Panic never sleeps in the heart of many a Bayern Munich fan. Ten Bundesliga champions on the spin won’t stop some of the anxiousness — and negative reviews — about the team’s performance, even in the midst of victories. It’s natural enough for a fervent supporter of any team, and all the moreso when it comes to a marquee summer transfer window signing.
Yet Jürgen Klopp has one core message for those still worrying about Sadio Mané’s transition from his Liverpool team to Bayern Munich: R-E-L-A-X. In an exclusive interview with Sky’s Florian Plettenberg, the legendary German coach — who is enduring his own rough patch in the Premier League with the Reds — broke it down for the Bavarian faithful.
“Sadio will do his utmost. He always does,” Klopp said. “Not every week; nobody does that. But with extreme frequency.”
If anything, Klopp suggested that perhaps some are underestimating just how big of a change it was for Bayern to lose Robert Lewandowski to their current Champions League group stage rivals, FC Barcelona. It isn’t that Mané isn’t a player of top quality — “he’s world-class”, quipped Klopp — but rather that a change in the style of playing after so many years isn’t straightforward.
“When that’s gone, you first have to get used to the situation again,” he said. “And you don’t have to pretend now that Bayern has been playing lights out every single matchday for the last ten years. Questioning everything now will certainly not happen at all at FC Bayern. They were prepared for it to be a bit of a jolt.”
Not to mention Lewandowski’s unique goal-scoring capabilities!
“Again! You had the fixed point in world soccer up front,” Klopp emphasized. “Robert Lewandowski. He scored goals from chances that weren’t even chances! In the end, you win 4-0 because Lewy made it 1-0 in a moment when there was no chance of scoring. That is simply forgotten...
“But I’m sure that everyone at Bayern is relaxed in this regard. And with my wisdom of 55 years, I would advise them to be relaxed.”
As for if he missed his former player?
“A good guy and top player. But missing sounds like I still want him here,” Klopp mused. “The way it went down was top-notch. We knew that he would do something else without breaking up in a bad way. That has to be possible in life. Missing? Yes! But I’m also glad he’s where he wanted to be.”
Healthy advice and healthy attitudes from one of the game’s best. Hear, hear!