Arjen Robben Comments on Playing Time, Pep Guardiola

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2016

Munich's coach Pep Guardiola, left, addresses Arjen Robben, center, and Douglas Costa de Souza during the German soccer cup first round match between fifth tier team FC Noettingen and Bayern Munich in Karlsruhe, southern Germany, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Daniel Maurer)
Daniel Maurer/Associated Press

Bayern Munich superstar Arjen Robben has said he is desperate to start for his club after returning from injury but added he accepts manager Pep Guardiola's decision to stagger his playing time.

German outlet TZ (h/t Tom Webber of Goal) quoted the Netherlands international addressing his reintroduction to the first team and his thoughts about Guardiola's selection:

I noticed that I'm getting stronger. I need rhythm, I need games. This time it was only 10 minutes [against Hamburg].

Of course [I'd like to be playing more], but this is the coach's decision and you have to accept it.

I haven't even been in training for two weeks; I still need a little more time, but I will do everything in training.

Paul White/Associated Press

Robben recently came on as an 81st-minute substitute in Bayern's 2-1 win over Hamburg, making his return from a muscle injury in his first competitive appearance since the 4-0 UEFA Champions League success over Olympiakos in November.

The 32-year-old has suffered with a number of knocks throughout his career, and Guardiola's caution in breaking him back in gently is a wise decision.

The attacker has started only seven games in the Bundesliga this term, scoring three goals, according to WhoScored.

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

However, Der FCB have been on an exceptional run of form in the German league since Robben's time on the sidelines and lead the title race by eight points after winning 16 from 18 matches.

When fully fit, Robben is one of the best in the world, but his age should mean he is used less in the seasons ahead.

The player still has the world-class capabilities of yesteryear, but Guardiola will want Robben fit when the business end of the campaign kicks in.