With two wins from their first two matches in the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich are off to the perfect start under new manager Niko Kovac. It’s fitting that Thomas Muller scored the first goal of the 2018/2019 campaign at the Allianz Arena vs. Hoffenheim and provided an assist, adding another goal and assist in the 3-0 win over VfB Stuttgart.
This summer, many people questioned whether Niko Kovac could replicate Bayern’s dominant performance last season, winning their sixth consecutive title 21 points ahead of 2nd-place Schalke. Speaking to Bild, Muller affirmed that the squad intends to continue to boss the league, leaving no room for excitement:
We want to march ahead out in front again and dominate the league. It’s clear we have the potential to do so. We’re not Bundesliga fans; we’re the players. And that’s we have to see that there is as little excitement as possible.
Since Bayern has such a deep squad at virtually every position, Muller acknowledged the fierce competition for a spot in Kovac’s starting eleven, particularly in midfield, where Kovac can take his pick among central midfielders Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez, James Rodriguez, Corentin Tolisso, Muller, and Leon Goretzka. Muller argues this depth is a luxurious problem to have, as Bayern look to go the distance on three fronts this season:
The motivation is extremely high. We have a fantastic squad, if you look at which top players have to stay home, who’s sitting on the bench.
International duty for Germany
Putting Bayern temporarily on hold, seven players in Dir Roten’s squad have been called up to the German National Team for its upcoming matches against France and Peru. Shifting his attention to the national team, Muller said he and his Bayern-Germany teammates are ready to carry their strong club form to the international stage and put the sour memories from Russia completely behind them, though they face a difficult first test against the World Cup winners, France:
We want to build on our performance at Bayern. We have a really tough customer ahead of us in France. They’re the reigning world champion. But it’s also a massive opportunity to set a lot of things right again. Hence it’ll be an exciting week. We’re of course incredibly motivated to wipe away the whole business [i.e. the World Cup disaster in Russia].