Created on 05-07-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern fans who make the pilgrimage to watch public training sessions are normally rewarded with happy memories, a few snaps for the family album, and an autograph or two, but an even bigger treat was in store for the faithful who flocked to the Säbener Strasse on Saturday. Some 700 loyal fans witnessed the first – and highly unofficial – warm-up match of the Jürgen Klinsmann era.
A 45-minute meeting between the first team and the reserves ended 2-2, Toni Kroos and trialist Joseph Ngwenya twice handing the seniors the lead, only for Daniel Sikorski to strike two equalisers for the second string. The decision to stage a more or less formal match against the reserves had been a conscious one, Klinsmann revealed to fcbayern.de, “because we want them to feel strongly linked to us.“
Klinsmann in charge
The real priority lay elsewhere, the head coach continued. “After a week in which we’ve performed a lot of passing exercises in a confined space, we wanted the players to get the feel of the full pitch again.“ The match was also intended to develop the players’ on-field understanding, Klinsmann said, as he watched his men turn in a pacy display with an emphasis on early pressing.
Klinsmann spent the 45 minutes at the heart of the action, generally taking up an observation position behind the back four, from which he gave directions, encouraged the players and handed out words of praise. He occasionally whistled play to a halt, proceeding to explain or analyse certain situations which had arisen. Over on the touchline, second assistant coach Nick Theslof kept up a watching brief as he tracked the positions taken up by the forwards.
After just under a week back at Bayern, Klinsmann declared himself satisfied following the initial warm-up match. “The whole week’s been very positive. The players have been very passionate and enthusiastic,“ he reported, “there’s a spirit of harmony coming together.“ That applies to the loyal fans too, as Klinsmann and his men once again handed out autographs by the score after the session.
First team line-up: Rensing - Lell, Breno, Van Buyten, Ekici - Sosa, Ottl, Van Bommel, Kroos - Ngwenya, Müller