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‘The lads are very focused’

Physical and tactical exercises for rump squad

Louis van Gaal is currently in Noordwijk, a seaside resort south of Amsterdam, but the FCB boss is not in his home country to lounge on the beach. On the one hand, he is helping to attract donations for the Spieren voor Spieeren charity, which provides aid to sick kids. On the other, he is putting the finishing touches to a book scheduled to be published later this month. The man in charge at Bayern right now is Andries Jonker.

The 46-year-old, one of Van Gaal’s assistants, is supervising the daily training programme at the club, although that is not to say Van Gaal is not involved. “We speak on the phone every day and discuss what we’ll be doing in the next training session,” Jonker related to, “and after each session, I tell him what we’ve done and how.” Physiologist Jos van Dyk also plays a part in determining the programme.

Individual workouts

However, Jonker is not working with a particularly large group of players in Munich. Just seven senior players, two of them goalkeepers, reported for training on Thursday lunchtime. The rest are either injured or away representing their countries. There is a positive side to the situation, Jonker remarked: “It’s a chance for each player to pursue a very individual programme. Normally there’s little time for that, because we’re simply focused on the next match.”