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Monday, January 10, 2011
Beckenbauer hits out at Van Gaal

Franz Beckenbauer has criticised Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal for not discussing his decision to make youngster Thomas Kraft his No. 1 goalkeeper with the club's management.

Van Gaal has indicated he will give the 22-year-old his chance in the first team in place of veteran Hans-Jorg Butt. Club legend Beckenbauer, Bayern's honorary president, admitted the decision made sense, but said Van Gaal should have spoken to sporting director Christian Nerlinger about it.

Writing in his column in the Bild newspaper, Beckenbauer said: ''Of course it's right that the coach alone determines who plays. But, in contrast to all the other positions, with a goalkeeper we are dealing with a key decision which can also influence the future planning of the club.

''It would have been wiser if Louis van Gaal had talked about such an important issue with those in charge at Bayern beforehand. He had to at least inform sporting director Christian Nerlinger, as his closest confidant, in advance. It would have been better still to have included (chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.''

Beckenbauer claimed Kraft had earned his chance in the first-team.

He added: ''Jorg Butt is a reliable goalkeeper and likeable sportsman who will not cause any trouble even with being switched to the bench. When a goalkeeper is 36-years-old, a coach must think about the future.

''Thomas Kraft has convinced in both his Champions League outings. You can make a sporting justification to give him a chance.''

Kraft played in Bayern's final two Champions League Group E games against Roma and Basle, but Bayern have been strongly linked with a move for Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer as they seek a long-term successor for Butt.

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