It is starting to become a familiar script.
Bayern Munich falls on its face, and while most of the team slinks away to stew on their defeat, veteran Thomas Müller is sent out to deal with the heat — whether that of the away fans, as in the DFB-Pokal defeat at Saarbrücken, or the media, as in the 5-1 smashing at Frankfurt this Saturday.
This despite Müller having only come on as a 66th-minute substitute. Not really fair, is it?
“No, not at all. That’s part of the job,” Müller quipped after the match in response to just such questions from the media (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “You’ve been asking questions for five, ten or 15 years — no matter what the result is. We both love our jobs and that’s part of it. Although of course we don’t like to lose.”
Still, the German media tried to see if there was any bitterness in the 34-year-old veteran, who has been simultaneously reduced to a bench player under Thomas Tuchel while still being first choice lamb for the media. They asked: that same job belongs to his teammates who played, too, doesn’t it?
But Müller was having none of that and resolved the matter decisively.
“They do it often enough,” he responded. “But of course: If you have a penalty taker who converts penalties very confidently, then you send him to the spot. When it comes to interviews, Manuel Neuer and I are the most experienced here. That’s why I keep showing up. It wouldn’t be smart if the 19-year-olds stood here now and maybe let themselves be led onto slippery ice.”
In doing so, Müller is showing he still has much to offer to Bayern — even and perhaps especially off the field.
Looking for more thoughts and analysis on the match? Check out our Postgame Podcast on Spotify or below: