The Ballack case

All good between Heynckes and Ballack?

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?


Atletico Madrid joins the race for Vidal (Registration required!):

Arturo Vidal to Chelsea, Bayern, Valencia or Atletico? 

5 responses to “The Ballack case

  1. The official version of the club is option Nr.1, Heynckes said this before the match on TV.

    See press section!

  2. i dont think it would be disrespectful if it were the first option. it would have been if micha was fully fit just like the rest.

    lets remember he just came out of two injuries, and extra training sessions for him would be better if he feels he is still off his game. he’s giving playing time for other team members, i feel this is even better. and we saw lars shine!

  3. anyway we’ve got one of the best midfield of the bundesliga as central midfielder: Rolfes, Vidal, Bender, Ballack and Balitsch! what a choice!!
    the players who are in the better condition should play… let’s hope the Ballack situation (and condition) will be soon ok…

  4. mundilev thank you for such information. after all I think it’s time for Ballack to end his career. it’s true that it is a great name and I will never forget his performance in 2002 with Leverkusen in the Champions League but now it’s time for bender, Sam, Kroos, marin …

  5. @mitze: Ballack himself has been talking for weeks that he feels fit. The coach thinks he still has to catch up a bit.

    It would have been ok, if Ballack would have taken this decision a few days before, without knowing that Bender would play. That way we would also have filled the bench.

    This version that it was Ballack’s who wished to skip the game is what Heynckes and Völler communicate. We have seen in Patrick Helmes case, that not always the truth is being told. He was not called up for a game because of back pains, and was then sold the following week to Wolfsburg.

    What is also to mention here is that Ballack already mysteriously missed a training session after he did not get to play against Frankfurt:
    Was he really injured or just pissed off?

    All very fogy to me!


    Bild (sensacionalist newspaper) goes with the third option in an article today. A hot discussion took place with Ballack asking the coach: “Am I not good enough?”. On Sunday the player and coach avoided eye contact in the training session…..

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