Guardiola believes Bayern Munich ready to meet bigger opponents
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola shot down speculation suggesting his side will surely defend the Champions League title this season. Guardiola claims it is too early to suggest Bayern Munich will win the coveted trophy once more, although the German football giants are in a strong position to become the first team in history to successfully defend their Champions League title.
Nonetheless, Guardiola admits his team his is in good shape and ready to meet tough opposition. The former Barcelona manager will make his Champions League debut with Bayer Munich against CSKA Moscow on Monday.
“It’s still too early to say that,” Guardiola expressed on defending the Champions League title at his press conference on Monday morning. “We want to first make it out of the group and qualify for the knockout stages,” he said. “Now is too early [to predict any further].
“To me the Champions League is the nicest and most difficult competition. There are too many good teams in Europe and everyone wants to win the title.”
Interestingly, the press conference was focused towards comments from sporting director Mathias Sammer rather than talk on what Barcelona’s tactics will be against CSKA Moscow. Last weekend, Sammer became the center of controversy at Bayern Munich after he attacked the team, insisting that they should get “out of their comfort zone”.
“We are playing lethargically at times, playing football without any emotion and just going through the motions,” Sammer said.
Guardiola, who believes Sammer is the most important person in the locker-room at Bayern Munich, wasn’t angry at Sammer’s comments but he wasn’t siding with them either. Guardiola said that he was “satisfied” with the club’s form.
“I am satisfied with our performances so far, especially in the T-Cup [one of the pre-season tournaments that Bayern won] or in the 120 minutes against Chelsea in the Super Cup final,” Guardiola said.
“Especially during the second halfs [of games] we played well. We need to try and play like that for 90 minutes. But that’s normal during this stage of the season.
“From my first day here I’ve said it won’t be easy. FC Bayern and the Bundesliga are a big challenge. But we want to improve step by step.
“I get to know my team better every day, I see them in training every day. They listen to what I say. If that does not happen, then, as the coach, you have a problem. But that is not the problem, I feel that we go well together, the players follow me.
“Sammer’s opinion did not take me by surprise. That’s the culture in Germany. The people at the club can express their opinion in media. If that happened in Spain, you’d have bigger problems. There we are not acquainted with that.”