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Feb 6, 2013

Sammer understands Robben frustration

Bayern Munich general manager Matthias Sammer said he sympathises with Arjen Robben's frustration at a lack of first-team opportunities after the winger received a late call-up to the Netherlands squad.

• Blog: Lewandowski talk grows

Robben has not started a match for Bayern since November as he has fallen out of favour at the Allianz Arena due to the blossoming partnership of Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Muller. His disappointment was clear at the weekend when he left the changing room before the rest of his team-mates following the 3-0 win over Mainz.

That has had a knock-on effect on his international prospects. Having initially been left out of the Dutch squad for Wednesday's friendly against Italy, injury to Schalke striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar has led to coach Louis van Gaal adding Robben as a last-minute addition.

Should he play at least 45 minutes against Italy, Robben will have clocked up more time playing for his country than his club so far in 2013.

"I can understand him," Sammer told Sport 1. "He is an ambitious player and wants to play all the time. That he is in the changing room or in team bus before the other guys, is not a problem for us." Robben, 29, has so far not commented on his situation and Sammer advised him to choose his words carefully when doing so.

"It would only become a problem, if he would put himself above the team in comments," he said. "But you have to be fair. This, so far, has not happened." "Arjen has to know, that at Bayern the team and the emblem are in the centre of attention and an individual player has to bow to it. I am witnessing he might not be happy right now, but extremely motivated."

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