EUROPE NEWS

Van Gaal confirms Van Bommel as Bayern skipper

August 4, 2009

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has confirmed Mark van Bommel as his skipper for the new season and named Philipp Lahm as vice-captain.

GettyImages / Martin RoseVan Bommel: Bayern skipper.

The Dutch midfielder was given the captain's armband by Jurgen Klinsmann last season after Oliver Kahn retired.

However, the arrival of Anatoliy Tymoschuk from Zenit St Petersburg seemed to suggest that Van Bommel's place in the Bayern team was no longer guaranteed, but Van Gaal has decided that his compatriot will indeed be one of the first names on his team sheet next season.

"We have been observing his behaviour on and off the field over the last four weeks and the influence he has on the club and on the squad,'' explained Van Gaal's right-hand man Andries Jonker on the club's website.

Tymoschuk must now fear for his place in the Bayern team after being told he is only second-choice behind Van Bommel.

And since Van Gaal has made it clear that he wanted to choose a captain who will play every week, Tymoschuk may have to spend much of his first season in Bavaria sat on the bench.

"He cannot play in his best position in our system,'' admitted Van Gaal. "That is where Van Bommel plays. He could play on the right, but I have chosen Hamit Altintop for there. Every player is compared to his rivals and the coach makes the decisions.''

And Van Gaal is pleased to have Van Bommel conveying his orders on the field. "The players accept him like a captain,'' he added.