Ilkay Gundogan Claims Manchester City Can Emulate Bayern Munich’s Success Under Pep Guardiola

Midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan, believes that manager Pep Guardiola can make Manchester City a dominant force to be reckoned with in English football, in the same way that he did with Bayern Munich.

Guardiola spent three years at the helm of Bayern Munich, winning the Bundesliga in all of those three seasons and extending the team’s position as the best in all of Germany.

Gundogan, who joined Manchester City in the summer of 2016 as Guardiola’s first signing as the manager of City, spoke ( via the Independent) about how the former Bayern Munich boss can emulate the same kind of success at the newly crowned Premier League champions. The success that made Bayern Munich almost unbeatable in Germany.

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“I think he is one of the best coaches in the world and I’m really grateful to be able to work with him,” said the 27-year-old Gundogan, who also admitted that it will be much more difficult to create such dominance of domestic football in the Premier League.

 

“We have five or six teams who are all able to win the league and that makes it incredibly difficult. But we are ambitious and we aim to win every game. If we continue with this mentality then there’s no reason we can’t continue in this way.”

 

Gundogan struggled with a knee ligament injury in his first season at Manchester City that kept him on the sidelines for nine months, but has been a key player for Guardiola’s side since returning to full fitness in September last year.

Gundogan scored a 25th minute penalty on Saturday that helped Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspurs 3-1 at Wembley and has a total of seven goals in 35 Premier League appearances.?

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Eintracht Frankfurt Boss Given Glowing Endorsement by Former Bayern Star Ahead of Munich Arrival

Incoming Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac meets all the requirements to succeed in the hot seat at the Allianz Arena next season, according to former Bayern midfielder, Lothar Matthaus.

Kovac, currently the managerial mastermind of an Eintracht Frankfurt side who sit impressively in seventh place in the Bundesliga, is to begin his three year contract with the champions-elect in the summer.

According to? Goal, Matthaus has been keen to praise the appointment of Kovac at the helm of his former club, having eventually been handed the reigns following interest in former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel.

Interestingly, the report even claims that, by president Uli Hoeness’ own admission, Kovac was in fact Bayern’s third choice appointment, behind Tuchel and current stand-in boss, Jupp Heynckes.

Matthaus, has been keen to dispel any negativity which that may circulate around the appointment of Kovac, pointing to the Croatian’s experience as a key quality. “[Kovac] has experience, he was a very good player and was the captain of the Croatia national team”, Matthaus is credited by the report as telling Omnisport.

“Bayern was looking for a German-speaking coach who is in this position and Niko Kovac has done a very good job in the last two and a half years in Frankfurt”.

Kovac’s experience could be vital stepping into the shoes of club great Heynckes, who himself succeeded a big name list of predecessors in Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti, as he once again stepped into the role in which he had previously won the league, cup and Champions League treble in 2013 before being succeeded by Guardiola later that summer.

Character, too, could be a vital managerial trait for Kovac in replacing an illustrious list of predecessors. According to Matthaus, that should not be an issue. “He has charisma, he has passion, he knows about football. He was a leader as a player and is showing this as a coach too”.

The report goes on to note that Heynckes himself has given his successor his own personal endorsement. “He does [his job] excellently, so for sure he is predestined to become coach of Bayern Munich”, the current Bayern boss said.

“He is innovative. He is a coach who loves football and who maintains good communication with his players. I think Bayern Munich made a good choice”.

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Such strong words of commendation and praise from his peers and Munich icons should fill the Bayern faithful with optimism ahead of the new man’s arrival. Kovac certainly has a job on his hands in the challenge to replicate their success at the club.?

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Anthony Martial ‘Denied’ January Arsenal Move As European Duo Eye Swoop for Man Utd Ace

?Anthony Martial is considering a transfer to Juventus or Bayern Munich this summer amid talk that he saw a move to Arsenal blocked in January.

The Manchester United forward is reportedly unhappy with life under Jose Mourinho and, according to the ?Times, may be set to leave and head to Serie A or the Bundesliga in the close season.

Juventus have reportedly made Martial their top transfer target this summer, but face competition from Bayern if they want to prise the France international away from Old Trafford.

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However, it could have been a very different story for Martial in terms of game time, with reports also suggesting that he may have joined the Gunners in the winter window instead of former teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Martial has only started four of the past 13 matches for United after Alexis Sanchez move to the north west in a swap deal involving Mkhitaryan, and the Chilean’s position on the field – left wing – has left Martial out in the cold.

United are believed to have offered the 22-year-old a new five-year deal to commit his future to them, but Martial is not interested in penning fresh terms until he is guaranteed to start matches every week for the Red Devils.

That, coupled with his treatment by Mourinho early on in the Portuguese’s United managerial career, has left Martial considering his future and a switch to Italy or Germany could now be on the cards for him.

Martial is thought to be intrigued by a transfer to Juventus, while Bayern also remain in the hunt for him despite their interest not being as strong as I Bianconeri’s at this stage.

Meanwhile, Martial’s cousin took to social media to slam Mourinho over his reluctance to give the ex-Monaco wonderkid regular minutes for the Premier League giants and claimed it is ‘impossible’ for players to improve ‘under the coach’s orders’ in something of a tirade.

(You may also be interested in ?Jose Mourinho Ready to Fight Man City for £50m Brazil Star As He Eyes Paul Pogba Replacement)

Martial may have had a better chance of playing regularly if he had moved to the Emirates, however, in January as the Times claimed that it was Martial – and not Mkhitaryan – that Arsene Wenger originally wanted to trade Sanchez for.

