Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer indicated that he had heard Die Mannschaft teammate Marc-André ter Stegen’s remarks this week regarding the 27-year-old FC Barcelona star’s desire to be the starter for Germany.
Neuer is the team captain and, as you can imagine, was not pleased to hear a teammate griping publicly about his status on the squad. Speaking to Sky (as captured by Abendzeitung), Neuer questioned Ter Stegen for airing his grievances publicly rather than keep his complaints in-house:
Of course I noticed that. Basically, I think we are a team and we should do everything we can to perform like one. I don’t know if this will help us as a team.
Ter Stegen started the week by stating that he was going exercise patience, but his demeanor underwent a sudden change in the following days. By Friday, the calm approach was no longer working for Ter Stegen:
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.
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.
Neuer, however, think this situation can be worked out during the next international break in October:
The team is the most important thing.
Twitter account @iMiaSanMia captured more of the interview where Neuer addressed the goalkeeper group as whole and how the players need to support each other:
Neuer: "We have great goalkeepers. We have Kevin Trapp, Bernd Leno, these are all great goalkeepers who also want to play and then sit on the bench. We are a team. We have to stick together. The goalkeepers also have to stick together" pic.twitter.com/y5Ftwxdqy9— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) September 14, 2019
With the German team anything but stable these days under Joachim Löw, the last thing anyone in that locker room needs is another bout of the type of internal strife that was going on during the 2018 World Cup.