MUNICH — Arjen Robben has indicated his frustration after Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes only named him as a substitute for the 5-0 Champions League thrashing of Besiktas on Tuesday.
Robben, signed from Real Madrid in 2009, is out of contract in the summer and has said he could move to Major League Soccer, China or Qatar if he opts to leave the Bundesliga champions.
Asked how he felt about not having made the starting XI, Robben chose his words carefully.
“I’m not going to comment on it any more because one word would be one too many,” he told Sky.
“I am a professional, I’m now 34 and work every day towards these special games. They are the icing on the cake.
“If I express my emotions and exactly how I feel I would land in front of Brazzo [Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic] or Mr. Rummenigge [Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz] — so it’s better for me not to go there.”
Robben came on immediately after Thomas Muller’s opening goal two minutes before half-time to replace James Rodriguez, who had suffered a calf injury.
Heynckes said he understood the Netherlands captain’s point of view but defended his decision to leave Bayern’s second-longest serving player out of his starting lineup.
“Bayern is in the happy position to have every outfield player fit at the moment,” he told his postmatch news conference.
“We always try to sign the best players, who are nearly all internationals. It’s obvious when I have four wide options that one has to watch [from the sidelines]. That is completely normal.
“Players aren’t going to be happy if they are not starting games. It would be the same if I left out Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng or David Alaba.
“I absolutely understand this, but I have to manage the situation and am responsible for each player. I have a lot of very good players and have to do what is right. Everyone has to accept that. Period.
“In the coming weeks, one or the other are going to watch and will not be happy. I understand this, it’s absolutely normal — I was a player too and would have reacted the same way.”
source: Kwese ESPN