side’s hosts at the Volkswagen Arena but was even more impressed with his own side for coming away with all three points

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes believes his side again showed why they are a great one.

The Bavarian giants continued their march towards the Bundesliga title with 2-0 win away to Wolfsburg to extend their lead at the top of the table and the 67-year-old, who felt the hosts were on top of their game, had nothing but praise to offer his team.


“We played against a team that has surely played its’ best game of the season,” Heynckes told reporters. “Wolfsburg gave it their everything so it was a tough game for us. They were aggressive, hard-running and gave us a lot of trouble early on.

“These are the games you need to win that one.

We have again shown that we have a great team”.

Bastian Schweinsteiger opened the scoring for the league-leaders before Arjen Robben came off the bench to all but ensure the points in the final minute of the match. Despite scoring however, the Dutchman was far from happy given his starting place on the bench.

“No, I was not so happy about that,” Robben told reporters.

But, my goal was important. With it the game was over and we won.

“But I was not on the field for very long.

I want to play more, I want to have fun. That’s why I’m not so happy “

“Though I’ll just remain professional.

If I am called upon I will give everything for the team. I’ve done wel today, it was only just that it was too short”.

Wolfsburg 0-2 Bayern Munich: Mandzukic & Robben earn Bavarians victory at the Volkswagen Arena

Bayern Munich continued their march towards the Bundesliga title after strolling to a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Arena on Friday.

Despite the unremarkable margin of victory, Bayern were always in control but, perhaps with next week’s Champions League trip to Arsenal on the agenda, never looked to over-exert themselves against a side with one of the worst home records in the division.

Mario Mandzukic showed no mercy against his former club when firing home a fantastic overhead effort in the first half, with Arjen Robben rounding off matters emphatically in injury-time to provisionally send the visitors 18 points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga.

Jupp Heynckes was spoiled for choice when naming his starting lineup, and fielded a side with little surprises, with Robben and Jerome Boateng again taking their places on the bench.

Bayern typically dominated possession throughout the first half, but despite some promising build-up play, the final ball was lacking, breaking down a number of their attacks.

Wolfsburg were diligent in defence, and through the pace and directness of Marcel Schafer and Ivica Olic, found themselves with a purposeful outlet on the left flank to relieve pressure on their goal.

The first half seemed destined to end in a stalemate, but, nine minutes before the break, a moment of magic from Mandzukic broke the deadlock in stunning fashion.

Toni Kroos pumped a free kick towards the far post, and Bastian Schweinsteiger nodded back to the Croatia striker, who connected superbly with an overhead kick that rifled in from 15 yards out.

The home side made an improved effort to get themselves back into the game in the second half, but were still indebted to Naldo for hacking clear a goalbound Thomas Muller effort off the line.

Vieirinha blasted off target from 20 yards out, but Wolfsburg’s best chance of the match came from Diego, who bent a free kick towards the corner that brought the best out of Manuel Neuer with a quarter of an hour to go.

But the hosts’ eagerness to get back into the match would cost them at the death, as Muller found Robben peeling away in space, and the winger buried a powerful low finish to seal the game.

With the victory secure, Bayern can now focus all their attention on their visit to to Arsenal next Wednesday, while Wolfsburg’s next action is a league encounter at Mainz on Sunday.

Hitzfeld warns Guardiola: Expectations are high

The former Bayern Munich boss believes there is a “hype” building around the ex-Barcelona coach’s arrival which may prove difficult to live up to

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has warned Pep Guardiola he faces a tough task in living up to fans’ expectations when he takes over at Bayern Munich.

The former Barcelona boss was the most sought-after man in football after he announced his wish to return to coaching after his year-long sabbatical, and it was the Bundesliga leaders who ultimately secured a deal for his services earlier in the winter.

Bayern fans have been eagerly anticipating both the brand of football and the potential for success under the 42-year-old, but former coach Hitzfeld has warned that current boss Jupp Heynckes could ultimately prove to be a tough act to follow.

“There is a hype around Guardiola. The expectations are rising exponentially,” he was quoted as saying by Bild.

“The fans expect him not only to win, but also to play dream football. But if Jupp Heynckes now wins the treble with Bayern, it will be difficult for Guardiola to enter as the expectations will be even greater.”

Bayern have been strongly linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, but Hitzfeld says the striker is the type of player Guardiola would not wish to sign.

“The issue with Lewandowski brings unrest in Munich!” he added.

“If he comes, there will definitely be one striker too many. Guardiola preferred a system without a centre-forward, and with small, agile strikers. Even with [Samuel] Eto’o and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, he couldn’t get on.”

Juventus ready to reject €30m Bayern bid for Vidal

The Bundesliga leaders have identified the Chile international as a summer transfer target, but the Bianconeri are unwilling to sell the midfielder at any price

EXCLUSIVE
By Renato Maisani

Juventus are preparing to fend off a €30 million bid for midfielder Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich, Goal.com can reveal.

The Bavarian giants, who were linked with a move for the player in 2011 when he moved to Turin, are mulling over a big-money offer for the Chile international in an effort to land him at the end of the season.

However, the Old Lady are unwilling to entertain any offer for the 25-year-old, and have no financial obligation to sell, which would make any attempt to lure the player away from Juventus Stadium a difficult one.

The Serie A champions have spurned advances for Vidal in the past; Real Madrid made some enquiries over the former Bayer Leverkusen man last summer before deciding to focus their attentions on Luka Modric from Tottenham, while Manchester City were also linked with the player.

It is also unlikely that the Chilean himself would consider moving away from Turin, having previously revealed his admiration for coach Antonio Conte during a highly-successful spell with the Bianconeri.

Bayern were rebuffed by Leverkusen in their efforts to sign Vidal in the summer of 2011, and it seems as though any renewed attempts will be met with a similarly cold shoulder, particularly as Juve are currently looking to re-establish themselves as one of Europe’s elite sides.

Other big names linked with a move to the Allianz Arena since the announcement that Pep Guardiola will take over from Jupp Heynckes at the season’s end include Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suarez and Neymar.