Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has spoken of the way he’s adapted his style of play this season to help the team’s cause, but without that having an impact on his desire to score goals.
“I’m playing differently this season, I’ve developed some more,” the Poland international told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
“You can see that in my assist statistics. I’ve got 10 this season, which is the most I’ve ever had, so I’ll probably top that by the end of the season,” Lewandowski stated.
He claims the change in approach for himself came about in autumn when things weren’t going so well for Bayern. “I did a lot of reflecting and thinking about how I can best help the team. I saw what I felt the team needs from me and told myself, ‘I’ll do everything that helps the team.’”
The results of that mental switch could be seen in a five game spell around the turn of the year where he set up his teammates on five occasions. Two of those came in a single match against Schalke where Lewandowski captained Bayern for the first time in a Bundesliga game, an experience the 30-year-old described as “an unbelievable feeling”.
The striker also defended his supposed poorer goalscoring record this season, scoring ‘just’ 17 goals after 25 Matchdays compared to 21 at the same stage in 2017/18. “It may be I’ve scored a few goals less than in recent seasons, but that doesn’t mean I’m having a bad season,” the Poland captain stated.
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“My duties on the pitch have changed. I now concentrate on the entire team, not just myself. The team comes first,” said Lewandowski, who has scored 180 goals in 230 appearances for the record German champions. “I try to open up gaps and create chances without losing my own hunger for goals. I always want to score goals.”
He has another chance to do both at the Allianz Arena on Sunday against a Mainz side he’s historically enjoyed facing. Lewandowski has 13 goals in his last 12 Bundesliga meetings, including braces in five of the last six seasons. He may have failed to score in the reverse fixture this term, but did register a match-winning assist in the 2-1 win.