Hansi Flick has revealed the reason why a devastated-looking Javi Martinez was photographed alongside him on Bayern Munich’s bench prior to their match against Hoffenheim. The midfielder was left out of the starting lineup by Niko Kovac for the seventh Bundesliga match in a row. He has yet to start a single match in any competition for Bayern this season.
It was initially thought that Martinez was in tears on the bench prior to warm-ups beginning simply because he wasn’t in the starting lineup once again, but Flick revealed that there were, in fact, no tears from Martinez, per Spox. Flick gave a rather diplomatic response when he was directly asked about it:
It’s clear that a player cannot be satisfied when he doesn’t play. Every pro has the ambition to play. But what was made out to be the case with Javi is too much. Every player will be needed and will get his chance with us.
After the match, sporting director Hasan Salihamidiz had said that Martinez’s exclusion from the starting lineup was probably due to “sporting reasons” from Kovac and the coaching staff:
Yes, I think there were purely competitive reasons for that. I wouldn’t know what else it might be. Of course it’s frustrating for Javi that he’s not playing. But the coach has decided in favor of this formation and the players must accept that. We have many games and Javi will definitely get his chance.
For Martinez, the occasion was especially upsetting because his partner and two children were at the Allianz Arena to watch the match, probably expecting him to play a part. To add insult to injury, it was his son Luca’s 3rd birthday, an occasion Martinez wanted to celebrate under better circumstances.