When "radio Mueller" turns into Bayern's on-pitch head coach

2021-04-05 01:35:18 GMT2021-04-05 09:35:18(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

By Oliver Trust

Berlin, April 4 (Xinhua) -- After Bayern Munich's 1-0 victory in the Bundesliga's top-of-the-table clash against RB Leipzig and ahead of the Champions League quarterfinal encounter against Paris this Wednesday, the question must be asked: Who is the Bavarians true head-coach?

The 56-year-old Hansi Flick might still be the man officially in charge of the 2020 treble winner. But witnessing Mueller's on-pitch procedures, it seems Flick and his experienced forward find themselves in a sort of fruitful job sharing.

Flick might cover the part of laying down the team's general approach, but Mueller is the one breathing life into the lot.

The 31-year-old striker is constantly changing his role and shifts between his playing duties and on-pitch-coaching.

"It's not only about his goals, but it's also his influence in the locker room, in training sessions, and his leading efforts on the pitch," Flick commented, talking about the man whose value seem to go far beyond his scoring contributions.

Mueller, at present, is more than the story his 10 league goals and 16 assists tell. In Bayern's last 10 league games, Mueller was involved in 11 goals.

The club icon is his side's driving force, always pushing team-mates and himself. Called "radio Mueller" by his colleagues due to constant coaching, the attacker's voice is heard all over the pitch over the entire 90 minutes.

The number of his orders in Leipzig again seems to outpace Flick's commands.

Simultaneously, the Bavarian strikers' stunning upward trend seems to answer another delicate question of German football ahead of the delayed European Championship this summer.

The struggling German national team and under-fire coach Joachim Loew can't do without the vivid attacker facing 2018 World Champion France, 2016 European Champion Portugal, and underdog Hungary in their group.

If Mueller's performance can be transferred from his club to the German team seems secured as he will find his teammates in the German shirt such as Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich.

As much as Mueller turns into Bayern's dynamic leader, the unconventional striker can only develop his full strength when placed in a supporting frame.

Mueller might be Bayern's initiating point for the team's aggressive pressing. But "you need to keep an eye on him constantly. To trigger our forwarding-pressing is one thing, but you always need to remind him to act within the defined borders," Goretzka said after Mueller provided the assist for his winning goal.

Goretzka scored his fifth goal of the season and Mueller provided his fourth assist for the man he calls "Scoretzka."

"He is vital for our game, and he can be vital for other teams too," Flick said.

German coach Loew might have witnessed how Mueller's contributions can make up for the loss of an assumedly irreplaceable goal-machine such as Robert Lewandowski. Like Bayern, Loew is forced to act without a spearheading box-striker and spread scoring issues on multiple shoulders. Enditem