Bayern Munich badly need a turnaroundMarch 6th, 2009 - 12:48 pm ICT by IANS
Hamburg, March 6 (DPA) Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich must pick up the pieces quickly after a midweek German cup disaster further fuelled speculation about the future of coach Juergen Klinsmann.
Unfortunately the Bundesliga appears to be the worst stage to do so, as Munich have won just once in the league in five 2009 matches ahead of Saturday’s home date with Hanover 96.
Hanover beat Munich in their first meeting and another success could prove disastrous for Munich who crashed out of the cup as holders 4-2 at Bayer Leverkusen Wednesday.
The Bild daily on Thursday noted “Klinsmann KO” and wondered how much longer club bosses would tolerate the poor form under Klinsmann.
Munich are lucky to remain in Bundesliga title contention, placed fifth just four points shy of leaders Hertha Berlin. That is because all other top teams are inconsistent as well.
“Now we must improve the team that we can reach our goals in the Bundesliga and the Champions League,” said general manager Uli Hoeness.
Forward Miroslav Klose said after the cup debacle “there is something we didn’t do right.” The nature of it has to be analysed by Klinsmann, whose team tactics have been questioned in recent weeks.
Klinsmann complained about bad ball movement but also said: “It makes no sense to lash out at the boys, we must rather look ahead.”
In this respect there appears to be hope as a survey by Kicker sports magazine on the eventual champions published on Thursday saw Munich on top with 34.3 per cent.
SV Hamburg (42 points) received 26.3 per cent, Hertha (43) 14.7, VfL Wolfsburg (39) 9.4 and TSG Hoffenheim (41) 5.1 per cent.
In its own assessment, Kicker gave Munich and Hamburg a leading 50-50 chance, with “experience speaking in favour of Munich.”
The league lead has changed four times in five 2009 rounds and the trend could continue Saturday.
Hertha travel to lowly Energie Cottbus whom they have beaten just once in five top flight meetings. Hamburg aim to rebound from their first home defeat of the season (against Wolfsburg) when they visit bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Wolfsburg, the form team of 2009, host struggling SC Karlsruhe Saturday, but received a home 5-2 battering by Werder Bremen in the cup. Mid-table Bremen hope to carry the momentum into a match at Hoffenheim whose long injury list now also includes Sejad Salihovic.
Elsewhere, seventh-placed Schalke 04 open the weekend action Friday night against Cologne. Like Munich, they are in a must-win situation coming off a 1-0 cup defeat against second-division Mainz, the latest setback in a below-par season.
Under-fire general manager Andreas Mueller told Kicker that “I will never resign here” and that coach Fred Rutten is “100 percent the right choice.”
The other games are VfB Stuttgart vs Borussia Dortmund (Saturday), Arminia Bielefeld vs Eintracht Frankfurt and Leverkusen vs VfL Bochum (Sunday).
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Tags: bayer leverkusen, bayern munich, bundesliga, champions league, debacle, energie cottbus, favour, first meeting, four points, german cup, hanover 96, juergen, kicker, sports magazine, team tactics, title contention, top flight, tsg hoffenheim, uli, vfl wolfsburg