CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images
Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus has questioned the attitude of James Rodriguez amid the club’s recent poor run of form.
The Bavarian side are without a win in their last four matches and slumped to a 3-0 loss at the Allianz Arena on Saturday against Borussia Monchengladbach.
After only starting three games in the Bundesliga this season, there has been some speculation that Rodriguez is unhappy with life at the Allianz Arena in what is the second of his two-year loan switch from Real Madrid.
Matthaus made it clear he’s unimpressed with the Colombian’s attitude, per the Spanish press (h/t Football Espana):
“Bayern have too many players only interested in themselves. [James] is one of the players who place their individual importance above the club, then they complain when they are not playing enough.
“It is egotistical and it is disrespectful in respect to his coach, his club and his team-mates, he cannot react angrily because [manager Nico] Kovac does not put his arm around him like [former boss Jupp] Heynckes did.”
Rodriguez was a key man for Bayern last season, first under Carlo Ancelotti and then under Heynckes—the latter stepped in to replace the Italian midway through the season. The midfielder ended the German top-flight season with seven goals and 11 assists.
However, Kovac evidently doesn’t view the playmaker as a key member of the team. While he started in the loss to Monchengladbach, he’s been left out of the XI at other points in the early throws of 2018-19.
When asked about the midfielder recently, Kovac made it clear he is a big fan of what he can offer:
FC Bayern English @FCBayernEN
💬 Niko #Kovac on @jamesdrodriguez: “He’s a player of extraordinary quality and is important for the club. He showed that against Schalke, against Benfica, and then against Ajax when he came on.”
#MiaSanMia #FCBBMG https://t.co/bxrfxCK6pt
Even so, there has been speculation swirling about Rodriguez in recent weeks. According to Bild (h/t EFE, via AS), the Colombia skipper lashed out at Kovac to team-mates and made it clear he would be asking to leave the club.
In addition, it’s said the Bayern players are unhappy with Kovac’s reluctance to learn German, as well as the team’s pragmatic approach when compared to former bosses Heynckes and Pep Guardiola.
While the coach is clearly under pressure, Bundesliga pundit and former Norway international Jan Aage Fjortoft joked there are other issues the club need to address:
Jan Aage Fjortoft @JanAageFjortoft
If Bayern fires their coach Kovac.
The old players at Bayern will be four years younger.
If Kovac is to see out this stormy spell, then getting the best out of Rodriguez is important, as he’s proved himself to be a world-class creative force in the past.
The Colombian does need to up his levels, too, provided he does get opportunities to start after the international break. However, no player is performing to their best at the moment in a Munich side that appears fractured in almost every area.