Bayern sacrifice Oktoberfest for extra training
Bayern Munich's worst start to a Bundesliga season has cost the team their traditional annual visit to the city's Oktoberfest beer festival, with the squad handed extra training sessions instead.
Louis van Gaal's side were beaten 2-0 by Borussia Dortmund on Sunday - their third loss in the first seven matches - prompting the club's board to cancel the festivities and instead summon the players for an extra training session.
"The board of FC Bayern Munich has called off the planned visit of the team, the trainers and management to the Munich Oktoberfest,'' read a press release from the club. "Given the sporting situation, coach Louis van Gaal has instead scheduled a training session for 1130.''
President Uli Hoeness does not want to see any smiling faces given the club's current predicament and he has called on the team to "wake up''.
"The time has now come when we have got to stop covering things over and we have got to be clear about things,'' he said. "The successes in the Champions League are all well and good, but we cannot be happy with the overall situation. We have all got to wake up. We have got to stop walking around in a good mood and whistling to ourselves. Enough is enough.''
Bayern currently trail league leaders Mainz by 13 points while Dortmund have moved 10 points clear, putting Bayern's successful title defence in serious jeopardy.
"Only eight points after seven games is just not on,'' continued Hoeness. "Mainz have now got a 13-points advantage and that is catastrophic for FC Bayern. I cannot remember every being so many points behind after only almost a quarter of the season.
"It looks like last season's success with the (league and cup) double, the Champions League final and the World Cup in South Africa is giving some of our players vertigo - they don't seem to have taken it all in. From now on, we cannot kid ourselves.''
Due to the two-week break for internationals, Bayern cannot make amends until they host Hannover at the Allianz Arena on October 16. They then face another tricky trip to Hamburg a week later but honorary president Franz Beckenbauer believes it is already too late to make up the lost ground.
"It is an incredible deficit which is practically impossible to make up,'' he said. "You cannot expect Bayern to put a winning streak together in this condition.''