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Heynckes happy with Boateng and Usami

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Heynckes happy with Boateng and Usami

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:20 pm

Jerome Boateng and Takashi Usami both officially joined Bayern just over a week ago. Both made starting debuts at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, and both made an extremely promising first impression. The pair showed flashes of real talent in the AUDI Cup 2011 final, excelling against Barcelona at times, and providing ample evidence of why FCB were so keen to bring them on board.

"That was a good game from Jerome," Jupp Heynckes enthused after the final whistle. The 22-year-old passed his first real test in a Bayern shirt with flying colours. He did appear in the not entirely serious 16-2 victory over a fan club team in Passau, and also played the last 19 minutes of the AUDI Cup 2011 semi-final against Milan.

"He did very well today against top-class opponents. He was solid and composed in defence," Heynckes continued. The Germany international had not played for three months due to knee surgery prior to joining Munich, and is still finding his feet at his new club, as the head coach pointed out. "And bearing that in mind, he played very well indeed," Heynckes concluded.

Sensible and artistic too

"It's a good feeling. I'm enjoying turning out for the team, because I've been really well received," Boateng said following his first couple of weeks in Munich. The stopper feels he is slowly but surely approaching peak form. "It's a long time since I've played in central defence, but I think I'll soon get used to it again," commented the player, who has mainly featured at right-back in recent seasons.

Confronted with the likes of David Villa, Andrés Iniesta and company, Boateng deployed a combination of good vision, composure, and total physical commitment where necessary. He even resorted to an artistic back-heel when the occasion demanded, but also showed he has a good shot on him with a 74th-minute effort which so nearly brought Bayern back into it.

Allianz Arena premiere

Otherwise, the best of Bayern's attacking moves against the powerful Catalan visitors originated with Usami. The 19-year-old looked particularly good on the turn, twisting and scheming his way past the Spanish champions' defence time and again in the first half, during which he laid on three of Bayern's four chances. "Once again, he's shown he's a good footballer. Once we settle him down physically, he can be a very good player for us," Heynckes analysed.

The AUDI Cup 2011 final was Usami's first run out at the Allianz Arena, his first start for his new club, and his first 90-minute appearance. He featured both on the right and on the left wing. "I can play on both wings, but I found it easier getting into the game today when I was on the left," he commented.

A 'totally different world'

The Japanese starlet, who is permanently shadowed by an interpreter at the moment, feels he is settling in well at Germany's biggest club. Heynckes understands that Usami will need time before adapting fully to German culture and Bundesliga football. "It's a totally different world for Takashi here," the coach declared.

The player is already quick, but will need to work on his physique, the boss said. "Physically, he's not yet fit enough to keep up with the pace when we don't have the ball," the coach reasoned. Usami himself understands what has to be done: "There's plenty of room to improve," he said, a sentiment shared by Boateng. However, both can be pleased with their first real tests in a Bayern shirt.
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