By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, March 8 (Xinhua) — Joachim Loew’s decision to omit former national team regulars Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels, and Jerome Boateng is said to be irreversible.
Complaining of its bad timing, the 2013 treble winner Bayern Munich is taking a close look at how the 59-year-old’s decision is affecting their squad’s mood as the Bavarians will have their second leg last 16 round match in the Champions League against Liverpool next Wednesday evening.
While Mueller (100 caps), Boateng (76) and Hummels (70) claim not being treated fairly, Bayern coach Niko Kovac and the club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are expecting a positive reaction and a boost for their chances in the all-important game.
47-year-old Kovac called the trio “true professionals knowing exactly how to deal with such a situation,” and doesn’t expect them just to give in. “I rather see them wanting to prove they are still top international players.”
Rummenigge emphasized the trio “is not what I would call part of the old guard.” The 63-year-old said that “I am sure Thomas, Mats, and Jerome will prove they can still play at the highest level.”
Then came the question: Has Loew’s decision helped Bayern in their efforts to beat Liverpool and win the 2019 German title?
The fact is that the trio will have more time to recover better as they won’t have to play as many games anymore as Hummels and Boateng, both at 30, and Mueller, 29, have lost their leadership role in the Bayern squad.
Boateng has missed several games through injury and seems to have lost his place in the starting eleven, Hummels managed to improve recently after he appeared to be out of shape in most of the first half season, and Mueller seemed to accept his new role as a part-timer in the squad.
Rumors go around that each of them could leave Bayern after this season, face a new challenge and write the last chapter of their careers.