Belfast Telegraph

I had no role in Ancelotti's axing, insists Hummels

 

By Steven Beacom

Germany's biggest stars Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng will arrive in Belfast this week for the World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland surrounded by controversy following Carlo Ancelotti's departure from Bayern Munich.

There have been suggestions in Germany that player power had a big say in the respected Italian losing his job with some of the country's World Cup heroes at the heart of the intrigue.

The issue dominating the sporting agenda in Germany relates to recent events at the Bundesliga giants, who ditched Ancelotti last week after a 3-0 defeat to PSG in the Champions League.

Once the Bavarian club's chairman Uli Hoeness was quoted as saying "five players were against Ancelotti. It was impossible to get out of that", the theories about who those players were began with Muller, Hummels and Boateng's names cropping up even though there has been no confirmation that was the case.

Hummels was a shock omission from the Bayern starting XI in Paris, leading to the feeling that he had fallen out with Ancelotti.

The defender told German publication Bild: "I had no conversation with anyone to say I was dissatisfied because I didn't play in Paris. To be called a 'king slayer' is out of order. I don't know how this information originated. I just wouldn't do that."

It will be interesting to see what line-up World Cup-winning coach Joachim Low chooses for the Belfast clash.

Germany have a list of absentees with keeper Manuel Neuer, midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira and forward Mario Gomez amongst those missing.

Now Red Bull Leipzig striker Timo Werner has been ruled out due to a neck muscle injury.

The 21-year-old, who has scored six times in eight international appearances, was labelled a future £100m player by Michael O'Neill at the weekend.

Low has decided not to call anyone else into his squad, meaning he will travel with 22 players.

Next fixtures:

Oct 5 - N Ireland v Germany

Oct 8 - Norway v N Ireland

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