Triple attack: heynckes is “man of the year

Triple attack: heynckes is

After FC bayern's premature gift-giving, jupp heynckes was most looking forward to a few contemplative and relaxing days on his beloved farm.

"Take a short break, catch your breath, switch off, find some peace and don"t just think about soccer from morning till night" – that was the 72-year-old"s wish list at the start of his christmas vacation after the shaky 2-1 win in the cup summit against fallen defending champions borussia dortmund.

After 15 wins in 16 compulsory games under his direction, the coach-returner, celebrated in munich and admired nationwide, has been awarded the unofficial title of "man of the year" in german soccer. Heynckes himself spoke of an "outstanding quota". And with the experienced triple coach from 2013 on the bench, the reinvigorated german record champion can expect a lot again in 2018; as a minimum, the twelfth double in the club's history.

"The conditions are top. We are where we want to be. And now we're going to attack again in the new year," announced captain thomas muller after the last show of strength in 2017. "Of course we always want everything," said sporting director hasan salihamidzic about the triple option, which no official or professional wanted to proclaim openly as a goal.

But just how serious bayern are about their assault on the title was demonstrated on thursday with the announcement of the completion of a transfer: national striker sandro wagner is moving from 1899 hoffenheim to the record champions for at least twelve million euros. "I'm really looking forward to it. A long journey is coming to an end for me, I'm coming back home to my club, to my home country," the 30-year-old said.

Wagner signed a contract until 2020. The bavarians have closed a sensitive weak spot in their luxury squad: wagner is considered a top substitute for goal-scorer robert lewandowski, who heynckes can now use in a more targeted manner and also save him from rough tasks in the champions league. "We are convinced that sandro wagner will further increase the quality of our team with his class and experience," said sports director salihamidzic.

In the training camp in qatar from 2. Until 7. January wagner will join the team. "I'm eager for the new task," said wagner. He is pushing players to be fresh and ready for new deeds after the power stroke of the first heynckes phase after vacation. "The short break can really help us," believes torjager lewandowski.

On thursday, bayern also announced the early extension of the contract with youngster kingsley coman (21) until 2023. The striker represents the future after franck ribery (34) and arjen robben (33) on the wings.

Heynckes' team almost ran out of gas after andrej jarmolenko's goal shortly before the goal in a long, totally dominant performance against BVB with only two goals from world champions jerôme boateng and thomas muller. "We concentrated too much on defending, it was almost worth it," said muller, who proudly referred to the team's race to catch up after the change of coach: "we have invested a lot in the last few weeks. We withstood the pressure extremely well."

In his closing words in 2017, heynckes spoke of a "stage goal" that had been achieved, but no more than that. He is on fire – as in 2013! "We need to improve even more, then we can be confident to be successful not only in the championship, but also in a cup competition."Or in both the DFB cup and the konigsklasse.

"When you get 27 points out of 30 in the league and win all the cup games and champions league games, that's an outstanding record," heynckes said. He thus glorified his players, his staff – and himself. "We have turned a lot of screws with jupp heynckes," recalled niklas sule, one of many players who have shown remarkable development under the coach over a limited period of time.

It remains to be seen whether borussia under new coach peter stoger can go through a similar positive process as heynckes bavaria. "You can already assume that in the second half of the season we'll see a team that the dortmund fans will really enjoy," stoger announced ten days after taking up his new position. However, "from 3. January very, very much work ahead of us," warned sport director michael zorc. In dortmund, the festive season will be less cheerful and much less relaxed than at heynckes' domicile in schwalmtal near the dutch border.

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