Flick's smart strategy: No prizes for beauty, only results

2020-12-02 13:05:38 GMT2020-12-02 21:05:38(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Far from inspiring, but successful: Bayern Munich is benefitting from its coach's smart strategy in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While most of Europe's leading clubs seem to have been thrown off track, the 2020 treble winner appears to be navigating relatively calm waters.

After only four group encounters, the Bavarians have secured Champions League progress and is riding high domestically.

The reason could well be head-coach Hansi Flick's policy of not talking about the physical and mental burden caused by an energy-sapping schedule.

"We are aware, we are not in a beauty contest. We know we can do better, but we deliver results," the 55-year-old said after his surprising line-up against Atletico took the unbeaten away run in the Champions League to 16 games.

Despite having to start into the new season with only seven days of recovery, Flick announced: "We have to accept the circumstances even though we don't like them."

The teams accepting the unusual burden will be the successful ones, he added. "We have reached our limits like others, but it is our goal to continue gaining points and make the best of it."

Since the start of the season, Bayern have had to play a game every 4.5 days on average, with international matches adding to the load of the top players.

The Bayern coach declared the challenges to be a mental issue and react situationally. It's about getting through hard times without too much damage.

Facing the league top game against RB Leipzig this weekend, the Bayern coach left out key players like Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka, and Robert Lewandowski.

Others like Thomas Mueller, Serge Gnabry, and Kingsley Coman started off on the bench Simultaneously, promising youngsters like Bright Arrey-Mbi and Jamal Musiala were thrown into the fray right from the start.

It should also not be forgot that Joshua Kimmich is side-lined due to a knee injury.

"Looking at our results in the Champions League and the Bundesliga, many others would love to have our problems," striker Mueller stated.

German-born former Chelsea defender Arrey-Mbi became Bayern's youngest Champions League player at the age of 17 years and 250 days, narrowly ahead of Jamal Musiala (17/251).

Mueller spoke about his team's mental robustness after coming away with a draw in Madrid by scoring a late penalty. The 31-year-old was sent on with Gnabry to in an effort to get back on terms with Atletico's in the remaining 28 minutes.

"Like all others, we have to face considerable obstacles, but we take them as new challenges to overcome," Mueller said.

"How do people say in England: You have to come up with the goods also on a windy night in Stoke," he added. Can they do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke?

The show must go on, the Bayern attacker said.

Bayern keeper Neuer spoke about football's approach by saying: "We can be happy to play as I see many other athletes who can't. So, there is no reason to complain for us footballers," the German international added. Enditem