If there are any serious stains on Pep Guardiola’s time at Bayern then it’s what happened with Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, described by Bild as Germany’s top sports medic.
Müller-Wohlfahrt had been with Bayern Munich for 38 years, was part of the club’s make-up and incredibly well respected throughout the country’s sport media.
Public and private spats with the now Manchester City manager led Müller-Wohlfahrt and his team to quit Bayern Munich in what became a huge story in Germany.
Now Müller-Wohlfahrt has released an autobiography and what happened with Guardiola is the most interesting aspect for many.
Bild have published excerpts from the book and today detail what went on between the two men, or at least Müller-Wohlfahrt’s account of it.
The doctor explains: ‘Under Pep Guardiola, the climate changed at Bayern Munich, and it became more and more clear that he did not trust me and my team. On the one hand, he was totally uninterested in medical issues, but on the other hand, he demanded that we perform miracles.’
Even at the initial preseason training camp, Guardiola is described as being ‘aggressive’ over medical issues, with it being claimed he said to Müller-Wohlfahrt: “I thought I was coming to the best medical department in the world, and we have two long-term injuries that should have been good after the initial diagnosis. What’s up with that?”
Tensions between the men are said to have increased, and then Guardiola demanded the medic attend every Bayern Munich training session. With his own separate practice, the doctor refused and the manager was said to become more frustrated and ‘upset’ as he realised how much support Müller-Wohlfahrt had at Bayern.
The book is critical of the Manchester City manager, with one section reading: ‘Guardiola was often portrayed in the media as an innovative, if not revolutionary, coach. But at Bayern Munich he turned the clock back tremendously. He even went so far as to turn our medically thought-out, well-rehearsed preparation program on its head before the actual football training.
‘I remember one season under Jupp Heynckes, in which there were only three muscle injuries. That’s a really low number considering the demands on the players. And I do not rely on my memory or my gut feeling, but on the official statistics of the Uefa Elite Club Injury Study, in which Bayern was always among the clubs with the fewest injuries.
‘Then came Pep Guardiola. And right in the first season we had far, far more muscle injuries than in the successful 2012/13 season before. And he knew everything better: Five minutes warm-up in a rush, that had to be enough. But that could not be good. Already at the club World Club Cup in Morocco at the end of his first preliminary round, every attentive spectator had to notice that the Bayern players were not fit.
‘But I simply could not reach Pep Guardiola with the way I think and work. Even my reports of injured players did not interest him. Whenever I wanted to talk to him, he immediately turned away and walked away.’As things got worse, Guardiola is said to have disagreed every time he was told a player wasn’t fit enough to take to the pitch, becoming ‘angry’ with the medical team for such decisions.
In comments which are sure to annoy Guardiola,Müller-Wohlfahrt states: ‘I think Pep Guardiola is a person of low self-esteem, who does everything in his power to mislead others. He therefore seems to live in constant fear, not so much of defeat, but much more of the loss of power and authority.’
The doctor finally decided to quit after Guardiola loudly shouted at him in front of the squad, blaming him for the injury list and subsequent defeat to Porto.
Manchester City haven’t had serious injury issues, and the club are likely well aware of their manager’s stance over his stars being available to play.