Bayern Munich begin the defence of their Champions League title on Tuesday with unrest in the Bavarian club after director of sport Matthias Sammer slammed the team for “emotionless” football.
Bayern warmed up for Tuesday’s visit of Russian champions CSKA Moscow with a 2-0 home win over Hanover 96 on Saturday with Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic and France’s Franck Ribery scoring second-half goals. But Sammer was scathing in his appraisal, accusing Bayern of playing “lethargic football”, “going through the motions” and “playing without emotion”.
His comments raised eyebrows as Bayern have won four of their five league games, only dropping points at Freiburg a fortnight ago when Pep Guardiola’s side drew 1-1 and are second in the league.
“I understand Matthias wants to pour oil on the fire, but I don’t think we need to fire things up at the moment,” said Bayern president Uli Hoeness.
Guardiola said Sammer was entitled to his opinion. “Matthias is very emotional, like me,” said the Bayern coach. “It’s the culture here in Germany for people who work in the club to give their opinion. We’d have a problem if that happened in Spain, but it’s normal here.”
Franz Beckenbauer said Sammer’s rant was in order: “I think Matthias is working under the motto: Fight from the start! I think his comments are called for. He had a legitimate point.”
But Lothar Matthaeus said he was “really shocked” by Sammer’s outburst: “The players need trust, not criticism. Comments like that just lead to a greater uncertainty, but that’s Matthias. I’m not sure whether it’s the right time to say something like that.”