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Sammer’s summary

'Pep’s worked exceptionally hard’

The domestic season is over and the final trophy is safely in the bag. It is the perfect time for a review and analysis, and who better to perform the task than Matthias Sammer. publishes extracts of an online interview with the board director for sport:

What does the double triumph tell us about the team’s character?
“The faith earned by the team and Pep with the early championship triumph has been totally repaid. Our expectations have been fulfilled. I don’t know if it was the best trophy in the last two seasons, but it was without doubt the most difficult. The team recognized we’d only achieve our goals if we all pulled together, and maintained our sporting stability and compactness. We lacked that over the last few weeks and it seemed we had to work through more problems than our opponents before the cup final. You might have logically assumed the winners would be Dortmund and not Bayern. And that’s what makes it such a special double.“

How would you now evaluate the 2013/14 season?
“It’s been an outstanding campaign. After the Champions League final in 2012 questions were asked of everything: the club, the players, the coach. Bayern hadn’t won a trophy for two years – and now we’ve collected eight in the last two seasons. That’s been earned by the team, thanks to their character. We followed an extreme depression with the huge success of the treble, and then we undertook fundamental change with Pep. But we’ve remained successful. That’s simply outstanding.“

Did you honestly believe the players would still be as hungry after the treble-winning season?
“I’d hoped that’s how it would be. I noticed early on that all Pep’s vision and adjustments were an ideal engine, but that an engine needs oil. I think we made a good double act when I occasionally gave the team a bit of a push, even if not everyone realised why.”

How big is Pep Guardiola’s contribution to the double?
“Pep has done extremely hard work. Apart from settling in personally, he’s managed to embed his own ideas despite the club’s rich history. That made him authentic from the start. He was aware that the line-up, tactics and system were naturally his sole responsibility, but that his decisions would always have an impact on the club. He had to earn a huge amount of trust without ever once being egotistical. We’ve succeeded in this respect – and that’s an important message as we formulate our squad plans.“

What do you mean by that?
“Bayern will always assemble the squad together with the coach. As a club, we can’t make ourselves totally dependent on a coach, so the relationship has to be based on trust. We’ve managed that thanks to Pep’s terrific personality. He was never stubborn or unyielding, but always strove for consensus. He invests all his energy in the club, but he respects the club for what it is with all its tradition. You sense it in every situation.“