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 By Mark Lovell

Carlo Ancelotti must show his strength at Bayern Munich - Michael Ballack

The FC crew discuss Thomas Muller's role at Bayern Munich and whether or not his future is away from the club.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Michael Ballack expects Carlo Ancelotti to have a difficult season and believes he could regret the appointment of Willy Sagnol as his assistant in the summer.

Ballack, 40, played for Chelsea under Ancelotti's tutelage and was a teammate of Sagnol at the Bundesliga champions. Sagnol, a former France International, was named Ancelotti's assistant in June.

"I was amazed that Ancelotti said on the day Sagnol was introduced that he would have preferred Philipp Lahm or Xabi Alonso alongside him," Ballack told Revier Sport.

"Obviously, there were different opinions between the coach and the Bayern board."

In addition, Ballack claims Ancelotti could regret the decision not to choose his own assistant and accept the Bayern hierarchy's own man.

Carlo Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti should guide Bayern to a sixth straight Bundesliga title, says Michael Ballack.

"I know Carlo from our time together at Chelsea. He is a nice bloke of impeccable character who has perhaps made concessions and accepted decisions against his own will," Ballack said.

"I don't know if he's done himself any favours by doing that. It will be a tough season for him if he doesn't show his strength."

Despite these potential pitfalls, Ballack still expects Bayern to easily wrap up their sixth consecutive Bundesliga title this season.

"They've won the Bundesliga five times in succession. And with every passing year they distance themselves from the rest of the league thanks to their massive Champions League revenues and sponsorship money."

He added: "Bayern's supremacy is firmly established for years to come."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.


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