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Neuer satisfied, but says there's more to come

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Neuer satisfied, but says there's more to come

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:30 pm

Manuel Neuer's 2011 featured a raft of highlights, including the first trophy of his career (the DFB Cup with Schalke), being named Germany's Player of the Year, moving to Bayern, and winning half a million Euros for charity on celebrity Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Unsurprisingly, the 25-year-old has described 2011 as "a successful year. I can be very satisfied personally."

That particularly applies to the last six months. The Gelsenkirchen-born player switched from home-town club Schalke to Bayern, where he immediately proved a rock solid last line of defence. FCB conceded a miserly 10 goals in the first half of the Bundesliga campaign, and are thus on course to match or even break their own league record of just 21 goals conceded in 2007/08. Manuel has already set one new club record, by keeping a clean sheet for the equivalent of a little over 12 matches in a row in the autumn. The streak lasted 1,147 minutes, or 19 hours and 7 minutes of play, some 36 minutes more than Oliver Kahn's previous club record.

Hoeneß impressed

Neuer reckons his first half-year in Bavaria was "very positive. It's the first time I've ever moved clubs, and I faced a number of new situations. But I was very warmly received, and I've acclimatised to the club quickly." The Germany goalkeeper continued in a similar vein: "And I do believe I've already become an important member of the team. All in all, I can be satisfied with my first half-year."

In turn, the Bayern board is very pleased indeed with the new first-choice keeper. "Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world," Uli Hoeneß recently declared, "he's a personality who fits to Bayern like hardly anyone else. It's not just that he has good hands, he has a good brain. The board made exactly the right decision to bring this player to Munich. He can be our solution in goal for the next 10 years."

Heynckes highly satisfied

Manuel has quickly settled into the dressing room too. "He's terrific, not just as a goalkeeper, but also as a person," declared Mario Gomez. Neuer has kept 10 clean sheets in the league so far, more than any other rival top-flight keeper. Jupp Heynckes is understandably delighted with his number one. "He gets involved in the play, he plucks balls out of the air and injects pace into the game - it's exceptional," the head coach enthused.

The switch to Munich meant Neuer had to adapt to a new situation out on the field, because he now has far fewer shots to save than in the past. In the Bundesliga season so far, he has been forced to deal with a per-game average of just 2.4 on-target shots at his goal, the lowest figure in the league. "It was a change, but it wasn't a problem," the keeper reported, "sometimes, nothing at all happens for 30 minutes, and suddenly I have two or three players right in front of me. It's important to concentrate the whole time and mentally join in the match."

Still room to improve

The 25-year-old has mastered the task placed before him superbly well so far. However, as the club prepares for the crucial second half of the campaign, Neuer is aware that his good start in Munich counts for nothing any more. "I have a decent half year under my belt," he said, "but I know there's still the potential for more. I think I can up my game a little bit in the second half year." Manuel hopes to reach the end of 2012 looking back on another set of highlights, including plenty of silverware with Bayern.
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