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Seasoned pros

All a matter of time for Klose and Sagnol

The man of the moment at Bayern is Luca Toni. Reporters are dedicating entire pages of newsprint to the Italian after his perfect ‘German’ hat-trick in Hanover: one with his right foot, one with his left, and one with his head, all scored consecutively in a single half of play. The papers currently have little to say about Miroslav Klose, scorer of only one Bundesliga goal since matchday eight, but in team circles the 29-year-old remains an undisputed figure of authority.

“I have to pay a huge compliment to Miro,” Mark van Bommel said in praise of Klose’s performance in Hanover, “everyone’s talking about Luca, but the effort Miro put in was even more important for the team. He worked exceptionally hard and recovered possession many times, but most people don’t notice all that.“ Bastian Schweinsteiger was similarly impressed: “Miro is a vital member of the team. He works extremely hard in every area of the pitch.“

Drought in the league

The Germany striker is a model of determination and commitment at the present time, but is going through a lean spell in front of goal. Klose has amassed 23 scorer points in 26 appearances (17 goals, 6 assists) this term, but he has netted only once in Bayern’s last 12 Bundesliga fixtures.

“At times when things don’t click, you simply have to battle away until everything falls into place again,“ Van Bommel reflected. Klose has evidently not forgotten how to score, as his tally of three goals since the mid-season break in the meetings with Aberdeen and Wuppertal indicates. There can be no doubt he will return to the Bundesliga goal trail again very soon.

Sagnol urges patience

Patience is the order of the day for Klose, and the same goes for Willy Sagnol. Almost a year has passed since last season’s Champions League trip to Milan where the Frenchman suffered serious cartilage damage. He only really returned to contention when the squad reported back for mid-season training, but it will still be a little while before Bayern fans see the “old“ Willy Sagnol.

The 30-year-old has started four of Bayern’s five matches since Christmas, “but I still need a little more time to get back to where I used to be,” he reported. “I’ve been a professional for 13 years now, and I’ve seen plenty of players having problems for two or three months after a year out with injury. That’s normal.“ Ultimately, for both seasoned pros, it is all a matter of time.