All is right in the Bayern world again. After losing to Arsenal in London against the run of play, and having to endure a scoreless draw against a Eintracht Frankfurt double-decker bus approach, the Reds decided to right the ship in the most emphatic way possible: by pasting the co-leaders of the much-hyped Barclay's Premier League (aforementioned Arsenal) with a dominating 5-1 performance at home. Well, it's back to the Bundesliga, where Bayern now host struggling VfB Stuttgart, who are currently just barely staying out of the relegation zone by one goal in differential.
Pep Guardiola and media director Markus Hörwick sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.
FC Bayern Press Conference, November 6th, 2015
So, any chance of a reporter irritating Pep Guardiola today, by asking about his contract situation? No, not after the latest incident on German TV, where the reporter thought that he might have a better chance of getting an answer, and only managed to annoy Pep, after which the coach walked out. When will they learn?
Here are the highlights of today's questions and answers (my interjections in italics):
On how happy Pep is to hear that Stuttgart's coach is not planning on parking the bus - (Stuttgart's coach, Alexander Zorninger, was quoted as saying that his team is not capable of playing a defensive style, and that he wants to do it with aggressive play and Gegenpressing) No, that's not really a topic. Every coach and every team can play however they want, we have to adapt to it. I didn't need to hear my colleague to know what they were going to do tomorrow. We've seen a lot of Stuttgart's games, and it's unbelievable how few points they've managed to get, because they deserve more. They've played very well, and they're the second best team, after Bayern, in scoring chances. It's not Dortmund, or Schalke, or Gladbach, it's Stuttgart. That's why I think the fans will see a very good game, because both teams want to attack.
On whether he likes the playing style and philiosophy of Stuttgart's coach - Yes. It's similar to Leverkusen. Stuttgart reminds me of what I've learned about Leverkusen.
On the danger of taking Stuttgart lightly after the performance against Arsenal - We played very well for 35 minutes against Arsenal, but 35 minutes is not good enough to win the Champions League, or to reach the semifinals. We can't forget that Arsenal played here in Munich like we did last season for a few months, without seven very important players, like, for example, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Anthony Welbeck, Theo Walcott. It's not easy coming to Munich with that many missing, so let's stay calm. We did a good job, because it's not easy to win 5-1, we dominated and controlled the game. In the second half, we allowed a lot of counter attacks, normally that can't happen, but they had quality in Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and other players. I have a lot of respect for the opponent, not just Stuttgart, but all teams. We have a long way to go, and a lot of things to improve, our ability to develop further is big. Weiter, immer weiter! (you should all know that quote, right?).
On whether there will be rotation against Stuttgart, and whether Holger Badstuber can play - I don't know. Normally, I make a decision about bench players during the game, not before. When we play English weeks, I wait until the last practice to make a decision about the starting lineup.
On whether it's normal for a team to let off the gas when they are up 4-0 - No, no. I think we ran more when were up by 4-0, because we lost the ball, and allowed a lot of counters. When we're up 4-0, we need to let the ball run, every player in his position, and at the right moment, we can let our one-on-one players play, or make the right pass to the forwards, but, until then, let the ball run. Control the game, deny the counter attacks, that's something we need to improve. In Wolfsburg, it was the same, we were up 3-0, and allowed the 3-1, in Champions League in your first game at home, that would be a disaster.
On why Pep does not want to loan out Badstuber, and what he likes about him - (Rumors went around a few weeks ago that Badstuber would be loaned out to get playing time, which Pep emphatically denied) We need central defenders. In the last few months, we only had one, in Jerome Boateng. We need central defenders. (A small smile sneaks in) I like Badstuber, his quality buildup play, his personality. I want to work with him.
One of the reporters says "No forbidden questions today", to which Pep smiles a little, says "OK", and the press conference is done.
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.