The Bayern Munich "mole": Are the press making a mountain out of a molehill?

Alexander Hassenstein

The Bayern Munich mole is probably not as malicious as it's being made out to be in the press

Pep Guardiola potentially was by some reports, the textbook definition of the following conditions on Sunday:

  • angry
  • irate
  • peeved
  • angry
  • inhospitable
  • furious
  • frothing mad
  • did I mention angry already?

During, following, or before their 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund some, or much, of Bayern Munich's tactical gameplan was leaked to the German tabloid BILD by a source inside the club. Understandably, Pep Guardiola was angry and according to BILD responded to them with the following warning to his players:

"It does not matter who it is, heads will roll," ... "I will throw him out. He will not play under me again."

Guardian

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge even had a few choice words in the media for as-yet-unknown man with a hole in his lip:

"But I advise him to stop doing it or he will have a serious problem not only with Pep Guardiola but also the entire club"

This is clearly a very serious issue, not only for the clubhouse culture and the organization but also for any of Bayern Munich's on-pitch performances in the coming year. Yet there is one big glaring loophole in the entire story. It's certainly been portrayed by the media as a player who leaked all this information, which is complete hearsay filtered through a tabloid at this point. BILD with no direct quote from Guardiola.

Of course one understands why that choice was made. BILD is a tabloid. Sensationalism drives everything that tabloids do. For American audiences, I submit the Kardashian family as exhibit #1. I'd also offer you a mind scrubbie so you can forget that they exist, if mind scrubbies existed. (This seems like a significant oversight on the part of modern medicine and I encourage you to write to your Congressional representatives and make sure they know that America needs more scientific research into brain scrubbing so we can remove scourges like these from our lives.)

But is the press making a mountain out of a mole-hill? In all likelihood, yes. This was probably not a player; probably the night time janitor who re-arranges all of Guardiola's tactical puzzles and is tired of not getting any credit (bonus points to whoever can name the reference). Players are hyper competitive. They want to win at all costs and this jeopardizes that. Ribery and Robben were famous for their dissent in the media under van Gaal but you never saw their actions directly threaten the teams ability to win on the pitch, no matter how irate they were. This was most likely a coach, or an aide, discussing something with someone they shouldn't have been, or leaving a piece of paper where they ought not to. If it turns out that the leak had malicious intent, color me shocked (which is seafoam green, by the way.(No it's not, but I wish it was)).

Guardiola certainly spoke to his players about the dangers of talking to the media. He'd be irresponsible not to. Did he out and out directly threaten them with forcing them out of the club? Probably not, but I'm sure he made it clear their future would be jeopardy.

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