Earlier in the week, FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen talked openly about being patient with his role as a back-up to Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer for the German national team. After a few days, however, Ter Stegen has thought about things more and is now reportedly unhappy with his standing on the squad.
Ter Stegen told Marca that his role as Neuer’s back-up over the recent international break was a “tough blow.” Clearly, that patience Ter Stegen talked over earlier in the week has been exhausted:
It is not easy to find an explanation [for nor starting] as I am giving the best account of myself in every game to make the decision more difficult. I am nonetheless trying [to become the first-choice goalkeeper], but this trip with the national team has been a tough blow for me.
The Mirror also captured a quote where Ter Stegen expressed even more frustration:
It drives me a bit mad. You give the best of yourself and you aren’t where you want to be. I have established my priorities. I want to be successful and the big objective I have is to be the first choice keeper for my country.
As Ter Stegen becomes more vocal about wanting to challenge Neuer, Germany coach Joachim Löw will have to weigh how to handle it. Neuer has done nothing to warrant losing his position as his recent performances for Die Mannschaft have been well-received, but Ter Stegen is also a world-class goalkeeper.
Some would say this is “one of those good problems to have,” which may be true — until you have to manage keeping both players happy. Both Neuer and Ter Stegen could make a convincing argument to be the squad’s starter between the sticks, but for now at least, it appears that Löw will stick with Neuer, the team’s captain.
Neuer, of course, released his own statement earlier in the week where he said he “felt needed”:
I have the feeling that I am very much needed here in the national team and that everyone is happy that I’m here.
After the latest quotes from Ter Stegen, however, Neuer may need to qualify his own statement with “almost everyone is happy” that he is still on the roster.