At times this season, Muller has appeared out of sorts and unsure of his role in the team. A lot of that has to do with Ancelotti’s failure to impose any sort of collective identity on this team. Bayern are reliant on moments of magic – from a Robben or a Robert Lewandowski – to get themselves ahead or out of trouble.
But Muller has not performed at the levels expected of him since last spring. Missing the key penalty against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final was a crucial moment for the 27-year-old and for Bayern as a whole. He carried that poor form into the European Championship – where he didn’t score and became the first German since Uli Stielike at the 1982 World Cup to miss a penalty in an international shoot-out.
To date, he’s only scored four Bundesliga goals in 23 outings and his shot conversion rate is a shocking 9.76 per cent (Lewandowski’s is 28.26%). He was 999 minutes without a league goal before netting against Wolfsburg in December.