Hours before our game against Wolfsburg, the german sport newspaper “Kicker” reported that Ballack was not going to be called up. Sport director Völler and club boss Holzhäuser had organised a meeting between the coach and the player on Friday, in which it was decided that he will trade the game for an individual training session.
Holzhäuser told the Bild newspaper: “It is the coach responsibility to decide who will be called up and who not. This goes for every player, also for Michael Ballack! It is correct that a meeting between player and coach took place on Friday. Me and Rudi Völler forced this meeting, because it was likely that Ballack would be left again out of the starting line-up. We wanted to clear any misunderstandings.
Both expressed their point of view on the situation. I don’t know why Ballack has trained this morning. I think this was agreed between both parties, but I will know more once I speak to Heynckes on Sunday.”
Three Scenarios why Ballack was not called up and undertook an individual training on Saturday:
Ballack: “Being a sub will not help me to improve my physical condition and deliver great games. Therefore I would prefer to continue working on the training pitch and skip the game.”
The coach suggested this measure after hearing out Ballack’s frustrations
Or even worse the meeting got hot and the coach punished the player: “Sorry everyone is equal here, I don’t see why I have to put your wellbeing before the team’s interest. You are not going to be nominated, instead you will train on Saturday morning.”
The first scenario would not shed a good light on Ballack, he is there to help the team even as a substitute. It is highly disrespectful to his other teammates. The second scenario would be a nice gesture of the coach after a pleasant discussion and the last one would mean that their relation is very bad and that Ballack’s departure could produce itself at the end of the season (would not be the first time for Heynckes: 1995 at Eintracht Frankfurt).
What is your pick? How did it go down?
Do you think it was correct to let Bender start instead of Ballack?
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