Pep Guardiola on Friday contradicted the mole in his camp by insisting the atmosphere is ‘really good’ in the Bayern Munich squad and denied there is disharmony amongst his players.
Magazine Kicker created a storm in the German media this week by quoting an unnamed Bayern player, who claimed the squad’s spirit is ‘not good’, then leaked details after Guardiola’s demands for more professionalism.
Bayern’s head coach will leave in May after three years in charge, but until then he insists he is simply doing his job.
The 45-year-old wants more professionalism after several players were carrying ‘a few extra kilos’.
And he insists Bayern’s stars must remain in Munich on their days off to rest properly in the coming weeks as they bid for the treble of Champions League, German Cup and Bundesliga titles.
– Extra kilos –
“A few players were carrying a few extra kilos and that is why I said we need to be more professional,” said Guardiola in a Munich press conference with his team eight points clear in Germany’s top flight.
“We have nutritional advisors who keep an eye on the players weight, it’s like that everywhere.
“You can’t win titles when the players aren’t professional.
“I also spoke to captain Philipp Lahm and (director ofsport) Matthias Sammer and said that it’s not good if players fly off in the weeks when we only have one game, they need to rest.
“I am here only to do what is best for my players, that’s all.
“I just want them to be happy and healthy, we do absolutely everything for them.
“We talk to them about how important nutrition and sleep are.
“If you don’t look after that, you can’t win many titles.”
Guardiola refused to say which players were overweight and seemed relaxed even though this is the second time he has had to deal with a mole in the Bayern camp.
“I saw the same in my first year here. When I talked to the squad, the details were in the paper the next day,” said Guardiola, who wants to coach in England next season.
“That is just the way it is.
“I tried to stop it happening, but it didn’t make any difference.
“I’m not friends with any journalists here, I don’t have their numbers to ring them up.”
– Total trust –
Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt quit as Bayern’s team doctor last April after being blamed for injuries in Bayern’s quarter-final, first-leg away defeat to Porto in the Champions League, before eventually reaching the semi-finals.
Several of Bayern’s stars are still treated by Mueller-Wohlfahrt, who has superstar Usain Bolt amongst his high-profile clients, and Guardiola has a problem with that.
“I let the doctors do their job. I don’t know anything about medicine,” said Guardiola.
“I trust Mueller-Wohlfahrt completely and the relationship with the medical department is better than it was.
“When a player wants to go to see him, it’s no problem. Of course, we are speaking to each other.”
But Guardiola does have problems in defence with Jerome Boateng expected to miss the next three months after tearing his groin last Friday in the 2-1 win over Hamburg.
It means Guardiola’s only two fit centre-backs in Holger Badstuber and Javi Martinez will start Sunday’s league match at home to Hoffenheim in a new partnership, although Medhi Benatia should return from a leg injury next week.
“There are qualities which Martinez and Benatia has which Boateng doesn’t, but of course I am worried,” said Guardiola.
“We have done everything to prevent Jerome’s injury, but it still happened.” – Agence France-Presse