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Rensing 'growing into' number one role

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Rensing 'growing into' number one role

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:15 pm

Not many people know that Michael Rensing has already won the German domestic double three times with Bayern. It's perhaps little surprise, as the 24-year-old generally performed a background role - until this season.

After fully five years as Oliver Kahn's deputy, Rensing stepped up to the number one goalkeeping role following Kahn's retirement from the game last summer. "I'm really enjoying it, and it's a fantastic feeling to be the number one," he declared on Monday in Dubai.

Rensing has protected the Bayern goal in every single competitive fixture so far this term. It has been a roller-coaster six months for the player, featuring both highs and lows. "We weren't sorted in defence in the first couple of months, and that includes me. But it improved all the time after that, and the last two months were really terrific," the former Germany U-21 international opined.

Evidence of progress

An easily-explained lack of match practice caused 'Rense' a nervous moment or two in the first few fixtures, but he has steadily emerged as a rock-solid last line of defence in all three competitions, and has earned his side more than just a handful of points with crucial saves. "Playing regularly has given me the rhythm I need," he reasons.

"We regard his development as very positive," commented Jürgen Klinsmann. It was never going to be easy for Rensing to follow in the footsteps of Oliver Kahn, one of the best goalkeepers of all time. "We've frequently spoken internally about the need to give him time. We had to allow him to make mistakes, as that was the only way he could grow. For us, he's definitely grown," the Bayern coach stated, "he's taken a giant stride, both as a personality and as a keeper."testWilling to learn

"You always appreciate praise," commented Rensing, heavily criticised in certain sections of the media in the early weeks of the campaign. However, even his predecessor Kahn frequently stated publicly that patience was essential with a young keeper. The man who ended up a legend recalled the shaky start to his own career. "My first season was a catastrophe. I certainly wasn't the finished product, far from it," Kahn was quoted as saying recently.

"Michael now needs to work on consistency, but that always takes longer for a keeper than an outfield player," explained Klinsmann, describing Rensing's progress as "positive and remarkable. We think he's doing a very good job, and we'll never make a huge fuss if he occasionally concedes a shot which he possibly might have saved." Rensing is keen to continue his footballing education. "I'm always looking to improve, even in my areas of strength."

Too many goals against

Rensing is entirely comfortable with constructive criticism, although he rejects any attempts to compare this with last season, when Bayern set a new Bundesliga record with a miserly 21 goals conceded. "Just out of interest, I was in goal for ten of those games, and we kept a clean sheet seven times." It was impossible to set a new record every year, he comments, although he is prepared to admit "we've let in too many goals this season, of course." Bayern are showing 24 goals against at the midpoint of the league campaign, and have only managed a clean sheet on three occasions.

However, the defence has looked increasingly solid in the last two months. "We still need to work harder in defence and keep it tighter," Rensing urged. "However, if we win the league, conceding 50 for the season wouldn't bother me." Should Bayern lift the shield, it would be Rensing's fourth league title, but his first as number one keeper - and therefore a triumph with special personal significance.
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