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Van Gaal’s promise

‘We’ll do everything we can to win a trophy’

The studios welcomed a VIP guest on Thursday afternoon. Louis van Gaal dropped by to talk about his new book, but during preparations for the interview, the head coach’s attention was drawn elsewhere. He stared intently out of the studio window to where assistant coaches Andries Jonker and Hermann Gerland were supervising a training session. There was nothing to criticise there – but naturally, Van Gaal is not entirely happy with much of what has happened with his team out on the football field so far this season.

Seven games into the campaign, Bayern are 12th in the standings, fully 13 points behind leaders Mainz. None of the key figures at the club has minced words of late: after some straight talk from Uli Hoeneß and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge earlier in the week, director of sport Christian Nerlinger followed suit in the pages of kicker magazine: “We have our backs to the wall. Every game now is death or gladioli, every slip-up reduces our chances of the title. We need a winning run right through until 22 December. There’s nothing for it but to win.”