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Thomas Müller

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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby IsiahRashad » Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:24 pm

Great game by him and the team. It's looking like he's got more freedom when he's not playing with Lewandowski, which is great for his style and game.
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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby tuscanybayern » Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:38 pm

Thomas Muller IS Bayern.

He is one of the most valuable players in the 10 position in the world and the ONE AND ONLY RAUMDEUTER. He is the fucking thermometer of Bayern, if we play great football from a tactical standpoint than he is always our 1st or 2nd or 3rd best player on the pitch. Otherwise he seems almost useless on the pitch but that's not his fault. Unlike other players, there's no such things called "shape" for Mr Thomas Muller.
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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby IsiahRashad » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:39 pm

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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby aterford » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:24 pm

You may find this interesting. It's a conversation between Michael Caley and Mike Goodman, mostly on Muller and his role at Bayern. It's from their podcast. Caley is the guy who does the popular xG graphics and Goodman does player 'radars' for Statsbomb.

It's pretty long, but worth the read.

Michael Caley: I guess the place to start is with what Muller is doing this season – which is unquestionably great, and at Bayern (especially since Kovac left) he has sort taken over the 10 role behind Lewandowski.

Mike Goodman: Sometimes he’s played it from the right. Sometimes he’s played that role as a right winger, as opposed to the 10. But this is all like classic, throwback Muller stuff – where he does the sort of support striker-y stuff, no matter where you put on him the field (whether it’s on the right wing or at the 10 – or as the striker, for that matter).

MC: And while he has only scored five goals in the league, this season, he’s assisted 14 – which puts him over a goal or assist per 90, in the league. And his xG — those assists are a little inflated, but he’s still at nearly – a little under – 1 xG + xA per 90. Massive numbers.

The thing is, when you go back and you look at Muller’s stats from previous seasons, he’s also doing a ton of shot assisting. He’s had some really, really cold finishing seasons. Last year, there was this sort of "Thomas Muller might be done for" thing that came up a few times, and I was like "well he’s kind of running at 50% of xG. He’s scored 6 goals in the league from 11 expected goals. He also assisted 10 from (again) over 11 xG Assisted. So he’s only at 0.5 goals and assists per 90, but 0.75 xG and xA per 90. So really it’s a finishing thing. 2017/18, he basically had the same xG numbers but his goal numbers matched them – so he was around 0.8. 2016/17, his finishing (again) is below average – 8 goals from 10-11 xG. But (again) in the 0.7 range for goals and assists per 90.

Each year, he’s putting up tons of shot creation numbers, and I think part of the story here is really a simple "Thomas Muller absolutely never went away and last year he couldn’t find the back of the net for several months," and that turned into a story about him being different. I think when you dig down a little further, you find more. But I think you really need to start with this guy has been creating shots at an elite rate and taking a good number of them, at the same time, for each of the last four seasons.

MG: I do think, though, that part of what happens here, is that as a youngster, he was not known as a shot creator but a shot getter and goal scorer. You know, when you look at him breaking on to the scene – his 22, 23, 24 year old type seasons – you think of the year Bayern won the Champions League. You think of him being the CF at the 2014 World Cup for Germany. You think of him as a goal scorer. The nickname he got as the "space interpreter" was about him not touching the ball and then showing up and scoring goals. So when you then look at the last four years, the four years really of his prime – age 25 to 29, 26 to 30 – and you say "well he never really went anywhere because his shot creation numbers were elite – well that’s him doing something different than you sort of thought that his primary skill would be in the peak of his career.

MC: His shot production numbers when he was younger also were excellent. Even when he came up, and his goals were what he was famous for, he was still – if you do comparisons to youth players – Muller’s seasons sort of pop when you’re looking at the best early 20’s seasons. And one of the reasons they pop is not just the goals. He was always adding in shot assists and assists to the goals.

MG: But absolutely the understanding of him as a player was like, "wow, he’s a great goal scorer." By the way, us stats guys were saying, "look at all this other stuff he can do." And then you flow into his prime, and you’re like, "well the goal scoring is still okay, but look at all this shot creation."

MC: The goal scoring and shot attempts are stable or down a bit from when he was younger, and he has improved in other aspects.

