Ex-Bayern director Sammer, coach Ancelotti battle for Mueller & James

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Berlin, July 21 (IANS) Former Bayern Munich director Matthias Sammer and the Bavarian football giant’s head coach Carlo Ancelotti are in a war of words over the value and the future of Bayern forward Thomas Mueller after James Rodriguez was recruited from Real Madrid.

The Colombian forward was Ancelotti’s choice and is expected to be one of Mueller’s strongest rivals when it comes to a place with Bayern. While Mueller is the favourite of Bayern’s fans around the globe, the 26-year-old 2014 World Cup winner with Germany was mostly sidelined by Ancelotti last season in important games, reports Xinhua news agency.

Sammer accused the 58-year-old Italian star coach of underestimating Mueller’s value as an identification figure and spiritual leader for the record German champions.

Ancelotti, not mentioning the name of Sammer, fired back by saying nobody has to tell him about the history of the club and this particular player.

Sammer accused Bayern club leaders such as CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and president Uli Hoeness of not delivering enough support for Mueller. According to Sammer, Rummenigge and Hoeness have to make clear how important such a unique type of player is for Bayern. Mueller needs to feel the club’s trust to be able to secure future success, Sammer said.

Sammer told German media that he is not convinced of James qualities as the Columbian is far from an ideal candidate for the flanks due to lack of speed. While Mueller is able to either play along the flank and change positions up front and in midfield, James is only a man for the position behind the team’s spearhead. When people talk about James, Sammer said, “I hear a lot about his variability. But I don’t see that variability.”

After Bavarian identification figures such as Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire) and Philipp Lahm (career end) left the club it is important to count on Mueller, Sammer added.

Bayern need a new identification figure taking responsibility, deliver motivation and leadership qualities. Mueller is the soul of the club and its future, Sammer stressed.

Likes on social media channels should not count when it comes to the value of a player, Sammer added.

Ancelotti and James have best memories when working together at Real Madrid in the 2014/2015 season. Ancelotti was impressed by James’ skills, so much so that he picked the Colombian 46 times.

Ancelotti pointed out that James is not only a competitor for Mueller but for Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery as well. While James and Mueller both played in a friendly against the English side Arsenal FC, problems for Ancelotti will arise after the German club’s return to Munich. In the last weeks before the 2017/2018 Bundesliga season curtain raiser on August 18, Ancelotti will have to deal with several hot-spots in his squad as all players are expected to be back for action and will demand to play.

Ancelotti stressed that none of his players can take playing for granted and that includes James. If the Colombian does not deserve to be in the starting eleven due to unsatisfactory training performances or games, he will be sidelined.

Meanwhile, Hoeness reportedly told Sammer not to talk about Bayern in the future. He said if Mueller is on a top level there will be no doubt that he will be one of the club’s key players. The quality of Bayern`s squad has improved, Hoeness said, as there is competition among the players. That is something positive for Hoeness as it will create new motivation to constantly perform at a high level. “Everyone is aware they can’t afford a bad performance,” Hoeness said.

–IANS

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