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Beckenbauer sees positives in Robben punch

Arjen Robben has blamed Thomas Mueller for the Bayern Munich pair’s on-field stoush, but Franz Beckenbauer believes the clash is a good sign.

Netherlands midfielder Robben threw a punch at Mueller after the final whistle of Bayern’s 3-1 Bundesliga win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Robben had blasted a free-kick into the wall instead of passing to Germany forward Mueller, with the latter showing his frustration at the Dutchman’s decision.

It led to a bizarre reaction from Robben, who grabbed the 21-year-old by the throat before appearing to punch him as their Bayern team-mates rushed to intervene.

No action was taken by the referee or his assistants but the issue is set to be investigated by the German FA.

Robben, 27, has refused to apologise and has laid the blame at the feet of his team-mate, saying Mueller’s reaction was ‘disrespectful’.

But Bayern’s Honorary President Franz Beckenbauer has defended the pair, suggesting that it was a sign that the reigning champions – 14 points behind league-leaders Dortmund – are rediscovering their hunger.

“It might look a bit strange when two players from the same team get in each others faces but one also has to see the positive side,” he said.

“The team seems to be alive. They have rediscovered their courage, they want to do it, they are addicted to the game again.”

“Everyone wants the ball, nobody hides anymore, that is a very positive thing.”

Mon 31 January, 2011
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