clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bayern Munich vs Dinamo Zagreb: Pep Guardiola Press Conference Roundup

New, comment

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.

Adam Pretty/Getty Images

It's the first Champions League home game of the season for FC Bayern Munich, and Dinamo Zagreb is in town.  The perennial Croatian champions (they won the last ten championships in a row) will look to build on a surprising home win against mighty Arsenal, but they know that Bayern. Especially in Munich, is on a different level.

Pep Guardiola and media director Markus Hörwick sat down for the customary press conference with the sports media representatives.

FC Bayern Press Conference, September 28th, 2015

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

On the injury status of players other than the ones missing long-term - We have, I think, 14 or 15 players for tomorrow.  We need to call up two players from the reserves.  I don't think Arturo Vidal will be available (knee issue, apparently picked up in Mainz). Sebastian Rode has had some problems for the last few days as well.  I haven't talked to them yet, but I've talked to the doctors.

On Arjen Robben's availability, maybe for the weekend - No. Right now, I don't know.  I don't think so, but I don't know.  Every day, I have a conversation with my doctors and physios, and every day we analyze the situation for the players.  We have 14 players, and on Wednesday, we'll see.

On whether Pep was surprised about the Arsenal loss in Zagreb - Normally, you would assume that Arsenal would win.  But when you watch the game, you notice why Zagreb won.  They're a very defensive team, are organized in the back, fast on the outsides, also up front, very physical and very aggressive, not a lot of room to attack or even think.  For example, Mainz was a zone marking team, Zagreb uses man-to-man.  They're a good team, it's Champions League.  They haven't lost in 45 games (29 wins, 16 draws), enough said.  But it's a big opportunity for us, our goal is to have six points, so we can prepare for Arsenal, and be in a good position in the group.  To qualify, you need to win your three home games, and win an away game.  We already took care of the away win.

On whether having Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman in place of the injured Robben and Franck Ribery was a lesson from last season - Yes.  If you see our first and third goals in Mainz, it was from one-on-one situations from our wings.  Last season, in the most important part of the season, that wasn't possible.  I hope that Arjen and Franck can return as soon as possible, because having four wings with that kind of one-on-one skill is very important.

On Costa and Coman replacing Ribery and Robben at some time in the future - I think Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery still have something to show us.  I think they still have a lot of time to play here, to show very big performances.  But it's good for Bayern Munich that they got two young players with that kind of skill, it's not easy to find that kind of quality.  The club did a great job, with Michael Reschke, and, of course, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and Matthias Sammer.  But, it's not like we have these new players, and the other ones are done.  No.  I hope that Costa and Coman can reach the level of Robben and Ribery at this club.

On how he wants Douglas Costa to improve - We knew that Douglas was a great player in terms of assists.  He's very unselfish.  But he has to think about how important it is for the team, and for him, to have the mentality of wanting to score goals.  That's the next stage of his development.  I know it's harder for him on the left, where he plays on the sideline, and crosses in, but when he's on the right, he has the ability to go to the inside and score goals.  But he's still young, at 25 years old, he still has time to develop (that's a scary thought for defenders).

On whether David Alaba is back to his normal self, after the long injury - When someone is hurt for two or three months, they usually need some time to get back.  David needs less time, but he still needs time.  In my time here, his level is always high, and it doesn't matter where he plays, he's always insanely good.  Of course, he is one of the most important players on the team.  With him, we can play different systems. Last season, in the last two months, I really missed him.

On whether Javi Martinez is ready to start against Zagreb - He already started in Mainz.  His knee reacted very well to the last game, he experienced no pain.  But, we can't forget how long his injury was, and we have to analyze whether he can play three games in a week.

On Kinglsey Coman's confidence - (In his first press conference, when he was introduced, Coman confidently said he was there to make a difference). It's good to have confidence, but he has to continue to learn, and deal with his teammates, he has to learn and get better.  I like when the forwards are confident.  If they lose the ball, they try again, lose the ball, try again.  That's what I like from our wings.  If you have a chance to take on a player one-on-one, you have to do it.  If you lose it, ok, you have to chase it down.

On why Bayern plays so differently in the first and the second halves - I don't know.  I would like to score goals in the first half, but I don't know the reason.  It's a new development for us.  Maybe the opponent is more tired, but I don't think that's the reason, because all the teams in Germany are fit.  In Mainz, they ran until the very end, put us under pressure.  They ran five or six kilometers more than us.  Maybe there's more space in the second half for us to play, but I don't know.

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.