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Anyone who has any lingering doubts whether Juergen Klinsmann is determined to be an agent of change at Bayern Munich should have a word with the city’s photojournalists.
All 20 photographers accredited for Klinsmann’s first news conference on Wednesday stood up and walked out in a silent (and somewhat silly) protest because of a new rule limiting them to three minutes of pictures at the start.
Just as Klinsmann was a catalyst for change in his two years shaking up some of the antiquated structures in the German FA from 2004 to 2006, it seems abundantly clear the former Germany striker is not going to be satisfied with the status quo in Munich.
They might have won the Bundesliga and German Cup last year, but that’s not enough for Bayern.
The Bundesliga gets a bad rap at times. German clubs have for the most part failed to reach the latter stages of the Champions League in recent years, matches can sometimes seem to move in slow-motion and the officiating can be uneven or even downright scandalous (see Hoyzer, Robert).
But despite all that, Bundesliga players have been sparkling in Euro 2008. And with players from the German league on 15 of the 16 teams no league is more widely represented.
There have been players from the German domestic league in the starting line-ups of almost all the teams that have played of the tournament. Only Spain have no Bundesliga players in their squad.
Bayern Munich could win the Bundesliga championship this weekend without even kicking a ball.
With a 12-point lead over Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 and four matches left, Bayern — who don’t play again until visiting VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday — will be watching from their recliners on Saturday when Bremen and Schalke try to keep their faint hopes alive.
Luca Toni has evidently not learned much German in the eight months since he moved over the Alps a few hundred kilometres north of native Italy to the Bavarian capital of Munich.
With plenty of translators at his service and a wide range of fine Italian restaurants in Munich to pick from, there’s little need to spend time studying the difficult tongue-twisting language of Goethe and Schiller. His interviews in the German media are invariably translated from Italian.
The Carl Zeiss Jena playmaker’s unfortunate ejection in the 51st minute of their German Cup semi-final match at Borussia Dortmund - when they were behind 1-0 but close to equalising – pretty much took the life out of what was until then a good game.