Markus Babbel has launched an attack on Arsenal ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich.
In an interview in Tuesday’s edition of Munich newspaper Münchner Merkur, the former Bayern and Liverpool player accused Arsenal of being chokers, who would be ‘no problem’ for Bayern.
Both Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Arsene Wenger had spoken in the last few days as saying that Arsenal had a better chance against Bayern than at this time last year, and that the north London side had raised their level in the last 12 months.
Asked if he agreed that Arsenal were stronger, though, Babbel replied: ‘No. And they’ve got a lot of injuries. If Bayern concentrate, they won’t have any problems. You see it in the Premier League: Arsenal always mess things up in big games.’
The former Liverpool man also had a lot of criticism for his compatriots at Arsenal, saying that Mesut Ozil ‘still needs to work on his physicality’, and that he was surprised with how well Lukas Podolski had settled in the Premier League.
‘I didn’t think he’d make it in England, to be honest, he was always far too lazy at Bayern and Cologne’, said Babbel.
For Arsenal’s third German star, Babbel was full of praise, albeit of a slightly backhanded nature: ‘Per Mertesacker is rated very highly, because he’s fought his way into this team. His performances haven’t been amazing of late, but he fights, and that impresses the British’.
Babbel is convinced, though, that even Mertesacker’s fight will not be enough to stop Bayern. He rates this Bayern side as one of the best ever, saying that Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and
Bastian Schweinsteiger will one day be mentioned in the same breath as Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier and Gerd Muller.
The former Germany international, who has a well documented love for English football and England since his time in Liverpool, also said that he would not advise Bayern sign Chelsea’s David Luiz.
‘He’s a great player, and it’s good that he can play in midfield too, but if they were going to sign someone from the Premier League, I would advise them to get Nemanja Vidic. He’s cheaper.’
Whether Uli Hoeness, Pep Guardiola and Co will follow his advice, though, seems unlikely.
Babbel has been out of a coaching job since he was sacked by Hoffenheim in 2012. A year beforehand, he was forced to leave Hertha BSC just months after leading them to promotion, following a breakdown in relations with the club hierarchy.
Written by Steve Milne @stevenmilnelive