It’s no secret that Bayern Munich’s Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt did not get along well with former manager Pep Guardiola. The two had their fair share of disagreements during Guardiola’s tenure as Bayern manager, and a heated feud between them back in 2015 ultimately lead Wohlfahrt to stepping down from his post as team doctor.
Fast forward to November 2017: Jupp Heynckes and company have brought back Müller-Wohlfahrt to be the team’s head doctor and medical coordinator—his third stint with the club. With his appointment in mid-November, Bayern now have an almost-identical staff to the 2012/13 season, when they famously won the treble.
Guardiola's “low self-esteem”
In Müller-Wohlfahrt’s autobiography, which is being published by Bild, he unsparingly explains why he didn’t get along with Guardiola, accusing the Spaniard of being fundamentally insecure (via ESPN):
I consider Pep Guardiola a person with a low self-esteem, who will do everything to hide it from others. He seems to live in constant fear of losing power and authority, rather than defeats.
Müller-Wohlfahrt also claims that Guardiola constantly complained and contradicted his expert medical advice, when Müller-Wohlfahrt recommended that players be subbed off on account of muscle injuries:
He was upset every time a player had to come off with a muscle injury and told him they should play on.
Specifically referencing Bayern’s 3-1 loss to FC Porto in the Champions League knockout stages in 2015, Müller-Wohlfahrt claims that Guardiola ultimately blamed him for the loss and verbally took out his frustration on him:
[I was] verbally attacked while the players were receiving treatment and was blamed for the numerous injuries, the physical condition of the players and ultimately for the defeat in Portugal.
The verbal attacks in Portugal seem to epitomize the doctor's relationship with Guardiola and Müller-Wohlfahrt. In his eyes, Guardiola was a manager willing to overlook expert medical advice in his drive for success. Müller-Wohlfahrt claims Guardiola even set Bayern back:
[Guardiola was] turning back the clock at Bayern and turning upside down our well thought-out, tried and trusted medical preparation programme. [He was] always reproachful and indignant when it came to injured players. He knew everything better.
Hoeness unable to mediate
Bayern president Uli Hoeness claimed that he could’ve been a mediator between the two, helping them develop a better working relationship had not been serving time in prison for tax evasion:
If I hadn’t been impeded [i.e. in prison for tax evasion] I could have intervened in the conflict between Mull and Pep Guardiola. Pep Guardiola is a very proud Catalan, and Spanish coaches have a totally different relationship with their club’s medical department. Müller-Wohlfahrt, on the other hand, is a very proud doctor who doesn’t like discussing his very successful treatment methods.
Hoeness acknowledged that Bayern owe Müller-Wohlfarht “a great deal,” and credited the doctor with making the club’s medical department as successful as it is:
A reason why Bayern Munich has become so successful is because of its exceptional medical department which Muller-Wohlfahrt was, and is responsible for again now. The club owes him a great deal.
So there you have it. Another chapter in the ongoing (and rather one-sided) feud between Dr. Müller-Wohlfahrt and Pep Guardiola.