Thomas Müller was recently anything but enthusiastic about his crumbling status at Bayern. In the Champions League cracker against Paris Saint-Germain, the long-standing regular and top performer only came into play in the final phase of the 1-0 win for the German soccer champions.
And in the 2-3 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach a week ago in the Bundesliga, coach Julian Nagelsmann replaced the Munich captain of all people after the early red card for defender Dayot Upamecano. A decision that offered a lot of material for discussion internally and externally, also about Müller's status with the Bayern coach.
"Thomas is a very experienced player, who of course also got an explanation from me as to why the decision was made," reported Nagelsmann before the top game against surprise title rivals 1. FC Union Berlin who had the same number of points. "You can always discuss everything afterwards, including the coach's decisions. Afterwards, everyone can add their own two smart thoughts, but in the situation it's not always easy to make the right decision," Nagelsmann explained of his approach in Mönchengladbach.
"He will play again. He has trained well."
This week he "spoke to Thomas for a long time," reported Nagelsmann on Friday. And one result is that Müller will again lead the Munich team as captain this Sunday (5.30 p.m. / DAZN) in the Allianz Arena. "He will play again. He will not sit on the bench but will start. He has trained well," said Nagelsmann.
The 35-year-old understands Müller's frustration with his role as a player who can often be dispensed with: "It's clear that he's not happy with the situation that he had to get out so early. That he wasn't happy that he didn't play in Paris from the start , is also clear."
Before the Union game, Nagelsmann also expressed his high esteem for Müller, who has well-known competition in his positions in the Munich offensive, for example in the person of national player Jamal Musiala, who turns 20 on Sunday. "Thomas is very professional and he is one of my confidants," assured Nagelsmann.
"He is an exchange partner, even beyond his own situation. He is also aware of the overall situation because he is simply a player who not only thinks of himself, but also has an eye on the big picture. His importance is huge because they goes beyond playing alone," says the coach. But Müller would also like to play all the time.