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Guardiola could turn Neuer into right-winger – Thon

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Olaf Thon has joked that Pep Guardiola could successfully turn goalkeeper Manuel Neuer into a right-winger.

On Sunday Bayern confirmed Guardiola would leave his role as Bayern coach at the end of the season, with Carlo Ancelotti coming in as his successor on a three-year deal.

Guardiola has long been credited with changing football with the evolution of his ‘tiki-taka’ style of play at Barcelona and has been able to develop players with startling success at Bayern.

And, speaking to Omnisport, Thon – who won three Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Cup with Bayern – said: “To substitute players like [Franck] Ribery and [Arjen] Robben with [Douglas] Costa and [Kingsley] Coman was a masterpiece.

“To develop a player like [Jerome] Boateng and widen [Philipp] Lahm’s position, as he is now a right-winger, Rafinha on the left side – Pep Guardiola revolutionised in places we didn’t even think about.

“The peak would be to put Manuel Neuer on the right wing. Even this wouldn’t be impossible.”

Thon is in no doubt Ancelotti will be a success at the Allianz Arena, adding: “Bayern has done everything right, to sign the best coach available.

“Bayern will not perish. We will have a different style of a coach with Carlo Ancelotti, who will be successful with his own style of play.

“To follow up Pep Guardiola won’t be easy. Pep took the team from triple-winner Jupp Heynckes and developed it even further. Even though he didn’t win the big titles.”

Asked about Guardiola’s next stop, Thon said: “Pep Guardiola is the kind of person who says three years with one club is enough. He says to himself: I want to travel the world and collect trophies.

“In my eyes he doesn’t need to. I could have imagined him to stay with Bayern for 10-15 years to develop his German and collect trophies but he has a different plan for his life and we have to accept this. That’s why I wish him the best of luck, wherever in England he will sign.

“My gut tells me it will either be Manchester City or Manchester United.”

Sun 20 Dec, 2015
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