In an interview with kicker, Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller answered some questions about the recently concluded DFL-Supercup. The German forward, who lifted his first trophy as captain of the Bavarians on Saturday, was first asked why his team celebrated so much. This was his answer:
It was because of the pressure. We absolutely wanted to win. And naturally, it's always something special to play against Dortmund, and even more so when the first title is at stake. If we had lost, though, we would have said that the Supercup isn't so important. [Laughs]
What made the game so important? Muller explains:
It was already important to us in the run-up. Especially to wipe away these losses in the preseason somewhat. Our game wasn't perfect; I personally didn't like the second half very much. But you could definitely see the will to win. And in the first half we also showed what we can do. We had a little bit of bad luck then; otherwise, we would have been able to take the lead before halftime.
We are set up well, but we can't guarantee results.
When asked about what went wrong in the second half, Muller (who was coincidentally subbed at the 60th minute) obliged to highlight the shortcomings of the Bavarians in the tie:
We couldn't break free from Dortmund's pressing so well anymore and played the ball back to the keeper too often. We also had far too many long balls, since Dortmund was pressing extremely close. That's no surprise under their new coach [Bosz]. But we no longer managed to keep calm and then move through the midfield with one or two short passes and then, when we beat this high pressing line, push forward into the space available. Then we would have opened the door and the goal. But we only crashed forward without any composure. That's why we didn't play the ball out of the back so well.
Then was it a question of fitness? The Bayern forward seemed to reluctant to pin the blame.
It was perhaps also a question of fitness for one player or the other; some players just joined the team a little bit ago. But in principle it was rather the fact that we didn't come out of this trot with the long balls. We couldn't break free as well anymore; perhaps we also lacked courage a bit. But it was a boon to win; to that extent it was a good evening for us. Penalty shootouts are always a bit of luck; Sven Ulreich made two super saves.
Finally, when asked about the record-breaking €222 million transfer fee for Barcelona’s Neymar, Muller seemed as dumbfounded as everyone else:
That's a crazy thing. But apparently it's possible. So Paris can be happy. Everything else has to be discussed by various committees.
Read the whole interview (in German) here.