Sammer warns against complacency
Bayern Munich sports director Matthias Sammer has warned the club risk becoming a laughing stock if they allow complacency to derail their outstanding start to the season.
After only 11 games, Bayern have opened up a seven-point gap on second-placed Schalke in the Bundesliga while Borussia Dortmund, champions in the previous two campaigns, are 11 points behind.
Bayern have spent wisely, with Mario Mandzukic - signed from Wolfsburg - currently the top scorer in the league, while Javi Martinez's arrival has allowed Toni Kroos to move up into central midfield, where he has been a revelation. Perhaps the most significant arrival, though, has been Sammer.
In 2002, while coaching Dortmund, he had become the youngest ever coach to win the Bundesliga title, and he went on to enjoy a successful spell with the DFB as sporting director. He left that post in the summer to join Bayern, and it would appear the 45-year-old has instilled a new mentality as the club seeks to win its first major trophy since 2010.
Ahead of Bayern's annual general meeting, Sammer told the club's official website: "Obviously we can be satisfied to this point, and success will give us confidence for the journey ahead, but we can't allow ourselves to be affected by satisfaction, and we mustn't let up in any circumstances."
Last season, Bayern had opened an eight-point gap to Dortmund early on in the season but began to falter in November and ultimately finished eight points behind Jurgen Klopp's men. They also finished as runners-up in the DFB-Pokal and Champions League.
"Last year definitely rates as good, but the fact is we can't be satisfied with good this season," Sammer said. "We're aiming for very good - and that means trophies! We can't turn around in May and say: 'Well, we had a very good phase until early November'. We'd make ourselves a laughing stock."
He added: "We have exams to pass this year, and certificates will be handed out at the end."
Bayern president Uli Hoeness had said during the summer that the club should stop using the phrase "Mia san mia" - which implies a sense of superiority - until they return to the top of the game, and Sammer is pleased that the players appear to have understood the message.
"The players' statements at present are reserved and focused on goals, and that's exactly right," Sammer said.