MG: Right, and we haven’t even talked about sort of defense and pressing from the front, where he is also at elite levels.

MC: The thing that has changed is his involvement in buildup. That’s the thing that’s clearly different. If you look at this year’s Bayern team, and one of the reasons we started in on this topic is that we wanted to talk about how ludicrously good this Bayern team is, and they seem to have the momentum in front of them. And like everyone on that team, they are just constantly moving the ball into the penalty area.

Serge Gnabry, who we’ve talked about on the pod before, absolutely stupid numbers. 2.5 passes into the penalty area per 90, and 3.5 received per 90. Muller is disappointingly merely at 2 passes completed and 2 passes received per 90. Coman is not too far off from Gnabry’s numbers, Coutinho is putting up pretty similar numbers to Muller.

MG: Can I ask, when your stats are passes into the penalty area per 90, are they specifically from outside the penalty area to in? Or just passes that somebody receives in the penalty area per 90?

MC: These are out to in. I realized I should have within, as well. If you did within, I think all of these players would pop even more. When you’re having this much possession inside the penalty area, that’s just going to happen.

MG: Right, exactly. And Thomas Muller, his passing numbers in and around the box this year are quite, quite good. But the point we’re making is that’s not really new, for him. But he is also now doing more passing than he has been for the last few years, outside the penalty area.

MC: He’s both an elite outlet and an elite creator. This is sort of the raumdeuter, that he is able to find space and be able to be an outlet and receive the ball and move possession forward. In past seasons, though, if you look back – especially to 16/17 and 17/18 – what you see is that Muller’s shot creation numbers are in the same range, his shot and goal numbers are (again) good not great, but he mostly is an outlet. He’s mostly receiving forward passes, and not making nearly as many forward passes. He’s at like 5-6 progressive passes received, 8 or 9 passes into the final third received. 2016/17 season he’s receiving 4 passes into the penalty area – which is amazing! But he’s only at like 1.8 progressive passes per 90, less than 1 pass into the penalty area per 90. He’s just an outlet. As an outlet, he’s then sometimes making passes into the penalty area to others that create shots. He’s not particularly essential to the team’s ball progression with the ball at his feet. He’s basically essential to the team’s ball progression off the ball. And that’s what he was in 2017/18.

And now, he’s doing both. Now, he is much more moving the ball forward into the final, third moving the ball into the penalty area, and being an outlet to receive passes – which is just a significantly more valuable role.

MG: Where he’s played on the field has changed – a bunch. The system’s he’s played under have changed – a bunch. Right now, under Hans-Dieter Flick, it seems like this is absolutely perfect for him. You wonder if during the Guardiola years, perhaps that wasn’t the easiest fit for him. He played plenty of minutes. He played kind of as a central midfielder, but as a central midfielder – on that team – as you were saying, he wasn’t really involved in the build up. The wingers were doing a lot of the buildup, and he was just getting forward to be an extra body in the box from midfield – which he could do, because he was also a pretty good defensive presence. It was just a weird role, and it was – for a guy who it seemed like was maybe going to become one of the premier players of the game – it was not clear that this was a maximalist use of the things he could do on the pitch.

MC: And because they were getting so much of everything from Robben and Ribery, as well as from whoever their other winger would be (Coman, or whoever it was).

MG: Costa in there for a couple of years.

MC: Right, Costa. That was the big one. Those guys did so much of the ball progression (as well as literally everything else), Muller could take a support role, and be a guy who was available for their passes – be a guy who could make a final pass to get a shot of or get his own shot off. And be an essential part of the press. But the attack ran through Robben, Ribery, and Costa.

It’s not a bad way of doing things. It just left Muller in a secondary role. This team, although they still have do everything wingers. Gnabry is putting up very, very Arjen Robben-y numbers. They’re using Muller in a more sort of…

MG: Arguably, you now have wingers who are more concentrated around the penalty box than doing ball progression.

MC: Exactly, they are doing their work around the penalty area, but they’re not doing as much in midfield – and Muller is dropping back into midfield to do more, as well as being around the penalty area to create.

