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Leon Goretzka fed up with questions about his starting spot at Bayern Munich

Goretzka has no patience left for the media’s games.

FC Bayern München v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

With Bayern Munich slowly emerging from the annual autumn crisis, speculation is rife about which players deserve to get minutes in the upcoming games. Having beaten Leverkusen and Plzen with solid margins, the Bavarians turn their attention to the game against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. Of course, when a big game like that comes up, the media redouble their efforts to get a story out of these players.

Following the big win against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, exactly one such question managed to irk Leon Goretzka. The Bayern midfielder responded with frustration at being asked about the club’s situation in the middle of the pitch:

“It’s in my nature,’ continued Goretzka, “and that goes for the other guys too, that we want to be on the pitch. That’s my ambition. But in the end these questions must be asked to Julian.”

Goretzka of course, has not been a starting XI regular this season. Having spent the early part of the season out with a knee issue, his usual spot was claimed by the resurgent Marcel Sabitzer. With the Austrian putting up excellent performances next to Johsua Kimmich week-in, week-out, Goretzka has found it difficult to play himself back into contention for a starting spot.

To be fair, Bayern’s #8 has had his fair share of solid performances, with the standout being his second half impact against FC Barcelona as a substitute. But with the Word Cup coming up, rumblings in the media have indicated that the 27-year-old would prefer more minutes to recommend himself for a place in Hansi Flick’s starting lineup. So far, that has not been forthcoming.

Meanwhile during the last international break, new signing Ryan Gravenberch also complained about his lack of minutes this season — for which Nagelsmann publicly reprimanded him during the Leverkusen pregame press conference. However, the Dutchman did also get rewarded with a starting berth vs Plzen, showing that the coach recognizes the need for more rotation to keep his midfielders happy.

Given the state of the squad, you can say that Goretzka handled the question as diplomatically as he could. Bayern Munich have a relatively deep squad this season, which has its advantages. However, the bench players will want minutes, especially if they’re all as talented as Goretzka, Sabitzer, and Gravenberch. If the coach can’t balance his players’ playing time, then he risks discontentment festering in the squad and derailing the entire season.

Interested in more Bayern content? Then why not check out our preview podcast for Der Klassiker? We discuss Nagelsmann’s setup, potential challenges, and BVB’s struggles through the years. Listen to it below or on Spotify.

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