Complicated situation at Bayern
Where to go with Thomas Müller?
01/10/2023 10:27 am (updated)
The Munich football icon Thomas Müller had to deal with many problems in the first half of the season. Even at the World Cup in Qatar, things didn’t go well for the 33-year-old. For Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann, he remains an “important player”.
Where to go with Thomas Müller? The long-time top performer and deputy captain has to fight hard for his position in the Munich team after numerous problems and downtimes in the first half of the season and a disappointing football World Cup in Qatar. The direct competitors are the outstanding youngster Jamal Musiala, 19 years old, in the tenth position and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, 33 years old, who was able to focus on goals as a centre-forward.
The Cameroonian’s contract expires at the end of the season. How things will continue in the summer is still unclear. An extension is definitely an issue. However, there are rumors of a top transfer from Munich in the summer (especially Harry Kane) and of the player leaving this winter. At least this scenario does not seem particularly likely.
“It will be one of the positions”
In the heavily occupied Munich offensive, coach Julian Nagelsmann plans with the 33-year-old Müller “in one of the two positions up front, ten or point”, as he said in the training camp in Qatar. So in the place where the national team with seven Bayern professionals suffered a bad shipwreck a few weeks ago. “Basically, Thomas can play several positions, but the more central ones suit him the most. He’s very creative when it comes to staging players. It will be one of those positions.”
During the bitter failure in the desert, national coach Hansi Flick was accused, among other things, of sticking too much to the regular Müller. Despite poor performance and good alternatives on the bench. But for Flick, the Munich player is not only set because of his leadership qualities and his pressing strength, but indispensable. The national coach made that clear again and again before the tournament.
Due to various mandatory breaks, Müller only made 14 appearances in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League in the first half of the season. He has three goals and six assists, very decent. “Thomas is an important player for Bayern, an important player for me,” Nagelsmann emphasized in Doha. “He has extraordinary abilities, especially when it comes to assists, which also includes one or the other unconventional action in the opponent’s penalty area.”
“We need every player in top condition”
Of course, Cameroon’s World Cup participant Choupo-Moting “did it very well”. And youngster Musiala is also playing “an outstanding season. Jamal also played a very good World Cup with a very bad quota. Nevertheless, he was a conspicuous player.” Many experts, including Lothar Matthäus, consider the 19-year-old indispensable. They even see a future world footballer in the flexible attacking player. However, Müller is also making a very good impression in the current winter preparations, said Nagelsmann and added with a view to the coming months: “We have an extremely large number of games. We need every player in top condition, whether it’s Jamal, Choupo or Thomas .”
If Müller “makes 17 assists again in the second half of the season, then we’ll all be happy. If he makes ten assists and scores ten goals, we’ll be happy too,” said Nagelsmann: “There won’t always be a fixed eleven, we’ll change. We need Thomas and we’re glad he’s healthy again.”
(This article was first published on Monday 09 January 2023.)