MG: So at 30, he’s still here and he’s just putting up massive numbers. And it looks like he’s just become more featured since the team has gone from Kovac to Flick. He’s just an integral part to what is an absolutely dominate Bayern attack. Just a hugely successful attack.

MC: We’ve spent enough time talking about how teams in the Champions League that won by large margins definitely can be beaten in the second leg, but I’m not worried about them against Chelsea. I’m just fascinated to see whether anyone can slow this team down, at the rate that they’re going.
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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby DRvad14 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:38 am

‘It was a bit Wild West’ – Muller on life after Pep and Bayern’s resurgence
Spoiler: show
For a man who called himself “the space interpreter”, Thomas Muller’s entrance is almost comically on-brand. He just suddenly appears in the box — Bayern Munich’s windowless press conference room, in this particular case — having found a way in through a disused side-door. “Where have you come from?” asks his team-mate Serge Gnabry in genuine wonderment. “Through the kitchen,” Muller shoots back, taking visible pride in his intricate knowledge of the club’s HQ layout.

Gnabry, here for an TV interview, has shown up in a dust-coloured, spotted streetwear shell top. It’s an invitation for some gentle mocking that Muller simply can’t resist. “You’re a leopard!”, he shouts. But the 30-year-old is himself surprisingly fashionable, combining a soft blue jumper with grey flannel trousers. It’s a Prada nerd-deluxe look with a hint of landed gentry, which is, of course what Muller is, in more than one sense. Together with his wife Lisa, he breeds horses on a country estate and he’s also just been reinstated as the part-owner of another significant real-estate: the Allianz Arena pitch is once more his to roam.

Following a frustrating spell on the fringes of the Bayern Munich team during Niko Kovac’s reign, Muller has thrived under successor Hansi Flick. His nine goals and 17 assists have played a major role in his side’s renaissance and there’s a strong sense that everything’s right again in this part of the world. The forward soon goes into full “Radio Muller” broadcasting mode — as his very apt changing room nickname has it — in an adjacent glass cubicle, discussing Bayern’s improved form, the long shadow of Pep Guardiola, his memories of the 2012 Champions League final and his chances of playing for Germany again. Muller has so much to say that the interview lasts well beyond its allotted time slot. “He didn’t stop talking. He was in such a great mood,” The Athletic tells a Bayern press officer by way of apology. “I know,” comes the official’s reply.
Bayern are top of the league again but perhaps more importantly, the performances have improved no end since Flick took over in November. Are you now playing the best football since Pep Guardiola left?

Muller: That’s too much, for my taste. But we’ve had a few games since the winter break that showed quite a lot of the things we want to see. Not just in terms of the goals we’ve scored but also the way we were able to dominate the opponent. But these are not things you can put into your shopping trolley and then they’re yours to have. It’s important to see why games like that, why performances like that, happen. A lot of work goes into that. You have to make the runs, especially without the ball, to put pressure on the opposition and to get the ball back. That work needs to be done. There’s no point otherwise.

The team’s return to form has coincided with an improvement in your own performances. Your goals and assists tally is pretty impressive, considering you’ve played a lot on the right side of attack, not your favourite position…

It’s definitely not my dream position but I try to move inside and get into the box, if possible. That’s not a new thing. If it doesn’t work out in a game, people are a little quick to say: “He can’t play there.” It gets a bit tiresome. I can be effective on the right and help the team but if I’m too isolated, when there’s no one getting into the inside-right half-spaces, I don’t have that many weapons to help the team.

It comes down to creating depth, especially against deep defences…

Absolutely. The question is, how do we play as a team in those games? How many times do I get to touch the ball? How many times do I get into situations where I can be valuable? If I’m completely by myself and we lose the ball quickly, I’m less suited to creating danger than our specialists on the flanks, who can do that with their dribbling skills. If our passing rhythm is high and we have lots of possession, you get more time as a forward to pick the right moment to make a run inside or look for a combination. It’s much better that way.

What has Hansi Flick done to get you going again?

I don’t like comparing coaches. I know it’s common to speak about your former and current superiors in football but that would never happen in normal business life. No one would be crazy enough to rate their boss in public.

It’s OK if the verdict is positive, isn’t it?

Yes, but if it is positive, there’s immediately a suspicion the predecessor wasn’t as good.

