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Tough competition

Tymoshchuk: I know what to expect

Anatoliy Tymoshchuk communicates easily and well with his team-mates these days. “I speak Russian to Ivi, a mix of Croat with Danijel, and it works really well with Miro in Polish. The languages are all part of a family with Ukrainian. Otherwise, I try and speak German to everyone as often as possible,” the midfielder informed

The Ukraine midfielder is also very much at home in Munich. “I live with my family in Grünwald. It's a pretty and quiet place, and I regard Munich as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The people are all very friendly,” the man nicknamed Tymo continued. “I basically feel very good here.”

Disappointing start

‘Basically’ is the operative word. Tymoshchuk’s private life has almost fully recovered from a period of turmoil, when he and his partner’s twins were born almost three months prematurely. However, the babies are due to be discharged from hospital very soon. “They’ve had to stay under medical observation, but they’ve grown very well now. I’m really looking forward to them coming home at last.” However, last season goes down as unsatisfactory from his point of view as a player.

Tymoshchuk arrived in Munich from Zenit St. Petersburg as a seasoned leader and recognised star, but he has effectively been a second-string option up to now. He made 21 Bundesliga appearances, ten as a substitute, but he failed to start a game in the whole of the second half of the season.

Only thirteen 90-minute outings

“The situation’s not been easy for me,” he admitted in perfectly fluent German. “It was the first time in my career I’ve not always started and played the full 90 minutes.” Taking all three competitions together, that was only the case on 13 occasions. “I’m delighted to be here, and we were very successful last season. But I want to be helping the team out on the pitch more often.”

At the present time, Tymo’s goal appears a tough one. In normal circumstances, Mark van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger will continue their successful partnership as twin holding midfielders. Behind them, Tymoshchuk is battling for playing time with Danijel Pranjic and Andreas Ottl.

Hope springs eternal

The Ukranian is aware of the difficulties associated with his situation, but would dearly love to play more often, “because it would make me so happy. But I know it won’t be easy.” One issue for the player is that he has always played as a lone holding midfielder in the past, but Van Gaal has long favoured two men in the position.

However, Tymoshchuk has not given up hope. “I’ll keep on trying to show the coach what I can do, and I’ll give it everything in training. And when my chance comes along, I’ll have to make sure I use it.” His ceaseless effort and determination have been obvious to all observers at the training camp in Riva del Garda. “Tymo is always one of the best in training, he always gives it his all,” Van Gaal acknowledged last season.

“Just like in life, things can change very quickly in football. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said Tymoshchuk, who is feeling even better abut the new campaign despite his troublesome start at Bayern. “I might have suffered too many self-doubts at the start. But I’ve escaped that now and know what to expect here.”