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Van Bommel: I feel good about the new season

Netherlands international Mark van Bommel has been at Bayern for three years now – and has already been managed by four head coaches. As of this term, his fellow countryman Louis van Gaal has taken over the Munich helm with the aim of leading FCB to silverware. spoke to the inspirational 32-year-old midfield man about the new boss, his training methods, and the job of captain at the club.

Interview: Mark Van Bommel: Mark, you had a team brunch on Sunday. How was it?
Mark van Bommel: “Very good. We have a few newcomers this season, so a team building session was good in terms of helping the new guys integrate. And we had the wives and girlfriends there too, which is great for the overall atmosphere. The wives get to know each other better. And as we all know: men always do better when their women are feeling good (laughs).” What are your impressions after six days’ training under new boss Louis van Gaal?
Mark Van Bommel: “Very good indeed. He know exactly what he wants, and he’s always very direct. Before every session, he tells us what he’s expecting and what he wants to see. And if we make mistakes, he points out exactly what went wrong. He has his own style, but it’s very benevolent. And he’s laid down rules for our ‘community’, but you can do what you want within the rules.” It’s been interesting to see the squad practising certain passing moves repeatedly and for minutes on end.
Van Bommel: “That’s right. He wants us doing things automatically, so we gain a second or two in matches, in that we always have solutions for certain situations. Everyone knows exactly what he has to do, where he should move, and where he can direct a pass, or where he has to run if we’re pressing. That’s what makes a good team. That allows you to control and dominate a game.” How’s the team reacted to the training methods?
Van Bommel: “I think the team’s picking it all up well, because we know we’ll all improve as a result. The coach also explains very clearly why we do each exercise. We need that to stop us running around like headless chickens.”