When Pep Guardiola was appointed Bayern Munich manager, many pundits thought the writing was on the wall for Arjen Robben at the club.
The joke went that Pep would ask Robben to pass the ball more, and the Dutchman would simply say: “No!”
And so it may has come as a surprise that Robben has been a key player of Guardiola’s early days at the Allianz Arena.
The Spaniard may have a clear vision of how he likes football to be played, and he may have tinkered drastically with certain aspects of Bayern’s set-up. But he is no mug, and recognises the influence Robben’s swashbuckling wing play had on Bayern’s Treble win last season.
Equally, Robben is probably relieved that he was not given short shrift by Pep simply because of his reputation as a ball hogger. And he has admitted his happiness at working and learning under the former Barcelona tactician.
"Every new coach does new things and Pep tries to teach us many great things," Robben told Bild.
"He is a top coach and we are happy and proud that he is with us now. We benefit from him greatly.
"[He is] a man who made Barcelona play fantastic football and who made Messi even stronger. You just have to learn something from that man.
“I had many great coaches, but every day I learn from him, I have a good rapport with him. I feel great trust."
The next big clash for Pep and Robben is the European Super Cup against the Dutchman’s old side Cheslea, who had coveted Guardiola greatly before welcoming Jose Mourinho home in second place.
Robben has been looking forward to the clash ever since Bayern won the Champions League last season, and is determined to win the Super Cup at Chelsea and Mourinho’s expense.
"I want this title on my business card, just like I want the Club World Cup on it," he said.
"The longer the list the better. Those finals are the rewards for our historic last season. We should be thankful and win them."