Monday, January 16, 2017

Lahm shrugs off Guardiola speculation

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Nov 2015

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Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm insists the club’s players will not be distracted by speculation over the future of coach Pep Guardiola.

Reports in Spain on Monday claimed Guardiola was close to agreeing a two-year contract extension at Bayern, where his existing deal expires at the end of this season.

Having masterminded successive Bundesliga triumphs and established a five-point lead at the top of the league table four months into the 2015-16 campaign, the former Barcelona coach has been linked with a succession of other top jobs in European football.

Lahm is hopeful that Guardiola will remain in Bavaria but believes his team-mates can only have a limited influence over the situation.

“I don’t need to go to the coach every day and tell him that we’d like to continue working with him,” the 31-year-old told reporters. “He knows that.”

“We have to work every day here – you cannot worry about what happens with the coach at the end of the season.”

Of more pressing concern to Lahm is the Champions League match against Arsenal on Wednesday, after the Premier League club ended Bayern’s 12-match winning run when the sides met during the previous round of continental fixtures.

“This is a big challenge against a team like Arsenal, who have top individual players,” Lahm said.

“We didn’t take our chances in London and we have to do much better on Wednesday.

“It would be great if we can take our first few chances again and put the opponent under pressure.

“We don’t need any extra motivation for the Arsenal game. This is the Champions League, we’re playing at home and anyone who isn’t motivated is in the wrong place.”

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