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Guardiola defends Robben against criticism

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has defended Arjen Robben following recent criticism and has stressed he has no intention of trying to change the Dutchman’s style of play.

The winger attracted some negative comments in the wake of Bayern’s 4-0 Bundesliga win over Stuttgart before the international break as he went for goal himself a number of times rather than setting up a team-mate in a dangerous position.

Robert Lewandowski in particular felt aggrieved as he was ignored by Robben on more than one occasion, but Guardiola is keen for the Netherlands international to stay true to his own style.

“Robben too selfish? Arjen Robben is Arjen Robben. I do not want to change him or his style of play,” the Bayern coach said at a news conference.

“I can understand Lewandowski’s frustration, but things like that happen.

“I want Robben to keep playing like he did when I first joined Bayern.”

Guardiola went on to reveal Franck Ribery is edging closer to his comeback after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury.

The former France international has been out of action since picking up an ankle injury in Bayern’s Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk back in March, but the 32-year-old could re-join the rest of the squad in the next few weeks.

“Franck has made a big step forward,” Guardiola added.

“He could resume squad training within the next one or two weeks.

“I don’t know whether he will play again before the winter break. I don’t want to put a date on his return.”

Fri 20 Nov, 2015
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