VMaybe it just went too fast for Thomas Müller. In any case, it was one of those outrageously elegant and at the same time explosive movements by Jamal Musiala, who freed himself from the pressure situation against the onrushing Müller almost floating, but was rudely brought down after his lob over his Munich colleague.
The contact of Müller’s foot with Musiala’s shin was painful and had consequences, at least for the moment: Musiala was treated for a long time, Müller came twice to apologize, but all the encouragement didn’t help: in the end Musiala had to stop training. And when the photographers clicked, the observers in Frankfurt on Tuesday found it difficult not to think: another picture of a home-made crisis in the Bavaria.
Later the all-clear was given Musiala suffered a “small superficial wound”, said Franziska Wülle, the new spokeswoman for the national team. It would have been too unfortunate if the men’s national team’s first training session on the DFB campus had been associated with a loss report at all. Musiala’s condition was quickly no longer an issue at the press conference. However, Bayern’s crisis did – although the guests on the podium did not give the impression that they shared the public excitement of the past few days to the same extent.
first was Oliver Bierhoff asked. He sees the situation “not so dramatically,” said the national team director. His impression is that “a few things don’t work out” at Bayern. But he doesn’t see a “team that falls apart and has no strength”. Which, however, needless to say, would be extremely unfavorable for the World Cup prospects in Qatar.
A strong Bavarian core is the foundation on which Hansi Flick builds, even more than all his predecessors: not only because there are seven players in the current squad, including essential parts of Flick’s axis and also the offensive department, but also because of the game idea overall. And if up until a few weeks ago there was something positive to say from a German perspective about the unusual World Cup date in winter, it might be that Bayern weren’t in the best of shape in the summer.
Neither Flick nor Bayern themselves would have imagined that now, two months before the start of the tournament, this would be even more of a mystery. In this respect, it was of national football interest on Wednesday, what Joshua Kimmich would say, who took his place on the podium after Bierhoff. In short: there was an answer that was meant to reassure, and one that could also be a little worrying.
First the good: Kimmich also agreed with Bierhoff’s point of view that the results in particular were not right for the Munich team, “You get really angry,” said Kimmich, especially since the draw and the recent defeat against Augsburg “wouldn’t have been necessary”. There were enough opportunities. And so to the worrying thing: that Kimmich also felt during the training game in Frankfurt what was chasing him last in the Bayern jersey: a multitude of chances, in the end a defeat – “symbolic”, said Kimmich, for whom defeats of all kinds are known to be more painful than every kick in the shin.
The national team has known about efficiency for a little longer. When Bierhoff was asked on Tuesday about the biggest construction sites on the way to the hoped-for World Cup success in Qatar, he came up with the following: “That we have to be even more calm” and games “in which we actually dominate and play well”, too to win.
“We often leave a gap in the door open,” he said, referring to the series of draws in the first half of the year before the 5-2 win against Italy and warned for the two upcoming Nations League games on Friday in Leipzig (8:45 p.m. in Leipzig). FAZ live ticker for the Nations League and on ZDF) against Hungary and on Monday (8.45 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the Nations League and in RTL) against England in Wembley “Focus and Concentration”. Two months is a long time in football, but a “boost of confidence”, as Bierhoff called it, would be nice. Or, as Kimmich put it: “At the end of the day, it’s about the results. We’ve seen that at FC Bayern too. They also give you self-confidence, self-assurance and a certain self-image.”
Who pushes whom – that is the question that the football nation can now look forward to (in addition to the Bundesliga table) with suspense. Bayern the national team, or vice versa? In any case, it’s largely the same players in different jerseys. The fact that the question is actually a bit more complicated and could also have something to do with the role of the “nine” in football in general and that of a certain Julian Nagelsmann in particular was only dealt with cursorily on Tuesday.
It was certainly a mistake that Kimmich did not answer the question about the sometimes severe criticism of Nagelsmann. However, Kimmich must have deliberately kept silent about who missed the most chances, even if he was impressively robbed of success by Nico Schlotterbeck and Armel Bella Kotchap. Timo Werner is a completely different story.