Misfiring Müller hoping to put an end to repetitive questions | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 05.07.2016
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Misfiring Müller hoping to put an end to repetitive questions

Thomas Müller insists he is happy with his game, despite having failed to score a goal in the first five games of Euro 2016. He could play further forward than usual against France even if he is struggling for form.

As the saying goes, the only certainties in life are death and taxes. In Evian-les-Bains over the past few weeks though, there have been a couple of subjects that could give both a run for their money. One is the virtual certainty that during any given DFB (German FA) press conference on the southern shore of Lake Geneva some journalist or other will ask whether Germany should be playing with a three- or four-man back line.

After Manuel Neuer on Tuesday became the latest in a long line of German players and coaches who have refused to solve this riddle, the journalists following the DFB's French road show would leave the Nationalmannschaft's base for the final time at Euro 2016 without getting a straight answer.

Scoreless Thomas

The other sure thing, at the latest since the start of the knockout stage, has been the requisite question about the usually consistent and prolific Thomas Müller and his failure to score in France.

On Tuesday, the just about always light-hearted (at least on the surface) Müller handled the questions himself - after barging in as team manager Oliver Bierhoff was fielding a question on this very subject.

Asked by a reporter whether Müller was really as easy going - especially now - as everybody around the national team claims, Bierhoff replied that he had recently looked up the definition of easy going and found a picture of the Bayern Munich player beside the entry.

"I'm not even here and you are already talking about me," a beaming Müller quipped.

Still the press weren't convinced so another reporter took a shot at the same question, this time putting it directly to the subject himself.

Tiresome questions

"I haven't had that many chances here," conceded Müller, who found the back of the net 32 times for Bayern last season. "And the ones I have missed were by a matter of centimeters. So I'm not driving myself crazy about it." Among those misses was his shot in the penatly shoot out that would eventually see Germany past Italy.

"Sure, a goal would calm me down, as it would mean I wouldn't have to answer any more questions about it," he concluded.

UEFA EURO 2016 - Achtelfinale | Deutschland vs. Slowakei Spielszene Müller

Thomas Müller's lack of goals in France hasn't been down to a lack of effort

On a more serious note, though, he said what he has said before about his goal drought, which is that he is motivated by winning games and titles, not so much by scoring goals.

"Goals are not the gas in my tank, more like the paint on the car, the really special paint that looks good on the surface," he said, before pointing out that while he had been the top scorer at the World Cup in South Africa six years ago, Germany were still eliminated in the semifinals.

Keeping the faith

Mülller can also count on the support of those in charge of the national, with both head coach Joachim Löw and Bierhoff having repeatedly expressed faith in his abilities.

"If we need a goal, then Müller will get us one," Löw told reporters on Monday.

Twenty-four hours later, Bierhoff said it was all just a matter of time.

"Thomas Müller is just keeping his powder dry. Then he'll explode," the scorer of the golden goal that gave Germany the 1996 European title said.

Germany fans will be hoping the faith that Löw and Bierhoff are putting in the 26-year-old will ultimately prove to be justified, particularly in the absence of the national team's only recognized strker, Mario Gomez, whose tournament was ended by a thigh injury against Italy.

Given that Mario Götze has failed to score when given the opportunity of playing as a false nine, some believe Löw could elect to play Müller up front against France - which would be a perfect opportunity for him to put an end to all those repetitive questions.

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