The Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has reaffirmed that Luca Toni is no longer part of his plans. The Italy striker has not figured for the Bavarians since declaring that his relationship with Van Gaal was "as good as over" last month, and the Bayern coach sees it the same way - but claims it is all the player's fault. "We have rules and we have to work within these rules," said Van Gaal. "Luca Toni did not stick to the rules. He had to fight for his place along with [Ivica] Olic and [Mario] Gomez. Every player, whether they are a world champion or whatever, has got to accept that he doesn't play."
In an interview on Germany's ZDF television, Van Gaal accused Toni of having too big an ego and saying he simply did not fit in with the team. "Football at Bayern Munich is of the highest level and every player who comes here promises to give it their all when they sign a contract," he explained. "Football is not about individuals, it is a team sport. It is not a hobby, it is a profession and that is the difference."
Bayern do not appear to be having any problems without Toni, though, as Saturday's 5-1 win at Bochum confirmed. That was their fifth consecutive win in all competitions and relieved any remaining pressure on the Dutchman, who said he was never seriously perturbed about the possibility of losing his job. He said: "I always had the belief and the will that we would be able to do it and I told the players that. It is hard to beat Bayern."
He had suggested that Bochum would have a good chance of victory, claiming after a 4-1 win at Juventus that the trip to the Bundesliga strugglers would be even more difficult. "It was not as tough as against Juventus," he said. "I always tell the truth, but not this time." * With agencies