Honorary president Uli Hoeness said parts of the team wanted to get rid of Niko Kovac…

There is basically only one reason why coaches get fired: lack of success. Some don’t get on with the people above them. But even then, they keep their job if they’re successful. Every club wants to be successful. We weren’t able to play good football under Niko Kovac in both autumn spells [in 2018 and 2019], generally speaking. We did play some good games, from time to time. We did do some good stuff. You can play badly and win or you can play well and don’t win, for a while, but if you don’t win enough games, the coach will be questioned. The team weren’t happy about not winning, that’s obvious. We didn’t sit down and decide one person was to blame. We knew that we made many mistakes. We didn’t perform well or lost thanks to individual mistakes. That’s not down to tactics. A coach can’t do anything about these situations. But the aim for every coach must be to prevent those type of situations from arising in the first place. We — the team, and the coach — weren’t able to do that.

Why are you winning now, then? The players haven’t changed. If anything, you’ve had quite a few injuries.

You can see the changes — it’s not difficult to analyse. We’ve changed the way we play “against” the ball. We attempt to disrupt the opponents’ game in their own half, no-holds-barred. It works quite well. But there is no perfect system. Playing a high defensive line, you leave a lot of space behind for the opposition to use. You have to be very switched on at the back, to figure out whether you should drop or push up for an offside. If the defenders get it right, much is won. We worked hard on that and have tried to instil these processes. The lads also see that it’s more fun chasing a ball when you get a reward for it, by creating chances up front. It’s less fun to to chase ball only to be able to play it sideways outside your own box. That’s the difference, in a way.

But the beauty and the horror of football is that you can still lose games you dominate if your finishing is off or you make a couple of mistakes against quick opposition. That’s what happened when we lost against Leverkusen at home. That’s how it is. You can’t be flawless. Even Liverpool, a team who have been dominating in England and Europe for a year or so, don’t wipe the floor with teams all the time. They win matches with a regularity that’s frightening but it’s not as if their opponents never get a chance to score or never get a goal, it’s not as if their games are never tied with 10 minutes to go. They’re simply on a run right now and they have the skills you need for it.

The same could be said of Bayern right now. If “the best Bayern since Pep” is too much for you, what about “the best Muller since Pep”?

That’s down to the criteria you want to apply. I have scored a few goals in recent weeks — that has been nice. Generally speaking, things have changed because our team has changed since Pep. Due to his influence and quality, Franck Ribery was more of an assister than a finisher. In all those years, we had so much possession and Franck would always look for you in the box. Now, we have Serge [Gnabry]. He’s best when he goes for goal himself. He’s extremely good with his left and his right. When he’s dribbling into the box, he’s going for goal 80 per cent of the time. And he’s right to. Three years before, it was a different scenario. Ribery went into the box with a view to finding someone to finish the move for him.

But if we subtract all the shots that Arjen Robben used to take, the net effect should be zero.

Arjen did a lot. He linked up much more with team-mates than neutral observers perhaps realised. That’s why it’s a little different now. I agree I’m having a good spell but it’s tough to rate myself. Pep’s been gone for a while now. Our problem has been that we haven’t been extraordinarily brilliant in the meantime. With Carlo Ancelotti, Jupp Heynckes and Niko Kovac, Bayern were never supremely dominant. Nobody on the outside said that we were ridiculously good because we didn’t show up in that way. That’s why it was also much more difficult for individual players to shine and receive universal plaudits. I do hope that we will rediscover our touch.

You’re saying that your fortunes and those of your team are closely linked?

For my game, structure is super-important. It has to be clockwork. I see myself as a cog. I can throw my qualities and playing characteristics into the mix and I can help the team improve that way. I will never be a player who picks up the ball outside his own box and goes past three men. That’s harakiri [a Japanese ritual suicide]. My game becomes very good when Bayern are able to spend a lot of time in the final third in a controlled manner. That’s when my strengths come into play. I also try to provide defensive cover but that’s not the main job. When we manage to have stability, when we’re in control of the build-up and the game, I find it easier to have a positive impact. We weren’t able to do that in the years after Pep. It was a bit Wild West, at times. The control that we had stood for as FC Bayern was gone. There was sense that anything could happen. Maybe it was more entertaining that way for the spectators.

