Here’s a talking point from AEK-FCB: for the first time in eight years, Thomas Müller has started two consecutive games for Bayern Munich on the bench. Despite that statistic, it seems that Müller is keeping positive and pushing his teammates from the sidelines. Speaking to Bild, Joshua Kimmich had this to say about Bayern and Germany’s vice captain:
I think how he is behaving is outstanding. He’s always positive. Everyone knows that he wants to play here. But he always spurs us on, always has a saying up his sleeve. It’s really phenomenal of him.
Müller himself doesn’t want to become a major talking point. Speaking to the press about the game, his response was measured, devoid of any malcontent or criticism of the coach:
We only had one change today. But it’s more important for us as a team that we talk about the games. It doesn’t do us any good if we open up some kind of discussion panel here.
Setting an example
As Bayern Munich heads into a stretch of five games over the next two and half weeks, with a game every three days (including important fixtures in the UEFA Champions League and the DFB Pokal), it’s inevitable that Müller will see his minutes improve. James Rodriguez isn’t a robot, he’ll need to be rested. For now, Müller’s attitude is what’s important.
Managing Bayern Munich is no easy task, and it becomes impossible if Niko Kovac has to satisfy the concerns of every player in his squad. Because he is a leader in the squad, Thomas Muller’s opinions carry weight. Perhaps following Muller’s lead, other players will become more accepting of Kovac’s decisions, allowing him to rotate more freely and realize the vision he has in mind for Bayern Munich.
Kovac is simply doing what he thinks is best for the club. There is no need for the players to make his like harder.