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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Bayern CEO questions Sammer criticism

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has questioned director of sport Mathias Sammer's decision to publicly criticise the team.

Schaaf: Bayern opens title defense in style

Sammer had urged the team to "get out of their comfort zone" and hit out at the players for "playing football without any emotion" following Bayern’s 2-0 win over Hannover 96 at the weekend.

His comments sparked a debate at the club, with Bayern president Uli Hoeness accepting that while Sammer wanted to "bring up a painful subject" there was just no "painful subject to discuss".

Speaking before Bayern's 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, Rummenigge told Sky: "For me this discussion is a phantom discussion.

"We might not have played our best game at the weekend, but there are reasons for that -- half of the team was on international duty.

"While 'a stitch in time saves nine' is a popular cliche, saying these things can give the media a field day, which might ultimately be counter-productive."

Rummenigge added that he "is not a friend of public criticism" and said that he "could imagine that the team did not like it" and "the coach also".

Despite the distractions in the media, Bayern made no mistake in the start of the defence of their Champions League title.

David Alaba's free-kick found the back of the CSKA net after three minutes. The Austria international was also involved in the final goal of the night, when he lobbed the ball over the defence and watched Ajren Robben fire home.

"The coolest guy on the pitch," broadsheet Suddeutsche Zeitung commented on the performance of the Bayern left-back, with the headline: "Out of the comfort zone and into Champions League."

"Maybe we benefited from what Sammer said," Alaba commented on Sky.

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