Now in his tenth season at Bayern Munich, Arjen Robben’s time in the Bavarian capital is likely drawing to a close. Unfortunately for the legendary Dutchman, his time with Bayern may come to an unceremonious end. Sitting in 5th place, seven points back from first, and following a heartbreaking loss to bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund, times have been better in Munich.
In a recent interview with Bild, Robben was surprisingly candid regarding Bayern’s frustrating run of form:
We can’t talk about titles at the moment, because we simply aren’t good enough for that.
Not being in pole position to win the Bundesliga title, or even being favorites to do so is uncommon territory for the record champions because, well, they are the record champions. The current state of affairs at the club has cranked up the panic meter and raised questions about transfer policy and squad makeup, as well as the manager. After all, managers have lost their jobs following Bundesliga and even treble-winning campaigns.
In light of the hazards of the role, Robben expressed sympathy for his new manager, Niko Kovac. The Croatian has found himself in a difficult spot this season, with little support in the transfer market, an aging squad, and a locker room with so many egos it could be mistaken for a chamber of congress. Robben spoke about his coach’s situation:
He’s very, very ambitious and works hard, but you have to say frankly: being coach of Bayern Munich isn’t simple.
His position is complicated further by the media, who seem to cover FC Hollywood like it is actually Hollywood:
I’m in my tenth season at Bayern and don’t know if I’ve ever experienced it like this before: every day, something new comes out. It’s not about soccer anymore, but only about secondary things.
It likely doesn’t help that the Bayern brass decided to host one of the most bizarre press conferences in club history, alluded to squad overhaul, and cannot seem to go a day without stirring up a controversy. However, off-field distractions are anything but new for the Bavarian giants.
Despite a potentially frustrating end to such an illustrious career, the Champions League winning winger is not quite ready to hang up the boots:
When it’s over at Bayern, that doesn’t mean that my career will end.
Whether or not Robben will get another extension with the club remains to be seen. As a roster transformation approaches, this may be his last go at it with Die Roten. Surely that will be all the motivation he needs to help turn the season around.