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Bayern fine stars Lahm and Toni

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 8 Nov 2009


Bayern Munich have fined both Germany defender Philipp Lahm and Italian World Cup winner Luca Toni undisclosed sums for breaches of discipline, the German giants revealed on Sunday.

Lahm, who is the Bayern Munich vice-captain, has been reprimanded for comments made in Saturday’s Sueddeutschen Zeitung when he criticised Bayern for their transfer policy of recruiting big stars without a clear playing philosophy.

And Toni has also been disciplined for leaving Bayern’s stadium during Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Schalke having been substituted at half-time for Dutch winger Arjen Robben.

Both chairman of the board Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and coach Louis van Gaal spoke to the players before training on Sunday and the players apologised to the squad.

“Luca Toni took the liberty on Saturday of leaving the Allianz Arena early in what was an unacceptable lack of discipline,” said the club in a statement.

“He has been fined and Luca Toni has apologised to both the club and the team for his behaviour.

“Philipp Lahm, the vice-captain, has also been fined after giving an interview in which he publicly attacked the club, the coach and his fellow players.

“That was an inexcusable breech of the club’s code of conduct, which states: 1) Interviews with players must be organised by the club and then be submitted for authorisation.

“And 2) It is an absolute taboo to express public criticism of the club, the coach and fellow players.”

In the interview, Lahm, who captained Bayern at the start of the season when regular skipper Mark van Bommel was injured, says the German giants should not copy Europe’s big-spending sides like Barcelona or Manchester United.

Bayern are eighth in the Bundesliga after Saturday’s games and are virtually out of the running to make the knock-out stages of the Champions League where they lie third in Group A behind Bordeaux and Juventus.

With team manager Uli Hoeness and Rummenigge in charge of recruitment, Lahm’s words are a thinly-veiled attack on the club’s senior bosses.

While Bayern’s rising home-grown star Thomas Mueller was called into the Germany squad on Friday, the 20-year-old midfielder is the exception at a club which is not shy of recruiting top-names like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

“Clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona have a system in place and they go out to buy a player who fits into that system,” the 25-year-old told the Sueddeutschen Zeitung.

“In a strong side, you need at least eight players who know the club, know their position well, are self-confident and are competitive.

“I do not see those eight players with us and it is not just the current players fault, it is the philosophy which has been missing over the last year.”

Lahm also said Bayern are struggling in the centre-back positions and questioned the willingness of his fellow defenders to attack.

“Where are the players who can take the ball forward with authority and moves the ball forward to begin attacks?

“It is not happening for us at the moment.”


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