Pep Guardiola explains decision to not start Toni Kroos against Arsenal

by Sam Peoples

Pep Guardiola has revealed that Toni Kroos was left out of Bayern Munich’s starting XI against Arsenal for tactical reasons rather than anything to do with his current situation in Bavaria.

There were questions marks over his exclusion from the team because of his influence in the first leg at the Emirates but his exclusion was due to footballing reasons, according to Guardiola.

“There is no best XI at Bayern,” he said. 

“Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, Claudio Pizarro and Rafinha deserve to play. I rub shoulders with them everyday and they train very hard. It is very difficult for me to leave any of them out but we have to choose the best strategy for each match given.

“If I had opted for another starting lineup, you would have asked me why I would have left this or that player on the bench. This is just a tactical question. I analysed our game arsenal, and I chose my players accordingly. My actual offers many different options.”

There are also quotes floating around that Guardiola stated Kroos had been on antibiotics for the past few days but these are unconfirmed for now.

“Toni played incredibly well, but not only in this game, it has been doing all season.”

Kroos came on for the last 30 minutes to bring some fresh legs to Bayern’s midfield and helped them qualify for the quarter-finals with a 1-1 draw but despite qualifying, some Bayern fans were frustrated at the team’s performance.

Guardiola’s decision to leave Muller and Kroos, the two players who made the difference in the first leg, didn’t go down too well and Bayern struggled to break Arsenal down on the night as a consequence.

Since his world class performance at the Emirates, Kroos has only started one of four games as Guardiola has stuck with his policy of rotation and he has continued to be on the periphery but given Bayern’s outstanding run of good results, Kroos is powerless to question it.

Therefore, he’ll have to settle with his current situation until at least the summer where he can wait to and see if another club wants to sign him.

Image: Twitter/wearemadrid10

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