Created on 05-05-2010 at 00:00 AM
Mark van Bommel was giving it his all, letting “referee” Andries Jonker have a few choice words after a decision against his team in a six-a-side training match. Philipp Lahm also had a quiet word with the assistant coach, who was acting as the match official on the day, after suffering a clattering foul from behind just as he had broken through on goal.
And Arjen Robben, putting in a huge amount of defensive work and a couple of meaty tackles to match - as Thomas Müller could painfully testify – drew a hearty round of applause from the 1,000 or so loyal fans at the training ground with a trademark wonder goal, an 18-yard left-footed drive straight and true into the top corner.
Two finals to go
Wednesday lunchtime training at Bayern, the first workout after two days off for the players, was a full-blooded affair. It was an unmistakable response to anyone who might have thought the champions-elect would ease up prior to Saturday’s near-meaningless final fixture of the Bundesliga season away to relegated Hertha Berlin.
“We have to keep our foot to the floorboards,” Van Bommel told reporters earlier in the day. “Once you’ve lost momentum, it’s hard to pick it up again.” Despite the absence of a midweek fixture, the coaching and playing staff are keeping the pace and commitment high, as this weekend is by no means the end of Munich’s season. Two further trophies are there to be won, the DFB Cup final against Bremen on 15 May, and the Champions League final a week later against Inter Milan.
Lahm and Co hungry for silverware
“Once you’ve made it to two finals, you want to win both,” remarked Philipp Lahm. Winning the Bundesliga title meant “it’s a decent season. It would have been bad for Bayern to miss out on the title two seasons in a row, but we’ve come back and proved we’re the number one club in Germany.” However, Lahm and Co are far from satisfied with that: “It’s not every year you have a chance of the double – or even the treble.”
The current situation represented “an opportunity you may only be presented with once in an entire career,” Van Bommel mused. “Anyone who hasn’t got it yet will never get it: we could make history, and crown an outstanding season with three trophies.” The club was bristling with desire and motivation, the 32-year-old confirmed: “The players, the coaching staff, the whole club and the fans – everyone’s fired up.”
Van Bommel’s historic act
First of all, in Berlin on Saturday, Bayern will collect the reward for what Van Bommel described as a “super league season”: at around 5.30 pm, the Netherlands star will become the first non-German captain in Bayern history to be presented with the championship shield. “It’ll be a very special experience for me,” the seasoned campaigner declared. “I was captain in Eindhoven for three championship triumphs, and this is my first with Bayern. It’s terrific, and it makes me very proud.”