Following raised eyebrows over the constant tinkering of tactics at the Allianz Arena, the club’s chief has leapt to the defence of the former Barca boss
Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has lamented that the finer points of Pep Guardiola’s coaching ability are lost on much of Germany’s football followers.
The Bavarians are runaway leaders in the Bundesliga this season – they have dropped just six points in 16 games en route to a 12-point lead domestically – and comfortably reached the last 16 of the Champions League with two games spare in the group stage.
However, Bayern have not been spared from criticism and their detractors – including former Bayern players Dietmar Hamann and Lothar Matthaus – have questioned the necessity of Guardiola’s tactical tinkering, suggesting it is holding the team back.
Following Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Freiburg, Sammer leapt to the defence of the former Barcelona boss’ way of working.
“The fact that not everyone thinks everything we do is great doesn’t affect our thinking,” the Bayern chief told Sport Bild. “It it not yet understood in Germany how Pep thinks.
“The system does not change to shoot the team in the foot. This idea is apparently new to German football. Bayern are happy and grateful that we have a coach like Guardiola who proves himself again and again. He is hugely influencing German football with his thinking.
“As former professionals, [Hamann and Matthaus] should ask themselves why and how does someone like Guardiola makes a footballing choice. In the end I guess they can be happy they have something to discuss…
“I’m not trying to be disrespectful, I only wish they were able to understand.”
Sammer then went on to humorously compare his job at the Allianz Arena to that of the lead female character in Hollywood film The Blind Side – in that he tries to find undiscovered strengths in Bayern players.
“Let me try to explain my role this way,” he began. “There is this wonderful movie, The Blind Side, which is based on a true story.
“Sandra Bullock adopts a boy into her family, a boy who’s considered a problem child. Among his weaknesses she recognises a truly great quality: the boy has a strong protective instinct. He himself is not aware of it, but she encourages him.
“So the coach of the American football team becomes aware of him – and this quality then makes him a top-class player.
“If you like, I am like Sandra Bullock’s character! For me it is important that the players’ qualities are revealed – like in The Blind Side – where previously a player might not have recognised their strength.
“The coach already prepares the team for matches and organises the tactics, but cannot take care of everything at the club.”