Bayern Munich Blast Critical Media in Extraordinary Press Conference & Threaten Legal Action

?Bayern Munich have confirmed their intention to take a strong stand against the media in light of what they see as excessive criticism of individual players and untruths in recent weeks, even threatening to pursue legal action where they see stories constituting ‘fake news’.

At a press conference featuring president Uli Hoeness, chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and head coach Niko Kovac, the club took a clear stand.

The trio also took the opportunity to confirm their ongoing support for Kovac after poor recent results have led to seemingly wrongful claims that the Croatian could be sacked.

“I was accused of not publicly defending Niko Kovac. For that I have to clarify something. Why? We appreciate his work. We do not have to publicly back ourselves. This is disrespectful and outrageous, what happens here. This club will now unite in public again,” Hoeness is quoted as saying by Goal.

On the subject of fighting untruths in the media, the president added, “I think it’s about time that the biggest club in Germany takes a clear stance on this issue.”

Rummenigge, who addressed criticism directed at Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, stated, “We at Bayern have decided that we will no longer accept this recent kind of media coverage.”

Salihamidzic described the recent criticism as ‘unacceptable’, explaining, “Our players are self-critical. Questioning the work of the entire club so quickly is not acceptable. I will always defend my players and my coach.”

The bold step to address the issue of the media so head on in such a clear and public manner has been met with bewilderment and criticism.

talkSPORT and ESPN journalist Matt Scott tweeted, “Indignation at media criticism from a demonstrably underperforming side that has grown accustomed to winning. The extraordinary entitlement of Bayern Munich.

“Now they’re going to sue you if they don’t like what you write! This is breathtaking.”

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Picking the Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup to Face Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday

Bayern Munich travel south to face Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon, where both sides will attempt to win their first game since September. 

The Bavarian club will be looking to end a four-game winless run in all competitions, which includes a 2-0 loss to Hertha BSC and a 0-3 hammering to a rejuvenated Borussia Mönchengladbach side.  

Wolfsburg, who have plenty of problems of their own, will be hoping to arrest their current slump to prevent going six games without a win.  

Coach Niko Kovac will be desperate for an empathic win to put an end to this bad run of form so expect a strong lineup. 

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Manuel Neuer (GK) – Against the Netherlands, Neuer made a terrible error of judgement which allowed Virgil van Dijk to head the Dutch into the lead. Despite the German’s poor form it is unlikely he will be replaced by the error-prone Sven Ulreich.

Joshua Kimmich (RB) – The right back has played every minute under Niko Kovac. His energy, willingness to get forward, passing range, tactical flexibility and astute defensive mind makes him indispensable to this side.

Niklas Süle (CB) – Jerome Boateng, who was awful against the Netherlands, is a doubt for this game. Süle is likely to come in for his German teammate like he did against France where he put in a decent performance against the world champions. 

Mats Hummels (CB) – The defender had a torrid time over the international break where he conceded a penalty against France. Hummels will be looking to forget what happened for the national side and focus on Bayern.    

David Alaba (LB) – The Austrian defender, who picked up a slight muscle tear in the loss to Mönchengladbach, took part in first team training on Wednesday. The versatile 26-year-old is one of Bayern’s most reliable players. 

2. Midfielders

Thiago Alcântara (CM) – The Spaniard has been the most consistent player for Bayern Munich this season. He has adapted well to Kovac’s instructions in his new, slightly deeper  midfield position. 

Javi Martínez (CM) – With Leon Goretzka only just returning to training Martínez provides a solid option to bring into the side. The Spaniard offers his side defensive stability and the aggression Kovac so desires. 

James Rodríguez (CAM) – James was Bayern’s best performer over the international break, putting in commanding displays for Colombia. Those games will be a big confidence boost and will have shown Kovac the type of output his side has been lacking recently.

3. Forwards

Arjen Robben (RW) – Having retired from international football in 2017, the 34-year-old will have welcomed the break and should be raring to go. The Dutch winger is as important to this Bayern side as ever, still providing the pace and penetration he always has. 

Robert Lewandowski (ST) – Without a goal in five games for club and country, the striker will be salivating at the prospect of roaring back to form against opponents he has tormented in recent times. Poland’s captain boasts 16 goals in 15 Bundesliga games against Wolfsburg.

Franck Ribéry (LW) – The Frenchman has been getting chances this season despite not  scoring once this campaign. Ribéry has also retired from international football and hopefully the break has allowed him some time to sharpen up his finishing.

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Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich Preview: How to Watch, Classic Encounter, Key Battles, Team News & More

Bayern Munich will look to end a four-game winless run in all competitions on Saturday when they travel to the Volkswagen Arena to face a struggling Wolfsburg side.

Bayern’s trip to Wolfsburg this weekend could represent one of the last chances for under pressure coach Niko Kovac to turn things around for the German champions.

The Bavarians, who have won the last six league titles in Germany’s top flight, sit in sixth place on 13 points, four adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund.


However Wolfsburg, who only maintained their ?Bundesliga status last season by beating Holstein Kiel in the relegation play-off, have problems of their own. The Wolves are enduring a five-game winless streak.

This may seem to be the perfect time to play ?Bayern, but Wolfsburg have lost their last four matches on home turf against the 2017/18 champions. Plus, Bruno Labbadia has lost 12 of his 13 meetings with Bayern as a coach, the only exception being back in 2009. 

When?? Saturday 20 October @ 14:30 (BST)?
?Where? ?Volkswagen Arena
?How Can I Watch? BeIN Sports?

Classic Encounter

FC Bayern Muenchen v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga

One of the most memorable games played between these two sides in recent years was back in September 2015.