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United, though, blocked Martial from being part of that swap deal and it is alleged that the attacker has been left infuriated by that decision ever since.

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Leverkusen 2-6 Bayern Munich: Muller Hat-Trick Helps Book Cup Final Spot in 8-Goal Thriller

Bayern Munich secured an incredible 6-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the semi final of the DFB-Pokal on Tuesday to move one step closer to securing the treble this season.

Thomas Müller scored a hat-trick for the visitors as they close in on a domestic double, while a brace from Robert Lewandowski, as well as Thiago Alcântara’s strike, helped round off the scoring against an impressive Leverkusen side.

The Reds have won nine league cups since the turn of the century and they will now have the chance to reach double figures in May, with either Eintracht Frankfurt or Schalke 04 also set for an appearance at the Olympiastadion next month.

Both sides came into this game with a lot of confidence after last weekend’s round of Bundesliga fixtures. Bayern thumped Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 on Saturday, while Leverkusen secured back to back 4-1 wins last week against RB Leipzig and Frankfurt.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Bayern Munchen - DFB Cup Semi Final

Leverkusen started on the front foot and Karim Bellarabi – a surprise inclusion for the hosts – threatened the visitors’ goal in the first minute of the game.

But it was Bayern who took the early lead. After Thomas Müller saw his header saved by Bernd Leno from a free kick, defensive midfielder Javi Martínez stroked the ball into the far corner of the net, via the slightest of touches from Robert Lewandowski, from the edge of the box.

Jupp Heynckes’ side then doubled their advantage just six minutes later. Franck Ribéry effortlessly walked through the Leverkusen defence and the Frenchman dinked a ball to the back post where Lewandowski was left unmarked to side-foot the ball past Leno.

A frantic opening 15 minutes was rounded off by Leverkusen clawing their way back into the game. Much like with Bayern’s opener, a deep free kick was poorly dealt with by the defending team and Lars Bender directed a header past Sven Ulreich to give fans at the BayArena a much need lift.

The rest of the half was mostly spent with both sides jostling between attacks, with Leverkusen’s best chance of grabbing an equaliser coming from a long-range effort from Bellarabi. Bayern created a few openings of their own but Leno remained largely untroubled until the break.

Both Kevin Volland and Karim Bellarabi should have brought Leverkusen back on level terms shortly after the restart but Bayern’s goalkeeper Sven Ulreich sensationally kept the two forwards out.

And it was Ulreich’s heroics that allowed Bayern Munich to go up the other end and double their advantage over Leverkusen soon after. 

An inch-perfect pass from Thiago Alcântara opened up space for Thomas Müller inside the area and the Raumdeuter made no mistake in firing the ball underneath Bernd Leno.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Bayern Munchen - DFB Cup Semi Final

Leverkusen thought they’d found another lifeline just before the hour mark when Volland tucked the ball into the back of the net but the 25-year-old was correctly adjudged to have been standing in an offside position.

Bayern then responded instantly to put the game out of reach for Heiko Herrlich’s side when an incredible passing move around the hosts’ penalty area was neatly converted by Thiago – a deserved goal for the former Barcelona midfielder.

Jupp Heynckes’ side went on to compile further misery onto Leverkusen three minutes later when Müller unintentionally got the last touch on a goal-bound effort from Arjen Robben.

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The goals continued to fly in and this time it was Leverkusen’s fans who had something to cheer. Half time substitute Leon Bailey stepped up to a long-range free kick and somehow squeezed the ball beyond Ulreich via the inside of the post.

But even the most optimistic of Leverkusen fans would have had their hopes dashed with just 10 minutes remaining, with Thiago and Müller combining once more to allow the Germany international to complete his hat-trick with ease.

As well as booking their place in the German cup final next month, Bayern Munich’s incredible win in the DFB-Pokal semi final on Tuesday will be a huge warning to their upcoming Champions League opponents, Real Madrid.

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PSG President Denies Ligue 1 Winners Have Agreement to Sign Ex-Dortmund Boss Thomas Tuchel

?Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has rejected reports that Thomas Tuchel has agreed a deal to join the club.

PSG were confirmed as French champions last Sunday following a victory so convincing that Monaco offered to fully reimburse their travelling fans following the Parisiens’ 7-1 victory.

Braces from Angel Di Maria and Giovanni Lo Celso, as well as strikes from Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler and a Radamel Falcao own goal helped seal the Ligue 1 title for PSG in emphatic fashion.

Following PSG confirming themselves as French champions with five games remaining – the Qatari president was interviewed with Canal+ and moved to dispel the rumours surrounding Thomas Tuchel and his proposed move to Paris.

“If we had signed with someone, we would have announced it to you,” he told Canal+, via ?Goal.

“Today we have a coach who was on the pitch. We are very honest; we have a coach today who works with us, with a contract until the end of the season.

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“Let’s be positive tonight, we’ve done a lot of positive things. We’re champions, it’s a wonderful thing, I thank everyone.

“And the season is not over yet, there is the cup to win. The Champions League is our big goal, but it’s not easy. We work hard, but the other clubs do it too. We are very proud today.”

While president Al-Khelaifi’s comments have given hope to other prospective suitors of Tuchel – including Chelsea – current coach Unai Emery’s fate has long since been sealed. Following his failure to progress with PSG in the Champions League, the club have been heavily linked with new managers and Tuchel will not have his contract renewed for another campaign in the French capital.

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Reports last week from Bayern Munich seemed to have jumped the gun on any move for Tuchel from PSG. Munich chief ?Uli Hoeness announced that the German coach had turned down a move to the Bavarian club in favour of a high profile move elsewhere – reportedly PSG.

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