Transfer? Bench? or Patience? The curious case of Thomas Muller
It seems strange, but Thomas Muller hasn’t registered a single goal in the league so far. Yes, we do mean since the start of this Bundesliga season! There are many reasons for this dry spell, especially for a player known to hit double figures every season. But this problem, seems to date back to pre-season.
What is happening to Thomas Muller?
And more broadly, what is happening to Bayern Munich?
In 12 games in the Bundesliga, since the start of the season, the german star has yet to score a single goal. His last league goal dates back to April 30 last season, during the game against Borussia Monchengladbach.Chief Executive Bayern Karl – Heinz Rummenigge seems to think Muller’s troubles stem from a loss of confidence due to his penalty in the semi-finals of the Champions League against Atletico Madrid (Which can be viewed below). Last season’s miss is reported as having reflected negatively upon him. But, this doesn’t seem like Muller, who is known as a composed and calm player.
Has the one who does not make mistakes lost his way to goal?
Muller has achieved more than most players in the history of the German league. Having scored a total of 155 goals in the Bavarians shirt in 370 appearances since he rose through the ranks in 2009. In addition, he is on the verge of hitting three figures on his total Bundesliga goal tally since the 2008/09 season. Last year, Bayern are reported to have refused to sell him for 100 million euros to Manchester United. Nevertheless, this season Thomas Muller looks far from the same player.
Some pundits went as far as to state that Muller’s poor performance can be blamed on Bayern’s shortcomings as a whole under new coach Carlo Ancelotti. Meanwhile, others have just attributed it to bad luck. One might argue that Muller’s problem is not just in his failure to register but also in his performance as a whole, which has seen a marked decline. We no longer see the world class player grabbing the game by the scruff of its neck and pushing his team to the limits.
Mueller is in crisis
It’s true, but it must be said here that many causes are possible. He is not the first player to suffer such a long goal drought. Even if Muller hasn’t scored in 663 minutes this season in the Bundesliga, legends like Gerd Mueller once didn’t score for 965 minutes while most recently, Robert Lewandowski, the most prolific striker of the Bundesliga struggled for more than 562 minutes.
But Muller’s problem seems deeper, it seems to stem from an emerging discomfort at his surroundings in Bayern. Historically, Bayern have always reiterated that Muller was not for sale. Nevertheless, Bayern also historically took pride in their Bavarian origins, in their German youth, and in their steady stream of stars to the national team. Lately, Bayern has lost part of its identity. Schweinsteiger was replaced by Xabi Alonso, Kroos left to Real madrid, Gomez replaced by Lewandowski.
Foreign players are becoming the majority of Bayern’s starting 11.
Moreover, recently, German players have started spreading more and more to the other four big European leagues. Schweinsteiger, Leroy Sane and Mustafi constitute prominent examples. Recent reports mention a record breaking Manchester United bid for Thomas Muller last transfer window. Needless to say, any team in the world would line up for a chance to field Muller in their starting 11. Could it be that the German star is finally reconsidering his options? Or does he just need a short break before hitting the ground running again?