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Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich: Pep Guardiola Press Conference Roundup

We listen in on and pick out the important stuff from Pep Guardiola's press conference before every game, be it Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, or UEFA Champions League.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

And off we go into the stretch run of 2015.  Only eight more games are left (five Bundesliga, two Champions League, and one DFB Pokal) before a well-deserved winter break, and the Reds will arguably start with the toughest one of the bunch, a trip to Gelsenkirchen to visit fifth place Schalke 04.  After a tragic and eventful national team break, which included bombings and shootings in Paris during the Germany - France game, and the cancellation of the Germany - Netherlands game in Hannover due to terrorist threats, the players probably just want to get back to playing some football.

Pep Guardiola sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.

FC Bayern Press Conference, November 20th, 2015

Here are the highlights of today's questions and answers (my interjections in italics):

On how Pep handled the attacks in Paris and the cancelled game - I am a coach, but I'm human, like all of us, so my feelings are the same as everyone else.  It's a difficult situation, and when it happened, I wanted to know the reason for it, there's always a reason.  It happened last week in Paris, and unfortunately happens almost every week in the world, in Africa, in Arabic countries, and it would be interesting to understand the reason people react like that, what happened in the past.  But, we have to live our lives, and do our jobs, us as coaches, you as journalists, the fans who support the team, and that's all we can do.

On whether going to the stadium will be different - No.  Of course, it feels different, but I have to go to a restaurant, go to a movie theater with the family, take a walk in town with the family and friends.  I don't want to have to stay at home 24 hours a day.  You have to live.

On the effects on the national team players that were affected - I've talked a little with Jerome Boateng, Thomas Muller, and Kingsley Coman about how they felt in that situation, but they're ok.

On Schalke player Leroy Sane - He's a big talent, a young player.  Last game against Dortmund, he played up top, normally he plays on the right, sometimes on the left.  Big talent, congratulations to Germany, a talent for the future.  But Schalke isn't only Sane, they have Max Meyer, Eric Maxim Choupo-Mouting, Franco Di Santo, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, they have a lot of interesting and dangerous players up front, with lots of experience, on one of the best teams in Germany.  It's a tough game tomorrow, after the national team break.

On players' injury status, like Franck Ribery - We had a bit of a problem with Thiago, the others are good.  And Franck is a lot better, I've been told he trained very well the last week, ten days, and I hope that in the next period of time, he'll be able to do some of the team training with us.

On whether it would be good for Ribery to get a few minutes in the last game before the winter break - I don't know.  Of course, for his mindset, playing and training is the best for Franck, there's no doubt.  When he will be fit to play, I don't know.  It will depend on his conditioning, and especially his ankle.

On Arjen Robben's situation - He's good.  He's fit, he's a top player.  He played great against Stuttgart, even though he wasn't fully fit, had a good game with the national team in Holland, and trained very well in the last three or four practices.

On whether Robben is too selfish - (After some visible frustration from Robert Lewandowski during the Stuttgart game, when Robben took some shots instead of passing, the media was speculating that there was a conflict brewing between the two players) Arjen Robben is Arjen Robben, and I want him the way he is.  I don't want to change him, I like this Arjen Robben, he is quality.

On Robben's decision to shoot instead of pass - Both situations that Arjen had against Stuttgart, it was a one-on-one with the goalkeeper (apparently Pep knows exactly what the reporter is trying to allude to), especially the second one.  He took the shot, didn't score, but well done.  It's not even a topic.

On how Pep handles situations like this, intervene or stay out of it - After the game, we go to the locker room, take showers, eat together, talk about what's happening in football and at home with the family.  The next day, they come to practice, laugh, happy if we won, sad if we lost.  That's the situation.

On needing players like Robben and Lewandowski to win big titles or the triple - The triple?  No.  Win in Schalke, my friend, that's the goal (Pep looked irritated at this question, glaring a little at the reporter).

On whether he is thinking of resting national team players - This is a topic after every national team break.  We have to live with it, the players know that, they know what they have to do.  We have a Bundesliga game, we are almost at the halfway point, we still have a lot of games to battle and win, and many goals to score.

On Pep's thoughts about the young stars on Schalke's team, and whether they're underperforming - Their last results weren't good, which is why they are dangerous at the moment.  The quality of the players is high (you can feel that he wants to praise the players, but not throw Andre Breitenreiter under the bus for not doing better).  Currently, they're U-21, but they are the future for Germany.  Meyer, Leon Goretzka and Sane, they are very big talents.  The current position in the table is not important, they have talent, so we have to analyze that.  Of course, they have Di Santo, Huntelaar, Choupo-Moting, Benedikt Höwedes, Joel Matip, all have experience.  Last season, we didn't win against them (1-1 draws in both games, both goals by Höwedes).

On whose decision it was to send Jan Kirchhoff to the reserves - I am very happy with Jan Kirchhoff's work.  He's had a lot of problems with his injury, and, at this moment, we were thinking that he needs to play, especially for his confidence.  It's not for an extended period, maybe two or three games, it will be good for him.  But it was his decision too, I wasn't going to force him to play with the second team.

On whether Pep will go watch the "little derby" between the reserves of Bayern and 1860 on Sunday - Maybe I'll go.  But on Tuesday we have a game against Olympiakos, we want to finish first in the group, I might not have time.  Heiko Vogel and Hermann Gerland inform me every week about the performances of the players and the second team.

On why playing with the reserves was not an option for Holger Badstuber - For Holger, that was my decision.  It's a different situation.  He's a young player, he is more fit, he played with the team more recently last season.  Sometimes, a coach has to make a decision.

Disclaimer - Due to the nature of having a coach whose native language is not German, the translation of the quotes is not exactly word for word, but includes some interpretation on the part of the author of this article, in order to more accurately portray what the coach is intending to say. There is some necessary guesswork involved.

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