Created on 03-08-2009 at 00:00 AM
Michael Rensing is Bayern’s first-choice goalkeeper this season. The decision, taken by coach Louis van Gaal and his assistants Andries Jonker and Hermann Gerland ahead of Sunday’s cup meeting with sixth-tier SpVgg Neckarelz, was confirmed when the 25-year-old rather than rival Jörg Butt took to the field in the starting line-up at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
“We’ve been closely monitoring both keepers in training and our matches over the last four weeks. It wasn’t an easy call, but momentum is important, and that was the deciding factor. Michael Rensing will normally start in the Bundesliga too,” Jonker announced ahead of Bayern’s arduous 3-1 win in the DFB Cup first round.
“I’ve been watching for four-and-a-half weeks, and now I’ve made my decision: I’m placing my faith in Michael Rensing,” Van Gaal himself declared after the final whistle on Sunday. The Dutch coach had previously said that whichever keeper kept goal against Neckarelz would be the club’s number one.
The coach had informed him of the decision in a face-to-face conversation the previous day, an understandably delighted Rensing revealed after Sunday’s match. “We both did well in pre-season, so I’m even more delighted I’ve been chosen. I’ve always believed in myself and my ability.”
However, based on his own experiences last term, Rensing is well aware that decisions can be reversed in the course of a campaign. “For this reason, I won’t be resting on my laurels. I have to continue trying to interpret the role the way the coach wants to see it,” he acknowledged.
Rensing was a spectator for most of the 90 minutes against Neckarelz, although he himself admitted he cut an “unfortunate” figure when Heiko Throm pulled a goal back for the minnows with ten minutes to play. However, that slip-up will not change Van Gaal’s decision. “I’ve chosen, so he remains our number one,” the Dutch supremo told reporters.