Bundesliga – FC Bayern Munich: the regular place of Thomas Müller has disappeared – Oliver Kahn and Julian Nagelsmann want competition

By Stefan Kumberger

Munich – The phrase that is heard and read again and again when Thomas Müller threatens the bank may even annoy the 33-year-old himself: “Müller is still playing”.

Words that Louis van Gaal once forged and which have become a kind of credo in Munich. But on Säbener Straße, it’s that time again: the discussion about Thomas Müller has begun. Isn’t he currently rather a candidate for the bank? Will it soon be: “Müller never plays”?

The performances of the national player were not good publicity in themselves: at the World Cup in Qatar, Müller bravely fought against the troublesome elimination from the preliminary round, but he was unable to give real momentum.

And his appearance in the test against RB Salzburg could also be improved (ran– Note 5).

Thomas Müller does not want to overvalue a weak friendly

“We don’t need to read too much,” Müller said after the match, defending both his performance and that of his colleagues in the supposed top 11, who were substituted completely after 63 minutes when the score was up. of 1:3.

“It’s nothing new after an intense training camp. We’ve been through this many times in the past,” says Müller, allaying fans’ worries ahead of the game at RB Leipzig (Friday from 7:00 p.m. LIVE on SAT.1 and ran.of).

But what the Bavarian veteran has never known before: his place in the center, where Müller says he “feels at home”, is this time seriously threatened. Julian Nagelsmann wants him in the lead or in tenth position, “because he is very creative in putting his teammates in the spotlight”. The coach announced after the training camp in Qatar that he would probably occupy one of the two positions.

Müller was once able to oust competitors like James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho because the South Americans lacked a lobby in the club and their statistical values ​​were no better than those of Upper Bavaria.

Jamal Musiala is seeded in the tens position

It’s different now with Jamal Musiala, who has every right to claim the place behind Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. The 19-year-old is the league’s top scorer (nine goals, six assists) and worked his way into a league with various world stars at the World Cup.

The 19-year-old has won 27 of his 52 dribbling tackles in attack in Qatar and is the leader in this ranking – ahead of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar. A silver lining for the World Cup Musiala should also be placed for Bayern and Lothar Matthäus has good reason to describe him as ‘Bavaria’s only world-class player’.

So only ninth position remains for Müller. A role he can fill, but not nearly at the level of the past. The 33-year-old went into hiding against Salzburg and simply didn’t deliver enough for this important position. “Overall you’re less on the ball, you have to get used to it, but I can handle that,” says Müller, but it looked different to neutral observers.

As things stand, Choupo-Moting would probably be the best choice – even though he has only been training again since Monday. In Leipzig, he will be back in the team.

The return of Choupo-Moting makes it even more difficult for Müller

Müller’s problems are therefore called Musiala and Choupo-Moting. So will Nagelsmann’s problem soon be called Müller? As a reminder: whenever Müller didn’t get the playing times he had imagined, it became uncomfortable for the respective coach. Carlo Ancelotti and Niko Kovac can tell you a thing or two. They also failed because Müller is not only Upper Bavarian, but also Upper Bavarian.

His influence as a vice-captain, fan favorite and well-connected identifying figure in the club should not be underestimated. Discussions about Müller are gaining momentum faster and more violently than with other players.

Oliver Kahn takes responsibility for Müller

CEO Oliver Kahn is almost a first small warning shot in the direction of Thomas Müller: “Of course he is not getting any younger. But – as you know, Thomas Müller – he will face the competition. Then you will see, “said Kahn on Tuesday at the request of ran And to add: “With his character, his mentality, his unconditional desire to win and this pure identification with the club, he will always be an important personality for the club. I have no doubt about that.”

Strong words, but does Müller’s importance still apply unrestricted on the pitch?

Julian Nagelsmann also sees the problem, but the Bayern coach is not looking at his cards yet. “Thomas had a phase where he got injured a lot. It’s completely normal that there are duels, that he has to fight and that we try to find his place. Competition stimulates business .”

This is not a van Gaal guarantee of commitment. Müller is still playing? Those times are over for now.

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