Did Pep ruin you as a team in the sense that nobody’s been able to coach you and get you to play quite as breathtakingly well in the same way since?

To exert the kind of dominance we had under Guardiola for most of the time, you need to work extremely hard in training. That’s the problem. It’s incredibly exhausting mentally. You need to repeat things — repeat, repeat, repeat, until they’re second nature. For Pep, it was normal to push his players that much. Other coaches have different ways of working. With Carlo Ancelotti, we were unlucky to get knocked out against Real Madrid [in the 2016-17 Champions League quarter-finals] when there were two wrong offside calls. We also had a player sent off [Javi Martinez in the first leg and then Arturo Vidal in the second]. I understand why some found our extreme dominance under Guardiola boring but that sort of total control can’t be reproduced as a carbon copy. You can’t say, “They’ve learnt all that stuff from Pep. They simply have to keep playing that way.” That’s not the issue. You have to work at it every single day.

You said the other day that teams need clear instructions, the same way you needed a shopping list in order to buy the right ingredients for dinner in the supermarket. It sounds like those clear instructions were missing before Flick took charge.

I didn’t mean it that way. I’d like to flip it around: it’s simply easier, as an employee, if you can go down your list of tasks and know exactly what you’re supposed to do. In the supermarket, you can still think about what you want to buy, even if you don’t have a list. But on the pitch, things happen too quickly. If I, as the right forward, put pressure on the ball but my right-back isn’t 100 per cent sure what the right move is for him, the situation is already over. He’ll be too late, by that one metre. Then the opponent plays past me. It goes without saying that it’s a lot easier if the whole team are on the same page. Right now, it feels as if a lot is possible for us in 2020.

2019 was a strange year for you. On the one hand, Bayern won the double. On the other, you were knocked out by Liverpool in the last 16, Joachim Low stopped calling you up for the national team and Niko Kovac referred to you as “an emergency option”.

It was a bit weird. The issue with the national team goes back to our catastrophic World Cup. It took a while for the national team manager to decide on a path forward. He picks his team; you have to deal with that. With Bayern, I felt that I had played a decent second half of the season, being back in the centre behind Robert Lewandowski. We were pretty good. Against Liverpool, we lacked courage. The whole club was sort of happy with the 0-0 at Anfield. I didn’t think that was right, but some had feared we’d get destroyed there. The return leg wasn’t completely bad. Liverpool didn’t dominate but they did what was necessary. On the whole, I felt that I had played my part in us winning the double. I felt secure in my role. In pre-season, I played in many different positions. That’s normal for pre-season but I didn’t get the sense that I was in the coach’s plans for a specific position. That felt strange after the previous season. I don’t have any issues with a coach rotating his players or deciding that he wants someone else. It’s his job to make decisions. He makes them because he wants to win. But it was weird for me to be out of the starting XI for six consecutive weeks. Some players were tired and I was fit and working hard but still didn’t feature. I didn’t mind Niko saying that I was an emergency option — I understood that he meant it in terms of one particular game. It was worse for him than for me. Our personal relationship was good and is still good. But in terms of sporting things and our views, we simply couldn’t agree with each other.

Bayern keep saying how important you are for the club as a native Bavarian and one of the faces of the club, and yet your position in the team hasn’t always been secure. How do you deal with that contradiction?

No one picks the team according to the loudest cheers from supporters. I don’t like it when someone says the club need me because of all those other factors, I don’t want to be in the team because of that. For me, it’s all about football and performance. No one deserves to be in a team because they’re maybe more recognisable as a face and good for marketing. That’s all good and well but you have to earn your place. If I felt I could no longer help the team and they played better without me, then that’s how it is. It’s all about FC Bayern winning. As long as we’re winning, no one can accuse the coach of getting things wrong. The problem only arises when we’re not doing well.

And what happens if the club go and buy two players for the No 10 position — your position?

That’s also fine. You could see that as a message. But I knew that could happen when I signed my contract. There’s always competition at FC Bayern and at other top clubs. Competition is never a problem. The club and the coach make their decisions. Your job as a player is to deal with them.

