Bayern Munich coach Juergen Klinsmann ran out of patience with his team after a 5-1 drubbing from VfL Wolfsburg and told his players their personal future and that of the club is at stake over the coming days and weeks.
Klinsmann said he's fed up with taking all the blame for Bayern's mediocre performance
Munich crashed to their worst Bundesliga defeat in seven years against the new league leaders Wolfsburg on Saturday and the humiliating loss has driven Klinsmann to impress the importance of a strong showing on his players.
"The players must know that they face consequences at some stage," Klinsmann told reporters after a team meeting, in which he forced his team to watch a tape of the Wolfsburg match. "After the season we will review who has worked well and who hasn't."
Klinsmann, who took over at Munich at the start of the season, said he was angry with himself about the team's performance but added that there was plenty of blame to go around.
"I always put my head on the block when a match was lost," he said. "Now every player must take responsibility and accept blame."
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Captain Mark van Bommel agreed that players have to re-examine their performances.
"The coach is right, we need to analyze ourselves," said van Bommel. "Whoever is weak in the head, does not belong at Bayern Munich."
The coach apparently singled out several players, with Bild newspaper reporting on its website that he called the defensive work of youngster Breno "unprofessional" in the Wolfsburg game.
Klinsmann admitted he no longer considers Bayern to be the favorite to lift the cup this year. The team won last year's title with a 10-point lead.
Barca match key to team's future
Bayern annihilated their last Champions League opponent but face a tougher adversary in Barca
The Bundesliga debacle set off alarm bells ahead of Wednesday's first Champions League quarter-final with Spanish giants Barcelona. Klinsmann told players that Wednesday's match is crucial to the team's future.
"To me it is vital that everyone understands what hinges on this next game: the entire season and the future of Bayern Munich," said Klinsmann.
Munich, however, could still lift trophies as they trail Wolfsburg by just three points and have never been eliminated by Barca in Europe.
Klinsmann expressed hope that his warning is observed. "The players were sent home with the clear message that they have to think things over," he said.