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Brian GlanvilleAfter that fascinating, thrilling, occasionally erratic German European Cup final, littered as it was with goalkeeping prodigies by either side, a plethora of missed chances, and what might have been two Bayern expulsions, it was hard to understand why Bayern were ready to let Jupp Heynckes go; albeit in triumph.

He had built a superb team which, having strolled away with the Bundesliga, leaving Dortmund hopelessly behind; it had now won the European Cup itself. At 68, surely Heynckes had shown no signs of fading.

Not for the first time it is surely legitimate to wonder just how Pep Guardiola, however dazzlingly successful at Barcelona, will adjust to a completely different football philosophy.

Is Heynckes determined to live in honourable retirement or would he be prepared to join some other leading club albeit in another country?

It seems now that his old club Real Madrid may want Heynckes back. How splendidly ironic if they do; while Bayer take Barcelona’s Guardiola.

Were Bayer lucky at Wembley? Certainly many a referee would have sent the ever elusive and impressively industrious Franck Ribery off for that flailing elbow, while Dante somehow escaped expulsion despite giving away that clumsy penalty having previously been quite properly booked for a crude foul. Overall, in an era when major defences give so little away, it was astonishing to see both teams, Dortmund initially, Bayern as the game went on, make so many chances.

In most of the first half it was Manuel Neuer, Germany’s present number one, who was consistently denying Dortmund. Subsequently, the 32-year-old Roman Weidenfeller, who has now been with Borussia for 11 years, who made a catalogue of fine saves from Bayern’s attack. In which Arjen Robben should have scored more than once, long before he so skilfully picked his way clear to score that breathless late winner. In the first half, wanting to use his formidable left foot rather than his right, he got in a hopeless tangle. He was operating, as he chiefly does, on the right flank then, but later in the game went out on the left, with deadly ultimate effect.

Ribery, who could have gone off for that swinging elbow, unselfishly and diligently often dropped back on the left flank to help his defence. While Dortmund, deprived of the injured Mario Gotze, whom Bayern will now deprive them of permanently, have a shining youngster in the just 23-year-old Marco Reus, fleet-footed, elusive and so penetrative in attack. Bayern, on the face of it, hardly need reinforcing in attack, but their huge wealth enables them to pillage the likes of Dortmund.

Amidst the welter of eulogies for the retiring Air Alex Ferguson, with many a mention of his so-called hair dryer, one wise columnist pointed out that he used it selectively; never on the likes of Eric Cantona or Roy Keane. To which it might be answered that Cantona especially needed with his explosive, sometimes violent temperament, extremely careful handling, which he had clearly not fully received at Leeds under Howard Wilkinson; hence the bargain million pound move to Old Trafford.

As for Keane, remember what happened in training camp on the island of Saipan, just before the 2002 World Cup began. With good reason, Keane complained about the facilities. Manager Mick McCarthy was unwise enough to rebuke him in front of his team-mates, provoking a predictably ferocious outburst and the departure of a man who might have helped Ireland to make still greater progress than they estimably did in that tournament.

Sometimes, surely, discretion is the better part of…hair drying.

By Brian Glanville

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