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Nerlinger: We've eliminated our weaknesses

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Nerlinger: We've eliminated our weaknesses

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:00 am

Bayern's 2011/12 Bundesliga campaign kicks off at home to Mönchengladbach at 5.30 pm this Sunday. The nation's most successful team has a new look to it this term, with five summer arrivals - Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Takashi Usami, Nils Petersen and Rafinha - and a new boss, Jupp Heynckes. The man responsible for coordinating all the changes is director of sport Christian Nerlinger.

Prior to the Bundesliga restart, the club's official journal Bayern Magazin spoke to Uli Hoeneß's successor about Heynckes, the new players, the rest of the squad, and his expectations for the season ahead.

Interview: Christian Nerlinger

Christian Nerlinger, with pre-season at an end, how much are you looking forward to the new Bundesliga campaign?
Christian Nerlinger: A lot! As we've seen, not everything has fallen into place yet, but we're certainly on course. We've worked very hard over the last few weeks and we've laid solid foundations. Overall, we can say it's been a very successful pre-season period.

A lot has been spoken and written about the positive atmosphere in the dressing room. Is that down to the influence of new boss Jupp Heynckes?
It's not the case that Jupp has simply made it fun for the players, because he lays down the law when necessary. He's so experienced, he's spent a lot of time abroad, and he's an expert at managing a team. He demands discipline, but he listens to his players too. And right from the start, he's made it clear we have to tighten up in defence. The evidence of last season is that this is precisely the right approach. We simply can't afford to concede as many goals as last season!

Heynckes has repeatedly spoken of the necessity to balance defence and attack. How long will it take to find the right balance?
Obviously, it's a process, and it depends on how quickly the players start doing things automatically. It's all a product of hard work, and it'll come once we get into playing competitive matches. However, as our last few friendlies showed, it's improving every time, and we're well on the way to establishing a regular line-up.

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry are both injured again. How has that disrupted the coach's pre-season plans?
Obviously, it's a little disappointing, but I think they'll both be fit in time for the Bundesliga restart fixture. Both injuries are only minor. And in any case, I reckon we can compensate for the loss of these outstanding players, if only for a short time, because we have the quality in the squad. But we don't want a repeat of what happened last autumn, when we had up to 10 players out with injury.

Are you satisfied with the make-up of the squad for the new season, or are there still weaknesses to be remedied?
No, I believe we've eliminated all the weaknesses. I think we can be very happy with this squad. It's an outstanding, evenly-balanced team, capable of going a very long way in all three competitions.

The squad now features eight current Germany internationals, including FCB youth products Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger. How important are these two for the club?
What matters is their form, and both have been models of consistency down the years. Both are fully accepted and respected by their team-mates. They're both leading personalities, and highly conscious of their duties as captains. Both have grown up at this football club and identify completely with Bayern. That's why they've signed up for the long term, and they're both important figureheads for our supporters.

Mario Gomez has also become a crowd hero, although he's set the bar high with his 28 goals last season. Do you believe he can repeat the feat this term, or could he even improve on it?
I do believe Mario still has a little bit in reserve. He's looked good in pre-season, and he really stood out in the Audi cup against Milan. I don't think I've ever seen him play as well as that before. I have great faith in him, and I think we'll really enjoy watching Mario play this season.

Sunday's opponents Borussia Mönchengladbach somehow retained their top-flight status in what was a minor miracle at the end of last season. Is it good or bad to have them visit Munich on the first weekend?
We have to beat teams like this. We have to be taking all three points from the fixture.

It's not exactly an easy first few weeks of the season. Bayern play Gladbach at home, Wolfsburg away, Hamburg at home and Kaiserslautern away, and also have the two legs of the Champions League qualifier in between.
Yes, we'll have to hit the ground running. Felix Magath will soon turn things around in Wolfsburg, and we've already seen the strength of the new Hamburg at the LIGA total! Cup in Mainz. And I don't need to tell you how difficult it's always been for Bayern at Kaiserslautern's Betzenberg stadium - last season wasn't exactly our first defeat there. But we simply have to make a better start this time. We aim to be up at the top of the table from the beginning. And we obviously want a place in the Champions League group stage, so the qualifiers are both extremely important matches for this football club. But I'm confident and convinced it'll all go well.

Looking back over your time as director of sport, what have been the most positive and the least good aspects of the job?
The worst moment was undoubtedly losing the Champions League final in Madrid, because we missed out on a historic success. The most positive side to the job is working daily with the team, who are all excellent characters and great personalities. That's the thing I most enjoy personally.
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Re: Nerlinger: We've eliminated our weaknesses

Postby quaazi » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:28 am

FCBayernNews wrote:Are you satisfied with the make-up of the squad for the new season, or are there still weaknesses to be remedied?
No, I believe we've eliminated all the weaknesses. I think we can be very happy with this squad. It's an outstanding, evenly-balanced team, capable of going a very long way in all three competitions.

Looks like it is official: no more purchases. Can't say I'm overly confident, but it could've been far worse.
The ideal team

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Re: Nerlinger: We've eliminated our weaknesses

Postby es_bih » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:42 am

He's officially stupid ... watch when Boateng is injured and we're back to square one. 2 CBs was a priority, or at least Vidal so that you can use Gustavo as CB more often so that he's not out of place in that position.
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Re: Nerlinger: We've eliminated our weaknesses

Postby vijay92 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 8:49 pm

Nerlinger is in his own world again to say the squad has no weaknesses.
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