Created on 20-02-2008 at 00:00 AM
After scoring 14 goals in 56 appearances and collecting German championship and European Super Cup honours in three seasons at Bayern (1989-92), crowd idol Alan McInally is still remembered fondly at the club. And the former striker has not forgotten Bayern either, closely following Munich’s progress both privately and as a commentator for British broadcaster Sky Sports.
fcbayern.de caught up with the only Scot ever to pull on a Bayern jersey, canvassing his views on the Bavarians’ UEFA Cup return against Aberdeen. The 45-year-old former Scotland international made no secret of his lasting affection for the Munich giants.
Interview: Alan McInally
fcbayern.de: Alan, who are you supporting on Thursday?
McInally: “I want Bayern to win. I’m no Aberdeen fan, I’m a Bayern fan.“
fcbayern.de: Is the return just a formality for Bayern?
McInally: “Football’s a funny game sometimes, so there’s no guarantee Bayern will win. But I just don’t believe Aberdeen will get the kind of chances they had in the first leg. Bayern defended badly for the two Aberdeen goals, but that can happen to you away from home in Europe. Bayern were always one of the favourites to win the UEFA Cup, and they still are.“
fcbayern.de: How surprised were you by the result in the first leg?
McInally: “I was totally surprised. I actually put money on Bayern. I thought they’d win one or two-nil, but unfortunately it ended in a draw. It was unbelievable, we were all stunned here in Scotland. Aberdeen had let in nine goals in their two previous games, and they lost in the league after the first leg against Bayern. The draw against Bayern was a miracle. Today’s Aberdeen are miles away from the Aberdeen who beat Bayern in 1983. But let me say this: Aberdeen played well, much better than in their previous games, although I’m sure Bayern have plenty in reserve.“
fcbayern.de: How do you think Bayern are approaching the return?
McInally: “It’s hard for Bayern. They have everything to lose, they’re under pressure as overwhelming favourites, no-one gives Aberdeen a chance. But they’ll have to show Aberdeen some respect and mustn’t start thinking it’ll be easy. They’ll have to battle away, let the ball do the work and fight for the win.“
fcbayern.de: Luca Toni ruined Scotland’s chances of a place at Euro 2008. Is he the man Aberdeen fear most?
McInally: “I think so. He’s a big man and he’s scoring freely for Bayern. But I don’t regard Luca Toni as the critical factor on Thursday, I think it’s the midfield. If Bayern control the midfield and get down the flanks, Luca Toni will be even more dangerous.“
fcbayern.de: Are you still in touch with anyone at Bayern?
McInally: “Yes, I occasionally talk to physio Atze Gebhard. And normally, as a Sky Sports Champions League commentator, I’d come across Bayern fairly regularly, but unfortunately that’s not the case this season. Hopefully we’ll return to normality next term, and I’ll see Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge more often. I always enjoy coming to Munich, although I don’t get there enough, maybe two or three times a year.“
fcbayern.de: Will you be in Munich for Thursday’s match?
McInally: “Unfortunately not. I’m at the ground for Everton against Brann, but I’ll try and keep an eye on Bayern on the TV monitors.“
fcbayern.de: Finally, what’s your tip for Thursday?
McInally: “In normal circumstances, Bayern would score three and Aberdeen one at the most, but probably none. My tip is 3-0.“