No longer a sweeper-keeper? Neuer's newer role at Bayern under Ancelotti
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says his role has changed now that Carlo Ancelotti is in charge of the team.
“I’m not a sweeper keeper like last few years,” Neuer said in a recent sit-down interview. “Now it is a different game for us. We try to play compact and we try to have a good formation in the defense. But we are not [as much] in the first line as we were before under [former manager] Pep Guardiola. We have a little bit more space, up forward to the goal, the opponents’ goal. And we can use the space for our strikers and right and left backs, so that they can overlap the players and come with crosses. That’s the new strategy with the new manager.”
Neuer said he enjoys aspects of the strategy switch.
“I can speak much more to my players in front of me because of this, and it’s closer. I can reach the midfielders. It was impossible before to reach a midfielder when you shout and try to help them with something. And that’s different and again a new job for me.”
Neuer added that he gets back into sweeper keeper mode when he rejoins the German national team.
Meanwhile, a source close to Bayern management says that the club is feeling much better about Ancelotti now than it was before the winter break. The 5-1 Champions League win in the first leg of the round of 16 against Arsenal helped, but so, too, has Bayern’s run to a seven-point lead in the Bundesliga.