Munich - Arjen Robben was given what has of late been a rare starting berth for FC Bayern Munich in Saturday's 6-1 demolition of SV Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena, and the Dutchman spoke of his delight at an emphatic team victory.
Rather than kicking his heels on the bench, as has so often been the case in recent weeks, it was the Bremen players who were nipping at them as the Flying Dutchman kept them busy with his blistering forward runs.
Two assists and one goal made up his personal footprint on the game, but more importantly, Robben helped Bayern to another three points on the increasingly inevitable road to a 22nd Bundesliga title. And he was keen to point out that, while he was delighted to be starting a game again, and making such a key contribution, his greatest pleasure was leaving the field with the win.
“What matters is not how it was for me personally, but how important it was for all of us to remain in our rhythm,“ the 2010 World Cup finalist explained. “I’m also delighted for all the other players; we had six new faces on the pitch and it’s not easy when you come in short of match practice, so a big compliment to everybody.”
"I love being on the pitch"
Robben has made no secret of his frustration at his own lack of on-pitch time so far in 2013, but he channelled it into the perfect response on Saturday, doing no harm to his prospects of another starting berth against Borussia Dortmund in the upcoming DFB Cup quarter-final.
The Dutch star's explanation for his evident dissatisfaction of late is simple. “When you’ve recovered from a few injuries like me, then you’ll understand,” he said. “I love being on the pitch. When I’m out there, I just want to play football.”
Up for the cup
Whether he did enough to convince coach Jupp Heynckes he is ripe to start against Dortmund will be revealed on Wednesday evening, an hour or so before arguably Bayern’s biggest game this month. Having established a 3-1 lead away to Arsenal FC in the UEFA Champions League and with such a comfortable advantage at the top of the Bundesliga, Bayern are free to focus fully on the midweek meeting with the holders .
“That’s going to be a tight game,” Robben said. “It’ll be decided by the little details. The important thing is we get to the final of the cup. We want to win titles and if Dortmund stand in the way of us reaching Berlin, then we just have to beat them.”
Score to settle
That, as Bayern have discovered over the past two years, without a league or DFB Cup victory over the Westphalians, is easier said than done. The 5-2 defeat at the hands of this selfsame Borussia side in last season's final no longer rankles, but rather inspires Bayern, according to Robben.
“That’s behind us now,” he said. “We’re into a new season and there are new titles to be won - and we’ve got to be there when it matters.”