Created on 04-05-2009 at 00:00 AM
For many present, it will have been the best moment of the match: five minutes from the end of Bayern’s meeting with Borussia Mönchengladbach, the game was interrupted while Zé Roberto received treatment on the field. Bayern assistant coach Hermann Gerland used the break in proceedings to launch a sprint from one side of the field to the other, where he delivered a much-needed drink to Philipp Lahm.
“There weren’t any bottles on my side, so I caught his eye, and he sprinted over to me. The man sure can run,” grinned Lahm. The south terrace rose as one to applaud the iconic coach and chant in his favour, the name ringing out around the packed Allianz Arena. “I was delighted when he appeared in front of me,” Lahm continued.
The Bayern reserves coach, assisting Jupp Heynckes with the first team until the end of the season, is held in high regard by everyone associated with the club. “He and Jupp have significantly improved the mood in the dressing room,” Uli Hoeneß said admiringly, even though the new coaching duo only took charge five days previously.
“He’s well-liked and knows his football,” agreed Mark van Bommel. “Hermann Gerland sees a lot and makes good observations,” the club captain continued. The likes of Lahm, Ottl, Schweinsteiger and Rensing are all products of Gerland’s tough but meticulous senior youth regime, as are Piotr Trochowski and Zvjezdan Misimovic of Munich’s title rivals Hamburg and Wolfsburg.