Wolfsburg took an unlikely lead in the 26th minute against Pep Guardiola’s side. After half-time Guardiola took off Thiago Alcântara, replacing him with Robert Lewandowski. It took the Polish striker five minutes to get his first and in the following nine minutes bagged four more. Five goals, nine minutes, job done.

The second half substitute recorded the fastest three, four, and five goals scored by one player in Bundesliga history.

Fast forward three years and the striker has not scored in his last six games for club and country, his last strike came against ?Schalk?e back in September. Questions are now being asked, albeit prematurely, about Lewandowski’s goalscoring ability at the highest level. 


Key Battles 

Marcel Tisserand vs James Rodríguez

FC Schalke 04 v VfL Wolfsburg - DFB Cup

During the international break, ?Rodriguez played superbly in a narrow right-sided position for Colombia against the USA. The South American curled in a beautiful goal in the match and registered an assist.

Against Wolfsburg, James will be hoping to play in his favoured position behind the striker, although Kovac has played him on the right at times this season. If James ends up behind the striker, then it will be the responsibility of Tisserand to pick him up.

Tisserand is a centre back by trade but Labbadia has been playing him in a defensive midfield position with Ignacio Camacho out. It will be his job to prevent James popping up in space around the box looking to thread a pass or take aim at goal. 

Jérôme Roussillon vs Arjen Robben

FC Bayern Muenchen v Ajax - UEFA Champions League Group E

The Dutch winger remains a key figure for Bayern Munich and with three goals in six league appearances he is still a major threat to opposition full backs.

The full back Robben hopes to be troubling this weekend is Frenchman Jérôme Roussillon. The left-back moved to the Bundesliga in the summer after impressing at Montpellier.

Labbadia will be hoping that his left back can exploit the space left in behind Robben and make overlapping runs to cause Bayern’s defence issues. However, Roussillon will also have Joshua Kimmich’s surging runs to prevent. Containing both the German and Dutchman will be a big test for the 25-year-old.


Team News


For Wolfsburg, central midfielders Josuha Guilavogui and Ignacio Camacho miss out, while new signing Felix Klaus is still sidelined with injury.

Jerome Boateng is a doubt for Bayern after suffering a calf complaint on international duty with Germany. Kingsley Coman and Corentin Tolisso are definitely out, but Leon Goretzka and Rafinha are training with the first team again following injury.


Predicted Lineups

Wolfsburg (4-3-3): Casteels; William, Knoche, Brooks, Roussillon; Malli, Tisserrand, Arnold; Steffen, Weghorst, Brekalo.

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba; Thiago, Martinez; Robben, James, Ribéry; Lewandowski.


Prediction

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga

Wolfsburg sit in ninth, have won as many as they have lost, trail Bayern by four points, and have conceded three more goals than the Bavarian side. They also finished 16th in both the 2016/17 and 2017/18 campaigns.

They have an inadequate squad and their issues have been ongoing for the past few years, and while Bayern are struggling their squad is still probably the strongest in the division and should prove too much for Wolfsburg.

Prediction: Wolfsburg 1-3 Bayern Munich

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Bayern Munich Reportedly Passed on Chance to Sign English Starlet Jadon Sancho Before Dortmund Move

?Bayern Munich reportedly passed on the opportunity to sign Jadon Sancho from Manchester City before the English youngster signed for Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Sancho has enjoyed a breakout season for Dortmund thus far, scoring once and contributing six assists in just 214 minutes of Bundesliga action. His eye catching performances earned him a call up to Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad, and it appears the speedy winger is on track to becoming one of the Bundesliga’s best players.

Borussia Dortmund v AS Monaco - UEFA Champions League

But it could’ve been all so different for the youngster, as according to SportBild (via 90min.de), Bayern Munich were the first Bundesliga club interested in the winger. It’s understood that despite getting in touch with former Bayern manager Pep Guardiola to discuss Sancho, Bayern believed that the youngster was simply not worth the asking price.

Bayern’s loss was Dortmund’s gain though, and BVB are now reaping the rewards for taking a risk. Ironically, Bayern are now counting the cost of missing out on Sancho in more than one way. The reigning Bundesliga champions sit in sixth position after seven games, and are struggling to create enough chances, specifically from the wide areas.

There’s no telling whether Sancho would have propelled Bayern up the table in an alternate universe, but one thing’s for sure, it’s Dortmund’s future that looks considerably brighter with the winger in their ranks.

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Barcelona Midfielder Arturo Vidal Handed €800,000 Fine for Involvement in 2017 Bar Fight

Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal has been fined €800,000 by a Munich court after being found guilty of assaulting another male during a nightclub fight in 2017.

That is according to The Mirror, who report that the player could have possibly faced a 10-year prison sentence but has escaped with a fine after hitting his victim over the head with a vodka bottle.


Vidal was fined based on 80 days worth of wages and it was determined that he makes €10,000 a day as part of his new Barcelona contract.

The Chilean moved from  Bayern Munich over the summer, joining the Catalan side on a three-year deal, but has since struggled for playing time. It has been quite a rough period for him, considering his recent reprimand by the club as a result of his social media activity.

The player and his half-brother were both found guilty of assaulting another male at the Munich’s Crown Club in September last year, with the brawl caught on camera.

The incident occurred after Bayern’s 4-0 win against Mainz. The player went to celebrate at Munich’s popular, annual Oktoberfest celebration, after which he continued the party in the VIP lounge of the aforementioned establishment.

Vidal’s father-in-law was also fined €35,267, while his younger brother, Sandrino, has also been handed a fine of €18,004.

The midfielder was not present at the hearing as he was playing for Chile against Mexico. But he has been ordered to pay in the fine in €10,000 instalments over 80 days.

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Vidal was recently described as “lacking respect” by Barca sporting director Pep Segura after he vented over his lack of playing time via social media and has been urged to correct his behaviour by the club.

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