Mario Gotze needs to grow up to succeed at Bayern - Beckenbauer
Bayern Munich honorary president Franz Beckenbauer says Mario Gotze plays like a youth player at times, saying in his role as a Sky pundit: "It's time for him to finally grow up."
Gotze, 22, has faced heavy criticism in recent weeks after a series of disappointing performances and was even linked with an improbable return to former club Borussia Dortmund.
The Germany international, who scored the winner in last summer's World Cup final, has fallen down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola even amid the injury crisis that has seen both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben ruled out for the rest of the season.
The Bayern boss opted to play inexperienced winger Mitchell Weiser ahead of him during the recent DFB Pokal semifinal defeat to Dortmund and he did not make the starting XI for the 3-0 loss in the Champions League semifinal first leg at Barcelona on Wednesday.
Speaking ahead of that match, former Bayern player and coach Beckenbauer -- whose role at the club is now purely ceremonial -- said: "He sometimes looks like a youth player to me, the way he loses the ball and stops playing.
"That behaviour is a little bit juvenile. It just doesn't fit at FC Bayern. It's time for him to finally grow up. We of course know that he is an outstanding talent, but he has yet to translate it [into consistent performances]."
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Beckenbauer also said in his postmatch analysis that Robert Lewandowski's glaring miss in the 18th minute of the loss at Barca had been the result of his face mask.
The Poland striker had been forced to wear a carbon mask after sustaining a broken nose and jaw against Dortmund last week, and he passed up Bayern's best opportunity of the match when he failed to make a clear connection with Thomas Muller's cut-back.
Beckenbauer said after the match: "He needs to score! For him to hack past the ball like that with no opponents around ... let's just say: The mask is to blame."