Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Bayern’s Boateng ‘must come back to earth’

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Jerome Boateng AFP Photo/Christof Stache

Jerome Boateng has been told to focus on his football, and forget the limelight, in the wake of Bayern Munich’s shock Champions League defeat at Rostov.

“Jerome has to calm down and take things easier (off the pitch),” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Bild.

“Since the summer, it’s all been a bit too much for me.

“It would make sense for the whole club if he comes back to earth a bit.”

Just like the Bayern defence, Boateng had a night to forget in Rostov.

The burly centre-back was wrong-footed and left on the turf when Sardar Azmoun opened Rostov’s opener.

He then conceded the penalty Dmitry Poloz converted to make it 2-1 to the Russians.

Boateng went off with a thigh injury, which threatens to rule him out of Saturday’s Bundesliga match at home to Bayer Leverkusen, before Christian Noboa scored Rostov’s third.

Boateng has matured into one of the world’s best defenders, but his his alleged off-field exploits have clearly annoyed Rummenigge.

He has a strong presence on social media, posting pictures alongside the likes of Hollywood star Bill Murray, and has a collaboration with music mogul Jay Z in the USA market.

Boateng has his own range of glasses and flew to London, with Bayern’s blessing, for an NFL game in October.

Both Bayern and Boateng need to knuckle down.

Last weekend, the Bavarian giants lost their status as Bundesliga leaders to RB Leipzig, who are enjoying a record first season in Germany’s top flight, and lost 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund.

And the loss to Rostov means they will qualify only second behind Atletico Madrid from their Champions League group.

Philipp Lahm said Bayern were ‘careless’ in losing for the first time to a Russian team in the Champions League and Boateng echoed his captain’s sentiments.

“Overall, that was much too little,” said the 28-year-old.

“We fell apart after making our mistakes.

“If someone makes an error, others have to be there and that was not the case.”

For the second time this season, Bayern are winless in their last three matches in all competitions, putting coach Carlo Ancelotti under pressure.

Rummenigge has dismissed any talk of replacing Pep Guardiola’s successor, but there is no denying Bayern are faltering.

“As a coach, I have to take responsibility so we can quickly get back on track,” said the Italian.

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