Matthias Sammer defends criticism
Bayern Munich director of sport Matthias Sammer has defended his recent comments about the team's attitude despite appearing to upset club president Uli Hoeness.
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At the weekend, Sammer -- who replaced Christian Nerlinger in the role in the summer of 2012 -- had told the squad to get “out of their comfort zone” and hit out at them for “playing football without any emotion”.
However, Bayern are currently second in the Bundesliga, having claimed four wins from their five games to date, as well as defeating Chelsea on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup, and Hoeness felt the remarks were unnecessary.
He was quoted as saying in kicker: “I understand that Sammer wants to bring up a painful subject -- it’s just that I don’t see that there is any painful subject to discuss.”
In Bild, he added: “We will certainly not discuss this because the impression we’d give would not be a good one. It makes it sound like we lost three of our five games and drew the other two. In Dortmund, they are dying of laughter.”
On Tuesday, though, Sammer told ZDF that he has “a super relationship” with Hoeness, and said: “I always say Uli is FC Bayern’s dad, and the dad always has to keep an eye on the big picture.”
Sammer -- who warned last November that Bayern could end up a “laughing stock” if they became complacent -- said he was merely concerned that the team were again in danger of failing to play to potential.
He told Sky: “Of course, I am a bit concerned. If we don’t win the league this year, we have only won one title in four years. That can’t be Bayern’s aspiration.
“It’s about the leap we made last year -- from good to very good. Now we need to go from a good level to a very good level.”
Pep Guardiola, who took charge after Jupp Heynckes had led the team to the Treble last season, accepted Sammer’s criticism and said he would have to adjust to the German approach to handling the press.
“That’s the culture in Germany,” he said. “The people at the club can express their opinion in media. If that happened in Spain, you’d have bigger problems. There we are not used to that.”
The players also appeared to have little objection. Bayern centre-back Jerome Boateng, in an interview with the Bayern website, said: “Matthias Sammer doesn't say anything that isn't of value. I think the team has to accept the criticism, because we have a lot of games and need to concentrate on those.”
Midfielder Toni Kroos, speaking at the pre-match press conference before Tuesday’s Champions League game with CSKA Moscow, said: “As the sporting director, Sammer has every right to say what strikes him. Whether he is right or not everyone has to decide for himself. I can handle it.”