Guardiola was in his own world at Bayern – Muller

The Germany international says new boss Carlo Ancelotti has a closer relationship with the players than his predecessor, who left to join Manchester City this summer

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller says Carlo Ancelotti has a closer relationship with the squad than former boss Pep Guardiola, who was “in his own world”.

The Bundesliga champions begin their quest for a fifth consecutive title when Werder Bremen visit the Allianz Arena on Friday.

New head coach Ancelotti has won his first two games at the helm in the DFL-Supercup and DFB-Pokal, with Muller impressed by the Italian’s close bond with Bayern’s star names.

“Ancelotti is a little bit closer to the players,” he told Bild.

“Pep was already a little bit in his own world because he thought for the whole day, ‘How can I move my players two or three meters in a game situation to find a perfect solution?’

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“That was crazy in a positive way!”

Muller does not feel Bayern have dominance over the Bundesliga, insisting Borussia Dortmund always keep them on their toes. 

“From our point of view last year, the league was exciting enough, we felt Dortmund in our backs all the time,” added the 26-year-old.

“They have quality, young new players with a lot of talent who are integrated very well. They made problems for us in the Supercup and it’s not expected for them to drop off now.

“They have always been a team that makes trouble for us up until now, but as a Bayern player I am not responsible for creating tension.”

No need for Bayern revolution – Ancelotti

The Italian says that he wants to build on the “good things” that were present at the Allianz Arena before he arrived, though there will be changes

Carlo Ancelotti insists it will be a case of evolution and not revolution ahead of making his Bundesliga bow in charge of Bayern Munich.

Bayern begin their title defence at home to Werder Bremen on Friday, a week on from a routine 5-0 DFB-Pokal win over Carl Zeiss Jena.

Ancelotti has succeeded Pep Guardiola in the Allianz Arena hotseat after three seasons in which the Catalan oversaw an overhaul in Bayern’s playing style.

The former AC Milan and Chelsea boss is not intending to bring about similar upheaval, although he did suggest Bayern could return to elements of the more direct approach employed during the pre-Guardiola years.

“I have not decided yet how I will play. I want to talk to my players but there will be no revolution,” he told a pre-match news conference.

“I do not want a revolution here. Before my time there were a lot of good things, which I want to build on and maintain.

“I want to do a few things differently, perhaps somewhat vertically so play will come forward quickly.

“The responsibility is, in any case, 100 per cent with me.”

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While Bayern cruised through their Pokal assignment, Werder were humbled 2-1 by third-tier Sportfreunde Lotte and Ancelotti believes this could prey on the minds of Viktor Skrypnyk’s players.

“Werder lost in the cup but [Friday] is another game. We want to start well and we need a lot of concentration,” Ancelotti said.

“Werder still has a good team, although after the cup exit they will be under pressure.”

Having won major honours in Italy, England, France and Spain, Ancelotti is relishing getting to work in Germany’s top flight.

“Everything is new – the championship, the country. Therefore, I look forward to the Bundesliga,” he said.

“I already know the atmosphere a bit, I have seen quite a few stadiums.

“All the fans are in good shape, there is no violence. It is an honour for me to be working here.”

Neuer: Schweinsteiger still one of world's best

The German midfielder has become an outcast at Manchester United, but his former Bayern Munich team-mate believes he still has a lot to offer at the top level

Manuel Neuer has expressed his sadness at Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Manchester United situation, claiming he remains one of the best midfielders in the world.

The 32-year-old, who retired from Germany duty last month, is not in Jose Mourinho’s plans at Old Trafford and has been training away from the United first team.

Schweinsteiger told fans on Twitter on Wednesday he will be ready when called upon and does not intend to leave for another European club, but Neuer, his former Bayern Munich team-mate, has expressed bemusement at the state of affairs.

“It’s very bitter and sad,” he told reporters. “We know how important Bastian was for all his teams, no matter if it was Bayern or the national team.

“For me he was one of the best midfielders in the world and still is. So it’s sad that the football world can’t see him right now.”

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As for his own club fortunes, Neuer has been impressed by Carlo Ancelotti’s management style since he succeeded Pep Guardiola as Bayern coach.

“Basically he already gives us more freedom,” he said. “He knows that we have world-class players in our ranks, he can trust us and it shows.

“He is very relaxed around us and knows, of course, that we have different characters and so deals differently with each of us.”

Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the DFL-Supercup to kick off their season.

Dortmund beat Bayern to Dembele capture – Watzke

BVB’s CEO claims the club pipped their closest rivals to the signing of the highly rated French forward, but insists the relationship between the two teams is as good as ever

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke claims the club beat Bayern Munich to the signing of Ousmane Dembele, but says the relationship between the two Bundesliga giants is as good as ever.

Dembele signed for Dortmund from Rennes in May, agreeing a five-year contract, after an impressive campaign that saw the 19-year-old score 12 goals in 26 Ligue 1 appearances.

But while Watzke insists Dortmund acted quicker than Bayern in securing the services of the striker, he feels the two clubs enjoy a profitable professional relationship.

Both sides have done business with each other this summer, with Mats Hummels returning to Bayern from Dortmund while Mario Gotze and Sebastian Rode have moved in the opposite direction.

“We were in that moment faster [than Bayern in signing Dembele],” Watzke told Sport1.

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“I do not know how deep the interest of Bayern was, but we were very early and had already discovered the player.

“He has exceptional talent, but there are many things he still needs to learn. He needs to learn the language and assimilate here.

“I cannot blame Bayern in this case. We had three talks with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge this year. These were very confident and professional. The relationship to Bayern is as good as it’s ever been.

“They have established themselves on the same level as Real Madrid.

“Accordingly, it would be stupid to say that we are attacking Bayern Munich. You should then attack if the opponent has a period of weakness.”

Alaba warns against complacency as Bayern begin Bundesliga defence

The Bavarians’ first league opponents were shocked by Sportfreunde Lotte at the weekend, but their Swiss star will not be taking anything for granted

David Alaba has warned Bayern Munich not to underestimate a wounded Werder Bremen when they begin their Bundesliga title defence on Friday.

Bremen suffered a shock DFB-Pokal first-round exit at the hands of third-tier Sportfreunde Lotte on Sunday, with Andre Dej netting the winner in a 2-1 victory.

Holders Bayern breezed into round two with a 5-0 victory over Carl Zeiss Jena and will head into Friday’s match in buoyant mood having won their last 13 encounters with Bremen in all competitions, with no goals conceded in their last five meetings.

Alaba, however, says his side must not allow complacency to affect their performance as they aim to make a winning start in their quest for a fifth league title in a row.

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“They will work even harder, especially after their struggles in the cup,” he told Bayern’s TV channel. “Now they come to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern where they will be hoping to up their game.

“We need to take that into account and deal with it.

“Things feel really good on the pitch. Hopefully we can convey that when we play.”

Meet Davide Ancelotti, our assistant coach and @MrAncelotti’s son! Impressive German skills, Davide!

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 21, 2016

Bayern’s clash will be their first since head coach Carlo Ancelotti appointed his son as one of his assistants.

Davide, 27, was a fitness coach at Madrid during his father’s spell in charge between 2013 and 2015 and has taken on a more senior role at the Allianz Arena.

“I support our coaches both in training and in pre-match preparations,” he told Bayern’s official website after his appointment last week. “On the training pitch, I explain exercises or just help out with the language.

“My father speaks German well but doesn’t understand everything yet. I like the language – it’s difficult but I find it very interesting.”