Matthaeus rooting for Mourinho to coach Bayern one day
German legend Matthaeus hopes Portuguese can manage Bayern one day, loathes Guardiola's tiki-taka style
Reading in between the lines, it is not difficult to discern that of all the top managers in world football today, Germany legend Lothar Matthaeus' pick to lead his beloved Bayern Munich to future success is not the incumbent Pep Guardiola.
World Cup 1990 winner and seven-time Bundesliga champion Matthaeus is in Singapore as part of the Bundesliga Legends Tour of Southeast Asia to promote the German league.
Yesterday morning at the DFL Sports Enterprises office at Duxton Hill, the 54-year-old was happy to discuss life after Guardiola.
Giving a knowing smile when the topic was broached, the German told The New Paper that he would consider Juergen Klopp, who won two Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund before taking a sabbatical, a good option.
But the one whom Matthaeus rates the most is Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, despite the Portuguese already creating controversy after just one match in the new season by criticising his club doctor and physio.
"I love Jose Mourinho, but he has signed a four-year contract with Chelsea. I would like to see him manage once at Bayern Munich," said the 1991 World Player of the Year.
"Mourinho won titles with smaller teams like Porto and he has won titles with Inter Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
"He made progress not only with perfect teams, he built teams."
In a clear jibe at Guardiola's dalliance over his future at the Allianz Arena, Matthaeus added: "I like Mourinho's character, I like his talking. Those who played under him have a lot of respect for him.
"He is always clear, face-to-face. He is not talking something and then has a different mind. He is a straight coach and I like people who are straight with me."
While he recognised Guardiola as "one of the best coaches in the world", Matthaeus also launched a broadside against the tactics most frequently associated with the former Barcelona boss.
He said: "I don't like this tiki-taka, all these ball possession... you have to play forward.
"Football is not meant to be played square and I think with Bayern Munich's new players, they really have the speed and mentality to always play it forward and not to keep holding the ball in their own half.
"Arturo Vidal is not a player who likes to play it left to right and teams that want to win big titles need players like Vidal who love to play it forward."
But after watching Vidal and Co rip Hamburg apart for five on the opening day of the new Bundesliga season yesterday morning (Singapore time), Matthaeus feels that Guardiola and his players could taste Champions League glory this season.
He said: "Bayern are always a team you have to tip to win the Champions League, especially this season with the team that they have.
"They are stronger than last year, and I would say they have a better squad than even Barcelona and Real Madrid to last the full season.
"In the past few months, Bayern have been working very well in the transfer market during the summer break. Vidal and Douglas Costa will make a difference at the highest levels.
"It is impossible to win the Champions League every year but, in this decade, the Bundesliga has always had at least one team, most of the time Bayern, in the semi-finals.
"They have the best players, very good team spirit and Bayern are very hungry to win titles."
However, in a 34-match league setting, Matthaeus foresees more challenges for Bayern in the Bundesliga.
He cited the statistic that if there was a mini-table created for only the results among top six teams - Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Borussia Moenchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, Augsburg and Schalke - from last season, Bayern would come in fourth.
He added: "Bayern are the favourites, but the favourites don't win every year. I think Wolfsburg could be the conqueror of Bayern this season.
"They won the German Cup last year and beat Bayern to win the German Super Cup this season. I hope they can keep Kevin de Bruyne because he was the best player in the championship last season with 21 league assists.
"Dortmund can make a surprise with their new coach Thomas Tuchel and I hope Marco Reus can play one season without injury problems.
"Schalke had big problems with the fans last season, but they have a new coach Andre Breitenreiter and bought good players like Johannes Geis, who is one of the biggest talents in German football.
"I think the biggest surprise could be Stuttgart. They were close to relegation last season but, from what I saw, they have a very good offence and, if they can shore up their defence, they can make a big jump.
"So this will be an interesting season and what I am sure of is the Bundesliga will guarantee you goals."
- World Cup 1990 winner and seven-time Bundesliga champion Lothar Matthaeus will be commentating on tonight's Bundesliga matches on Fox Sports (Singtel TV channel 114 and StarHub TV channel 208) from 9pm.
Costa shines on Bayern debut
BAYERN MUNICH 5
(Mehdi Benatia 27, Robert Lewandowski 53, Thomas Mueller 69, 73, Douglas Costa 87)
Bayern Munich launched their bid to win a historic fourth successive Bundesliga title yesterday morning (Singapore time) with a 5-0 rout of Hamburg as new signing Douglas Costa shone on his league debut.
Bayern's established players Robert Lewandowski, Medhi Benatia and Thomas Mueller, who netted twice, grabbed Bayern's first four goals with Brazil winger Costa adding the fifth to seal a show-stopping performance.
Costa, whom Bayern coach Pep Guardiola has said can be the best winger in the world, showed why the champions paid Shakhtar Donetsk 30 million euros ($47m) for him last month.
The 24-year-old chested down a long pass before firing in a cross which led to Bayern's third goal, then hit the back of the net with a crisp shot on 87 minutes.
"He's a superb player, I understand him very well already and he's just going to get better with each game," was Lewandowski's verdict on Costa.
Bayern, who won last season's title by 10 points, are bidding to become the first team to win four league crowns in succession in the third and final year of Guardiola's contract.
"It was tough in the first half, because Hamburg defended with six players, but we did better in the second half," said Guardiola.
"I am happy with the debuts of Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal, they have a lot of quality and experience. They will help Bayern Munich a lot."
Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia said: "We need to defend much better though. It is a learning process even if it hurts." - AFP.