Fiete Arp joined Bayern Munich’s first team for their winter training camp in Doha, Qatar. For Arp, the coming Rückrunde is a chance for a new beginning. Arp’s first season with Bayern never really began, after successive arm injuries sidelined him for the entire first half. In an interview with Sport1, Arp gave a mature, positive assessment of his situation and looks forward to helping the first team.
Asked whether he regretted his transfer to Bayern, Arp replied, “Definitely not.” He explained,
At FC Bayern, you have the best conditions as a pro, and even as an injured player nowhere are you in such good hands as here. No one could predict that I would fall on my arm a second time. That was simply very bad luck.
In light of his previous luck avoiding injuries, Arp looked at his unfortunate start at Bayern philosophically. “I probably had to bite into the sour appel at some point,” he said.
The timing of my injuries was unfortunate, but every young player has to go through that. Once you have mastered this path, it helps you for the future more than it hurts you. I’m convinced of that.
Despite his injuries, Arp came away from his first half-season in Munich impressed by the high intensity of training. He said, “Here everyone wants the maximum. No matter whether you win 5-0 or lose 0-2, that does not change anything about your basic attitude at the next training session.”
Interim head coach Hansi Flick is also someone who has made a positive impact on Arp even while his injuries had sidelined him. They have a very good relationship, he said:
Since he was assistant coach before, he built up a closer connection with the young players, particularly with me. I often trained one-on-one with him when I couldn’t train with the team. He recently told me that I should keep calm and not put myself under undue pressure. He also told me, however, that I should come back fit, start over and rev things up in the winter break. That goes without saying, though.
In the coming season, Arp hopes he will get a chance to play for the first team like his teammate and friend Joshua Zirkzee. He said,
Our roster makes it possible for even young players to have chances like seldom before at FC Bayern. You can see, after all, that many young players have already had minutes and used them. I’m happy when the injured players come back, but time off [for injury] always opens new doors.
Arp compared Zirkzee’s success in his starts to his previous experience in Hamburg, where Arp featured in several Bundesliga games. He draws inspiration from Zirkzee’s success:
I had a similar situation in Hamburg when I played carefree in my first few games. I had very good contact with Joshua here in Munich right from the start, so I’m incredibly happy for him. He also simply deserved it, because he’s a super player. His run was good motivation for me, because I saw moments that I knew from my own experience. I’m happy for the team and for him, because he guaranteed six points for us with his goals.
For the Rückrunde, Arp’s goal remains to “work for my place here.” His injuries may have “taken me two steps back” but “that was perhaps exactly what I needed. I was able to get used to the club that way. Hopefully, it helps.”
As for Bayern’s Bundesliga competition, Arp argues that Bayern is now doing the little things needed to win games again. “We’re the FC Bayern people know again. When the injured guys come back after the winter break, we have to pick up where we left off. If we do that, we’re a candidate for Meister.”