Your contract expires in 2021…

We just talked about 2019. A lot of unexpected things happened. 2020 is similar, in terms of length [laughs] — who knows what might happen? There will probably be a decision one way or another about my contract in the summer. We will see. I’m a little older now. You never know whether it’ll be your last contract. There could be injuries. You want to get that decision right, to feel content about yourself and be at a club that can win things.

Did you ever come close to leaving Bayern?

Things were serious when Louis van Gaal came in [in 2015], for all sides involved. I could imagine going to Manchester United then. But the club said, “We want you to stay”. I wasn’t out of contract, that’s why I it was pretty clear-cut in the end. But it wasn’t just a poker game.

Is there a still chance we might see you play for Germany at the Euros this summer? Or perhaps at the Olympics in Tokyo?

It’s been a hot media topic but, for me, all of that is a million miles away right now. I’m happy that things are moving in the right direction after a tricky spell. I don’t care about all those discussions. I enjoy playing football right now, successful football. Now that we have turned a corner and see those fruits hanging from the trees again, you want to pick them. That takes total priority. I don’t care what happens in June, July or August at the moment. That’s my attitude, as far as the Euros, the Olympics and my contractual situation is concerned.

Let’s talk a little bit about Chelsea before I let you go. Does 2012, the defeat in the Champions League final in Munich, still play on your mind sometimes?

The fact that we won the trophy in 2013 has lessened the pain. In a sporting sense, it was a gigantic tragedy. But Bayern managed to overcome their two biggest traumas in modern times [2012 and 1999, with the stoppage-time loss to Manchester United] by winning the Champions League soon after. Other clubs who might have suffered a similar fate would probably have disappeared for 10 or 20 years because you can’t get over such a thing. But for us, it’s not that bad anymore. On the contrary — 2012 was a big reason we won it in 2013.

You were the goalscorer in 2012. You thought you had won…

It was the most electrifying moment of my life. It was unbelievable. There’s a difference between scoring a goal and scoring a decisive goal. That goal was salvation, a huge release. The whole stadium exploded. Everyone had waited for us get the ball into the net for the entire game. It wasn’t the most beautiful of goals but the moment itself was unforgettable.

Does it matter that the goal proved ultimately futile?

It wasn’t futile — it took us to extra time! [laughs].

Chelsea’s captain that night was Frank Lampard. Any special memories?

Not from that game but he was a super player. He played practical football. Technically very good, super shooting technique, super with long balls — a midfielder who could work and be dangerous in front of goal at the same time. He simply knew: these are the things you need to do to win football matches. He was a player I can really relate to.

You now meet Chelsea again in this season’s last 16. What are your thoughts going into the away leg in London on Tuesday?

You’d think you would have seen all the great European stadiums after more than 100 Champions League games but I was never at Stamford Bridge and I’m really looking forward it. Chelsea have young, talented players and a quality team that can really hurt you. We need to be well-prepared for their particular strengths. But they’re not the best team in Europe right now and we don’t need to be afraid. I’m confident.

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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby MUTU » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:43 am

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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby DRvad14 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:45 pm

Last edited by MUTU on Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby MUTU » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:18 pm


Ehh... can't say I agree, can't say I disagree.

For sure, Mueller isn't a very technical player, but he's not technically ungifted either. Much like his other attributes, he is mostly misunderstood, simply because he doesn't conform to the norm. Some of his goals where he ends up making an unnatural-looking movement and score a difficult ball is not something that deserved being called technically ungifted, in my opinion.
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Re: Thomas Müller

Postby DRvad14 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:34 pm

MUTU wrote:

Ehh... can't say I agree, can't say I disagree.

For sure, Mueller isn't a very technical player, but he's not technically ungifted either. Much like his other attributes, he is mostly misunderstood, simply because he doesn't conform to the norm. Some of his goals where he ends up making an unnatural-looking movement and score a difficult ball is not something that deserved being called technically ungifted, in my opinion.


i would think most would agree with what u said . personally like and honestly like Inspector Clouseau unlike poirot or homes .... no lass tpo skill like its realy luck for what he does (god onlyk nowns how lol )
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basically like a clown who does it god knows how :lol:
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