Guardiola to blame for Robben injury – Helmer

The Germany international has hit out at the Bayern coach for extending a “disastrous” run of physical problems for the Allianz Arena club

Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund player Thomas Helmer believes Pep Guardiola played his part in the injury which has seen Arjen Robben’s season ended prematurely.

The Dutch attacker made his first appearance after a month out with injury when he came on in the DFB-Pokal semi-final against Dortmund, only to be replaced less than 15 minutes later with a thigh injury. Bayern subsequently lost the match on penalties.

Robben has since been ruled out for the remainder of the season and Helmer believes Guardiola should never have brought him on so soon after his recovery, blaming the Spaniard for the injury and the defeat.

“Guardiola had his share of responsibility in the problems,” he wrote in his column for TZ. “Bayern dominated the ball and their opponents, everything was under control, but suddenly BVB were courageous and had great opportunities.

“I was very surprised by Guardiola’s substitutions. Why did he bring Arjen Robben on in such a tight game? I thought the risk after his long injury was too great. 

“I didn’t understand taking Thomas Müller off either. He is always good for a goal, even if he has not had a great game. I also don’t know why Mario Gotze, who replaced Robben, did not play from the beginning. In previous matches, he was always in the starting XI. Why not give him confidence in a game with his former club? It surprises me.”

Robert Lewandowski is a doubt for his side’s Champions League semi-final first leg with Barcelona because of an injury he picked up on Tuesday, and Helmer feels that would be a “disaster” for the Bavarian side.

“Holger Badstuber’s injury was the first disaster, Robben’s season being over was the second. If Robert Lewandowski can’t play against Barcelona, ​​it would be the third disaster. 

“Since the injuries to Robben and Franck Ribery, he is the main man in their attack. This game will be decided on the defensive side of things, I think. And there Bayern still have enough quality.”