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Pep Guardiola answers fresh criticism following German Super Cup defeat

Earlier today, Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola sat down in front of the media for the first time since Saturday’s German Super Cup defeat to Wolfsburg.

In their first competitive game of the new season, Bayern fell to Wolfsburg 5-4 on penalties. It was the third time Guardiola had suffered defeat in the Super Cup – his first two losses in the competition coming against Borussia Dortmund.

Despite winning the Bundesliga two times during his first two seasons in charge, the former Barcelona boss has faced tremendous criticism in Germany for his side’s performances. The Spaniard’s tactics, man-management and team selection being the focal point of questioning from the club’s supporters and the German media.

Most recently, the German publication BILD claimed that Bayern Munich players “do not understand him” and find the manager “irritating”.

Last season, Guardiola was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, and the fact that the 44-year-old has yet to agree to a contract extension with Bayern Munich has many believing that this season will be his last in Germany.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Audi Cup match against AC Milan, Guardiola defended himself when confronted by more questions from the German press. The Spanish coach twisted his face when asked about the absence of Mario Gotze against Wolfsburg, and when the press mentioned the criticism of former Bayern Munich players Matthaus and Effenburg (Matthaus said Jose Mourinho was a better coach than Guardiola).

“Everyone can criticize,” the Bayern Munich manager said. “You can can also criticize me, that’s your job. Effenburg and Matthaus are journalists now, therefore they can criticize the same as you.

“Mourinho is one of the best coaches in the world. I don’t know if I’m the best, I’m not here to be the best coach in the world, but to give my best for the team.

“If we win, we’re good coaches. If we don’t win, the players don’t understand me. There’s big drama. Everything depends on the outcome.”

When asked about the omission of Gotze against Wolfsburg, Guardiola responded: “We played in a competitive match. Mario did not play. You might also ask about [Arjen] Robben and [Thomas] Muller.

“I cannot say in every press conference why one player or another did not play. Only eleven can play. The players know that and the press should too.

“Gotze is one of my favorite players. Last season he played in all of the games except two or three. But they have to try and convince me on the pitch in every game, not in the past. They have to convince me, not you [the media].”

Guardiola was then asked about the ongoing links with the job at Manchester City.

“I’ve already talked about that at earlier press conferences. I don’t want to talk about that right now.”

 

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