Created on 20-07-2009 at 00:00 AM
Mario Gomez has had to get used to a lot of changes since joining Bayern three weeks ago, including a new coach and staff, new team-mates, and a new life in a new city. However, the record signing appears enthused by his first few weeks with Munich. "It would be hard not to like it," Gomez reflected during the club's summer training camp in Donaueschingen.
Nevertheless, Gomez will surely have been pleased to find a few constant and recognisable elements amidst all the profound changes. The Öschberghof on the edge of the Black Forest is where his former club VfB Stuttgart traditionally prepare for the new campaign, especially successfully in the case of the Swabians' stunning 2006-7 Bundesliga triumph.
Bayern also laid the foundations for their 21st league title in Donaueschingen back in the summer of 2007, but Gomez is well aware that trusting in superstition and lucky omens is no way to guarantee success on the field of play. The training camp is a place for punishing fitness work and tactical routines, as head coach Louis van Gaal demands total commitment from his players both physically and mentally.
Mental and physical effort
"The coach insists we concentrate fully in every session, and that's almost as difficult as a 20 kilometre run," Gomez reported after his initial exposure to the Dutch school of coaching, although the striker more than approves of the approach. "What matters is being the best team and not the fittest. It's all worthless if we don't end up winning the title," Gomez declared.