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Robben unhappy after not starting in Bayern Munich’s Champions League win

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Trouble in paradise?

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Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen gestures during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Besiktas at Allianz Arena on February 20, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
Arjen Robben of Bayern Muenchen gestures during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Bayern Muenchen and Besiktas at Allianz Arena on February 20, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

Arjen Robben, despite playing for over 45'+ of the match against Besiktas in a 5-0 thrashing, was not happy with his playing time. After the game, Robben told the media (via Welt and kicker),

I don't know why [I didn't start]. I was very surprised. I won't say any more than that. Any word would be one too many. If I express my feelings now, I'll be in Mr. Rumenigge's office tomorrow and then, I don't know what'll happen. I'm 34 years old and I work every day for these games. When you're not in them, that's a painful story.

While Robben was certainly displeased with his lack of a start, as noted above he nonetheless played for more than half of the game, after James Rodriguez was taken off. Robben was a formidable presence in the second half. His value to the squad is certainly not lost of coach Jupp Heynckes who had the following to say in response to Robben’s comments:

Arjen is a top professional. It's obvious he wants to play from the start. That's a snapshot and not a problem at all [Arjen's frustration]. Everyone must accept that whoever signs a contract with Bayern Munich has to expect that he won't start now and then.

The post match displeasure from one of Bayern's longest tenured players did not go unnoticed from BFW's “Meister of the Match,” Thomas Muller.

The last time all field players were fit was five years ago. The coach doesn't have an easy job. That starts with selecting the squad. Robben provided a push coming off the bench and was an invigorating element for the team.

Having a fully fit squad is certainly a nice problem to have for a manager to have and it's not one that Bayern are used to having, but it can sometimes create issues with veteran players and their minutes in big matches. What's clear is that Robben is still a valued member of this squad going forward by both manager and teammates. What isn't clear is exactly what his role will be, and whether Robben himself will be satisfied with that role.