⚽ E. Choupo-Moting (31), ⚽ K. Coman (40), ⚽ J. Musiala (45)
By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
FC Bayern München head-coach Julian Nagelsmann gave every indication that, after some recent floating in-and-out of his starting XI, Thomas Müller was once again part of his permanent plans. The FCB trainer spoke on Müller at a post-match presser yesterday.
|Thomas Müller.||Photo: Werner100359, CC BY-SA 4.0|
The notion that German footballing legend Thomas Müller may be permanently past his prime or might have outlived his usefulness isn’t anything new. Müller has been counted out before by those responsible for coaching him at the level of both club and country more times than anyone can reasonably count. The discussion surfaced yet again surfaced when, after the turn of the calendar year, the 33-year-old dropped out of Julian Nagelsmann’s starting XI once again.
After a benching against PSG in the Champions’ League and an early subbing off for tactical reasons in the league last weekend, it seemed as the 2014 World Champion was once more being relegated to a permanent reserve role. In quite the familiar pattern, that trend got completely bucked in the most recent league encounter. Müller served as a flexible lead-striker alongside Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in a unique FCB constellation that demanded much of him.
Müller delivered two assists in the 3-0 win.
“I would have liked him to follow up with another goal or two,” Nagelsmann noted at last night’s post-match press conference, “But he prepared two goals and made a great case for himself. We also got into a lot of good offensive runs through him, with Choupo-Moting and the eights behind him. I was very pleased.”
Whether or not Müller retains this role in Nagelsmann’s plans remains to be seen. Sadio Mané’s long awaited comeback off the bench yesterday means that someone will ultimately have to make way for the Senegalese superstar at some point when he is ultimately fit again. The FCB trainer nevertheless practically guaranteed that Müller wouldn’t be benched again in the near future following last night’s performance.
“Even if he doesn’t play sometimes, he is a very important discussion partner for me,” Nagelsmann said of Müller, “He also keeps the club and the team in mind and places them above himself. He supplied a top performance today. Moving forward, we’ll be wanting to stick to a certain stable axis in the coming games. Thomas is a part of it.”