Bayern player slams own team over transfer policy

AFP - [email protected] • 8 Nov, 2009 Updated Sun 8 Nov 2009 10:40 CEST
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Germany defender Philipp Lahm on Saturday slammed his club Bayern Munich for their policy of buying in talent rather than nurturing home-grown stars - and his words could land him in hot water.

Lahm, who captained Bayern at the start of the season when regular skipper Mark van Bommel was injured, says the German giants should not copy Europe's big-spending sides like Barcelona or Manchester United.

Bayern are eighth in the Bundesliga and are virtually out of the running to make the knock-out stages of the Champions League where they lie third in Group A behind Bordeaux and Juventus.

With team manager Uli Hoeness and chairman of the board Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in charge of recruitment, Lahm's words are a thinly-veiled attack on the club's senior bosses.

While Bayern's rising home-grown star Thomas Mueller was called into the Germany squad on Friday, the 20-year-old midfielder is the exception at a club which is not shy of recruiting top-names like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

"Clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona have a system in place and they go out to buy a player who fits into that system," the 25-year-old told Munich-based German daily the Süddeutschen Zeitung.

"In a strong side, you need at least eight players who know the club, know their position well, are self-confident and are competitive.

"I do not see those eight players with us and it is not just the currentplayers fault, it is the philosophy which has been missing over the last year."

Bayern held Schalke to a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena on Saturday and Hoeness said Munich's bosses will speak to Lahm about the article.

"There will be consequences," Hoeness told German broadcaster Sky, while coach van Gaal also hinted Lahm will be disciplined for the article.

"We were busy with playing with Schalke today, but we will speak to him about the article and the matter will be dealt with internally," said a tight-lipped van Gaal.

Wing-back Lahm also said Bayern are struggling in the centre-back positions and questioned the willingness of his fellow defenders to attack.

"Where are the players who can take the ball forward with authority and moves the ball forward to begin attacks?

"It is not happening for us at the moment."

But Lahm says van Gaal, who took over last summer, is the man to help build a strong team in Munich - although the Dutchman is unlikely to see the article in a positive light

"I believe that we already have a coach who can build a team," said Lahm.

"He is probably sometimes difficult to handle for some players, he needs time, but I am firmly convinced he is a good coach."

Meanwhile, van Gaal said Saturday he will speak to Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni after the striker drove home at half-time having been replaced in his side's 1-1 draw with Schalke.

According to reports, Toni left Bayern's Allianz Arena having been substituted for Dutch winger Arjen Robben and van Gaal says he will speak to the Italian about the issue.

"If it happened, then that is not good," said the Dutchman. "We will certainly speak about it."



AFP 2009/11/08 10:40

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