Thomas Müller has not been in the starting lineup in recent weeks for Bayern Munich, but Thomas Tuchel finally started him against Schalke and it paid off. Müller scored the first of Bayern’s six goals in the 21st minute, opening the floodgates in what would end up a 6-0 win for the Bavarians.
Asked about all of the noise about him, Müller downplayed the situation. “I’m not new to this business so it didn’t bother me too much. It was certainly exaggerated. The coach decides the lineup and distributes the roles. Of course it’s logical that every player wants to be on the pitch,” he told Sky Germany after the big win (via @iMiaSanMia).
Müller started in a position just tucked behind Serge Gnabry, who was the most advanced player for Bayern from the start, but the interchangeability in positioning was fluid, as is often the case when Müller is in the attacking lineup. Jamal Musiala, Kingsley Coman, and Leroy Sane lined up alongside him and were equally as effective with their fluid movements, taking advantage of spaces afforded to them by Müller’s off-the-ball movements. Such was the case for Müller’s goal with the excellent linkup play he exhibited with Sane just inside Schalke’s penalty area.
It seems every player will have chances to shine, and Müller is just finding his way into the sun once again.
“The coach distributes the roles variably during the season, it’s not agreed beforehand: ‘You’re the bench player and it will stay that way’ — We can all have these discussions in the future, but now we have a title race,” Müller added.
For Müller, the players coming off of the bench are just as important as those that start the match.
“You could see that the players who came off the bench in the past few weeks have also brought energy. That’s what it’s all about. The newspaper with the four letters still sells a few sheets with my name and you, TV stations, make it easy to spark discussions,” he explained.
So, what of those recent reports that the career Bavarian might end up leaving Munich as soon as this summer?
“Things get critical when it’s written as if it’s my opinion or as if they know what my thoughts are. I still have a year of contract at Bayern. My heart is red,” Müller concluded.
Can’t get enough analysis of this game? Wanna know why Thomas Muller turns everything he touches to gold, or why Noussair Mazraoui is such a gem of a footballer? Or are you curious about Musiala’s recent struggles and how they can be fixed? Well check out our postgame podcast where we talk about that and more! Listen to it below or on Spotify.
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