“We have taken many steps in the right direction,” said the coach after the defeat against the leaders on Sunday. The experienced coach does not want to be disturbed by the next confirmation of the downward trend. Nobody has to worry about not continuing to believe in his team, he assured, “there is no doubt about that, which does not mean that we are not self-critical”.
Christian Gross, 66, could have spoken these sentences after FC Schalke’s 4-0 defeat against Bayern Munich. He would have drawn a benevolent but not unsuitable conclusion from the meeting of the two clubs at the weekend. However, the statements come from Jürgen Klopp, who has just made a surprising and unpleasant discovery: his team, which is used to success, has forgotten how to win. The 0: 1 in the league game against a club called Burnley FC was now followed by the 2: 3 in the cup against top-tier Manchester United.
Klopp’s problem is not an isolated phenomenon in Europe. The old world is not yet in turmoil, but at least it is in turbulent disorder. England, Spain, Italy, France, the established rulers everywhere have to fight for their power and with their fallibility. Only Germany is a place of stable conditions again. A few days ago the people wanted to believe in an upheaval when FC Bayern was kicked out of the cup at the second division Kiel and left the field as a loser in Mönchengladbach, but the forces of the restoration quickly fought back. There is no longer a hint of revolution in the air.
“Sometimes we make the game too slow”
When Hansi Flick sat in the deserted press room in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday, he didn’t talk about the upcoming championship win and the table, in which his Bavarians have recently been seven points ahead, but about a few minor worries Jürgen Klopp had or his colleagues at Real Madrid and Juventus Turin would like to have. Flick has already returned to everyday life as a football teacher, in which he is not challenged by the structure itself, but by small-scale technical issues. In order to describe what had bothered him during the game against Schalke, the coach laboriously searched for the right words, and at the end he formulated a sentence that is neither suitable for headings nor for hope for an exciting championship competition: “Sometimes we make the game too slow, sometimes we take too much risk. “
In fact, the poorly formed bottom of the table, Schalke 04, has never attempted the shot on goal as often as on Sunday against the triple giant during this really tricky season. Suat Serdar and Mark Uth even shot quite sharply, but with the respect for Manuel Neuer and his four-meter long rubber arms, they were positioned so that they just missed the target. In order for the opponents to keep their distance again in the future, FC Bayern is now even pushing the sounding out for defensive personnel. With RB Leipzig’s defender Dayot Upamecano, Flick has loud Kicker already had a conversation. “It was too easy for Schalke,” he complained this time, far from worry.
Triumphantly showing your fist to the competition after a week with three victories is not Hansi Flick’s style. Oliver Kahn’s old reflexes are present in the team, they are just expressed differently. From Joshua Kimmich, for example, who complained to the referee about almost every ball win by Schalke during the game because he apparently considered the theft of a Munich ball by a third party as an administrative offense, or from the double scorer Thomas Müller, who was satisfied with the start of the second half of the season: ” We wanted to round it off with a Bayern matchday. ” Bayern opponents will cry out in agony about the claim to ownership contained in this statement, Bayern friends will welcome it as a regular expression of the club ideology. It’s the old signals. The fact that Leroy Sané was not satisfied with himself despite a committed appearance, which he did not hide from anyone after his substitution, his coach did not consider it necessary, but also not wrong: “If he is dissatisfied today, then it is his decision “said Flick.
The result on Sunday can be seen as a stage win
Just recently, experts had speculated with the help of psychological specialist reading whether the Munich-based company could even develop the ambition for the sequel after a season with so many titles. But even the violently touched reaction to the Kieler Pokal-Aus had shown that the leading representatives of the team no trophy is too small or too familiar to not want to win it again. The result on Sunday can only be perceived as a stage win. Flick couldn’t help but confirm the effect (“We used the competition’s template”), but a preliminary decision for the season? “Total bullshit!” In his opinion, a seven point lead is nothing more than “a certain cushion”.
While Schalke tried to use their honorable resistance as encouragement for the relegation battle, Flick praised the excursion to the west as a further approach to the prescribed maximum position (“still have to do something to regain dominance”) and as an introduction to the Resumption of the Champions League in three weeks. Lazio Rome is then the opponent in the round of 16, which of course is only an intermediate goal. According to the current state of affairs, it looks as if Bayern could spare a few strengths for the tasks in Europe in the everyday business of the league – unlike the usual competition from Spain, Italy and England.