By Enis Koylu
Former Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves has branded criticism of coach Pep Guardiola's first season at the Allianz Arena "ridiculous".
The Bavarians won the Bundesliga in record time and can complete a domestic double on Saturday when they take on Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal final.
However, club legends such as Franz Beckenbauer and Lothar Matthaus have been critical of their style of play in the Champions League exit to Real Madrid, but Hargreaves believes that their words were unwarranted.
"Guardiola has done a remarkable job, I mean they won the league with two months to spare," he told Goal.
"Bayern Munich have been the best team in Germany by a mile for a long time and he’s come in and broken all the records, so he’s done a remarkable job. It’s a great group of players he inherited.
"They lost two games this season. I think to put a negative pitch on the end of the season would be ridiculous.
"They got beaten by a better side in the Champions League, you’ve got to say, but they won the league and are on course for a double. I’d consider that a pretty successful season.”
Bayern wrapped up the title in March after a five-month winning run in the Bundesliga but their form soon dipped and Hargreaves feels they paid the price for tasting success so early.
"It’s just because of [winning the title]. It’s just that. They wrapped up the league so early and took their foot off the gas. I don’t think they consciously did it.
"The league was done and dusted ahead of schedule and it just takes off that extra edge, that determination I think. They were a little bit complacent and that’s enough in football.
"They were punished at home by Dortmund in the league and they got punished by Real Madrid in the Champions League.”
Dortmund finished the Bundesliga in much stronger form but Hargreaves doesn't feel that Jurgen Klopp's side go into Saturday's Pokal final as favourites.
"Momentum is big in football – you saw that with Liverpool’s run. So, I think with Bayern, when they were on that run and wrapped up the league, at that point momentum faded a little bit.
"It’s a variable in the equation but I don’t think it’s everything. I mean, Bayern Munich are by far the best team in Germany. And with this game especially, it’s a one off and everyone looks forward to it.
"It’s a real special day for the whole club and Bayern will be up for it, so I’m not sure if Dortmund are favourites, but they’ve got a bit more momentum going into it.”
Fans can watch the German Cup Final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund exclusively live from 6.45pm this Saturday 17th May on BT Sport 2. BT Sport is free with BT broadband, to find out more visit www.btsport.com.