Lewandowski frustrated with substitute role at Bayern

The Poland international wants to start every game and thinks he could struggle to score 20 league goals this term due to squad rotation

Bayern Munich attacker Robert Lewandowski has voiced his frustration with his substitute role against Schalke on Tuesday, although he understands Pep Guardiola’s decision to rotate due to the Bavarians’ busy schedule.

The 26-year-old has made 15 starts so far this Bundesliga campaign, starting just three times from the bench, but admits he finds it tough when he is forced to watch from the sidelines.

“Generally speaking, I always want to play 90 minutes,” Lewandowski told Bild.

“But rotation is part of the game when there’s two matches per week and I will have to accept that. But it’s not easy for me to warm the bench.

“You want to help the team, but you cannot do that from the bench.”

The Poland international has netted seven goals in the Bundesliga this term and he thinks he could struggle to reach his objective of 20 goals due to his changed role.

“Seven goals is not great and I know I can do better,” said the former Borussia Dortmund man.

“It will be hard for me to score 20 goals in the league this season, but it’s possible once I explode…

“You cannot compare my situation at Bayern to that at Dortmund, though. Pep Guardiola does not expect me to score each game, but also wants me to create space for others.”

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Lahm: I want to stay at Bayern my entire life

The versatile defender is keen to end his career at the Allianz Arena and has defended Pep Guardiola in the wake of recent criticism

Philipp Lahm has made it clear that he wants to stay at Bayern Munich his entire life, although he is not interested in a coaching role once he hangs up his boots.

The 31-year-old came through the ranks of the Bayern youth academy and has spent his entire career so far at the Bavarians – bar a two-year loan spell at Stuttgart.

Lahm recently revealed that he aims to retire at FCB once his contract runs out in 2018 and he is hopeful of continuing at the club in a different role.

“I cannot imagine myself becoming a coach. But I can see myself stay in football my entire life, ideally at Bayern. Bayern are my boyhood club,” Lahm told AZ.

“I once left Bayern with pain in my heart and that was to join Stuttgart on loan. I guess I like staying close to home.”

The ex-Germany international went on to defend head coach Pep Guardiola in the wake of criticism of his behaviour during the 1-1 draw with Schalke on Tuesday, where the Spaniard made headlines with a sprint toward the linesman to protest the decision to disallow Robert Lewandowski’s goal, only to then hug the fourth official after Arjen Robben’s strike.

“You do not often see things like that,” Lahm admitted. “But everybody who has worked with Pep knows how emotional he is, but also how kind he is to other people. I don’t think any bad words have been said.

“He is always there for his players and he loves the game. And you see this in the way he behaves on the sidelines.”

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Stuttgart – Bayern Munich Preview: Champions boast five-year winning run against Stevens' men

Pep Guardiola’s men are yet to bag a competitive win this year and will expect to rediscover their triumphant touch against the relegation strugglers

Still searching for their first competitive win of 2015, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich travel to Stuttgart on Saturday.

A 4-1 defeat at second-placed Wolfsburg was a wake-up call for Pep Guardiola’s leaders after the mid-season break and they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Schalke on Tuesday.

Bayern were reduced to 10 men after just 17 minutes when Jerome Boateng fouled Sidney Sam inside the area, but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting saw his resulting penalty saved by Manuel Neuer.

The champions then took the lead through Arjen Robben midway through the second half before Benedikt Howedes levelled for Schalke, as they took a point from their trip to the Allianz Arena.

The nature of the match and the fact Bayern played for so long with 10 men put a gloss on the result, but the Bavarian giants are used to success and lots of it – putting the importance of this clash at a premium.

And Bayern should find it far easier against a Stuttgart side who sit 16th, in the relegation play-off spot – but only on goal difference.

Hertha Berlin are just one goal behind them, with the 2007 Bundesliga champions only having won four matches this season. Of those wins, three came on the road – just one of many statistics that point to a Bayern win.

“Against Schalke we were better than in the game against Wolfsburg,” Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger told the club’s official website. “We had more control and never let them get at us on the break.

“But we’re not happy with a 1-1 draw. We’ll go to Stuttgart now looking for a victory.”

Bayern have won their last 12 clashes against Stuttgart, scoring 35 goals in the process. Mario Gotze and Franck Ribery scored in Bayern’s 2-0 home win in September.

Stuttgart’s last win against Bayern came in March 2010, a season in which the Bavarian giants claimed the title.

Bayern’s ultimately successful Bundesliga bid was harmed, though, by a 2-1 home loss in which Christian Trasch and Ciprian Marica scored to cap a come-from-behind win.

Stuttgart have failed to score since returning from the break, following up a 1-0 home loss to Borussia Monchengladbach with a goalless draw at Cologne on Wednesday.

With just 20 goals, they are the league’s fourth-lowest scorers, but Austrian Martin Harnik has enjoyed a decent season with five goals. Timo Werner, aged just 18, has also shown promise with three strikes.

But it pales into insignificance when compared with Bayern, who have hit 43 this term: winger Robben has 11, while Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller have bagged seven goals each.

And it is Bayern’s even spread of contributors that makes them so tough to stop – as Stuttgart may well find out.

'Guardiola is undermining referees'

The Spaniard’s touchline histrionics have angered a former official who says his behaviour is having a negative effect on the authority of the men officiating matches

A former referee has hit out at Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola and says his touchline antics are undermining match officials.

The former Barcelona boss sparked controversy after sprinting down the pitch to protest with assistant referee Markus Hackers by the corner flag on Tuesday after an own goal was disallowed in the 1-1 draw with Schalke in the Bundesliga.

Just minutes later Guardiola was celebrating when Arjen Robben opened the scoring with a header, prompting the Spaniard to pump his fists in delight and then hug the same official, though his joy was eventually extinguished when Benedikt Howedes equalised soon after.

Ex-referee Urs Meier, who took charge of the 2002 Champions League final, saw the incident unfold and says Guardiola’s behaviour has over-stepped the mark.

“It is disrespectful,” he said in his column for Focus Online. “With these actions Guardiola undermines the authority of referees and makes them look ridiculous. It is an absurdity.”

The 44-year-old is yet to taste victory in 2015 after the shock 4-1 defeat to Wolfsburg last Friday was followed by Tuesday’s draw.

His side will have another chance to get their first three points of the year on the board when they travel to Stuttgart on Saturday afternoon. 

Boateng receives three-match ban

Bayern Munich have stuttered in recent weeks, and will now have to cope without their key defender for three league games following a red card against Schalke

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has been suspended for three matches following his red card in their 1-1 draw with Schalke on Tuesday.

The Germany international was sent off in the 17th minute of the Bundesliga meeting at the Allianz Arena for bringing down Schalke forward Sidney Sam.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting saw his resulting tame penalty saved by Manuel Neuer and Bayern then took the lead through an Arjen Robben header in the 67th minute, only for Benedikt Howedes to equalise five minutes later.

That result followed a 4-1 loss at Wolfsburg, and Bayern will now aim to get back to winning ways without Boateng, who will miss Saturday’s trip to Stuttgart as well as the league games with Hamburg and Paderborn.

A statement on the German Football Association’s (DFB) official website read: “The DFB Disciplinary Board have been advised by the DFB’s Supervisory Committee to hand FC Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng a ban of three Bundesliga games for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“Boateng was sent off in the 17th minute by referee Bastian Dankert Rostock of Bayern’s Bundesliga game against FC Schalke 04 on 3rd February 2015.

“The club has 24 hours to request a hearing before the DFB disciplinary board.”