Two months have passed since the 2018 World Cup. Yet, putting the memories of it behind is indeed a tough thing to do for the players and fans of Germany. And for the always beaming Thomas Müller, who broke down into tears after the match against South Korea, it is quite hard to not think about the team's tragic exit. In an interview given Sport Bild (in part via Sport1 and TZ), Müller talked about various concepts including the new season under Niko Kovac.
After analyzing Germany's exit, the pundits and the fans claimed that the reason why the team had lost is because of the alleged group formation and the lack of chemistry between the players. However, Müller completely denied the claim of that being the reason why the team couldn't go further in the tournament:
All of us know full well that every player leads his own life and cultivates a different lifestyle. We openly discussed among ourselves whether this subject created discord and disorder and we questioned ourselves. In our view, that was not the case.
Rejuvenation is necessary in every sportsman's life, because nobody can bite the medal every single time they play. After the World Cup, the severely wrecked German players kept themselves busy by trying to figure out what went wrong and by getting themselves ready to get going without repeating the same mistakes:
Over the course of the intense debate over the disasters of the summer, people lost sight of reality a bit.
He’s an exceptional talent with abilities that only very few people possess. I think Leroy is mature enough, and I have great confidence in him for the future. [It’s the team’s responsability] that we help him to reach his optimum level of performance with the national tema. Everyone is called upon to do so, not just Leroy.
The vice-captain thinks that he would be able to perform better by playing behind Lewandowski than as a winger — like how he often played under Joachim Löw.
I have a clearly defined profile of strengths and weaknesses. When I can come out of the cover provided by the striker and can make deep runs into the penalty area, my strengths are utilized more effectively. I can run a lot, and that is much needed right in the middle. That’s why this role remains my preferred position.
About his start with Bayern: “It was good to show that I’ve still got it.”
Champions League aspirations
Being the champions of Europe has been a dream that Bayern Munich got so close to realizing. Everyone, including Müller believes that the fresh start under Niko Kovac would help them lift the Champions League trophy this year.
The World Cup summer and the unfortunate knockout against Real are additional incentives that let loose energies in us. We all know that we could have won the title. Accordingly, for the next run in the Champions League we have fire in our bellies and with Niko Kovac a new, young, and ambitious coach.
That alone shows what would have been possible in the last two years. We were never very far from the ultimate achievement. Hopefully in this season we finally have a full squad available from March to May.
The Bavarians will face Benefica in the first group stage match of the 2018-'19 UCL on September 19th.