Bayern's Sebastian Deisler has a couple of influential supporters, including Oliver Bierhoff and Franz Beckenbauer, who want to see the midfielder get more playing time. That's got his club managers in Munich upset.
Oliver Bierhoff angered Bayern over his remarks about Sebastian Deisler
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich have reacted angrily to comments from German national team manager Oliver Bierhoff advising Sebastian Deisler to leave Munich as a way of kick-starting his ailing career and getting more playing time before the 2006 World Cup.
Bierhoff said he was interested in seeing more from Deisler and that that midfielder hasn't been excluded from the list of possibilities for this summer's Confederations Cup.
"I wouldn't go so far as to say that he won't be on the team," Bierhoff said. "The trainers think a lot of him and naturally regret that he plays very little at Bayern."
Bayern midfielder Sebastian Deisler
No word from Deisler
Deisler (photo) himself has admitted he would like to be included on the Confederations Cup roster, but decided not to comment on his playing time at Bayern.
Hamburg SV is rumored to be a potential destination. The team acknowledged it would be willing to shuffle its lineup to welcome the national team player in a central role.
"It's a good suggestion," Hamburg spokesman Jörn Wolf told reporters. "Deisler would fit in well with us."
None of Bierhoff's business
His current employer, however, had plenty to say about the intrusion of national team politics on its club decisions.
"I want to be very clear that the Bayern team selection is the sole responsibility of manager Felix Magath," Bayern vice-president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told a Munich newspaper. "Everyone has their own responsibilities and Mr. Klinsmann along with Mr. Bierhoff should accept that and not tell us what to do."
Deisler, left, has started seven games for Munich this season.
Regardless of the fact that Deisler has started just seven games for Bayern this season, some in Munich are quite possessive of the benched midfielder who was plagued last season with injury and bouts of depression and burnout.
"He is one of our players and it will stay that way," Bayern spokesperson Markus Hörwick said.
Without making as brash a suggestion as Bierhoff, Bayern Munich president and German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer threw his support behind Deisler and said the short substitutions aren't helping Deisler, who needs longer "to get some continuity."
Whether Deisler makes the national team in next summer's World Cup is far from decided.
Important role in World Cup
In addition to support from Beckenbauer, Deisler may also have good reason to want to stay in the Bavarian capital. Magath told Die Welt newspaper on Thursday he wants to see Deisler play in the Confederations Cup and agreed to "work together so that he plays an important role in the World Cup next year." The Deisler affair is not the first time Bayern has failed to see eye-to-eye with German national coach Klinsmann. Magath was furious that captain Michael Ballack took part in Germany's Asian trip last December, insisting the player should have rested.