Coach Louis van Gaal has been reprimanded by Bayern Munich's director of sport Christian Nerlinger for his criticism of Franck Ribery in the German press.
"He sometimes provokes and you shouldn't always take everything he says seriously," Nerlinger said about van Gaal. "But he is not giving the best impression of us at the moment and we have to work on changing this."
Nerlinger's comments come after a turbulent week between van Gaal and Bayern playmaker Ribery. The Frenchman is returning to fitness after damaging ankle ligaments in September and van Gaal criticised Ribery for not putting in enough effort in a recent friendly match, arranged partly to help him get back to fitness.
Ribery responded by saying he was disappointed his coach had criticised him in the German media and wished van Gaal had spoken to him in person rather than going to the press. "He does his work, I do mine," said Ribery when asked about how he gets on with the coach.
Ribery played 77 minutes of Bayern's 3-2 defeat at AS Roma last night, their first defeat in the UEFA Champions League this season, but they are still set to win Group E and reach the Round of 16. However, van Gaal replied sarcastically when he was asked about relations now between him and Ribery.
"We talked at the hotel and it was love at first sight," said van Gaal. "That's when players feel the need to talk to me," added the Dutchman in the same ironic tone.
But van Gaal's sarcasm cannot mask the fact Bayern are under pressure in the Bundesliga as the defending champions need to bridge a 14-point gap behind leaders Dortmund with just over a third of the season played.
Van Gaal has a contract until 2012, but with his side eighth in the table, Bayern's bosses are far from impressed with this season's performances after the Dutchman won the German league and cup double last season.