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Bayern plan major team rebuilding exercise

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Bayern plan major team rebuilding exercise

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Apr 22, 2007 10:20 pm

22.04.2007

Bayern received a surprise visit on Sunday morning when a group of FC Cologne adherents, clearly spending a boisterous weekend in Munich following the second division club's 3-1 defeat against TSV 1860 on Friday, showed up at the Säbener Strasse training ground. The merry band made their intentions plain with a series of songs and chants, the gist of which was: "We've come to get Poldi back."

Naturally, former Cologne star Lukas Podolski did not join the fan club for the journey back to the Rhineland, but a clutch of his current team-mates may well be on the move at the end of this season. "We'll definitely undertake a major team rebuilding exercise," coach Ottmar Hitzfeld announced on the day after Saturday's pivotal 2-0 defeat to VfB Stuttgart.

<b>Performance below expectations</b>

Following his side's eighth away defeat of term, Hitzfeld was making no secret of the fact that Bayern are poised for what could be the most wide-ranging set of squad changes in recent years. A glance at the Bundesliga standings provides ample evidence of the necessity for the move.

Just a year after completing back-to-back domestic doubles, Bayern are practically certain to end the season without silverware, and even the minimum target of third place looks increasingly out of reach, as Munich lie five points adrift of VfB with just four games to play. For the first time in a decade, the Champions League appears unlikely to feature the men in red. "We've fallen below expectations," Hitzfeld freely conceded.

<b>Planning for the future</b>

However, the seasoned coach believes the demoralising situation could prove a huge opportunity for Germany's most successful club. "Sometimes, you need a hard landing before you really understand where the problem lies and where you have to improve. It's actually a much better place to start if you're about to rebuild." A week and a half after a sobering 2-0 defeat against AC Milan, the coach felt even that result had a positive side: "Making the Champions League semi-finals might have papered over some of the cracks."

The end of the season will herald a detailed analysis of the current playing staff. "We'll look at each individual player, assessing his performance and desire. That makes the next four weeks enormously important for every player and for me." Hitzfeld and the board of directors are already planning for the future. "Obviously, we don't wait until the end of May before thinking about next season. We have to be prepared for anything, make sure we have alternatives, and think hard about the way ahead."

<b>Hitfeld inspired by rebuilding</b>

Mehmet Scholl (retirement) and Hasan Salihamidzic (Juventus, free transfer) are definitely leaving the club, while Jan Schlaudraff, Hamit Altintop and Jose Ernesto Sosa have already signed contracts for the new season. Those changes represent only the start of a major overhaul, likely to continue for the next weeks and months.

Hitzfeld will share the fans' excitement during that period, as the coach is determined to lead the club back to the top. "I'm inspired by the prospect of rebuilding with some new players," he declared, insisting the exercise would be a success: "Bayern has been Germany's most successful club in the past, and will certainly remain the most successful over the coming years."
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Postby MUTU » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:23 pm

A related news article published by Reuters:

BERLIN, April 22 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld warned his players in a 90-minute meeting on Sunday that their days in Munich may be numbered if they keep playing as poorly as in their 2-0 defeat at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.

"I'm not going to put up with this anymore," Hitzfeld told reporters. "I'm having to start doing some kicking. At the end of the season we're going to analyse every single player's performance. The next four weeks are thus extremely important for every one of them."

Fourth-placed Bayern have 53 points from 30 games, five behind third-placed Stuttgart. They have a fight on their hands to claim one of three spots in next season's Champions League, a competition they have qualified for every year since 1997.

"Sometimes you have to fall flat on your face to see where the weak points are before you can make a fresh start."

Bayern sporting director Uli Hoeness ordered his players not to make any comments to the media after the humiliating Stuttgart loss. But Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer said he saw a silver lining in the club's worst crisis in years.

"I'm happy that we're getting knocked around," Beckenbauer told Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "That can give the club a new direction, a chance to say 'Let's go'. The last year things have stagnated. It wasn't the Bayern with a fighting spirit."
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Postby tracylynn » Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:04 am

Good! I hope that scares them to play like they're supposed to play. They may have been able to get away with that under Magath but Hitzfeld is not going to play their little games and I don't blame him. Get rid of the dead before they really stink up the team.
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Postby Walls » Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:26 am

Thats what i like to see.
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Postby Mirage » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:05 pm

"I'm not going to put up with this anymore," Hitzfeld told reporters. "I'm having to start doing some kicking. At the end of the season we're going to analyse every single player's performance. The next four weeks are thus extremely important for every one of them."


Well, this has got to motivate them now. I'm feeling more positive about this situation. They aren't painting over it. Hitzfeld is echoing everything we're saying.
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Postby tracylynn » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:17 pm

Yeah, it is really time for them to clean the house and I'm glad to see that Hitzfeld making it clear to the players what he's doing and that he's not going to play around with them.
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