Bayer Leverkusen has lost four competitive games in a row. But in the crisis there are “no doubts” about coach Gerardo Seoane, as managing director Fernando Carro told the TV station der picture expressed. Simon Rolfes also spoke up.
Getting out of the crisis situation is definitely “a task for the coach, but also for the entire team and the entire club,” Carro explained on the show. When it came to the coaching question, he left no doubts: “Definitely” Gerardo Seoane is the right man. “One hundred percent. I have no doubts about that!”
Sports director Simon Rolfes is also looking for other solutions. New transfers are “of course an impulse that is possible,” he said after the defeat against TSG Hoffenheim. Actually, the Werkself hadn’t lost a top performer, they even strengthened themselves on the offensive with Adam Hlozek (for 13 million euros from Sparta Prague). That’s why transfers are not the panacea either: “We have to remember what made us strong. That can’t just be solved with newcomers, but above all from within ourselves.”
But above all the failure of playmaker Florian Wirtz weighs heavily at the moment. The 19-year-old will be out even longer with a cruciate ligament rupture (inflicted on March 13 against 1. FC Köln). Bayer Leverkusen lost in the DFB Cup against SV-Elversberg (3:4) and the first three Bundesliga games (0:1 against Borussia Dortmund, 1:2 against FC Augsburg, 0:3 against TSG Hoffenheim).
Explanations for the sporting crisis
The worst false start in the club’s history was explained surprisingly quickly. Bayer Leverkusen is at the bottom of the table, an outrageously expensive top team is losing game after game, but it’s really quite simple. “Football,” said coach Gerardo Seoane, “lives on the state of mind.” And what about the mood of the Bayer pros? “There is uncertainty.”
The 0:3 (0:2) against TSG Hoffenheim was the low point so far in the still young season, and it was the moment when a crisis in results turned into a real sporting crisis: Simple things no longer work out because the paralyze self-doubt. And solving this blockade is not that easy.
“It’s a difficult moment for us as a club and for me personally,” said Seoane, who has great expectations at Leverkusen. The Swiss took over last summer and allowed the team to play high-scoring attacking football. Leverkusen had their best season in nine years and are back in the Champions League.
And while the previous defeats were all somehow unfortunate, the bankruptcy against Hoffenheim was fully deserved. TSG did little more than defend “solidarity and aggressively”, as coach Andre Breitenreiter described it: They wanted to use the “current moment of stress” of the opponent.
Hoffenheim’s triple pack increases uncertainty
That worked. TSG made a couple of successful counterattacks and scored from Christoph Baumgartner (9′), Andrej Kramaric (35′) and Georginio Rutter (78′). Above all, the once again early deficit was probably an effective hit.
“If there is uncertainty, then there are misunderstandings, turnovers, wrong decisions,” said Seoane later. It will now be interesting to see whether and how Bayer can get a grip on this problem, which now seems to be in the players’ minds. The crisis has developed its own momentum.
“Of course the defeats affect us, but we just have to be professional and mature enough,” said Jonathan Tah. It is now important “to find a simple game, to be stable together,” said Bayer’s sporting director Simon Rolfes.
Seoane, the beacon of hope, must now quickly manage this crisis. A tricky task awaits in Mainz next Saturday (Saturday, 08/27/22, 3:30 p.m.). However, there are no doubts about the coach.