Public opinion doesn’t matter that much in sports, especially when it comes to injury. Whether Manuel Neuer will return to his starting spot for Bayern Munich and Germany depends on him, his doctors, and the respective teams’ coaching staff. However, when a poll with over 100,000 respondents comes back with such an overwhelming response, it’s something to take note of. Especially when that poll is conducted by kicker.
As seen on Twitter, it looks like the majority of kicker readers in Germany (who are therefore likely to be football fans) think that Manuel Neuer will not regain his starting spot at Bayern Munich. And even larger proportion think he’s done at the national team level.
Here are the results, via the ever-reliable @iMiaSanMia:
The reason for this sentiment is not unfounded, as Neuer is 36 and coming back from a lower leg break at any age is a challenge. His season is certainly over, and there is a real chance that Bayern could have to recall Alexander Nubel and promise him a starting spot to persuade him to leave AS Monaco.
However, the poll results also seem like a reaction to Germany’s poor World Cup performance, where Neuer was the captain and starting keeper. Opinions on the national team and its players have soured in Germany since the World Cup debacle, and that seems to be reflected in the percentage of people who think Neuer can’t (or shouldn’t) continue in his role as Bayern and Germany keeper. If his injury had happened before the World Cup, the responses might have been different.
Hopefully, public pressure doesn’t get to Neuer and he makes a full recovery. Whether Bayern have a replacement lined up or not, after the career he’s had, it would be sad to see him go out because of an injury.