Thomas Müller tried everything: left foot, right foot, headers. In the current Bundesliga campaign he had taken 27 shots on goal until the 76th minute in Saturday's home match against Wolfsburg, but a goal just refused to come. And then it was so easy. A blocked effort by Arjen Robben meant Müller got the ball, unmarked, six yards from goal, and all the native Bavarian had to do was rely on his nose for goal. He netted the ball clinically with the inside of his right foot.
"It wasn't a brilliant, beautiful goal, no outstanding individual performance, but a little forced and lucky," commented Müller after he finally scored "that damn goal" following a spell of a dozen Bundesliga fixtures or, to be precise, 999 minutes. "It's nice the drought is over," a relaxed Müller added. "All the attention didn't matter to me though. I was relatively untouched by the issue. I was looking for the goal, but it didn't drive me mad."
Carlo Ancelotti had been equally unaffected by Müller's scoring drought in the last few weeks. "Of course I'm delighted for Müller," the Bayern coach said after the striker's maiden goal in this season's Bundesliga campaign, "but he also does a good job out on the pitch if he doesn't score." Like Franck Ribéry, Müller boasts five assists so far, the most of all Bayern players. He has already set up as many goals as he did in the previous campaign.
However, a goal-getter needs to score himself. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge remembered his own active career. "I've experienced it myself and in the case of Gerd Müller," the former world-class forward said before leaving the Allianz Arena in the best of moods on Saturday evening. "I had to motivate him a little, we had a bet running that he scores," revealed Rummenigge. "He lost the bet in every respect."
"I've already paid. Mr Rummenigge was delighted of course," a laughing Müller commented as he left the changing room after a shower, surprised at himself: "It was a bit odd that I bet against myself." At least it helped.