Robben: Bayern are not Barcelona 2.0

The Dutchman has insisted that Pep Guardiola’s side are not merely an improved version of the reigning Liga champions

Arjen Robben has insisted that Bayern Munich are not trying to copy Barcelona’s style of play, but rather following their own football philosophy.

The Bundesliga champions have been in impressive form in recent weeks, with a number of high-profile names claiming Bayern are an improved version of Pep Guardiola’s old Blaugrana side.

However, Robben has dismissed suggestions that Bayern are merely imitating Barcelona’s Tiki-Taka style under the Catalan coach.

“Bayern are not Barcelona 2.0. The comparisons are logical, but the focus should be on ourselves,” Robben told reporters.

“We are Bayern Munich. We have different players to Barca. We don’t have Xavi or Lionel Messi, but we have other great players.

“The coach has a certain philosophy and tries to transmit that to the players. He did the same thing at Barcelona and is doing it at Bayern now.

“It’s not the Barca-style, though. We are playing our own game and obviously Pep influences our style.”

Bayern currently sit atop of the Bundesliga with 20 points form eight games, while they also head their Champions League group.

Wenger: Atletico can be this season's Dortmund

The Arsenal boss has suggested that Diego Simeone’s men can be the surprise package in the Champions League and thinks at least 10 teams could win it

Atletico Madrid can replicate Borussia Dortmund’s surprise run in the Champions League in 2013-14, according to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Jurgen Klopp’s men knocked out the likes of Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid en route to a 1-0 final defeat at Wembley to Bayern Munich, earning no shortage of plaudits with their underdogs tag.

Atletico have started their European campaign this season with two wins to match their 100 per cent record of eight out of eight in La Liga and Wenger believes Atleti coach Diego Simeone can take the Rojiblancos far in this year’s tournament.

“Atletico Madrid can be one of the surprises of the Champions League,” Wenger told Eurosport. “They can repeat what was does last year by Borussia Dortmund.

“They’re a very good team with a lot of quality in every area of the pitch.

“They have many good players – especially Diego Costa who is a top predator and can score from any position.”

Wenger’s Gunners face BVB in Group F this year alongside Napoli and Marseille – one of the toughest draws – and he thinks that the quality of the competition is increasing, with 10 or more teams vying for the coveted trophy.

“In the past, during the first years of the Champions League, as coaches we only expected three or four teams to potentially win,” the Frenchman, 63, added.

“Now at least 10 teams can dream about victory in the main competition. Now, in October, it is literally impossible to say who is going to be the successors to Bayern.

“It was an impressive victory for Bayern against Manchester City. That game in particular I watched and studied and for me, Bayern are already the favourites in this competition. All other teams have got one goal: and that is to beat them and deny them. They are a team that can go on and win again.

Schweinsteiger spurred on by Germany pressure

The midfielder is thrilled to be on the brink of reaching 100 caps for his country but is determined to emulate his success at club level by winning the World Cup

Bastian Schweinsteiger admits the pressure to succeed with Germany is spurring the side on ahead of the World Cup next summer.

Victory against Republic of Ireland on Friday will seal Joachim Low’s side’s place in Brazil 2014, with many earmarking the Nationalelf as one of the pre-tournament favourites to lift the prize next summer.

Schweinsteiger, who is on the brink of reaching 100 caps for his side, is determined to end Germany’s 23-year wait for a title and believes his remarkable achievements with Bayern Munich will inspire him at international level.

“The expectations towards the German national team are much higher now compared to my debut year of 2004,” he told a press conference. “But that’s a good sign because it shows we’ve had some success lately. And it spurs you on, it is a challenge.

“You really take a lot out of that [the treble for Bayern last season]. Now you know how you can reach such success.”

Schweinsteiger is delighted to be back in the Germany set-up having missed their previous outings due to injury, but has warned that Republic of Ireland will pose a stern test on Friday.

“It feels perfect to be back. My body feels great, the injuries are behind me now,” said the midfielder.

“It’s not going to be easy. The Irish fight tirelessly for their home country, you don’t often see it to that extent. Football-wise they might not be as strong as Argentina or Spain, but their heart is in the right place and they always give everything.”

The 29-year-old will reach 100 caps for his country should he feature against the Boys In Green and Sweden next Tuesday, and while he admits it will be a special achievement, he is determined to add a trophy to his international legacy.

“Of course it’s something special,” he added. “One hundred international matches, that’s nothing you take for granted. But I do hope there will be a lot more – and hopefully some success.

“[Winning the World Cup] is my goal – and we can surely reach it some day.”

Robben: Injury behind substitute's role

The Netherlands international didn’t feature at the BayArena on Saturday until the 71st minute but the winger insists he has no issue with Pep Guardiola

Arjen Robben has dismissed the suggestion that he was unhappy at being on the bench for Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

The Netherlands international, 29, explained that a minor injury was the reason behind his demotion and rejected claims that he was annoyed with coach Pep Guardiola for not introducing him before the 71st minute.

“Of course I would have liked to have come on earlier,” Robben told TZ. “But that’s normal.

“But I also had slight muscular discomfort during the final training session. That was also the reason why the coach put me on the bench.”

Toni Kroos put Bayern ahead against Leverkusen but the hosts equalised almost immediately through Sidney Sam.

In spite of the draw, the Bavarians still moved a point ahead of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga standings.

Hitzfeld: Sammer was my most annoying player

The former Borussia Dortmund coach has revealed that the Bayern Munich player had an overly critical attitude during his playing days

Ottmar Hitzfeld has admitted that Matthias Sammer is the most “annoying” player to have ever served under him.

The Switzerland boss worked with the legendary sweeper at Borussia Dortmund and reveals that he grew weary of the current Bayern Munich sporting director’s overly critical attitude.

“The hardest [player to coach] was easily Matthias Sammer,” Hitzfeld told Kicker. “Matthias had to complain after every victory, something I found a bit tiring and annoying.

“You cannot always list all the errors; otherwise you lose confidence.”

Hitzfeld also revealed that he initially intended to become a teacher before going into coaching, confessing that it was some time before he felt as if he had chosen the right vocation.

“Being a coach is a gypsy life and involves much risk,” the 64-year-old mused. “The first 10 years were marked by existential fears.”

Hitzfeld and Sammer won the Champions League together at Dortmund, in 1997.