FC Bayern Muenchen v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

Bayern Munich boss angry that Bundesliga clubs won’t postpone season


Germany’s World Cup run has some ‘club or country’ repercussions for Bayern Munich, and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is none-too-pleased that his Bundesliga peers aren’t helping him out.

The Bundesliga is set to launch its next season on Aug. 22, and Rummenigge had asked the other clubs to postpone the start of the season in order to give more rest to players involved in the World Cup’s final matches.

They said no. And Rummenigge is ticked off.

[ MORE: Bayern unveils new No. 9, Robert Lewandowski ]

Bayern had 15 players on World Cup rosters, including six on Germany (seven if you count Toni Kroos, who just left for Real Madrid). And Rummenigge thought a little rest and respect was in order for his men, who served their country up a world title.

From the Associated Press:

Rummenigge tells Bild, “That was rejected on the grounds it was the only chance to give Bayern problems.”

Bayern had nine players involved on the final weekend of the World Cup – seven on the victorious German side, as well as Dante and Arjen Robben for Brazil and Netherlands, respectively, in the third-place playoff.

Rummenigge says “I miss the solidarity among the clubs that send many players to the World Cup.”

But how much solidarity should’ve been expected by the reigning champions? The Bundesliga had loads of players on World Cup rosters, and Bayern weren’t alone.

They do dominate the list of Bundesliga teams with players playing in the tournament, knockout rounds and final weekend, but should the domestic league bow to poor Bayern because they have the fiscal power to keep such power on a roster?

After all, how many of the players who share the honor of a roster spot on both teams were developed by Bayern?

Manuel Neuer? No, bought from Schalke. Jerome Boateng was purchased from Manchester City and Mario Goetze was a high-profile pull from Borussia Dortmund last season.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller were all brought up by Bayern.

Here’s a very quick (and perhaps inexact due to the ongoing transfer window) run we took through the World Cup rosters to get a feel for how much more representation Bayern had than the other Bundesliga clubs.

Representatives at World Cup (total players/# in knockout rounds/playing final weekend)
Bayern Munich (13/11/8)
Borussia Dortmund (8/6/5)
Schalke (7/3/3)
Wolfsburg (7/4/1)
Hannover (3/1/1)
FC Augsburg (2/1/1)
Borussia Monchengladbach (2/2/1)
Mainz (5/1/0)
Stuttgart (4/0/0)
SC Freiberg (3/2/0)
Eintracht Frankfurt (3/2/0)
Bayer Leverkusen (3/1/0)
Hamburg (2/1/0)
1899 Hoffenheim (2/1/0)
Hertha Berlin (1/1/0)

Does Rummenigge have a gripe? What say you?

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

[ MORE: Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott ]

There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?

Olivier Giroud: “I must harden myself” to unseat Walcott

Olivier Giroud, France
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Is it just me, or does the press really only ever get noteworthy quotes from players during international breaks?

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

I suppose it’s not surprising, given Premier League players get away from the mean ole British press, go back to their respective homelands and speak with journalists they’ve likely known since their early playing days, thus feel more comfortable opening up about key issues.

Anyway, today we have Olivier Giroud essentially calling himself out for having lost the starting striker’s job at Arsenal because he’s been outplayed of late by Theo Walcott. As discussed before, this is bad news for Giroud because he’s now falling down the depth chart for France with next summer’s European Championship on the horizon.

[ MORE: Aguero admits he wants Guardiola link-up ]

Giroud, on losing his place at Arsenal — quotes from the Guardian:

“At Arsenal, I am in competition with Theo for the striker position. But he is doing well at the moment, so there is no reason to change.

“Whether it was at Tours, Montpellier or Arsenal, I have never experienced a situation like this, I have often played from the start. I need to take positives and to harden myself mentally. It is something new for me.

“I was in [Walcott’s] place in previous seasons at Arsenal. I imagine what he must have been thinking. But I feel that the coach believes in me.”

Giroud goes on to cast into doubt his own confidence, stating in very certain terms he needs “to believe more in [his] abilities.” Giroud’s always come across as a bit of an existentialist, but it’s always strange to hear players publicly call themselves out — particularly their confidence — as if that’s not going to increase the pressure currently weighing down on them.

[ MORE: Rodgers reportedly chosen to take over at Aston Villa ]

The next eight months are going to be monumentally important in Giroud’s career, as the 29-year-old attempts to prove he’s worth keeping around at Arsenal and deserving of a place in the national team squad for next summer’s EUROs, which are to be played in France.